So you got yourself a fancy new blog!
You’ve meticulously narrowed down the categories, trained your authors, and chosen the perfect layout. Your content is going to be dynamic and exciting, you’ll show off your expertise over your competitors and throw in fun videos… But what about SEO?
A Blog can be a great way to bring in traffic, especially from people who are searching the web for specific How Tos, Demos, and other FAQs in your industry or specialty set. Blogs show off company culture, position you as an expert, and drive people back to your corporate site. And to be sure you are bringing in the most new readers as possible, Optimize each and every post that gets published so your content makes the Search Engines happy as well.
Whether you have a personal or corporate blog, here are SEO Recommendations to take into account for Search Engine Optimization whenever you post a blog post:
General SEO Recommendations for Blogging
- Post Content Regularly – Content is King
- The Number 1 thing you can do to Optimize your site is add fresh quality content
- Google determines how often to come back and crawl the site based on the pace of new content on the site
- Tip: If you write several posts at once, leave them unpublished and publish them once a week so every time Google (and visitors) come back, there is new content
- Use relevant keywords when possible without stuffing. Make sure posts are readable for visitors.
- To come up with ideas for new keywords, there is a free keyword tool available from Google Adwords
- Look for words that balance Search Volume and competition (people are searching for the term frequently, but you can be competitive)
- Take advantage of targeted location searches – Add geography when applicable. When discussing your location, refer to it as your “Houston Texas Headquarters” instead of just Headquarters
- Avoid duplicate content – Google works to index sites with unique content and attempts to filter out duplicate, so keep your content unique
- Remember that Google is deaf & blind – add descriptions on photos and videos, use alt text on photos
- Cross Link to other parts of the site whenever possible – you don’t want Google (or visitors) to get “stuck” and not have anywhere else to go next
Checklist When Adding New Blog Content
- Page Title – make the title of the post SEO friendly (don’t rely on clever but non-descriptive titles)
- Meta Tags – Add Description & Keywords
- Use Headings
- The formats for Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 4, etc. give Google an idea of the structure of your content (like an outline)
- Also, words in these Headings get more weight than words in paragraphs on the page (these are sometime referred to as “fancy hits”)
- There should only be one Heading 1 for each page and the title of the page will automatically be coded as the H1, so start with Heading 2 in your text
- Add Alt Tags for all Images – put copy in both Title and Alternate Text
- Add Cross Links to other pages on your site when possible
- Encourage Feedback
- A great way to increase comments is to ask a question at the end of the post, the simpler the better
- Another option is to embed a poll from a site like http://polldaddy.com to get immediate feedback from your readers
- Share your posts
- Google and Bing are incorporating Social Signals into SEO, so a link gets at least a small boost if it’s been Tweeted and Shared
- Don’t be afraid to Tweet your posts twice – at two different times of the day, at least one day apart. The first can be the title of the post and the second should be an interesting fact or quote from the post (use the same bit.ly link to track clicks)
The bottom line is: post interesting content – this will generate readers and links to your blog. And have fun! Readers enjoy a human voice, especially if you are writing for a Corporate Blog and want to show off the brand persona of your company.
Anything I left out? Let us know in the comments! Happy Blogging!
Photo thanks to Flickr user avatar-1