There are millions of bloggers around the world publishing new content every day. If so many other companies are blogging too, why should you invest time and resources in business blogging? You should just avoid it altogether, right? Wrong. Business blogging is no longer a nice-to-have for your company, it is a must for several reasons.
According to HubSpot, 44% of online shoppers begin their purchases by conducting Internet searches. In US alone, 12 billion web searches are conducted each month.
Blogging is important because it provides your potential customers useful information to inform their buying decisions, which helps improve your company’s credibility and thought leadership.
Research has shown that businesses who blog regularly receive 97% more inbound links to their company websites. As well, 79% of companies who blog reported a positive ROI in their inbound marketing efforts. Marketers who invest in blogging efforts also see 67% more leads compared to their peers who do not blog.
Now that you have enough reason to start blogging, what can you do to help your posts stand out from all the noise out there? By making your blogs more SEO-friendly and relevant to search engines, you’ll be able to increase your blog visitors and traffic.
What Is SEO? Why Should You Care?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of best practices to help improve the ranking of your blog on a search engine’s results page, such as Google. SEO-optimization involves using common keywords that web users search for when using search engines, as well as linking to other websites and social media channels. All of these practices increase the relevance of your blog to search engines, which helps your posts climb in the rankings and ultimately drive more traffic to your site.
So how do you ensure your posts are SEO-friendly? Here are six simple tips from Main Path Marketing to help you optimize your blogs for SEO:
Search engines rely on keywords to determine what is and isn’t relevant to a web user’s search. A web user typically types in words or a series of words into the search engine related to the topic of their choice. The search engine then lists the top results that it determines to be most relevant to the topic.
To optimize your blog, you should identify and incorporate keywords that are highly relevant to your given topic into your post. Google’s Keyword Tool is one of the many resources out there you can use to look up a keyword’s average monthly searches, relevance and competitiveness, as well as similar keywords.
Make sure the keywords occur organically throughout your post. Don’t try to “force” keywords into your blog, as this will not help boost your post’s relevance.
80% of readers don’t actually make it past the headline. So it’s extremely important to create a compelling title that piques a reader’s interest and captures the essence or key concept of your blog.
Try to keep your headline under 55 characters if you can, as this allows the entire title to fit on a search page. You’ll also want to incorporate top keyword phrases you’ve used throughout your blog in the headline to increase its relevance.
- Original Content
It’s important to create original content that provides useful information to your readers. When writing your blog, use subheadings to help break up your copy and to also help search engines scan and index your post more easily.
Where appropriate, include at least three links to other sites, social media channels or pages on your blog to help drive additional traffic to your post. When you link to other sites, they may also link their content to your site, which helps increase your traffic as well.
- Properly Formatted Text
Longer form content – posts of over 1,000 words – tends to rank better on search engines. But if your blog is one large block of text, viewers who initially see it may be discouraged from reading more. There are small tricks to help you avoid that. For example, you can show a short preview of your blog and use “read more” tags or buttons for readers to click through to continue reading.
Most people also only read about 28% of the words in a blog post during an average page visit. To make your post more scan-friendly, use short paragraphs, bullet points, number lists, and block quotes to help your readers pick up the key points more quickly.
Don’t forget to include call-to-action in your post, such as promoting your social channels or other blogs, as this helps generate more traffic for your site.
Generally speaking, blog posts with images tend to be more popular than those that do not have images. More importantly though, images help break up your copy, and can make your blogs more memorable as people remember images 6 times easier than text.
Don’t forget to add titles or image captions using your top keywords, as well as crediting your sources.
- Meta Description & Tags
Adding a short meta description to your blog makes it easier for search engines to find your post. A meta description should accurately summarize your blog and include your top keywords. You’ll also want to create relevant categories and tags to help organize your blogs, so readers can find specific posts more quickly.
I hope you found these six tips helpful! What other best practices do you use to optimize your blogs? Please share below!
Check out the full infographic below: