Marketers often use blogging to increase brand awareness as well as to establish thought leadership in their industry. However, some tend to forget that these objectives won’t be enough to reach their audience. Something has to back it up.
Up to 91% of web content does not get traffic from Google. This doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s difficult to work around the search engine’s algorithm. That’s why your content writing efforts should be backed up by updated practices for ranking in search results.
SEO is key if you want people to actually read your content. It will enhance your content in order for it to rank higher than other websites for the same search terms.
Keep in mind that your audience will most likely be too busy to read your content. So what can you do to make sure that they read yours? It’s simple: just give them what they need. Find out what they’re looking for online and use that to develop content. This is where SEO comes in.
Where to start
Your content has to be engaging and informative, but if it’s not SEO-driven, you won’t attract the kind of website traffic you want for your brand. There are ways to strike a balance between these two so that you can make the most out of every blog post or article.
First, you have to do keyword research to find out what your audience is looking for on Google. What are consumers in your industry talking about these days? What are they searching online?
Tools like Google Trends can help you learn more about what goes on and what your audience is searching. This will give you an idea of the kind of content they’re after, and how you can choose keywords that are connected to their searches.
Next, you select a particular set of keywords to use. Did you know that Google gets over 40,000 search queries per second? This is why specific keywords are important. You want your audience to find you immediately amidst all the clutter in their search results.
Specific or “long-tail” keywords perform better than obvious keywords. Your audience will most likely perform their searches using phrases or questions. That’s why 70% of search traffic is made up of long-tail keywords. Use these to build your list of valuable keywords.
Finally, after you’ve identified your own set of keywords, create content that answers your audience’s queries. This content should be useful and valuable. Otherwise, it wouldn’t matter much to them, and Google won’t bother showing it.
The do’s of blogging for SEO
Before you start writing your content, do make sure you know your audience, and write in a way that would resonate with them. Consider the kinds of words and terms you will use, depending on your audience. Your content should fit the kind of customers you’re writing for.
Do keep your content readable. Scatter your keywords in the text and keep it natural. Keep in mind that you are writing for people, not for machines. Focus on keeping your writing engaging and keep topics close to your audience’s needs and interests.
Do balance out your keywords. Having a focus keyword and interspersing it throughout the post is the best way to do this. Using synonyms of your keywords is also effective so that you’re not repeating the same set of words over and over. It will also help with searches and will make your content more readable.
Do include links to similar articles in your post, especially ones that will link back to your website. If your new blog post is an update on something you have previously written about, link back to that post. It will help your audience learn more about what they’re looking for, and it will also help search engines index your site better as well.
Do make your blog post or article title SEO-friendly as well. Sometimes, you might focus too much on the body of the text and end up forgetting that the title also matters in search results. Use something familiar to your audience and include your focus keyword if you can.
The don'ts of blogging for SEO
When you start developing content for your website, don’t forget to take a look at your competitors’ content. Find out their strengths and weaknesses to further improve your website. Take a look at what they’re doing and understand where they’re going with it, so that you’ll have an idea of what to do with your content.
Don’t do any keyword stuffing. This happens when you try to include keywords too often that the text starts to sound unnatural. This is an outdated practice considered a black hat SEO technique, which can get your website flagged and penalized. You don’t need to include your keywords too often; focus on readability instead.
Don’t settle for shorter blog posts. Did you know that content length matters in search rankings? Your blog posts should at least be 300 words. Don’t worry about thinking that your posts are too long. Just make sure they’re also scannable by using subheadings and lists that will grab your readers’ attention.
Don’t forget to include a call to action in your blog posts. It should always be clear in every blog. Use it to link to other pages on your website that your audience can visit. Whether it’s checking out another article or pushing them to buy a product, make sure they can easily identify it when reading.
Lastly, don’t forget your old content. You might think that after you’ve published it, you can forget about it. Go through your archive periodically to check what can be updated and republished. Check your site analytics to find out which types of content and which topics perform best. Use this to better inform you of what you can do in the future.
If you want to get better at SEO and content marketing, it may benefit your brand to work with closely with strategic specialists, expert writers, and content creators. With more than 5,000 individually vetted content producers across Southeast Asia, the GetCraft Marketplace is a great place to start looking.