As a general rule, search engine algorithms prefer fresh content, which explains why blogging is popular among SEO strategists. The very nature of blogs lends itself to delivering fresh and updated content. Blogs are typically websites or pages updated frequently, and containing personal opinions and experiences. Aside from delivering fresh and relevant content, blogs also provide a platform to increase backlinks and expose targeted keywords. When done correctly, blogs increase your organization’s domain authority and help in the fight for a high-ranked search engine result placement.
Effective SEO blogging strategies must always coincide with your organization’s marketing campaigns along with (hopefully) a more elaborate SEO strategy that makes use of multiple online content delivery vehicles. Stay within your target keywords and/or keyword groups and keep the message consistent. Establish a blog schedule, making sure you cover a wide array of topics relevant to your business, and soon you will see that blogging is a powerful tool in boosting your online presence and position in search engine result pages.
Below are the top 10 best practices to follow when optimizing a blog for SEO:
1. Authority through content
Blogs helps establish authority in your industry through content. Stay relevant and be creative in your blogs. And don’t be afraid to have fun. Some of our most successful blog posts have been humor pieces by Steven Brykman, including this series about the UX of bathroom urinals. Address compelling issues in your industry and provide value to visitors. Find out what your audience wants to see or, better yet, provide solutions to challenges your audience likely faces.
2. Timing and Frequency
Timing when your blog posts are sent out into the world is an important point to consider. Aim to deliver content to readers not only when they’re most active, but also when they’re most receptive to reading your content. Also make an effort to post new content regularly. Site visitors will appreciate knowing when they need to return for that next great piece of content. As an added bonus, this can also help create a sense of anticipation for the next post.
Promote comments and interactions with visitors. This is an effective building block to establishing a community, which further enhances your authority. Establish a moderating strategy. Don’t allow spammers and trolls to take control of your blog. Allow readers to like and share your blog, but consider adding rules around behavior standards and expectations to ensure an honest and fair flow of ideas.
4. Naturally incorporate the keyword in the title
Putting your keyword in the title is a very important SEO step. Make the title or headline catchy but don’t force keywords in there just to have them. All keywords used in your page titles should fit naturally in the flow of the sentence without making the title sound forced.
5. Short and relevant URL
Make the URL short and relevant by removing irrelevant words. You should also include the keyword in the URL.
6. Make the first sentence count
Visitors often only read the first few lines of a post before deciding to stay and read the rest of the blog (or leave, never to return). With such a small window of opportunity to grab a visitor’s attention, it is important to make each word count. Note: including the keyword in the first sentence is also beneficial to improve SEO.
7. Proper use of Header tags
Putting your keyword in the header tag is also recommended. But don’t overdo it. Not every header needs to contain a keyword. When in doubt, make sure the post’s target keyword is contained at least in the page’s <h1> tag.
8. Add Links
Adding internal links to your best content encourages visitors to explore other posts and pages on your site and allows search engines to crawl your site more effectively. Adding external links to other sites with a high domain authority that host related content can also help build trust within your target market. Just be careful which sites you choose to link to. The reputation of your business and how visitors view your online presence can be damaged if you consistently send visitors to sites that are not relevant to your offerings or which provide a poor user experience. In addition, be sure each link you add to a page goes where it’s intended to. No one likes clicking a broken link! If applicable, add links to related blogs as well.
9. Image and Video use
Visitors tend to gravitate to images and videos more quickly than they do to text. Search engines also tend to give more weight to pages that include images and videos. Be sure to optimize your images by adding an alt tag that includes target keywords. But don’t over-use it if you have multiple images in your blog. Videos also help break the monotony of large blocks of text. Lastly, choose your images and videos with care. A site with too many large images or videos may load slowly and drive visitors away.
10 Use effective meta tags
Even if it’s not a factor in rankings, meta description tags helps entice visitors to visit your blog. So make sure you follow the best practices in writing effective meta description tags.
For more information on how Anexinet can assist you build or optimize your online resources for SEO, please reach out to us. Or for more on SEO Strategy as a whole, check out this recent blog SEO Strategy: Delivering Current & Relevant Content.