To many of us, the company blog seems to have taken a bit of a back seat in recent times in favour of the more currently ‘trendy’ forms of social media such as social networking or micro-blogging.
True. The blog may lack the cosy familiarity of Facebook or the soundbite immediacy of Twitter, but it still remains a component of social media that can continue to drive quality traffic to your website.
So it’s well worth sticking with the modest blog as part of your social media mix. Naturally though, like all forms of search engine marketing, it really makes sense to do it well to maximise the benefits that can be achieved.
Here are our top tips for writing blog posts that are search engine-friendly:
1. Always include key search terms in the title of your post
The title (or headline) of your blog post is one of the first things that Google or other search engines see as it crawls your blog. They generally work on the assumption that the words that appear earliest in the post are considered to be the most significant. For this reason, the title is the most important part of your blog post for SEO purposes.
Also give some thought to who exactly it is you’d like to reach with your blog posts along with what they might be searching for. Strive to include your most important search terms as quickly (and as reasonably) as you can insert them in your post. Take care not to make the title awkward or obscure for your readers otherwise your audience could easily be turned off by the content as soon as they come across it.
Nor should you get too ambitious. Just focus on a single search term in your blog and write a separate, unique blog post if you want to rank for another search term.
2. Link critical words (or phrases) to earlier blog posts
The search engines tend to assume that any blog post that has a link to it has more authority than one that hasn’t. Therefore, more value can be derived from links from sites that search engines already consider to be authorititive on the subject. Remember though, that all inbound links will still pass some amount of rank to your page – even those from elsewhere on your site.
So link important keywords to other web pages or previous posts on your blog. It can certainly make a difference although the trick is not to over-cook it. Human readers don’t like reading blogs full of links as they create a distraction while the search engines may also take a dim view of this practice.
3. Bag the tags
Most blogging platforms (such as WordPress, Blogger, etc.) allow you apply tags to your posts. These tags help to categorise your blog to both the search engines as well as humans to help them find what they’re looking for. Search engines will try to recognise tags and use them to prioritise your site for those search terms.
The tags are usually links to other pages on your blog – often a catalogue of previous posts with the same tag – so don’t be afraid of adding a smattering of relevant tags to your blog posts. Be aware though, that search engines are wary of sites that try to ‘play the system’ and they may penalise you if they suspect you’re trying to somehow engineer extra traffic. About five or so appropriate tags should do it.
Do you have you any top tips for writing search engine-friendly blog posts?
If so, please leave a comment we’d love to hear them.