Your business blog can be one of the most powerful online marketing tools. Regular, interesting and well-optimized content can offer your business a better way to build your brand, position yourself as an industry expert, provide an opportunity to speak to your audience and a great way to generate new leads. From an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) perspective, your blog can entice regular site crawling from major search engines like Google, boost social media signals and generate high quality links to your content.
But in order to reap the rewards of blogging, it pays to do it properly. Your content needs to be relevant, fresh and unique; and without the right keywords, on-site optimisation and SEO best practices - your hard work, time and money can go down the drain very quickly. Here are a few simple tips to boost your blog post rankings and get your site in the eyes of the right people.
1. Create Juicy Content around the Keywords You Want to Rank For
Juicy content is fundamental to a great blog - but for it to be found by the right audience, you want to be using the right keywords. Creating content around the keywords you want to rank for is an obvious point, but for it to be done effectively it needs to be done properly.
Google is smart search engine and whilst they want to see content well optimised, you have to be writing for your audience too. Your chosen keywords should be implemented naturally into your content not just planted all over the place to make Google happy. Google doesn't like keyword stuffing so don't go overboard with it. The best tip is to write for your audience first, then Google. To improve your chances of ranking well in the search engine results write longer text articles (1,000+ is ideal), as these tend to get better social shares and noticed by Google.
2. Link Your Blog Posts with Internal Web Content
Building high quality backlinks from other relevant sites is important to your blog, but don't forget about internal linking too. Linking your blog posts with other content on your web is essential to help search engines like Google navigate around your site. It also helps the reader by offering them a user-friendly way to surf your site and provide them with additional, relevant information.
Internal linking provides valuable link juice for your website so don't underestimate its benefits. Like with keyword stuffing though you don't want to be including every possible link. Keep things relevant and choose your anchor text wisely. Here's a great example of internal linking done right.
3. Add a Related Posts Plugin
Whilst top quality content is the most important part of the puzzle to making your audience want to consume more, related content links are a good way to encourage readers to stay on your site. It points them in the right direction to keep reading and in term, reduces your bounce rate because they're staying longer on your site.
With over 70 million WordPress plugins alone, a simple yet effective related posts plugin is easy to find. Whilst you don't want to go plugin crazy (a higher number of plugins can increase problems with your site) you can opt for a few of the best ones to boost your SEO. Jetpack by WordPress is the best one to start with for related posts, plus it gives you a few extras that are super handy. Allowing you the option to turn on or off relevant plugins under Jetpack, you can include related posts to your blog, manage your WordPress stats, add sharing icons and more.
Adding previous and next posts under your blog content is another great way to prompt your audience to keep reader. It doesn't matter what CMS you're running on your site, each comes with useful plugins to boost your SEO and give you extended features at the click of a button.
4. Proper Use of Categories
A helpful component within your blog you can leverage to boost organic search efforts are categories. It's as simple as assigning relevant categories to individual posts so users can search specifically. By doing this, your content is group neatly into set categories.
Make sure you don't go over the top with the number of different categories though. For small to medium sized blogs 10-15 categories is all you need. Select one category per post to define the content better. Contributors often abuse this feature by clicking on multiple categories before posting, which can risk duplicate content issues.
5. Make Use of Social Media Sharing Buttons
Social media sharing increases the likelihood of your content getting out there so prompt readers by adding relevant buttons. By making use of social media sharing buttons, your content is exposed to new audiences much quicker. The sooner users find your content, the sooner it's indexed and crawled by Google.
Whilst social shares don't have any impact on how Google ranks pages, social shares offer the benefits of more traffic. It also increases the likelihood that people will see and read your post (and others on your site at that!) and if relevant, link from it on their own website or blog post. To increase the chances of your content being shared your content must first be appealing and well written. Implement easy-to-use social media buttons on your blog post page and don't be afraid to make them obvious, as long as they don't distract from the actual content.