Whether you’re blogging to improve your business’ rankings in the search engines, or because you want to share your personal life online, then you need to make sure that you’re following the best practices with regards to search engine optimisation. If you’re writing on behalf of your business, then you’re going to need to make the most of a dedicated team to ensure that you achieve the best results. A professional SEO agency, filled with dedicated copywriters, optimisation experts and analysts can really make a difference for your business’ online presence.
However, if you are going to start your own blog to support your business, you need to make sure that you are creating great content that appeals to your readers, as well as Google’s search engine algorithms. If you aren’t at least moving in the direction with your content, then it’s possible that your blogging efforts could actually be harming your website’s overall rankings.
Before you begin, it is often worth evaluating what you hope to achieve with regards to your blog. If you don’t know what you’re aiming towards, who you’re targeting or why you’re doing it, then it is likely that the content you create and the attitude you take will be disjointed and even counter-productive to your end goal.
It is a common problem for businesses to consider that writing for SEO purposes and writing to attract and retain an audience are two different things which can never be brought into alignment. This is blatantly untrue and, so long as you follow the best practices, you’ll be able to create engaging content that appeal to search engines, gains social media shares and encourages readers (and potential customers) to come back time and time again.
What critics tend to ignore is the fact that, above almost everything else, Google’s algorithms are looking for content that answers user questions and offers information which cannot be found anywhere else. Much criticism has been levelled at the reliance on the inclusion of keywords, but ideally you should be using keywords anyway to make your content easier to read and to prevent waffling.
Remember, before anything else, you need to ensure that your blog is an accurate and informative piece of writing. If it doesn’t add anything to your business, ignorant of SEO, it might be worth asking yourself whether it is actually worth taking the time to write in the first place.
If you can’t create informative blog posts, which are written in an engaging manner, then even the best search engine optimisation strategies won’t help your content to attract readers and potential customers to your business.
1. Always Think Before You Write! – Think hard about the overall message of your content, including the ideas that you are presenting to your readers. If you can’t firmly work out who you’re targeting, what message you’re sending out and what the purpose of your content is going to be, then it isn’t worth writing. It can be a great idea to write down the important questions and their answers so you can refer back whilst writing the content itself.
The questions to note down should include:
If you know what you’re writing, why you’re writing it and who you’re writing it for, then that can help the entire process to go that much quicker and result in a higher-quality, more targeted and, ultimately, more rewarding blog post.
2. Know Your Keywords Inside Out – Although they are said to have less of an impact than ever before, you still need to ensure that you include keywords and key phrases within your content. Finding the right keywords can require research, so you should make the most of Google’s keyword planner, if you have an existing AdWords account. It is also worth checking out your main competition to see which keywords they are targeting.
Keywords are an essential part for SEO, and are the things which help a search engine identify which posts and articles which are relevant to a particular search term.
3. Plan Out The Structure Of Your Blog Post – Once you know what you’re going to say, it is always useful to plan out the structure of your post. Whatever kind of content you’re creating, whether it’s a traditionally laid-out post or a listicle, you need to know when and where you’re going to include your chosen information.
Your blog post needs to be composed split up into three main sections. These are:
Ideally, you want to plan out each of these points on a paragraph by paragraph basis. Before you know it, you’ll have a brief summary of your blog which can make the entire writing process much, much simpler.
Finally, you’re ready for the real writing to begin!
4. Make Paragraphs Make Sense – Everyone should be using paragraphs, but it is more important to make sure that your paragraphs actually make sense. Never start a new sentence on a new line just because it happens to look neater; there needs to be a reason for making a new paragraph.
Ideally, every single paragraph should have its own main idea or main subject which you can address (this is where the summary you’ve just written comes in really useful!). You should try to get the main idea of the paragraph through in the first sentence and spend the rest of the paragraph simply expanding, discussing or refuting the original statement.
Paragraphs make the content much easier to read and engage with, and few potential customers will strain their eyes to read content that you’ve created.
5. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Headings – One feature that many people seem afraid to utilise in their blog posts tends to be headings. Not only can these components, which are used to structure the page, be useful for readability, but also for search engine optimisation.
Headings can help Google to grasp the main topics within your post which, if it’s a long piece of content, can often be varied. By making it easy for the search engine to understand your post, you’re more likely to find that it attributes more value to your writing.
Similarly, if you want people to discover the information their looking for in your article, you should be using subheadings as well. These can help people to quickly scan the page and find the information they’re looking for.
Ideally, you want to include your targeted keywords in your headings, but not in every subheading as that will often cause these headings to become unreadable or repetitive.
6. Use Signal Words For Readability – Signal words, just like headings, can help people to scan through a text and understand the structure as quickly as possible. If you have several reasons to explain why a product is the best option for your customer, you should use words like first of all, secondly and finally.
Other words, like similarly, nevertheless and however can also work to give a clear signal to your readers and let them know where a good starting point for absorbing information can be.
These can be a great way to structure content within the content itself, rather than relying completely on the webpage’s presentation.
7. Always Consider The Length Of Your Article – Google, and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing, all tend to love longer content. However, if it’s too long and doesn’t cover a specific topic in great detail, then it can easily scare users away. You should never create a post that is smaller than 450 words, but creating content in excess of 2,500 is just ridiculously long.
First page web results tend to average at around 2,000 words, so it is often believed that this length of content is a great length. Ideally, you want to include your key phrases at no more than 2 percent to prevent suspicions of keyword stuffing. Many content creators tend to operate on a maximum of 1 keyword mention every 300 words.
8. Don’t Be Scared To Link Around – Whether you’ve already written content on a similar topic, or there’s a great source that you’ve been using to learn more about your niche, it can be a great idea to link to it. Not only will a great linking setup be useful when proving your authority to Google, Yahoo and Bing, but it can also create a much more complete interaction with your potential customers.
Linking your keywords to a relevant page on your website - for example, SEO agency – can be a great way of transferring authority to that page, thereby helping your website to rank higher for that particularly key phrase or word.
9. Let Other People Read Before Publishing – Even if you’re working with a small team, it can be extremely useful to ensure that your content is proofread by somebody else before you hit the publish button. They can not only help to deal with typo’s, but can also ensure that your content is easily readable and that they understand the information you’re trying to get across.
If you choose to work with a professional SEO agency, then you’ll be able to make the most of a professional team of writers, with professional proofreaders to ensure that your content is of the absolute highest quality.
10. Include A Call To Action – This is where you encourage the reader to engage with your business on a more rewarding scale. For example, you might encourage your reader to follow your business on social media, checkout the products that you can offer or get in touch with your team directly.
By providing contact information, or links to your social media, you can make their conversion much more likely.
11. Don’t Forget To Add Content On A Regular Basis – By continuing to add content and informative writing to your website, you’ll be able to tell search engines that your website is still being maintained and hasn’t just been left to itself. If it’s not an active website, Google will crawl it far less often, making it less appealing to search engines on a general basis.
If you’re going to undertaken business blogging for SEO purposes, you need to be aware that it takes a lot of time, and that it can be a while before you really start to reap the benefits. That’s why you’re better off leaving it to a professional SEO Agency, who can work with you to create an informative and engaging online presence that appeals to both users and search engines.
As the UK’s leading SEO Agency, we’re proud to offer a diverse range of services to ensure that you can make the most of your online presence. Thanks to the expert blogging, copywriting and technical services that we can provide, we’re able to help you get practical results from your search engine optimisation.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today on 0845 373 0595. Alternatively, you can email any questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. You can also follow us on Twitter by heading over to @seojunkies and following us for the latest SEO and content marketing updates and advice!
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