Keeping a blog might not seem like it needs to be a priority for your business, but, in fact, regularly posting and promoting content can be a great way to generate new leads, keep in touch with your customer base, and improve your website SEO.
If you are going to put time and energy into creating a blog, however, it’s worth understanding how to make sure it does do all of the above.
So how do you create SEO-friendly blog posts that are going to work hard for your business?
Pay attention to blog post length
Most people don’t have time to read substantial blog posts and want information delivered to them in a quick and straightforward way. Saying that they don’t want to feel short-changed either. Try to keep posts 400-600 words as a minimum but around 800-1200 words is usually about right depending on the topic. This length will help Google crawl your text and understand what it is about. Though if a topic requires more detail, it’s better to go over this word count rather than create something that has little or no value to your customers because you’ve trimmed it too much.
Leave lots of white space and keep it interesting
People don’t like to be overwhelmed by text, so create lots of white space in between paragraphs and break things up by including headings and subheadings and bulleted lists.
Where you can and it’s relevant, include media, such as graphics, images, and videos to break up your text and make your posts more visually appealing. This will also help your content appeal to people who prefer visual information over text, and great images and graphics are more shareable also. Remember to tag any media files with your keywords too.
Optimize your metadata
Optimizing your meta tags such as your page title and meta description can help to inform search engines and users what your blog post is about. Smart, informative tags will tell your audience why they should click on the post to find out more. Make sure you do this naturally though, keywords should flow rather than look stuffed in or out of place.
Categorize and tag
Categories and tags will help both search engines and your readers gain a better understanding of what your post is about before having to delve into the nitty-gritty of it. Try to build your categories and tags around your keywords, and your blog ideally should fit into at least three relevant categories with around 3-8 tags per post.
Include rich snippets
Rich Snippets work by making your blog posts appear more prominent in comparison to other results that come up in SERPs. They also help your reader by providing even more useful information to encourage them to decide whether the post will deliver what they want to know.
Include a call to action
Make sure that you include a call to action in your post. This could be a link through to a product or your website, a sign-up box for a mailing list, a request to like or share the post and so on. Make sure you do this in every post you create. Make your call to actions powerful and direct, but avoid including them clumsily or coming across as too bashful – it’s OK to ask, so don’t shy away from doing so. Ask visitors to leave comments and feedback also, and if they do make sure you respond to them. By doing this not only are you engaging with your customers but refreshing that piece of content every time a new comment is made.
Include links to other helpful sources. You could have a related reading section that links to other relevant blog posts you’ve written. If a user spends more time on your site, Google will make a note of this and reward you accordingly. Link to other pages of your site too to build a robust internal framework and help customers navigate it with ease.
Including links to high authority, domains can also help boost your credibility as it shows Google you are genuinely trying to help people. You can even then reach out to those sites and suggest they link back to you which will boost your organic rankings. Remember, choose the sites you link to carefully. If you link to those that Google doesn’t trust, and they link back to you, this will do more harm than good.
Creating SEO-friendly blog posts can be an effective way of boosting your search engine rankings by proving to Google you are a trustworthy site, and can help build trust and loyalty among your customers too. So next time you write a blog for your business make sure you use the above to help it become as effective as possible.
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