In a previous blog post we talked about how to use your blog as a publishing platform for your killer content marketing, but a company blog is useful in so many different ways, it is a great search engine optimization (SEO) tool as well.
If writing an engaging blog post is a skill and writing a blog post for SEO is a skill, then writing for both really is an art form. Luckily for you, we have an artist or two on staff that are willing to share a few trade secrets with you. Writing for SEO is pretty easy, just keep a few principles in mind.
Remember what you learned about writing in school? These principles all apply. Think before you write, know what you want to say, have a clear message, and please do write something that people want to read about. If writing doesn’t come as naturally to you, you can doodle a plan on a piece of paper that allows you to put all of your ideas for the post on a page and that will help you organize your sentence structure. You can also read our post from last week about writing a better blog, right here.
Knowing your keywords is, well, key. Do some keyword research, it is essential that you know what words you want associated with your company. There are valuable tools out there that will allow you to find which words you (and your competitors) want linked to your brand, the Google AdWords keyword tool is coming to mind.
Once you know your keywords you want to pepper them throughout your blog post; however, you absolutely do not want to be too liberal with them, as it makes the readability take a nose dive and looks odd. When search engine bots see too many of the same words repeated over and over they consider it spam and disregard the post.
An engaging blog post should be between 300-700 words. People are really unlikely to read anything more than 700 words on a blog, unless your subject matter and writing is really good. You may think your subject matter and writing are amazing enough for more than 700 words, but it is unlikely. Google agrees with us. Search engine bots are looking for posts between the 300-700 word mark, they will disregard anything less and tend to disregard anything more. Brevity is a desired skill, but less than 300 words is not desired by search bots. In a 500 word post, your keywords could be mentioned 3-5 times(ish), so long as it makes sense to put them in, this will up your onpage SEO skill.
Man oh man, do people love images. If you have some good images thoughtfully placed through the article it will increase audience engagement. Images double as another place for you to use SEO to your advantage, by making the image file name a keyword and using the alternate text field to enter a description of the photo that also happens to include your keywords.
Search engine bots love links, it makes them think that your blog post and your company are a credible source of information. Here’s a funny secret, you can link to your own website and it is still a viable link. Yes, third party links on very credible websites are still the holy grail of links, but…until you can manage to get Oprah to link to your page, your own will have to do. Take your keywords and link them to your homepage, that way SEO bots associate your website with those words.
Now, these tips are just the top of the iceberg, if you aren’t confident in your ability to be both a content and an SEO artist give us a call and we can talk about how the talonX team can help.