Blogging is the new trend for everyone these days. There’s all kinds of different blogs out there too. There are personal blogs for those who think they’re lives are so interesting that they must document every minute of it for the world to see. There are business blogs for companies to let each of their loyal customers know what cool stuff they have going on. There are entertainment blogs for the average teenager who is consumed in the lives of his or her favorite celebrities. And the list can go on and on.
What you need to know about blogging is how it can be used to improve your SEO. Through my research, I have compiled 10 helpful tips on how to make your blog more SEO friendly.
You should have a clear goal for what you want your blog to do. What is your blog’s purpose – its reason for existence? What does your blog have to offer? Is it general information, company updates, tips and tricks, or just pure entertainment? Who is your blog targeting? Are they your devoted brand consumers,celeb-reality obsessed teenagers, tech-savvy entrepreneurs, or small business owners looking for SEO tips? Answer these questions before beginning a blog.
2. Internal Links
Internal and external links play a big role in SEO for blogs. There’s always a lot of emphasis on external links. They’re important for creating traffic for your Website. However, internal links are just as important for SEO and they’re something you can control.
There are two different types of internal links. There are links that direct readers to other pages within your site or there are links that take them outside of your site. Some say that linking out can be dangerous, but there’s an upside to it. This may increase your credibility if the sites you link to are well-known. Your readers may begin to associate you with those other prestigious sites, making your blog a reliable source, as well.
Another reason to include internal links in your blog article is to help readers find pages that have not been indexed by search engine spiders. As you all know, the amount of content found through the World Wide Web has immeasurable. It may not be possible for the spiders to go through every single page on the Internet. Most likely, there will be some pages that have not been found by spiders. Providing links to several other pages within your Website can help uncover these hidden treasures.
Of course, there’s no easy way to tell which pages have been indexed and which haven’t, so the more links the better. But, let’s keep it classy. Your whole article shouldn’t be blue, underlined text.
3. ALT Tags
What in the world is an ALT tag? Well, as you may already know, search engine spiders are completely unable to read images. The only way to give the search engines something to index for your image is the provide it with an ALT tag. These are placed in the code of your page and provide a simple description of what the picture is. For example, if you had a picture of a dog on your site, your ALT tag would be: [img src=”dog.png” alt=”Dog”]. I’m no expert on this (yet) so if you want to know more about ALT tags, check out this article: “Why You Should Use ALT Attributes”.
The title of your page should focus on your audience, right? Wrong! There’s a difference between page titles and blog post titles. Page titles are aimed at search engines. These should give an accurate, keyword rich description about what your page entails. Don’t use your fancy stuff here. Save that for your blog titles.
Blog post titles are aimed at your readers. Although you can be more creative here, still give the reader an informative title. Your blog title may be really catchy and clever, but no one is going to read it if they have no clue as to what it’s about. This can also be a keyword rich phrase, but you don’t have to use as many.
Your Website address should be informative, as well. If a potential consumer searches for a coffee shop, would they rather visit www.bobs.com or www.bobscoffeeshop.com? The URL is a great place for keywords as well. There’s a better chance of your link coming up if the search terms are actually in the Web address. So, if you want people to find your blog, come up with a non-ambiguous Web address. Having a keyword rich Web URL will improve your SEO.
When your readers have gotten through with your article, where are they? At the bottom of your page. This is great place for more resources. Hopefully, you’ll leave your audience wanting more and providing them links where they leave off is a perfect way to give them what they want. The footer can contain links to previous articles, specific blog categories, a link to your company’s homepage, or a site map. Footers are also a handy tool in your SEO since it supplies spiders with more information and links.
As if you weren’t expecting this one, here come keywords again. Blogs give your brand a substantial advantage in SEO. The body copy alone in a blog can contain several times the amount of keywords than can the body copy on your Website alone. Companies that have yet to start blogging are at a serious disadvantage in this way, giving your brand the upper hand. Don’t let this opportunity slip away. Use it as much as you can.
Your blog acts as your brand’s human side. Consumers may look to your blog to get a more personal relationship with your product. So make sure you’re including your audience in your blog. Ask them questions so that they’re more inclined to leave a comment. Give them easy access to sharing capabilities. People interested in blogs are more likely to be involved in other forms of social media. Placing sharing plugins on your posts can help increase your presence on other social media platforms. Let your readers share the article on Facebook, retweet it to Twitter, or submit it to Digg. It will engage your audience and improve your SEO.
You’re not the only blogger out there. With endless amount of information on the Web, there are many writers under the same topic. Don’t fear – this may actually be useful for you. Seek out similar topics and leave a comment. This places your name and a link back to your own blog. Chances are that people looking for information on a topic aren’t going to stop at one blog article. If you sound like you know what you’re talking about, they’re going to check out your site too.
This means that your comments have to be of some meaningful use. Do not comment just to comment. Add to the conversation. Pose a question or provide answers that the article may not have touched on. Leaving a comment that says, “Great article,” is of no use to you. It doesn’t incline other readers to jump to your page. Give people a reason to look into your blog. And as I said before, links are very handy in SEO.
Nobody will be interested in your blog if the latest post was from ten years ago. Times have changed, obviously. What you wrote ten years ago may not be prevalent today. Consistent updates will also improve your SEO because search engines are constantly going back through the Web to find new information. Recent content on your blog will provide the spiders with something fresh to look at each time they crawl the Web.
Now that I’ve gotten you started on making your blog more SEO friendly, it’s time to put those tactics to work. So get out there and start blogging!