We all know that using keywords when writing copy for your website is critical in getting favorable ranking by the search engines, but the same should be applied to writing your blog as well. The benefit of using SEO while blogging is that you’re not only creating content that your readers value, but you’re also ensuring that prospective customers can find you with a web search when looking for content.
So how do you blog for SEO?
Choose a keyword
It is best to focus on one or two keywords to begin with. In addition to making sure it’s relevant to your ideal customer, use a “long tail” keyword phrase. This means instead of writing “mortgage” write “Milwaukee mortgage broker”. The more specific to your business (without getting carried away) allows your website to rank higher for specific searches.
Include variations of the keyword
Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm now picks up on conversations more so than traditional keywords. For example, if you’re a Tax Accountant, writing “Tax Preparation Services” and “Tax Accounting Services” helps you describe your business in multiple ways.
No keyword stuffing
Using too many keywords, thinking that it will index your post more effectively will actually backfire. Google doesn’t like it and will downgrade you for it. Also, distribute the keyword evenly throughout the blog post. A few times is enough.
Write for humans not search engines
To expand on number 3, the point of a blog post is not only to inform, educate, and entertain, but ultimately to attract visitors. Your copy should be pleasant to read and, most importantly, provide value to your readers.
Finally, don’t forget to use the same keywords and subject data in the proper places on your content management system (CMS), such as WordPress. With WordPress, you can easily download an SEO plugin which allows you to fill in the following fields that search engines look for:
Title: this can be different from the blog title you’re using and don’t forget to include your keyword. Using text, or part of the text that someone would enter into a search query would help a great deal. Keep this field to under 70 characters, including spaces.
Description: this is a 160 -170 character field where you can briefly summarize the content of your blog post. It appears as the excerpt text in the returned search listing under the linked result. Make the phrase interesting to incent the viewer to become a reader, but don’t forget to include your keywords here as well.
Keywords: this field is actually the least important of the three. It’s rarely used by search engines and some suggest that you don’t even need to include this at all. My feeling is, it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. It certainly won’t hurt, so I recommend including it anyway.
Adding a link using keyword rich anchor text to external supporting material, like on your website, or a social media post can also help with SEO ranking.
Follow these simple guidelines and your blog post will get more visibility which can lead to more visitors and more customers.