How to Write an Optimized Blog
You know you should be blogging but you just can’t get yourself to actually do it. We understand. It’s hard to prioritize this when your task list just keeps getting longer. We put together this article to show you how to create blog posts with search engine optimization 's best practices’ in mind. Following these guidelines promise to help elevate the relevance and ranking of your website.
First, everything starts with your keywords and industry research.
If you don’t know what your keywords are or what’s happening in your industry, try selecting a few based on the goods or services you offer. Then plug those keywords into Google and see how they rank. The ‘in the news’ section of Google is also really insightful to help keep you at the forefront of pressing topics. Let the results serve as inspiration. As an example, we’re a digital marketing agency and we’d like to show up in Google when someone looks for that service (Do you see how I just linked that keyword back to our pillar page? More to come on this).
Whenever I’m looking for a topic for my next blog post I always start with my keyword list and cross-reference it with my current rankings. Maybe I’m ranking in the low twenties for ‘social media Denver’. Since this is a keyword that I want to get traffic for and I see that I’m getting close to the first page, I know that I could really benefit from some improved rankings. By blogging about social media, what we do, what the industry is doing, and how you might be able to take advantage of your new found knowledge, I am able to help our readers AND improve our search engine rankings at the same time.
Let’s pretend your keyword is Automotive Detailing Detroit for example
You have your keyword; now use it to develop a title. You should include one keyword in every blog title you write. This can get tricky to make read well if you’re competing for regional keywords like we are. Try finessing the title a bit from blog to blog. One blog title could be “Why Automotive Detailing is Becoming Popular in Detroit”, your next one might be “Detroit’s Best Automotive Detailing Shop Gets a New Look”.
Now, for the body of your blog, you’ll want to consider implementing a few critical components.
To start, make your blog at least 500 words long.
Yes, it seems like a lot but once you get to writing about something you’re passionate and knowledgeable about it will go fast. Sometimes brainstorming a list of bullets will give you a good construct to work off of. If you get stuck try using the Google, it can be extremely helpful especially if you try entering your title with keywords. For example: ‘why should I detail my car on a regular basis?’.
Next, it will be important to include anchor text.
Anchor Text is simply making some of the words in your article into hyperlinks. That’s what I was referencing above when I hyperlinked “digital marketing agency”. The hyperlink should link back to a page on your website that you deem most relevant to that topic. Readers should be able to learn more about you from that page. Don’t take them to a picture of you and your dog playing fetch. The reader will get confused and lose interest.
Include at least 2-3 keywords.
Don’t over-do it. Many people think blogging is a race to get as many keywords into the article is possible. This is a sure-fire way of losing your reader’s interest and it’s also frowned upon by search engines. It can actually hurt more than help. Just work in a few of your keywords naturally and you’ll accomplish the goal.
This one seems obvious, but don’t forget a picture.
Every blog post should include an image. Stock imagery is fine and with the options of sites like Unsplash and Canva, even the most novice blogger can prove to showcase high-quality imagery.
Don’t forget to place Alt Text on all of your images.
The Alt Text generally defaults to the name or number of the image you downloaded but did you know it can be updated? Try right-clicking on the image and editing the title or alt text. It will be important to change the text to your focus keyword that way Automotive Detailing Detroit will get more exposure on your site.
OK, almost done.
One important way to stimulate conversion is to provide an offer.
If you write great content, get people to read your article but don’t give them a way to provide their information or at least claim some additional value, then you’ve missed a big opportunity. Sure the SEO advantages of your new post are valuable, but wouldn’t you like to get a new lead or customer while you’re at it? Write a good article and at the end of it try posting an offer that redirects to a landing page which collects contact information. From there you can begin to nurture your leads to close. If this seems confusing, take a look at the CTA I am including at the end of this blog for reference.
Alright, so your article is the right length, it has the right blend of keywords and expert insight, you like the image with the alt text and you have a really great offer to include. What else could there be?
Wrap your masterpiece up with a bow by adding meta keywords and meta description whenever possible.
This is the copy that summarizes your content in search engines. Most platforms like HubSpot, for example, allow you to manipulate your meta keywords and descriptions. Remember your description should be no longer than 160 characters. Think of it as the one or two sentences you'd like people to see before deciding to read more.
Finally, don't forget the tags.
Tags are a way to get your article found and to search for relevant and related article topics once on your blog. Just like the Meta Data, the option to include tags separated by a coma will exist somewhere within your blog posting platform. Enter as many related keyword tags as you'd like, the more the better just as long as they match the article content.
HOLD ON, before you push ‘publish’, did you make sure to proofread your copy?
Nothing turns away new business than an oversight in your copy. It translates as sloppy-work which can be a reflection of the services you offer. We like to use Grammarly as a resource for editing.
One more note, what good is writing a blog if you don’t have a way to promote it?
Social media is an excellent way to promote your content. Provide the link to the blog in your post and a short description that will make the visitor want to read it. Make sure your blog image appears along with your copy. A social post without an image will most certainly be overlooked.
That's it. Really simple, right? We understand it takes time to properly write and post a blog article. This is why marketing companies like us exist -- to take the burden off of you and place it on the experts. After all, you have better things to do with your time and we're in the business of generating inbound leads using your website. Your blog is just one tool we use to help.
For additional articles on blogging check out the topic on our blog and as promised, an offer. Check out our eBook on the subject below.