Anyone who asks me how to raise the position of their website in the Search Engines will tell you that I will always say “You need to be blogging”. Yes, there are other things that need to be done, but the quickest thing a Business Owner can do to start improving their Search Engine rankings is Blog.
This response is normally met by a look of complete and utter confusion; terror; or resignation that it is just too time consuming. Today, I’m going to share some of my ‘secrets’ to using blogging effectively in your business.
Before we start, if you’re not sure what blogging is, check out my article “Blogging Is Good For Business“.
Charly’s Business Blogging Tips For Better Search Engine Optimisation
Do Your Keyword Research
Just quickly – a keyword is a word or a phrase that someone enters into the search engine to find the answer to a problem. Don’t be mistaken – whatever else you’re doing, you are solving people’s problems…. Whether that be they want to find the perfect dress; they want to clear up their acne; they want to buy a new car …
By doing your Keyword Research, you will know exactly what terms people are entering into the search engines. I’m am generally surprised when I look at the results provided by the Google Keyword Tool… I generally know exactly what terms I need to be targetting to get found.
It’s no use targetting Short Black Dress in my articles if people are searching for Little Black Dress…. sure, I might be selling a short black dress but if I want searchers to know about me I had better be using the term Little Black Dress…
It’s equally as important that you revisit this research often and ensure that the keywords you’re targetting are still relevant.
Quality Fresh Content – Regularly
The Search Engines job is to provide their customers with search results that are up to date and relevant to the terms the customer has entered. This is important to remember.
Our job – as content providers, is to provide the Search Engines with content that is up to date and relevant to the terms that are being searched for. That’s it in a nut shell.
That’s why I regularly write articles about Websites, Blogging and Business – people are looking for content and if I don’t publish new content, my results ‘age’ and I loose relevancy.
There is no golden rule about how many articles you should publish and the frequency you should publish them at however, I’ve found that an article a week works wonderfully. It’s a good balance between the time it takes to write the article and seeing my rankings improve.
If you use WordPress as your Content Management System (or blogging platform), you can write as many articles as you like and schedule them to be published over time. For someone like me, that’s great – I’ll often write a series and have them drip feed out over time.
Articles should be between 400 and 1000 words long.
At the time of writing this article, longer articles are better for the search engines, but most readers appreciate shorter, straight forward articles.
Keyword Density Matters
The number of times you use your keyword in your article matters. If you use it too often, you could get ‘slapped’ by the Search Engines for trying to manipulate the results.
A good ‘rule of thumb’ is to use your keyword no more than 3 times in every 100 words you write. There’s a lot of conjecture about the ‘right’ number but I’ve found that 3% (3 times in every 100 words) works quite nicely.
Choose one search term that you want to rank for with each article.
Don’t try to address several key words in one article – it will dilute your efforts. Let’s assume you are a cleaning company who wants to target Canberra based business
You may choose to target “choosing a cleaning company in Canberra and the surrounding region” – this will give you the terms “cleaning company” as well as Canberra which will get you closer to your target audience. You could write a series of articles about selecting an appropriate company – what to look for, what to avoid etc.
Be focussed and don’t ‘scatter gun’ your keywords through your articles.
Highlight Your Keywords
As a novice writer, this is something that I found counter-intuitive. I was taught to use formatting like Bolding; Italics and Underline to emphasis my points and bring attention to the key parts of my work. When blogging, you should use this formatting on your keywords as this tells the search engines that this is important and what I’m writing about. You can often strike a balance when doing this but to some degree, you have to forget “good writing practices”.
Write For Humans
Not withstanding the formatting advice I just gave – always write for humans (as opposed to aliens, dogs or dolphins… or the search engines). Humans are going to be the ones that act on your content – not the search engines. Whilst getting found in the search engines is really, really important its equally as important when people get to your site they understand what is written.
Don’t get so tied up in optimising your content for SEO and Search Engines you forget this piece of advice.
Images, Tagging and Categories
I could write an article on these topics alone.
When using images IF the image relates to your keyword, include the keyword in your image filename and set the ALT and TITLE fields to include your keyword. If the image doesn’t really relate to your keyword, name it and set the ALT and TITLE fields appropriately.
Categories are a way of organising your articles. Much like the library card file system. Your categories should be, or include, your keywords – but I’m not suggesting you have one category for every keyword. Think about your content organisation and be judicious in setting your categories.
Tags are like ‘categories’ but for blogging directories. Tags tell the blogging and website directories what the content is about – so…. make sure you include your keyword! As a rule of thumb, I use 5 tags per article (otherwise it just gets too busy!)
Get Blogging for Better SEO
I can (and have) speak for days about all the little things you need to think about when blogging for your business but these are the main key points that will see your business blogging off to a great, solid start.
Have you checked out Get Ranked: The Art Of Search Engine Optimisation?
What other tips can you share?