A Beginner’s Guide to Optimizing Your Business Blog for Search Engines
Almost every business with an online presence has a blog. However, many business owners seem to jump on this bandwagon simply because they are expected to provide one. They do it without giving the promotion, content, and development of the business blog much thought. At best, they assign some hapless subordinate to post random facts about their company now and then. They put insufficient thought into the strategy. Instead, they concentrate their efforts on other things that they believe will bring better results.
The thing is, when your business blog is handled properly, it can be a powerful marketing tool in and of itself.
In this article, we will cover some of the basics that will help you lay the groundwork for future development.
1. Do Keyword Research
If you carefully keep to topics related to your business and its industry, you most likely naturally use many of the keywords you should be using. If you produce high-quality articles, you are expected to rank high no matter what.
However, you can significantly tweak your results by spicing up your texts with the right amount of carefully selected keywords. Luckily, we no longer live in the times when a text had to contain a crazy 10-15 percent of keywords to impress search engines. Your articles won’t look unnatural if you add a couple of thematic keywords here and there. But you should know which words are best for your subject matter. Lucky for you, there are plenty of free tools to help you out.
The most important places to embed keywords are:
- The first couple of sentences of the post
- The last paragraph
- Anchor texts
- Title and meta tags
You should, however, keep things natural and not stuff your texts with as many keywords as possible. In today’s SEO, it actually harms your ranking. A good rule of thumb is to stick to a couple of long-tail keywords (i.e., 3 or more words long) based on your ideal customer’s intent of visiting a link. Then optimize an entire post to them.
2. Reference Other Blogs
One of the first things you have to learn when you start a blog is that every reference to content from another blog or other source should be accompanied by a link to that source.
Firstly, it is a simply good form to give credit where it is due.
Secondly, if the other business blog’s author likes your post, he can give you a backlink. And high-quality backlinks are one of the most important contributors to increasing your blog’s authority and ranking.
3. Optimize Your Images
Visual images influence people much more powerfully than plain text. It means that any aspiring blog should use its share of high-quality, original and exciting pictures aimed at attracting a visitor’s attention and motivating them to stay and read the material associated with the image.
In addition, every image should be optimized to maintain a balance between its visual attractiveness, size, and additional SEO characteristics. Image optimization should follow more or less the same principles, no matter where you use them:
- Use proper format (JPEG for photos, PNG for graphics, logos, and screenshots, GIF for animations)
- Resize and rescale them to fit the dimensions of your blog
- Compress them if they are too big (this will aid your page load times)
- Include keywords in the file names and alt descriptions.
4. Give Visitors an Easy Subscription Method
Ideally, after coming to your blog, a visitor should be interested enough to subscribe via email. So, leading them up to join your mailing list is one of the most important tasks you have to perform. That is why a subscription button should be immediately noticeable. It should also be easy to confirm the subscription. Ask the visitor for as little additional information as you can, because every additional box to fill makes people less likely to proceed.
Moreover, not all people like the idea of giving their personal data and contacts to receive newsletters from you. If you don’t provide them with another way of receiving updates from you, you run a risk of losing them altogether. To get an additional opportunity to keep them within your reach, place prominent RSS Feed Subscription buttons.
5. Use Social Media to Promote both Your Business and Your Blog
Having multiple accounts on various social media is useful because they can be used as a single network to promote content across all of them. When you have a new post published on your blog, make sure you mention it on Facebook, Twitter and all other relevant social media you maintain. Maintaining so many accounts may look like a hassle, especially if you mostly duplicate the same content across all of them. But there are plenty of management tools that greatly simplify this task.
6. Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly
It has been a few years since the mobile use of search engines overtook the desktop. It doesn’t just mean that by leaving your blog unoptimized for mobile devices, you leave money on the table. You should take into account that Google displays mobile-friendly results first, all other things being equal. As a result, non-mobile-friendly blogs automatically lose against their more progressive cousins.
Mobile-friendliness nowadays is achieved primarily through the use of a responsive design that automatically adapts your page to the devices of the visitor. It allows you to have a single URL instead of one for desktop and one for mobile, making SEO efforts easier because the data isn’t split between several addresses.
These suggestions are but the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens more advanced methods for improving the SEO of your blog for maximum marketing efficiency. However, if you are a beginner, the above will be more than enough to get you started. Try to implement them and learn other things as you go along. And in no time at all, you will start picking up skills and techniques to improve the performance of your blog further.
Over To You
Do you have any thoughts on the above? Are there any other tips you’d recommend for an SEO beginner? Please share with your fellow readers. Thanks!
You may also want to read: Why Small Businesses Must Never Compromise on SEO
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