1. Write. Write Often. Write Lots.
It may sound obvious, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to help your blog rank well in search engines. Google gives preference to fresh content and sites that are updated regularly, so you’ll want to write as often as you can. Word of advice: try to set reasonable goals you can stick to. If you know that writing once a week will never happen, then start with once a month. Better to blog monthly then never at all. When it comes to length, posts under 300 words may be overlooked by search engines, so try write 300-700 words in each blog – or more.
NB: Writing more often doesn’t mean you can fill your blog with boring, repetitive fluff that no one wants to read. Google will not be pleased.
2. Break Up Text Chunks with Headings
Headings and subheadings are important for both search engines and for your readers. Particularly in longer blog posts, you want to break up long chunks of text with helpful subtitles that let your readers (and search engines) know what each section of the text is about.
Since many visitors will only skim your post, the headings will give them a good idea of what you are trying to say. As for search engines, they scan your posts and take note of larger text to understand what your website and articles are about. This information helps them place your blog in relevant searches.
3. Sprinkle Your Text with Keywords
Every search on Google begins with a keyword phrase, known as a query. The secret to ranking well is to associate your blog with the keywords your customers are looking for.
Think about what your potential clients might be typing into Google. Are you a “hair salon in NYC” or a “boutique hotel in Athens?” Create a list of key phrases and make sure you use them – in a natural-sounding way – in your text, headings and titles and as the alt text behind your images.
4. Give Yourself Some Links
Blogs are a great way to bring brand new visitors to your website and your goal is to turn these readers into customers. Internal links are a great way to do just that. Use them to move readers from your blog posts to the heart of your website.
Include links in each of your posts that send readers (in a logical way) to other pages on your site. Writing about an upcoming sale in your flower shop? Link to your online store so customers can order their bouquets. If you’re a dentist writing about the benefits of teeth whitening and aesthetic dental treatments, link to a page on your site that lists your services.
Don’t be afraid to include a clear call to action in your blogs. In fact – it’s something we highly recommend. Consider ending each post with: “contact us!” “we’d love to hear from you” or “please sign up to our newsletter.” Then link these requests to the relevant place on your site.
Best of all, links are great for your SEO as well and Google will take notice!
5. Label Each Post with Categories and Tags
After completing each new post, take the time to label it with relevant keyword tags. Then, place it into corresponding categories within your blog. Categories are for large groupings of posts. Each category on your blog should be filled with at least 10 or 20 posts. Tags are meant to describe a post more specifically and you can use anywhere from 5 to 15 (or more!) tags on each post.
Tags and Categories help readers understand what your blog and specific articles are about so they can search for the posts they find the most interesting or relevant. As far as Google is concerned, remember this rule of thumb: any practice that is good for your users’ experience, is also good for your SEO.
6. Submit Your Blog to Search Engines and Directories
Google and Bing are pretty smart about roaming the Internet. But if want to make sure they scan your site, you can submit your website directly to the search engines.
There are also several directories or “feeds” that are designed specifically for blogs. Submit your blog to these sites to help boost your SEO and to increase the chances that new readers will find your blog.
Popular Blog directories or feeds include:
7. Add a Comments Widget
Like tags and categories, comment widgets are also beneficial for engaging your users. When you allow users to share feedback and ask questions right on your blog, you can initiate conversations with your customers, get to know their needs and respond to their inquiries. You can use the Facebook comments that is integrated into every blog.
If you’re able to generate active conversations on your blog or on social media, search engines will take note of the activity and give your blog a boost.
Contact Group 5 West and we will help you strategize for long-term success.
810 WEST SECOND STREET • LITTLE ROCK, AR 72201 • 501.372.7151 • 501.372.3089 (f)
MEMPHIS, TN 38018 • 901.624.3956 • www.groupfivewest.com