Every time I speak to a group or organization at about blogging for business, I share the same simple, but often eye-opening statements:
- Every time a new blog post is published, a new searchable URL is added to your website
- Publishing a new blog post just once each week for a year, will add 52 new searchable URLs to your website
- That action creates 52 new ways people can find you online — that’s 52 new chances you have to appear in the search engines results when someone is looking for what you do
If audience members were skeptical about blogging before, they usually then agree that it’s worth their time to take a second look about how blogging for business could help grow their business.
The Problem With Blogging For Business
I speak to a lot of people who think blogging for business is a waste of time, ether because they tried it and it didn’t work, or someone else told them that they tried it and it didn’t work.
I often hear storied like this:
“I read all this stuff online about how blogging is so great for building an online business. I even went to an event to learn about how blogging will help me get more clients. So I tried it for a few months. I wrote lots of articles — at least one or two a week — and it didn’t generate any new leads for me, so I gave up.”
Business blogging gets a bad rap because there are a lot of “experts” preaching about how awesome blogging is and how it can be they key to generating lots of quality leads, landing an abundance of ideal clients, and making you tons of money. Unfortunately, they don’t also teach the strategies you need to know and understand before you start blogging, so you get the most bang for your buck.
Even if your content is great, you blog could flop miserably if you don’t:
- Plan a comprehensive content strategy for your website and blog
- Define the target keyword or key phrase for the content
- Create content people are searching for
- Learn how to optimize your content for SEO and for people
How to Optimize Blog Posts for Maximum Results
If you’re going to go to the effort of writing and publishing a new blog post, take the extra needed to optimize it as best you can.
Here is a checklist of how to optimize blog posts, also referred to as on-page SEO:
- Select a focus keyword. To increase the effectiveness of your post and the probability it will gain traction in the search engines, focus all of the content on one primary keyword or key phrase that you want your post to rank for.
- Keep your content on topic. The tighter and more focused your content it, the better it will work for you in terms of SEO. Be sure to use your target keyword in your content at least once. If you use it multiple times, try using different variations of it and using it in different contexts. (just don’t over use it).
- Write a compelling headline. To improve your chances of ranking in the search engines, your focus keyword should be in an awesome, compelling, attention-getting headline.
- Add an image and optimize it. Posts that have interesting images that enhance the content are clicked on more in social media and are red read more often by visitors. Just remember to optimize images for search engines with a descriptive name, helpful title, and appropriate ALT text (alternative text).
- Add an optimized link. Internal links help both people and search engines discover more of your content, so further your on-page SEO efforts by adding an optimized internal link to another post on the same or a similar topic. Each link should use keyword-rich anchor text and if appropriate, have a keyword-rich HTML title assigned to it.
- Format Post Content. If you want people to read your content, you need to make it seem easy to read. Nothing makes readers click away faster than a giant block of grey text. Utilize short paragraphs separated with a blank space, sub headlines, bold and italic formatting, and bulleted and numbered lists to help people quickly consume your content.
- Use a custom, optimized More tag. Use the WordPress More tag to display only part of your post on your main blog page. The “Read More” link that takes visitors to the full post is customizable, so use it to include a keyword-rich call to action to read the post.
- Add a unique HTML page title. The HTML page title is like the sign on the outside of a building telling people what’s inside. It’s a sign for search engines and people, telling them what your blog post is about. Make sure your title tag is relevant to the blog post, highly focused, and uses your target keyword.
- Add a unique HTML meta description. The HTML meta description is exactly that — a unique, short description of what the blog post is about. Ideally it should include your target keyword and be written so it persuades people to click your link and read the post.
- Define the category. Your blog is like a giant file cabinet for your website, and the categories are like the large drawers. Use categories to organize posts by overall topic to make them easier to find. Ideally your categories would be based on about the top 10 keywords you are targeting with your site as a whole.
- Define the tags. Staying with the file cabinet reference, the tags are like the individual file folders inside the big drawers that separate content into smaller groups — they are secondary keywords and key phrases under the main ones used for categories. Be sure the tags assigned to your post are relevant to the content.
By following these on-page optimization tips every time you write and publish a new blog post, you can ensure that your post is ready to attract visitors, and that it is optimized for search engines.
Now What About You?
Did you learn a something new in this post? Have you discovered a new way to optimize your blog post? Did I miss anything that you recommend to optimize blog posts?
We’d love to hear your thoughts, feedback, and recommendations in the comments below!
- What Is Organic Search Engine Optimization / SEO
- How to Optimize Website Content For Search Engines And People
- How to Optimize Images For SEO
- How to Optimize Links For Improved SEO
- What Is An HTML Page Title And Meta Description?
- Writing an Effective HTML Page Title
- Writing an Effective Meta Description
- Why Keywords Still Matter In SEO