You’ve decided that you’d like to start blogging for your business … now what?
Businesses that blog often have a much higher chance in increased traffic driven through search engines compared to those that do not. It can be a great opportunity, BUT it’s important to use it in a way that optimizes blog posts for search traffic. This will help you to capture audiences with intent to search for similar topics related to your business – makes sense, right?
With just a couple of steps, you will be able to continually incorporate optimized content into your blog post approach, helping to increase the opportunity to “be found” through search. And, really, don’t we all just want to be discovered?!
Start by Conducting Keyword Research
Keyword research is looking up trending keywords that people are typing into search engines when searching within your industry or related topics. For example, “house cleaning checklist” is something people search. If you owned a cleaning service, you could write an article titled “House Cleaning Checklist: A Guide to Make Cleaning Easier!” Not only are you making it easier for interested people to find your post, but you are also giving them information that is useful.
But how do you actually DO keyword research?
If you want a quick start, type phrases into Google and see what autocompletes – this might give you a good jumping off point, but won’t show trends or traffic. There are many tools out there that were created for keyword research and you can probably find a free version, such as Google Keyword Planner, Google Correlate, and Soovle that could help.
If you invest in a higher-level tool, you will get more information and more data to explore. This can be overwhelming for someone that is not trained in digital marketing strategy. The Digital Marketing team at Annatto offers keyword research services to our clients for exactly that reason. With access to more robust tools and the expertise to interpret the data that we have available, we can pull together comprehensive keyword lists to set our clients on the right path.
You have keywords… what do you do with them?
Once you have a solid list of keywords, you can work them into your blog titles and throughout your posts. That way, your blogs have a better chance of ranking on search engines and people can find them. The goal, of course, is to reach as many people as possible.
Keyword research can also help you identify topics to blog about. There are many levels of keywords. Think about how you search when you’re looking for a product. Where do you start? Many people search or terms that are very specific to start, and then generalize them if they don’t find what they are looking for.
For example, if I was at the beach and saw a towel that I really liked, I may search for “gray Turkish beach towel large with stripes organic cotton.” That is a very specific search, but I’m hoping to find something quickly, and as close to what is in my head as possible. If I don’t find what I’m looking for, I will broaden the search term – “large gray beach towel stripes” – in order to pull up more links.
These longer, more conversational search terms are called the “long tail” of keyword research. They provide insights on people searching for more specific subjects like “comparing this solution vs. that solution,” which can, in turn, give you an idea for a blog post that may answer their question.
Annatto includes research in both broad and more in-depth keywords to help set you apart from more basic searches and give you content direction.
Optimize Blog Content, Title & Description
Blog titles, or headlines, should be written for both the reader and the search engines to utilize key terms. Following these guidelines is key:
- Keep blog titles to a recommended length of no longer than 60 characters
- Try to incorporate keywords in the beginning of the title
Okay: We can teach you how to help your toddler sleep better with our fool-proof 6 step process
Better: Toddler sleep training method – we can help you!
Blog meta descriptions are found in the code of the page but often are easily updated in the WordPress platform. They provide a summary of the page for search engines to display in search results, below the blog title. The descriptions should be no longer than 155 characters in length and should provide a brief description of the blog post and incorporate the targeted keywords for the page.
Be sure not to leave the title and description fields blank! If this is the case, Google will automatically pull from the headline and first paragraph of the blog post, which is not the ideal experience for readers. Additionally, leaving these fields blank creates a missed opportunity with search engines.
An ideal content length can be anywhere from 250 – 2,000 words. The focus should be on writing the content to include key terms AND providing quality content. Don’t worry about the length! Some will be longer and some will be shorter, but if you are providing information that people want to read, you’re already a step ahead.
Headlines Subheads (H2s) can be set when you are uploading your blog into your system for publishing. Not only do they help break up the content to make it more “skimmable” for the reader, but they are also a signal to Google letting it know what important topics you are covering in the content.
Another consideration when you are developing your content is linking within your text. Are you referring to a product or idea that is further explained on a different page of your site? Link to the page! The easier for your reader to find the information, the better. The same rules apply for links to sites outside of your own. Is there another business that you refer people to? If it makes sense within your blog, link to their site and encourage them to link to you as well.
Blogging and Search Engine Optimization got you overwhelmed?
Not every business owner wants to be a blogger, but there is no denying it can benefit your business. You know your business best – if writing content, keywords, and descriptions give you a headache, outsourcing may be a better option for you. Annatto works with clients to maximize their blog presence. From content creation to graphic support, we can help you get your voice into the world while you focus on other aspects of your business.
If you’re in need of help with your company’s blog, contact Annatto today. Let’s find the best ways for you to improve your website’s search engine optimization!