Time for another guest blog post, this time from Alison Wren on how you can use blogging to improve your website SEO.
Search optimisation is often given as a key reason for maintaining a blog. However, this won’t happen automatically – you need to take specific actions if you want to achieve higher search rankings through blogging.
1. Integrate your blog with your website
For a blog to have maximum impact on your website SEO, it really needs to be a part of your main website, i.e. have a URL such as www.mywebsite.com/blog. Using free hosted blogging software like Blogger, Tumblr or WordPress.com means any SEO benefits from links will be limited.
2. Target “long tail keywords”
When you look at SEO for your main website, it’s difficult to optimise for more than a couple of key phrases on any page. So naturally, you will tend to choose the more generic phrases with good search volumes. But that leaves hundreds of more obscure phrases with low search volumes individually – which all add up to lots of potential customers. Each blog post is an opportunity to target those phrases and by choosing your post titles carefully you can bring lots of extra visitors to your site.
Keep a list of key phrases handy when choosing topics and try to work them into your titles in a natural way.
Be wary of filling your article with keywords, however – it will make for stodgy reading and have visitors hitting the back button in no time. This is where a good copywriter can really help.
3. Attract links
Frankly, Google doesn’t like Search Engine Optimisation. They want to promote the web pages which real people like, rather than ones which have been linked to via SEO campaigns. And increasingly they are finding ways to do this. As a result it’s important to create great blog content that people will want to link to.
So what sort of content attracts links? As a rough guide your blog post will need to be either useful, funny or spark a debate.
Instead of “Newly arrived – Blue Widgets” think about “How to get the most from your Blue Widgets” or “10 unusual uses for Blue Widgets”. We all love to smile, and it’s the funny items which are most likely to “go viral”.
And don’t be afraid to be opinionated – if there’s a particular common practice in your industry which really gets to you, say so, and invite your readers to have their say.
Internal links are also important – don’t forget to link to your own product or service pages from time to time.
4. Social Shares
Although links via social media are generally “Nofollow” – meaning Google doesn’t give the link any search ranking value – they still have some value for SEO (and can drive useful visitors to your site). Google likes to see a natural link profile and social shares are a part of this. And of course, the more your blog post is shared, the more people will see it – which makes it more likely someone will link to it.
Make sure your let your social network followers know about your blog posts (but don’t bore them silly by tweeting the same link on the hour, every hour for a week).
5. Regular Updates
Simply updating your website regularly will ensure the search engines visit more often and give you a small boost. And a blog is a great way to get those new pages added.
Alison Wren escaped corporate life to create ecommerce business The Wedding Crafter in 2004, growing it from back bedroom start-up until selling in Spring 2011. She now runs Paprika Marketing, creating and implementing effective online strategies for small business. You can follow Alison on Twitter @PaprikaMktg