According to HubSpot, one of the best ways to build inbound links is by maintaining a steady blog. A blog providing high quality content has a better chance of being seen in search engine rankings, therefore getting you more potential customers and fans. So, how far will you go to set up and optimise a blogging platform for your business?
Search engine optimisation has made a great leap from what it was a few years back. Now you need to put in a lot more effort before you can fully optimise a blog post or an entire website. Certain considerations have been overhauled and Google algorithms have the power to change the usual techniques used by marketing managers, SEO experts and link builders. If you want to up your ranking you’ll simply have to work harder, since there are no shortcuts in sight.
Speaking of which, many company blogs have turned their focus on quality content creation as one of their most useful SEO and marketing techniques. Now that content is a big part of the whole marketing process, how do you make sure that you are doing everything you can to optimise your blog posts, widen your reach and bring back converts?
Here are some easy steps to begin your optimisation.
#1 Create quality content
This, according to consensus, is the best possible way to get to the top of the optimisation process. Brainstorm about what your reader needs and do your best to make it coincide with what you can offer. Create the content based on your own knowledge as well as information from reliable sources. Include statistics and influencer quotes, or employ content personalisation.
Never attempt to rehash other company posts just to fill up your blog. Always make content unique and of a high quality. Don’t waste time optimising bad quality content!
Other tricks for creating good content are to include high quality images and links to authoritative sources. For virality, follow a method which helps you create high quality yet easy-to-read content like posts containing numbered lists. For example, ‘5 Ways to Improve Your Inbound Strategy’. Trim down long posts by dividing key pieces of information with subheadings. Use bullet points to list down important notes and tips and include an actionable question or CTA at the end of your post.
#2 Do keyword research
A good piece of content is one that includes keywords that are relevant to the topic. To find the best keyword(s) possible, employ tools like Google Adwords Keyword Tool.
#3 Utilise keywords wisely
Keywords, although relevant and correct, may not be that useful at all unless you include them in the right places. Placing them in tactical areas of your blog post will make sure that they can impact both your human readers and the search engine crawlers.
Place keywords in your:
- Headings (h1, h2, h3)
- Concluding paragraph
- Anchor text
- Meta descriptions and title tags
Although these are the places where you can get the most out of your keyword, you need to be careful not to overdo the keyword placement. Readers will pick up on messy inclusions of keywords, so be sure to include your keyword only when neccessary and relevant. Including keywords at random intervals throughout your blog post may trick search engine crawlers but your human readers will hate it. It’s just bad content creation.
#4 Optimise images
A blog post accompanied by relevant images can draw in more readers than those blogs that are just filled with text. But make sure that the images you use are either ones which you paid for or images that you are allowed to use for free (For this post, and the majority of our post here at XEN life, we have access to stock photo quality images from Pixabay which houses user contributed photos with easy search options. Plus it allows commercial reuse and requires no attribution).
To optimise images, you need to use the proper labelling techniques when uploading to your blog. Images are indexed by search engines as well, so if you don’t already do this – get in the habit! Include important keywords in the image file name, alternative text field and description field.
#5 Give attention to Meta titles and Descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions will help your readers and search engines understand what’s inside your content. When readers search something, they may find helpful introductory words underneath your title. In terms of optimisation and leads, these words can be your initial shot at a sales pitch.
Although Google doesn’t seem to look at meta tags anymore when indexing, other search engines still do.
#6 Link to your references (internal and external)
Internal links are very valuable in content especially if they’re related and relevant to the current post. Use this trick efficiently and put the links where you think the referencing will really motivate your readers to know more. If you get it right, internal referencing and linking will be beneficial to your site since your readers will spend the time on your blog instead of looking for other external content.
On the other hand, external referencing/linking can allow your site better credibility, especially if you are using high quality sites as reference points. Linking to peer websites can be of great use too. It may prod other websites to return the favour and share your posts.
For example, if create content about health and medicine, use government-credible study links and resources. For tech content, always check tech giant and influencer blog posts to get the most valuable and up-to-date information.
#7 Analyse and revise blog posts
Some blog posts work and some don’t. You might often see that one of your posts becomes very popular, while another post hardly gets any views or shares at all. To get the most out of this, check what makes these viral blog posts tick. Examine the elements you used in the content. Try to model this and reciprocate it in another post, discussing another topic.
Of course, this isn’t to say there is a certain format or style of blog post which automatically makes content viral. Think of this as a trial and error experience until you have copied the right formula for your own marketing strategy.
#8 Share across social media platforms
Every good marketer knows that social media is a tour de force that shouldn’t and can’t be ignored. During every second of every minute, several pieces of content will go viral and ‘travel’ across the whole planet in a few clicks. Now, imagine harnessing the power of social media to deliver your content to the world. The possibilities are endless.
To optimise your use of social media, ask yourself these questions:
- Looking at your past posts, which platform receives your content better? Is it Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest or StumbleUpon?
- Which platform offers the most interaction?
- Which platform shares your content the most?
- Do you use paid boosting for any/all of these social media platforms?
- What time do your social media shares and interactions peak?
After this, you may try to give most of your attention to the platform where you get the most ROI and determine the time when you will get the most positive response to content sharing.
StumbleUpon may be the next best free viral-friendly platform. If you haven’t already tried sharing your blog posts there, you might want to look into it. Facebook, on the other hand, is a great platform for interactivity and sharing. Pinterest is another social media platform that will ensure your content gets read and re-read.
#9 Offer subscription opportunities
If you already have avid readers and subscribers and your optimisation has been received well, then now might be the time to offer something exclusive so increase readership and encourage new leads.
Blogging offers marketing professionals and website owners many opportunities. Blogging has become a key marketing practice in today’s digital society. It is arguably the most inexpensive way to improve your marketing efforts while driving visitors to your site and straight to buying up your products.
Blogging regularly can help websites and businesses boost their SEO efforts, reach out to customers, expose their brand to possible leads and create opportunities for sharing. Plus, it may only require minimal effort on your part. Need more reasons to start a company blog? Check out Yahoo’s ‘Top Blogging Statistics: 45 Reasons to Blog’.
What are your other blogging and SEO tricks? Let us know in the comments!