5 activities that will boost your blogging and SEO campaign
As of Thursday 26th January 2017, there are approximately 4.7 billion pages on the indexed web. That’s an intimidating number for any website owner who wants to leverage the internet to find customers. You might be left thinking, “where do I start?”
Blogging on a regular basis gives you the potential to build our brand and reputation (if your efforts are applied to the right activities) and the SEO benefits are often underestimated.
You’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the range of activities needed to get things going. The key is to put a plan in place, keep it simple and stick to it.
Focus each piece on the needs of the audience and not SEO
From the outset, you should create ideas for blog posts around the profiles of your target audience.
Until recently, content marketers would diligently research keywords with high volume searches and stuff those keywords into their blog posts and other web pages. This sort of activity is not as widely used as it once was, but there are still a number of SEOs who are using old school tactics.
Creating compelling content is hard work and requires that you gather ideas and insights directly from those who would be your ideal customers. We recommend surveying your readers via emails and polls and using tools such as Buzz Stream to understand what they’re searching for – and sharing online. You can then build insight into your campaign.
Use keywords in the right way
Keywords are a very important part of your content creation and SEO campaign, but whatever you do, don’t be tempted to mindlessly stuff each blog post with your target phrases.
Keyword stuffing is a dodgy, short-term tactic that is likely to help blogs to rank in search engines because the likes of Google are able to easily discern the subject matter for each post. This might explain why the cycle of over-optimisation still continues across the internet today.
This short-term approach is not a good idea. In many cases, Google penalises websites with over optimised blogs and pages.
The best approach is to balance your content with keywords in the right places, and that’s where optimum keyword usage is really important.
As a minimum requirement, keywords should be placed:
- In the body of the blog content
- In the main title
- Within the page’s URL
- The H1 tag
- Meta descriptions (although this will not impact your ranking in SERPs)
- Media (eg image alt tags, descriptions and file names)
Now that you understand what keywords are and where to use them, you can create a blogging and SEO campaign.
Pick a writing style that resonates with your audience
Do you have someone in mind to write your blogs? If not, be sure to delegate the work to someone who understands the needs of your audience. Providing content that they want to read, but in a style that they can easily consume.
For example, readers of a travel website might not want to read a 5000-word dossier on their holiday destination of choice. So you might choose a list-style blog – with concise headings, short paragraphs and relevant imagery because they’re quick to read and easy to consume.
You should also categorize your blog posts so that your readers can easily find and navigate to related content. After all, the better your categorization, the longer they are likely to stay on your website.
Link to other blog posts and landing pages
Maintain an Excel spreadsheet – or a Google Docs spreadsheet – that lists all of the blog posts that you have written to date, as well as all of the posts that you intend to write in the future.
Add a category heading to your spreadsheet and organise each blog post according to its subject matter. This is important because in future you will need to link to other blog posts and pages.
If you improve your internal linking, visitors are likely to view more pages and spend more time on your website.
The internal links that you create within a blog post will enable your readers to easily find content and navigate to related pages with a simple click. Enabling you to direct traffic to articles and product pages deep within the site’s architecture.
Internal linking also spreads ‘link juice’ which is essentially the passing of equity from one page to another.
For example, if you link from pages or posts of high quality to one of lower quality, ‘link juice’ spreads the equity. Improving the website as a whole.
Internal links also enable Google to crawl and understand your blog. As a result, your posts are more likely to rank well for appropriate searches.
This may sound self-explanatory but starting to blog on a regular basis is a genuine hurdle to overcome. It takes a lot of effort to write blogs that are focused on the needs of your audience, because you need to do your research, devise a plan and then find time to actually write the thing.
Research shows that if you’re able to provide valuable content, it’s likely that you will receive some return on investment. This will come in the form of backlinks to your site, which boosts your site’s performance.
According to Social Media Today, companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that do not. Inbound links have a direct bearing on your website’s ranking; especially if you’re earning links from a variety of quality sources.