4 Tips for Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

11:07 AM
In addition to writing for their human readers,
web writers and bloggers have to consider the
digital web crawlers employed by search engines
likeGoogle. Your business can’t skip the task.
Since most would-be readers use search engines
to find blog posts, you need to make sure that
Google ranks your site highly when those readers
search for terms related to your business and the
content you’re writing.
You could spend thousands of dollars to have a
search marketing firm optimize your business’s
blog for search engines, but chances are that you
can learn a lot of the fundamentals yourself,
saving yourself a lot of money as long as you
have the interest and the time. Here’s a basic
primer on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for
your company’s blog.
1. Always Include Search Terms in Your
Post’s Title
When Google reads a website to index it, it reads
the code directly, not the snazzy presentation that
humans see. The way most blogging platforms
are built, the headline or title of your blog post is
among the first things Google sees, and Google
generally assumes the words that appear earliest
are the most important. That’s why the title is the
most important part of your blog post when it
comes to SEO.
Think about who you want to reach with this
blog post, and what that person might be
searching for when looking for your business’s
goods or services, then include critical words
from that hypothetical search in the title. The
most important terms should appear as quickly
as you can reasonably fit them in. Just be careful
not to make the title unreadable or awkward to
human readers— that SEO effort will have been
for naught if the reader is immediately turned off
by the content once he or she finds it.
Here’s a pro tip: You’re not likely to win strong
ranking for more than one or two search terms
at once, so minimalism is a virtue here. Don’t get
over-ambitious. Focus on one potential search
term, then if you want to rank for a second term,
write a separate and unique post specifically with
it in mind.
2. Link Important Words to Earlier Blog
Posts
Search engines generally assume that a blog post
that has been linked to has more authority than
one that has not. They also consider exactly what
word or phrase linked to the post; a blog post
about theiPhone is going to be more likely to
show up in Google searches on the subject if
another page links the word“iPhone” to the post.
You’ll get the most value from external links from
sites that Google or other search engines already
consider to be an authority of the subject (if the
top blog about iPhones links the word to your
post, you’ll get a huge boost), but all incoming
links will still pass rank to your page, even those
from elsewhere on your site.
So be sure and link important keywords to other
pages or previous posts on your blog to gain
some credibility and search rank. It will make a
big difference. Just don’t overdo it; not only do
human readers hate reading blogs so filled with
links that they might accidentally click on
something, Google may penalize you if you go
overboard, too.
3. Hit the Tagging Sweet Spot
Most blogging platforms let you apply tags to
your posts. Tags help organize your blog so both
humans and search engines can find what they’re
looking for. They’re terms like “consulting,” “local”
or “technology” that reflect the topics and content
of the post.
Google tries to recognize tags and use them to
prioritize your site in its search ranking for those
terms. The tags are usually links to other pages
on your blog (usually a backlog of other posts
with the same tag), and like we said earlier, linking
search terms to other pages on your site helps
too.
So by all means, add pertinent tags to your blog
post, but be warned that Google and other search
engines are wary of sites that try to game this
system. They will penalize you in the search
rankings if you use so many tags that the web
indexing bots suspect you might be attempting to
associate your content with unrelated topics just
to score extra traffic.
The method for determining this is arcane, but a
good rule of thumb from a pro blogger is that
five to 10 appropriate tags are usually right in the
sweet spot.
4. Use Google Insights to Find the Best
Search Terms
You don’t have to play a guessing game about
the best tags or search terms to link or put in
your post’s title. Since Google is the most popular
search engine, it makes sense to focus your
efforts there. Whenever you’re not sure which
terms to go with, hit up Google Insights, a web-
based tool that compares the popularity of any
search terms you want to know about.
For example, if your business is a coffee shop but
you’re not sure whether would-be customers are
more likely to search for “café” or “coffee shop,”
Insights can tell you which one is more popular.
These four tips should get you on your way to
having a more SEO-friendly corporate blog. Add
your tips for search engine optimization in the
comments below.
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