Wednesday, 19 November 2014

6 Critical Steps to Optimizing Your Blog for Search


Blog articles are the bread and butter of any company's inbound attraction effort. Using just text, imagery, and rich text formatting, any business with a blog has the potential to immediately attract more leads online by ranking higher in Google search results. But how do you make sure that your blog article is meeting search engines' needs? In this video, we'll walk you through 6 critical optimization tips that ensure your content works its hardest to bring business prospects to your website and engage them once they start reading.


6 Steps to Blogging SEO

With any strategic inbound marketing effort, you’re always going to have blogging as the core driver of new content for your website. But something we often see when working with new prospects is they don’t know the basics of optimizing this blog content. Today, I’m going to talk through a simple 6-step process that we use when optimizing our own blogs (or writing blogs for clients) that you can begin using when writing your own blog content.


Step 1: Writing a Search-Oriented Headline

There’s definitely a time and a place to write a clever or an attention-grabbing headline, but if you’re still building your audience, your best bet is to write something search-oriented as far as a question that your prospect might ask. Or something that you hear asked frequently in the selling process. A key tip to remember when writing your headlines is to keep it to 70 characters or less. Anything longer than that is going to get cut off in a search engine results page.


Step 2: Reinstating the Promise That You Mentioned in the Headline

So, as soon as someone lands on your blog article, don’t make them read half way through the page without even addressing what you promised in the headline. Reinstate the promise using the same similar keywords, which are also picked up by the search crawlers.


Step 3: Organizing Your Article with Helpful Subheads and Bullet Points

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like reading blocks and blocks of copy. But an article with helpful subheads that tell me the core pieces of the article that I’m going to be learning about and use of bullet points makes it a lot easier to scan before I commit to reading the whole article. A quick tip when writing your subheads is to assign these as an H1 or H2 in your blog editor. And don’t be afraid of using other relevant long-tail keywords in these headings because search crawlers use those keywords to understand what you’re offering in your content.


Step 4: Don’t Forget to Use Images

Text is great, but we’re all visual creatures. So, help the reader and engage them with something relevant to your headline, and if there’s other opportunities to use supporting images throughout your article, be sure to use them. A key tip with your images is make sure you work in a keyword into the image file name, and don’t forget the image alt text. In some editors, if your properly optimize the file name, then it’ll be used automatically as the alt text.


Step 5: Link to Other Relevant Content

As you start to blog and build up a nice inventory, there will be great opportunities to link to your other blog content. This helps the reader expand on something they want to learn more about, and it also helps demonstrate your expertise on other related subjects. A key tip here when linking to other sites is being mindful that you’re not over-linking. And when you’re assigning SEO credit, be selective too that you’re linking to credible websites.


Step 6: Don’t Forget Your Page Meta Description

Search_ResultsThe worst thing you could do besides forgetting to write a headline (which I hope you know not to do that) is forgetting to write a meta description. If you want your blog content to stand out in search, your meta description is what sells what you have to offer in your blog.
A key to thing to remember with meta descriptions is to keep it to 155 characters or less. Again, like the headline, anything longer than your character limit is just going to get cut off, and it’s going to look awkward.

Hopefully these six steps that I've covered today have given you some actionable steps that you can start using to improve your own blogging efforts. It might seem a little foreign at first, but the more you start using these steps, it will seem natural, and you’ll start to see improvement in your blogging performance.

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