If you have a blog, chances are you already understand the importance of business blogging. But do you know how to optimize your blog posts to make them more search engine friendly?
The truth is, many bloggers fail to take advantage of the enormous marketing potential of their blogs. In fact, a recent study by blogger.com shows that although roughly 60% of businesses have blogs, 65% of those blog owners haven’t even updated in the past year! By providing fresh, relevant content and performing basic blog post optimization, you can take advantage of the many benefits blogging offers.
Here are six easy search engine optimization (SEO) tips to help get your blog noticed.
Do your research. Keyword research is essential for on page optimization. Chances are you are naturally including keywords without realizing it simply by providing valuable content on a topic. However, there are a variety of tools and techniques for finding related keywords relevant to your blog post that you may not have considered. The Google Adwords Keyword Tool and semrush.com both offer great tools that allow you to find keywords related to your topic and even spy on your competition to see what words and phrases they are targeting to bring traffic to their sites.
Utilize keywords throughout your post. Once you have targeted a couple of valuable, relevant keywords, it is important to place them where they will have the most impact for humans and search engine crawlers indexing your content. Try to include them in the following places:
- Headings and subheadings
- Introductory sentence
- Concluding paragraph
- Anchor text (text you hyperlink to other related pages on your site)
- Title tags and meta descriptions
A word of caution: Don’t engage in keyword stuffing, which is the act of filling your content with so many keywords that it becomes difficult to read. Not only will this irritate your blog followers, it will also get you penalized by Google. A couple of strategically placed keywords will do the trick.
Optimize your images. Whenever you upload a photo to your blog, be sure to include keywords in the file name and fill out the alternate text field with a brief, keyword rich description of the photo.
Reference others with links. When you mention another blogger or article in your blog post, include a link to the information you are referencing. Not only is it good blogging etiquette, but you may also get lucky and receive a link back. Quality links are a valuable commodity for any site looking to rank higher in search engine results pages.
Give readers the opportunity to subscribe to your blog. Include prominently placed RSS or Feed Subscription Buttons and offer viewers the ability to subscribe to your posts via email when possible. This allows your blog followers to have instant notification of your latest posts without having to periodically check your site for new content.
Use social media to broaden the reach of your blog posts. As a small business, you may be utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social media sites to create connections with potential and current customers. Why not promote your blog content on these sites for even more web exposure? Free programs like Hootsuite make it easy to post links to your latest blog post on all of your social media sites with just a couple of clicks. You can even schedule your posts ahead of time!