There is a huge buzz out there about blogging. But many people out there are asking themselves how do I blog? And how do I do it well? Well this blog entry sets out to provide some guidelines on how to properly blog. Creating fresh, engaging content helps build a loyal following and attract links. For this reason, it is necessary to blog on a regular basis. The more often you can blog, the better. I would recommend blogging once a day, but if that isn’t plausible, then once or twice a week would be a good schedule.
Another factor in blogging effectively is making your blog SEO friendly. Here’s how…
Conduct Keyword Research
Using your targeted keywords in your blog posts is a must. Don’t over-use the words though; they should be used naturally. Generally about 2% keyword saturation is good, but a little more or a little less than that is ok, as long as the content has value to readers.
Choose One Keyword Or Phrase, Then Write Your Article
For example, if you post a blog about the Nokia Lumia 920, you want to focus on the Nokia Lumia 920 and not try to add a lot of other keywords into the post. One keyword per post is what the search engines like to see.
Repeat The Keyword In Your Article
Be sure to use the keyword in the title of your post and in your title tags. You want to build a loyal following, so don’t go crazy repeating the keyword in your post. However, if you want to rank for the keyword, use it, just not excessively. Avoid creating nicknames, using acronyms or trying to be clever. In the end, clear and concise wins. As a rule of thumb, try to include your keyword early on in the article or in an H1 or H2 tag. This will help show your readers that they’re reading the right piece of content.
Use The Keyword In Your Meta Description Tags
Using keywords in your meta description tags does not help you rank higher directly. However, when they are included, and people search on Google for a specific keyword, Google bolds the keyword in the search results. So, while it may not help your post rank higher directly, it will encourage people to click on your search listing. Sites with a higher clickthrough rate, rank higher. Also make sure that your meta descriptions are less than 155 characters because longer descriptions are truncated in the search results.
Find Images Related To Your Keyword
If you were looking for information on the Nokia Lumia 920, when you visited a website, would it make sense to have a picture of a Nokia Lumia 920 on it? Absolutely.
When you post articles, ensure that you use related images and use your keyword in the title and alt description of the image file. This is beneficial for two reasons; first, it helps search engines see that you’re trying to create a complete piece of content, and second, it’s great for accessibility.
One way to emphasize the keywords in the eyes of the search engines without “stuffing” them into the body of text is to name your images using your main keywords. Additionally, make sure the title tag and alt tag use the same keywords. If you use multiple images in a post, you can name them each different variations of the your keywords, as long as those keywords apply to the images you are using.
For more information on image optimization please check out my previous blog post.
Create A Search Engine-Friendly URL
Make sure to use the keyword in the URL. Take out any unnecessary articles in your URL and make sure your keywords are the focus. The part after your domain name is called the Post Slug, and it is one of the most important signals to search engines about the nature of your content.
Create Internal Links
Within the post, be sure to refer your readers to other posts on your website. This is a good general practice, but it makes even more sense when you are blogging for SEO. You are intentionally trying to drive new traffic to your site. New visitors, by definition, have not seen the rest of the amazing content on your site, so make sure you mention other related posts that might be interesting to your readers. You can also put other internal links at the end of your post in a “Related Content” section.
Use Headers & Sub-Headers Appropriately
Rather than bolding all of the headers or simply increasing the font size, use the H2, H3 and H4 tags to distinguish that this text is important. Search engines weigh this text more heavily in determining how relevant your content is to searchers, so don’t overlook this important step. You can add these tags directly into the HTML.
Use Twitter, Facebook & Google+ To Share Your Posts & Find New Connections
Twitter just topped 465 million registered accounts. Facebook has over 850 million active users. Google+ has nearly 100 million and LinkedIn has over 130 million. Together, these networks are attracting vast amounts of time and interest from Internet users around the world, and those that participate in these services fit into the “content distributors” description above, meaning they’re likely to help spread the word about your blog.
Leveraging these networks to attract traffic requires patience, study, attention to changes by the social sites and consideration in what content to share and how to do it. My advice is to, if you haven’t already, register a personal account and a brand account at each of the following: Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Complete each of those profiles to the fullest possible extent – use photos, write compelling descriptions and make each one as useful and credible as possible. Research shows that profiles with more information have a significant correlation with more successful accounts (and there’s a lot of common sense here, too, given that spammy profiles frequently feature little to no profile work).
Frequently Reference Your Own Posts & Those Of Others
The web was not made for static, text-only content! Readers appreciate links, as do other bloggers, site owners and even search engines. When you reference your own material in-context and in a way that’s not manipulative (watch out for over-optimizing by linking to a category, post or page every time a phrase is used – this is almost certainly discounted by search engines and looks terrible to those who want to read your posts), you potentially draw visitors to your other content AND give search engines a nice signal about those previous posts.
Interact On Other Blogs
As bloggers, we see a lot of comments. Many are spam, only a few add real value, and even fewer are truly fascinating and remarkable. If you can be in this final category consistently, in ways that make a blogger sit up and think, “man, I wish that person commented here more often,” you can achieve great things for your own site’s visibility through participation in the comments on other blogs.
Finish With A Call To Action
Calls to action come in many different varieties. One thing to do is to invite your readers to give their feedback about the blog topic in the comments section, because it’s good to engage with your readers. Other options are to add a button or a form urging readers to subscribe to your newsletter, go to a product page, attend an event or buy a product. Adding a call to action may not directly affect your SEO, but providing great content on a regular basis and making it share-able and share-worthy, will definitely help your SEO.
And with that being said, feel free to comment below. Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated.