According to Hubspot’s 2015 report, business owners who have prioritised blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy a positive return on their time and financial investment.
Aside from giving us the opportunity to drive qualified social media traffic to your site, blogging also brings with it the opportunity to boost your website’s ranking on Google and other search engines which will bring more direct traffic to your business.
Getting started writing interesting content to publish on your blog might seem like a daunting thought, but by using the insider knowledge you have of your industry it’s quite easy to explain simply and concisely all the answers your customer is searching for.
After choosing the right subject, the next most crucial stage for constructing a successful blog post and Google search result is to select the right keywords, which we’re happy to help you choose today.
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are the words and phrases your audience uses to search for your product, service or benefit.
For example, a women’s shoe shop might sell a range of sandals for weddings. After talking to their customers and doing some research online, the owner identifies that “white wedding sandals” is one of the phrases her audience uses. It matches with their most popular shoes in this category so the decision is made to target the phrase “white wedding sandals” by writing a blog post called “The Perfect White Wedding Sandals”.
This post could talk about recent trends in wedding footwear, the particular white wedding sandals on sale, and important considerations when choosing a pair. The words “white”, “wedding” and “sandals”, the phrase “white wedding sandals” and related phrases such as “white wedding shoes” would appear throughout the blog post giving Google and the other search engines a really clear idea that this post is about white wedding sandals, and significantly increase the blog’s visibility for this phrase on Google.
By spending the time to understand the sort of keywords your audience uses, you can construct blog posts targeting these phrases, giving you more chance of showing up for them on Google.
Here are the five tips we use when creating strong blog post:
Tip 1. Specific is Good
By focusing on a narrowly targeted set of keywords — “White wedding sandals” rather than the more generic and competitive “wedding shoes” — you make it more likely that your posts will rank highly in search engines.
Consider also the commercial intent of these keywords: people searching for “white wedding sandals” are likely to be more ready to buy than those searching for “wedding shoes”, who are probably still in the research phase because they haven’t yet identified the type of shoes they’re looking for.
Tip 2. Use Your Keywords in the Post Title
Titles have a huge importance in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), so including your keywords in your title (and towards the start of the title, if possible) will help boost your ranking, as well as show your audience clearly what your post is about.
Tip 3. Use The Right Keyword Density
Thanks to the rise of semantic search, the days of needing to stuff your blog post full of keywords are over.
Of course, you’ll still want to make sure your keywords are used throughout, but be natural with your language, and make sure to include variations and related phrases too because this gives Google a broader understanding of what your post is about.
As for length, aim to make your blog posts at least 300 words, but don’t be afraid to go much longer — as long as the content justifies it.
Tip 4. Use Internal Linking
Whenever a blog post is shared on social media, the chances are that people will be landing on your website from that post. If they land on that blog post page, how do you plan to turn them into a customer, or get them to stay and take a look around your site?
We have one client who, despite being a very smart marketer, hadn’t thought this through. We noticed that his website’s blog posts had a very high bounce rate — in other words people were coming in from social media and then leaving. He was getting plenty of visitors because he chose great blog post topics and the quality of his posts was high. But these visitors just weren’t spending any time on the rest of the site.
After running some tests we established that because there was no call to action (CTA) and no internal links in the posts, visitors were reading them, getting what they needed, and heading straight back to Facebook.
To counteract this, we put links to other pages on his site (called internal links) throughout the blog posts. When the blog mentioned a service that the company offered, we put a link to that service. This got people clicking around the site and discovering how the business could help them. It reduced his bounce rate and increased traffic to the other pages. Anytime you mention one of your products or services in a blog post, include a link to the relevant page so that readers can get more information about it.
Tip 5. Use Image ‘Alt’ Tags
Image ‘alt’ tags are used to tell search engines and accessibility software what a picture is about. It’s SEO best practice to optimise your image alt tags by writing descriptions of what is shown in each image, using your keywords where possible.
How you add your tags will depend on your blog set up. For example, in WordPress, you will see a title and description setting each time you add a picture to your blog post.
Are you already using keywords? Which was the most useful one to you so far?
You can find more details on how to get the best out of your social media marketing via our new book Profitable Social Media Marketing: How To Grow Your Business