How to Optimize Your Blogs for SEO
Ask a company why it blogs and you’ll get many different answers. They’ll say, “We blog to share our point of view,” or “We’re working to establish ourselves as thought leaders in our industry,” or “We want to give our customers and prospects a look inside our company.” All of these are admirable goals. But, let’s be honest. Far and away the top reason organizations blog is to get the attention of prospects.
And in order to do that, you have to be thinking about search engine optimization (SEO) as you craft your post.
Fresh, engaging blog posts with the right keywords can achieve a desirable position on search engine results pages (SERPs). Why is that important? Well, the closer you get to the coveted #1 spot on the results page for a particular search term, the better your chances of having people click through to your website and consequently the better chance of them becoming a customer. In fact, at one point a few years ago, online advertising network Chitika found that the top spot got nearly 33 percent of average traffic share. That number has dropped closer to 20 percent in recent years, but the fact remains: earn the #1 position and your web traffic (and sales) will surely increase.
Blog Posts and SEO: “Happy Accidents” are Very Rare
Painter, Bob Ross was famous for saying that artists don’t make mistakes, they just have “happy little accidents.” Unfortunately, the same is not true for marketers. You won’t find that kind of thing occurring with blog posts and SEO. Writing blog posts more or less at random in the hope that they will have what it takes to rank high in the SERPs is likely to be a futile exercise. Instead, you have to be strategic about your blogging if you want to get eyes on your posts and visitors to your optimized website.
“Simply writing blog posts in the hope that they will have what it takes to rank high in the SERPs is likely to be a futile exercise.” TWEET THIS
Strategies for Improving Blog Post SEO
It is estimated that Google now handles more than 40,000 search queries every second. Just imagine how your company could benefit if your blog posts were visible somewhere on Page 1 of even a tiny fraction of those results pages!
As you prepare to write a blog post, keep these six tactics for increasing your ranking in mind:
Select one or two long-tail keywords
A long-tail keyword is one that is actually a phrase containing multiple words, like “blue running shoes.” The reason a strategy that capitalizes on long-tail keywords can be so effective is that it makes it easier to connect with a searcher who has a well-defined intent. For example, if you sell only dress shoes, ranking high for the simple keyword “shoes” may mean you are attracting people shopping for anything from high-heeled shoes to tap dancing shoes. But rank for “leather dress shoes” and someone who has entered that as their search phrase will come racing to your site. Not to mention, trying to rank for such a broad term like "shoes" is quite challenging for companies these days.
Use your keyword(s) in critical places
In order to get the most impact from your keywords, you should be sure to use your selected keywords/phrases in four important spots on your blog post: headline, subheads and body text, meta description, and URL. That way, search engines will understand what your post is about and rank it favorably. Don't mistake this for keyword stuffing or writing for search engines. Both of those tactics are never a good idea and will not only NOT get you ranked highly in search engines, but they will turn off your readers too.
Tag your images
Blog posts are more interesting when they contain images. However, search engines can’t “see” images. You must tell them what an image is using what is called “alt text.” So, if a photo depicts a waterproof two-person tent, you should label it that way. This will help your images get picked up by search engines in the image results, which then link back to your article. This plan let's you focus on 2 ways to get picked up in SERPs, not just one
Write longer, but scannable, posts
Search engines like content that has some depth to it. However, longer posts may seem overwhelming to the reader. The answer is to write detailed, informative, keyword-rich posts of 600 words or more that are easy to scan thanks to subheads, bullet lists, etc.
Include internal links
Linking to resources on your website such as other posts, pages, etc. helps search engines crawl (i.e. read) your site, which can provide a boost in overall SEO.
Ensure that your posts are mobile-friendly
Search engines in general, and Google in particular, place a high value on content being usable from mobile devices. This, of course, is not a function of how you write your post but how it is formatted online. Nevertheless, it’s critically important.
Optimized Posts as Part of Effective Marketing Strategy
Writing blog posts with an eye toward better positioning in search results is a great way to get your company and your offerings noticed. But, of course, it’s just one aspect of your comprehensive marketing strategy. THINK creative group can help ensure that each element of your marketing plan is fine-tuned and complements the others to produce powerful synergy. Contact us today to learn more.