With Google’s most recent series of updates (codename: Penguin), one thing has become strikingly obvious: if link-building is King of the SEO court, then content is Queen. Google continues to value the content of a website above all else. As such, you should always be looking for ways to inject fresh content into your website. One of the easiest ways to do this is by introducing an SEO friendly blog.
Blogging is fairly simple. All you need to do is write a few paragraphs on a topic that’s related to your industry and post those articles on a regular schedule (once a month is fine if you don’t have the time to dedicate to weekly posts). That’s all it takes for Google to notice that you’re posting fresh content.
What’s the benefit of blogging? Besides providing additional value to your target audience (important) and allowing you to better position your company as a thought-leader in your space (super-important), blogging allows you to associate your website with an infinite variety of keywords and search phrases. This is fantastic when it comes to enhancing your existing SEO strategy.
When it comes to SEO, the more “with it” websites are typically going to pick only one or two keywords that they associate with each individual page of their website. This limits the search phrases a site can effectively target through their SEO initiatives (link-building, hubbing, etc...). Blogging allows the site to target an unlimited number of keywords. It also creates a natural portal through which organic links can be built by the blog's readers.
So how do you set your blog up for SEO success? Here are three tips to get you started:
1 - Research Potential Blog Topics
You can blog about anything you want, but if you want to make headway in the SEO world, you’re going to want to blog about what your clients and customers are searching for. Your first step is to brainstorm topics that your readers and customers would be interested in. You can start by identifying common problems in your space and then provide solutions for these problems as your blog posts. You can also start by identifying areas that your organization is proficient in and write blog posts that offer foundational best practices (see as example this blog post). After you have identified potential blog topics, you’ll want to go into research mode. Use Google Insights or the Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see how many individuals are searching for your chosen topic. You’ll also gain some feedback from these tools on how you should word the title of the blog post.
2 - Include Those Keywords in Your Blog Post‘s Title
Once you have the topic and the correlating keyword identified, you’ll want to ensure that you incorporate that keyword into the blog’s title. Onsite header and title tags are a key determinant in Google’s search results algorithm (which controls how Google ranks your page). Since a blog title is usually classified as a header, incorporating your targeted keyword into your blog post's title is your way of saying, “Hey Google, this blog post is a really good match for this keyword. You should rank it high!”
When selecting the topic and title of this blog posts (originally titled ‘How To Write SEO Friendly Blogs’) I followed the exact steps above. I researched a topic people were searching for and then used the Google Adwords Tool to identify the best title for the post.
3 - Build Links to Previous Posts
Lastly, you’ll want to incorporate links throughout that blog post that link back to previous blog posts using the keywords associated with that blog post. For example, if I write a future article where I draw a reference to SEO for blogs, I’m going to want to hyperlink those words back to this article. This reconfirms to Google that your blog post is relevant to that particular SEO keyword phrase. The more links you have to those blog posts, the better the ranking.
BONUS TIP! - Facilitate an Easy Share
While it’s great to write blog posts, it’s even better when those posts are read. Always make it easy for a reader to share your posts with others by incorporating social sharing buttons at the bottom of each blog post. People are more likely to share your blog if you make it easy for them to do so. When you create the share button, be sure that you include the blog title in the link being shared so that it counts towards your link building efforts.
By using this as a foundation, you can turn your blog into a SEO powerhouse that will have new site visitors pounding down your doorsteps and your fans shouting from the rooftops how great your company is.
Have a tip for making your blog more SEO friendly? Leave a comment and share it below!