by Jayson DeMers

Creating a blog for a
business is part of an overall content marketing strategy that simultaneously
builds credibility, increases exposure and traffic, and increases conversion
rates. But for your efforts to pay off, your blog content has to reach your intended
audience. Here are some proven ways to get the most out of each blog post and
fully enjoy the benefits of blogging. 

 

Use Plugins 

 

If you’re using the
WordPress platform, the first thing to do is install a plugin like
  All In One SEO Pack or SEO Yoast. Both are free and highly effective ways to give your
content an SEO boost. These two plugins differ in their specific features, but
employ the same general concept. Basically, they streamline the on-site SEO
process by generating automatic META tags, optimizing titles for each post,
optimizing SEO descriptions, and more.

Both are
user-friendly and relatively easy to learn. By spending a few extra minutes to
fill out the fields on these plugins, you can give your content a significant
edge over other bloggers who don’t utilize them. This can often mean the
difference between appearing on the first page of search results vs. elsewhere.

Use Plugins

If you’re
using the WordPress platform, the first thing to do is install a plugin like
All In One SEO Pack or SEO Yoast. Both are free and highly effective ways to give your
content an SEO boost. These two plugins differ in their specific features, but
employ the same general concept. Basically, they streamline the on-site SEO
process by generating automatic META tags, optimizing titles for each post,
optimizing SEO descriptions, and more.

Both are
user-friendly and relatively easy to learn. By spending a few extra minutes to
fill out the fields on these plugins, you can give your content a significant
edge over other bloggers who don’t utilize them. This can often mean the
difference between appearing on the first page of search results vs. elsewhere.

I
recommend using Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool for keyword research. By entering
a broad word or phrase, you will have access to a list of potential keyword
ideas. Browsing through the list should offer plenty of ideas for blog post
titles to choose from. These can be taken as-is or a few additional words can
be added if necessary.

Use Your Keywords Wisely

After
choosing the right keywords, it’s time to put them into action by strategically
inserting them throughout your content. In the past, keyword stuffing was a
common phenomenon where search engines could be manipulated by placing an abundance
of the same keyword throughout the body of a blog post.

Thanks to
algorithm updates like Google Panda, Penguin and Penguin 2.0, things have
changed dramatically. Now, keyword stuffing is an outdated black hat SEO
tactic, which Google easily identifies and penalizes.

Here are
some best practices when inserting keywords:

  • Place in sub-titles when appropriate
  • Naturally use related keywords and phrases throughout the article

Speed Up

Site speed
is a growing factor in the ranking algorithm. Cloud hosting solutions are
gaining popularity as Google continues to give more emphasis to site load
times. I even saw a study that concluded that as much as 40% of users will bail
if a website takes longer than 4 seconds to load.

Pingdom
has a great speed test tool that
can tell you how long your site’s load time is. If it’s above 4 seconds, I
recommend looking into a new hosting provider or making other changes to
optimize your speed. 

Understand Your Optimal Article Length 

When
blogging, there can be a major disparity in terms of the length of each piece
of content. Some bloggers keep it relatively brief with 400 words or less and
some go all out with 2,000 words or more. While it’s debatable what the ideal
post length is, a study by
ViperChill.com showed that choosing the optimal word count depends upon
the industry. The data was based around the top five blogs in each niche and
breaks down as follows:

  • Gadgets – 181 words
  • Gossip – 183 words
  • Web news – 329 words
  • Politics – 465 words
  • Health – 666 words
  • Marketing – 1,085 words
  • Finance – 1,225 words
  • Personal development – 1,470 words

This goes
to show that choosing an “ideal” article length will greatly depend upon the
industry you’re in. Unless you’re in the gadgets or gossip niches, it’s usually
best to keep posts at a minimum of 250 words. Otherwise, it’s easy to get
passed up by search engines for longer content.

In
general, it’s been shown that longer
content tends to rank better
in search engines. Why? It could be that
Google regards longer content as being more in-depth or thorough, and thus higher
quality.

However,
variety is the spice of the life, and also of the search engines. If all your
posts are always around the same word count, that doesn’t look very natural.
Instead, try to mix it up.

Include Images

Besides
providing readers with some eye candy, inserting an image or two within a blog
post has some SEO benefits. In order to take advantage of these benefits, include
the keywords in the file name and incorporate ALT tags into the HTML code. This
can be done by including 
alt=”keyword or phrase” within the code. Try to keep the keyword or phrase as brief as possible and highly relevant so search engines can easily pick up on it.

Strategically Interlink Your Articles

By inserting links in one blog post to another relevant blog post, you accomplish two things. First, it makes it easier for visitors to further explore your blog with more convenience. Second, it gives credit to other blog posts, helping their rankings in the search engines. This should ultimately help your entire blog rank more highly in search engine results.

In the same vein, it’s smart to include additional links in the sidebar by installing a “categories” and “recent posts” widget. This allows visitors to quickly find other blogs posts that they might be interested in without extensive exploration. Another idea is to install the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin for WordPress blogs. This will automatically display similar posts at the end of each blog post.

Post Frequently

 

The single most common
mistake that most bloggers make is updating their blog too seldom. Not only can
this minimize the number of readers that follow your blog, it can hurt your
rankings in search engines as well. According to Darren Rowse of
 Problogger, “The more you update your blog the more often Search Engines will
send their crawlers to your site to index it. This will mean your new articles
could appear in the index within days or even hours rather than weeks.”
 

 

Consequently, it’s
important to maintain a fresh stream of content and avoid going long periods
without a new post. At the same time, you shouldn’t go overboard and barrage
your audience with a never ending stream of posts either. A good balance of
somewhere between two to five posts per week for most niches should be
sufficient. 

Get
Active in Social Media

Finally, reposting content on any social networking
sites you’re a part of can be advantageous from an SEO standpoint. It only
takes a minute to do this, but immediately increases your blog’s visibility
because each post will pop up in all of your followers’ streams. Additionally,
it generates social signals, which have
been shown
to improve search engine rankings.

This is a simple way to drive more traffic to your
blog with only a few clicks. If anyone shares a post with others, this means
even more traffic with no additional work. While social shares don’t typically
carry the same weight as traditional backlinks, a significant quantity has been
known to improve rankings.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

Source:
9 SEO Blogging Tactics to Maximize Your Online Visibility

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