One of the best ways to improve your rankings in search engines is to start a blog. Regularly updated websites signal to search engines that they offer fresh content. Certain pages on a website are unlikely to be updated too often, but a blog provides a practical way to keep adding fresh content. Your blog is good for SEO purposes if it consists of quality content and topics relevant to your specific audience.
No matter what industry your blog targets, it needs to speak to the primary audience that will read your content. Your blog posts will go to waste if you don’t understand what your audience wants and their preferences.
When your audience reads an engaging, informative, or entertaining blog post, they are more likely to comment and share, which drives more traffic to your website. The more traffic your blog gets, the more authority it gains because Google sees that you provide relevant answers to questions users want to be answered.
There is no shortcut to understanding your audience, but here are some ways you can learn more about them.
- Create buyer personas
- Look at blog performance
- Conduct surveys and polls
- Analyze insights from social media
You can create buyer personas which are descriptions of ideal readers and the essential traits they possess. You can create them using characteristics such as age, location, search patterns, and topics of interest. In this way, you can narrow down what readers want to read and why they would visit your blog.
Readers are happy if you provide answers to the questions they answer. For example, if you are developing macOS software, you can provide quick guides on how to speed up a Mac computer for better software usage, free up disk space or remove malware. Sharing this with your customers will not only help solve their problems but also will boost the ranking of your website.
When you examine metrics, you start to understand more about what customers prefer to read, bounce rates, dwell time, where readers come from, and much more. You can work on optimizing the blog posts that are read the most and are considered to be evergreen content. Google Analytics gives you some vital performance indicators that mean you don’t have to guess.
You can conduct surveys and polls and ask questions like:
- What topics do customers prefer to read about?
- What pain areas do they want you to address?
- What would make them read your blog?
If you constantly share your blog posts on social media platforms, you can make use of insights they offer about the demographics of readers and the kind of topics they relate to most.
Keywords play a very important role in where your content appears in Google’s search results. They not only help search engines to understand the purpose of your content but guide consumers to it when they type the words into search.
Start by listing all the relevant keywords related to your blog topic. You can find some suggestions by using Google Autocomplete. Working with a keyword research tool enables you to sort keywords by competitiveness and search volume.
(Image source: https://www.wordstream.com/long-tail-keywords)
If you sell camping gear, you will want to use keywords relevant to your industry. However, there are many companies that sell camping gear. If you use the keyword “camping gear,” it will be extremely difficult to rank on the first page of the search results due to the competition. If you use a keyword finder, you can search for longer, more specific keywords relevant to camping gear you have more chance of ranking.
Long tail keywords may be difficult to introduce on product pages, but you can easily use them in blog posts. For example, you can use the phrase "women’s waterproof hiking boots" in a blog post about the best camping footwear for women. Long tail keywords have less competition, and consumers using them are likely to be further along in the sales funnel and more likely to buy.
Much of SEO is about linking, and internal links are ones you can create yourself. A very simple SEO mistake many companies make is not to include internal links that direct users from one page to another. A blog post gives you many opportunities to naturally link to other pages or blog posts on your site. For example, if you write a blog post and reference ‘email marketing best practices, you can link to a previous post that speaks about best practices in detail.
Some other reasons to create internal links are:
- They help search engine spiders to crawl and index your blogs.
- They increase the time users spend on your website and reduce the bounce rate.
- They can indicate which keywords you want to rank for.
- They can improve your page rank and views.
You can add between five and ten links in a blog post. The anchor texts you use should be short, relevant, and optimized. Make sure the links are relevant to the blog topic.
You want users to have a great experience when they visit your website. How much time readers spend on your website indirectly tells search engines how valuable it is to them. To improve the user experience you will need to:
- Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly
- Improve your page loading speed
- Use subheadings and bullet points in your blogs
- Add images and graphics relevant to your blog content.
Over half of search engine traffic in the U.S. comes from mobile devices. If your blog isn’t optimized for mobile, this will affect its rankings. Many pre-made site themes today are already mobile-friendly. However, it is still important to check performance and regularly run a mobile site speed test.
Various factors can affect your page load speed, such as the overuse of plug-ins and the use of unnecessary code. Make sure you delete any plug-ins you use temporarily and decide which ones you really need to keep. There are various tools you can use to remove unnecessary code.
Headings and subheadings offer an outline of page content. This helps users quickly browse content and see whether it’s relevant. When they understand the structure of a page, they can navigate more easily between sections. They should always be able to find what they need within a blog post easily and efficiently.
Images and videos are some of the most common visual elements that you see on the search engine results page. Images and videos help to explain and support your blog content. If you want to reach a coveted ranking, you will have to use original photos and videos and design creative graphics. It’s very important to add descriptive alt text to all the visual elements in your blog post so Google can rank them.
A web audit is an important checkup that shows what is lacking in terms of your SEO, design, content, and usability. You will quickly find out what you need to do to improve all of these aspects.
(Image source: https://www.seobility.net/en/wiki/Backlinks)
Using recent data in blog posts is an indirect SEO ranking factor. When you include links to credible sites in your blog posts with original, current data, it’s helpful and relevant to readers. It also tells Google that the data is relevant to the content of your blog post.
One of the hardest parts of SEO is getting backlinks. This is when other respected sites see that your blog is valuable and link back to it. HubSpot found that companies with a blog on a website were able to get 97% more inbound links.
There are many tactics you can use to get high-quality backlinks – far too many to cover here. Some of the most impactful ones come from relevant authoritative websites that want to link to your content.
Digital PR consists of creating linkable assets and then promoting them to relevant publications or journalists. By creating blog posts that are compelling, accurate, and in-depth, others will naturally want to cite them as a source. A blog post that’s updated often, relevant to many industries, and visually easy to understand will help you to get backlinks.
If you sell other people’s products, this could provide you with the perfect opportunity to earn backlinks. Suppliers are happy to link to your websites because your posts can draw attention to their products.
If you belong to a business association, this is another opportunity to build backlinks. A member’s page on the website will usually have a member directory. If you aren’t listed, you can reach out to be added.
If you can find sites that link to your competitors but not to you, there’s a good chance that they will link to you if you approach them.
Your blog posts can help you to reach more people, get quality leads, create brand authority, and much more. They provide a cost-effective way to improve user engagement rates and get more traffic to your website. However, not all blogs will give you the desired results, and it will depend on the strategies you use. If you want to make the most of your blog, you need to constantly create excellent posts and incorporate SEO in your overall content strategy. It can take some time to see the results, but they will follow when using the above best practices.