If your business has explored the world of content marketing recently, you’ve probably seen a lot of suggestions about adding a company blog to your website. The idea is hyped up by a lot of marketing experts and you may see blogs on all of your competitors’ websites – but is it worth the effort?
If you want to drive traffic to your website and generate leads for your business without making a single phone call or taking out an ad…then yes, a blog is more than worth the effort. Companies that have a blog generate 55% more website visitors and attribute up to 69% more leads to their blogs. Writing regular blog posts does not cost a lot of money; once you begin blogging, you will see your ROI skyrocket.
Before you start blogging, however, know that not all blogs are created equal. Blog posts can put your website in front of readers who are asking questions and conducting research online, but you will need Google to recognize your blog as a viable source first. Google wants to provide its users with the best search results and the best experience. In order to qualify your website as a first-page source, you will have to optimise your website and each blog post. Use the following tips and tricks for producing a blog post that Google recognizes as informative, relevant, and worthy of displaying on the first page of search results.
Top Tips for Writing an Optimised Blog Post
Choose Topic Based on Keywords
Keyword research reveals what your potential customers are searching for when they visit Google or other search engines. Answer their questions and give them informative content with a blog post that matches their keywords.
For example, if your customers are searching for “how to get into yoga” or “yoga for beginners,” and you want to focus on those keywords, write a blog post that includes those keywords and explains how new students can get into yoga.
Keyword density, or how often the keyword appears compared to the length of your content, is crucial to putting your blog post on the first page of Google search result. If someone is searching for “yoga for beginners,” a blog post that mentions “yoga for beginners” ten times is going to be more relevant to their interests than a blog post that mentions that phrase only once.
Including an exact phrase in your blog post may feel awkward and unnatural. While the recommended keyword density for a high-ranking post is between 1-3%, Google is more likely to respond to a post that is useful, helpful, and includes a range of related keywords and topics. Adding similar phrases, including “yoga at home” or “yoga for starters,” is more likely to help than to harm your rankings.
Place Keywords Throughout Your Post
It’s important to place your keyword throughout the actual blog content, but remember to place keywords in other places throughout the blog and your content. Consider adding the keyword to the following places:
- Your Title
- The meta description
- Alt text (for images)
- File names (for images)
- Links to other content
Add Internal and External Links Throughout Your Post
Let’s talk more about adding links to your content. Link-building and adding different types of links throughout your content has a wide range of benefits for SEO and building a relationship with your customers.
Internal Links (links to other pages on your website) boost your other pages and keep readers engaged for a longer period of time. Before you write a blog post, collect links to other blog posts and relevant pages that move the reader along the buyer’s journey. If, for example, you are writing a blog post on “yoga for beginners,” you may want to include links to blog posts that explain the different types of yoga, or the benefits of yoga. The reader came to your page to learn; give them even more informative and beneficial content with internal links.
Internal links can be added naturally throughout the copy. At the end of each post, you can also include a list of other relevant posts so the reader can read more. Links to your contact page or online store should include a clear call-to-action that invites the reader to sign up for your newsletter, buy a product, or learn more.
External Links (links outside of your page) establish your page as an authority on the subject of the blog post. Content is only beneficial to readers if they are accurate and well-researched. Adding high-quality sources tells readers that you know what you are talking about, and that your information can be trusted.
Not all external links will boost your page rankings; only add links to pages that have authority on the subject. A link to the Harvard Business Journal or the New York Times is going to help your page more than a link to a blog without much credibility. Conduct careful research on each page that you link to on your blog posts.
Take Advantage of the Yoast Plugin
If you are writing your blogs on WordPress, use the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast rates your blog posts for SEO based on a keyword or keyword phrase. Your post will be rated based on keyword density, readability, and other factors important to SEO. Yoast also checks your entire page for SEO issues.
When you download the Yoast plugin, go through every page on your website and see what Yoast suggests for optimising the post. Each page on your website will influence whether or not Google sees your site as informative and relevant to your readers’ interests.
Keep Writing High-Quality Content
If you find yourself struggling to link to internal content, you need to write more blog posts. One or two blog posts won’t put your website on the first page of Google search results; your business needs to seriously commit to producing blog content at least once a week. The more content you produce, the more content you (and other sites) can link to in other blog posts. The work is worth the effort; once companies post over 52 blog posts, they see a 77% increase in overall blog traffic. Keep writing!
Consider User Experience and Readability
Blog posts are more likely to reach the first page of search results if they contain over 750 words, although that number seems to increase every few months. That is a lot of writing for readers to go through, even if it is high-quality and engaging content. Readers will leave your site quickly if they are overwhelmed with text, so make sure your page looks presentable and is readable.
Images break up text and hold readers’ attention while they scroll through your blog. Visual content should be a high priority whether you are writing a blog post or creating a social media campaign. In 2017, 37% of content marketers said visual content was the most important type of content for their business. This came second only to blogging itself, which was the most important type of content for 38% of content marketers. Images also bring in more traffic; blog posts with images get 94% more traffic than blog posts without images.
The Yoast SEO plugin will consider your page harder to read if you contain paragraphs over 150 words. Keep paragraphs short so readers can skim through your post. Continue to break up your text with bullet points, lists, and headings. Links throughout your blog post also help to break up text with an eye-catching color.
Design the Site With The User in Mind
Your blog content may be excellent, but if your webpage has text that is too small or a distracting font, readers will click out of your site before they can finish a paragraph. Use a light background and dark text for blog posts and make your content pop.
Want readers to share your blog post or sign up for a free consultation of your product? Ask! Adding a call to action (CTA) is often the last piece of the puzzle for customers who are ready to take the next step with your business. CTAs should be a simple suggestion for readers to take further actions to engage with the blog post or your website. You can include a CTAs:
- At the end of a blog post (“Sign up for a free consultation.”)
- At the end of a powerful statistic or fact (“Tweet this.”)
- On your sidebar (“Follow us on Facebook!”)
Get creative with your CTAs, but don’t overwhelm readers. Remember that your blog posts are often the first exposure customers have to your website and business; they may not be ready to purchase or learn more just quite yet.
Share and Promote Your Posts
Before your posts rank at the top of Google results, you will have to share them the “old-fashioned way.” Once you publish a post, share the post on your business’s social media platforms. Schedule the blog post at optimal viewing times, and don’t be afraid to share the post two or three times throughout the month. If you are an administrator or member of Facebook groups or other networks, share your blog post there. Remember to share, not spam, your social media and frame your posts as a beneficial and informative piece of content.
Optimize Your Website With New Zealand’s Top SEO Agency
Blog posts are a small piece to optimizing your website and generating more leads through organic search. Algorithm changes and updates affect SEO everyday; if you are serious about SEO, you should recruit the experts. Let a top SEO agency take a look at your website and your overall content marketing strategy.
Megan Okonsky is a copywriter and content marketing specialist with Digital Squad. She is originally from Philadelphia but has landed in Melbourne after traveling for eight months in Southeast Asia and New Zealand. She also teaches vinyasa yoga online.