Standing out online is not easy. The Internet is becoming more and more crowded with content. It used to be that having good content would generate search engine results and hits. This is no longer the case. Now your content needs to be optimized to capture the attention of search engines and readers.
The good news is that with five key steps you can give lost content a new life.
Search engine optimization. SEO. Smart SEO sets the great content apart from the good. Yes, it’s a fine line between great and good, which is why SEO is so vital. Yes, there are lots of opinions on SEO, but we can tell you that SEO is what we do, day in and day out. So, trust us here and let’s dig into SEO and start showing your blog some love.
Know Your Keywords
Keywords are the very foundation of SEO strategy. These keywords tell you what people are looking for. Keywords let you make smart decisions about what you tell your readers about your product or industry.
We often meet with companies who are shocked to learn that their readers are asking basic questions. Too many companies assume their readers know more than they do.
This speaks to knowing your demographic. What are they searching for? Are they finding what they’re looking for? How often do they ask the same questions? What are the trending topics for your industry?
With this information and your list of keywords, you can start building a content plan. Determine how best to answer these questions – remember you need to consider the range of people asking these questions. Can you write one blog post that addresses the same question for all levels of knowledge? Or do you need a series of “how to” or “tips and tricks” articles to address this reader diversity?
You know your keywords, you have a content plan – now you need to put this together with easy-to-read but not simple language. Use the keywords naturally, don’t force them into sentences (hint: ask us about semantic SEO and how it’s a good work-around here). Make sure you don’t stuff your content with keywords. Both your readers and search engines ignore keyword-stuffed content.
Your keyword action plan:
- Do your keyword research. Look for long-tail keywords. Pay attention to search trends.
- Create a content plan that answers the questions your demographic has.
- Use the keywords intelligently in content that works for all knowledge levels.
- Bonus step: optimize your headings, meta descriptions, and social content to use these keywords.
Internal Links Keep Readers in the Know
Internal links, like keywords are key in getting your blogs the attention they deserve. You worked hard and wrote a keyword-optimized blog post. However, you forgot to include internal links.
Internal links are that helping hand your readers want. They stuck with you and read your entire blog (thanks for reading this far) and now they’re hungry for more. So, give them what they want. Include relevant internal links to whitepapers, knowledge base articles, videos, infographics, and contact information.
These internal links give readers the extra information they want. As an extra bonus, these internal links help improve the structure and readability of your website. Readers use internal links to navigate websites, so make sure you’ve got consistent links to your home page, contact page, products page, about page, etc.
Your internal linking action plan:
- Audit your website and look at your internal links. Click them and make sure they’re working and relevant.
- As you’re writing, insert your internal links. This helps create better flow.
- Think of your keywords when you’re inserting your internal links and use these as link text.
- Bonus step: review your backlinks and make sure these are working for your blog.
Great Content that Knows Your Readers
Content rules. But this content must be properly planned, researched, written, and edited. During your keyword research, you likely learned a lot about your readers.
You found out what they want to know. So, give it to them with great content. Content that answers questions and does so with clear language. Structure your content so it reads and scans well. Get to the point and stick with it.
There is nothing worse than clicking a link that has great metadata and landing on a web page that tells you absolutely nothing. When this happens to us, we don’t fall for the website again – yep, burned once and we move on. The same goes for your readers.
You came here to get insight into the five best ways to get SEO working for your blog. And we’re delivering. You’re reading and learning. You’ll keep coming back because we are thought-leaders in SEO and content marketing.
Your great content action plan:
- Do your research and write content targeted to your readers. Remember your keywords and internal links.
- Use white space, bulleted lists, numbered lists, and headings to break up content.
- Edit your content. Walk away from your content. Come back and edit again. Yes, two thorough edits.
- Bonus step: ask a colleague to edit your content. Discuss how this content fits into your content plan.
Readers Want Images and Videos
You like images and videos, so it only makes sense that your readers do as well. So, give them what they want. Embed optimized images and videos that give readers the extra information they’re looking for.
Maybe a complicated question can be best answered with an infographic. Or perhaps you can create a “how to” video that accompanies a blog post. Think of how you like to use images and videos and do the same for your readers.
Your image and video action plan:
- Only use high-quality images and video. A blurry image or a choppy video isn’t going to work for you.
- Optimize images with alt text that includes keywords. Save images as JPG and vector graphics as PNG. Optimize videos by hosting them in one folder and create a video site map. Remember to use your keywords in the metadata for the video page.
- Pay attention to the size of your images and videos. The bigger they are – the slower they are to load. Remember some users might be on smart devices.
- Bonus step: ask yourself why you’re including the image or video. Does it make sense? How does it help your reader? Is there a call-to-action?
Get the Word Out
We want you to be shouting from the rooftops about your amazing blog content. Okay, well not on actual rooftops – we don’t have insurance coverage for accidental falls. Instead we want you to use virtual rooftops…
In other words, we want you to: use email newsletters, RSS feeds, social media, your industry peers, and backlink relationships to promote your great blog content. Your research told you how your readers search for content and how they like to receive it.
Now, it’s up to you to deliver on this and give it to them how and when they want. Make it easy for your readers to find, read, and share your content. Encourage readers to start conversations with you on social media (please, please respond to their questions and comments). In your email newsletter promoting your recent blog posts, encourage readers to forward the email to others. Make it easy for your readers to post a link to your content on social media.
Your rooftop action plan:
- Know who is reading what, where, how, why, and when. Determine the best way to give your users their optimized content.
- Use all your rooftops – everyone you know to help you spread the word. Relationship building is key here. Get referrals and provide referrals.
- Make sure you’re sending the right content to the right people. Expert level readers don’t want a newsletter packed with basic level content.
- Bonus step: follow the social signals. Pay attention to what gets liked, Tweeted, shared, clicked, and read.
No Time to Waste – Get Busy
This is our extra bonus tip – you must act fast. Remember moods change. People aren’t willing to wait around for the answers to their questions. We know that you have questions about optimizing SEO for blogs and we’re delivering it to you immediately.
The Internet moves fast. If you want to stick around and be found – you’ve got to move. Share this post with your team (or maybe you’re doing it all – in this case, contact us) and get on the SEO blog love train.
We know we just told you a lot about SEO and your blogs. Don’t get discouraged. Know that you’re not alone. Our team is here to help. We want you to be successful, contact us and let’s show your blog some SEO love.