Blogging for SEO Benefits
If you are reading this blog post, you already understand the idea of the “blogosphere”. Heck, you are probably blogging on your own or your company’s website.
It is known that blogging is beneficial to overall site health as well as SEO. But are you sure you are approaching it correctly? How confident are you that your blogging is providing the right SEO benefits?
Let’s review some of the main things to keep in mind to maximize the impact of your blogging on your overall organic performance.
Have a Plan
If you are blogging or considering launching a blog, you have heard the war stories about how hard it is to come up with materials. How hard it is to carve out time to write content. How it is easy to get disillusioned when you blog and blog for months, only to see it fall flat. This is why we see so many six month old blogs sitting idle.
Don’t let this be you. Start with a plan in mind. What is the theme of your blog – not the design, the topic or topics you plan to focus on? Is it an established niche or completely unknown? What are the sub-topics that you can lean on when you run into writer’s block?
You can go full tilt with this and actually plan out the topics in advance, but I tend to err more on the side of flexibility. Know the theme and types of topics you will include without question, but also be ready to pounce when a new trend or development is worthy of your blogging attention.
I have been writing for the web and blogging for well over a decade. Back in the “good old days”, you could mock up and deploy a website once, then leave it sitting there. And it worked!
Ah, those were the days. Now, Google has put an end to the free rides. You have to create compelling content, and you have to do it regularly. Sure, you might rank well for brand terms or product names that you created, but that really isn’t the point of SEO, is it? You also need to rank for competitive terms, and there are so many of us out there trying to rank for the same terms that you have to basically out work the competition.
If you cannot commit to blogging at least monthly, don’t try it at all. Even better if you can do it weekly or daily, because that’s what it requires to really make a site take off. There are exceptions (though exponentially fewer than several years ago), but most of us will need to put forth the effort if we want to get SEO juice out of it. It’s how the game works now.
Target the Right Keywords
Do you stop to consider what keywords you are pursuing when you write a blog post? Do you have any idea whether you have a shot at ranking for those keywords or not?
Although I sometimes just write from the top of my head, it’s more likely that I will actually investigate search volume, relevance of the SERPs, and SEO competition before choosing what to name my own blog posts. I don’t do it to manipulate the search engines or anything like that – it’s just smart content marketing to know what you are going after and why.
Enable Social Sharing
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…if you do not have plugins on your blog for social sharing and bookmarking, you are overlooking a crucial element of the ranking algorithm. Social SEO is real. You absolutely MUST make it easy for readers to share your content.
Very few of them will take the time to jump through a bunch of hoops, such as:
- Copy the H1 content (title of your post)
- Open another browser tab
- Load Facebook in the new tab
- Paste the H1/title
- Go back to your blog to copy the URL
- Post it to Facebook
- Wait for the preview to load
- Delete the URL again to clean it up
You read that right – it takes 8 tiny actions to share your blog post on Facebook manually. A “Like” button simply requires the user to add any commentary and click “Post to Facebook”.
Don’t make it so hard for them to help you!
Observe and Mimic
I never claim to know everything. There are a ton of smart people blogging and generating content for the web. I am a diligent reader and fan of anyone with the guile to actually put themselves out there and try it. Sure, some of them crash and burn, but sometimes there is inspiration around every single corner!
Read the work of others. Pay attention to the tone, word choice, and structure of the posts. See how they write for the web. Watch how they interact with their friends, followers, and fans. And engage with them directly!
Most of us are out here looking for connections. You will find that we are most receptive to your time and interest.
Blogging is a great way to build your personal or business brand and to generally network with like-minded colleagues and prospects. Just be sure you have a plan in mind to make it happen, and the SEO benefits will be right around the corner.
Do you manage or contribute to a successful blog? What do you do to maximize the SEO potential of you efforts? This is no exhaustive list, so please feel free to share at will.