Blogging is one of the most effective ways of interacting with one’s audience. Regardless of niche, your fan base, prospects, or existing customers and clients need a continuous flow of refresher information about you, your products and services. Research shows businesses and organizations that are constantly engaged with their base do a better job of not only keeping those customers but of staying competitive.
When it comes to interactivity, blogging serves as one of the most effective strategies. This shows in the sheer number of blogs that go are launched every day. But with so much content and competition, how does your blog actually stand out? The answer is SEO (search engine optimization). According to information database Wikipedia, SEO “is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results is often referred to as organic results.
There are many wonderful blogs out there. An even greater number stay “undiscovered” and only get a trickle of visitors. This is because their blog posts are not optimized for SEO purposes. In other words, the blogger did a great job of writing but forgot to prep the post for their target audience and the search engines. In this article, we’ll discuss actual steps a blogger can take to optimize their blog post for SEO purposes:
This cannot be over-emphasized. Search engines reward content that is unique. Copying content from other sites or engaging in plagiarism can not only have legal repercussions, it can result in the search engines ignoring that particular post.
A lot of bloggers write around the topics they’re either passionate or knowledgeable about. While this is great, they forget that the search engines are scientific tools which rely on complex algorithms to locate relevant content based on targeted keywords. A great strategy would be to first conduct keyword research to determine the most trafficked keywords in that niche then preparing content around those keywords. One of the best free keyword research tools includes the Google keyword planner tool. Others such as Spyfu avail more data for a fee.
Entering correct Metadata
Once the blog post has been posted, the next step would be to ensure the search engines can find it. This step involves inputting the proper metadata to the post. Blogging platforms such as WordPress come with add-ons or plugins that allow the blogger to attach keywords to the page title, description and post itself. Additionally, bloggers can tag their posts with the relevant keywords.
In order to determine how well to rank a post, search engines check for inbound and outbound links. Outbound links point to other similar authority sites. Search engines also check for the internal linking structure within the site itself. This means checking whether the post links to other relevant posts within the same site. Many bloggers overlook this. Inbound links are also important. They are used by the search engines to determine the page authority of that post and thus how well it will rank.
Images and videos
According to the search engines, a good blog post will have relevant images and preferably a video. It is recommended that the blogger embed an image or video within the content. Blogging platforms such as WordPress make this relatively easy. The image should also be tagged with the relevant “alt” text. Embedding a popular video from YouTube can help give the post more authority and thus better rankings.
Search engines have also been known to check for social signals. Because of the importance they attach to social media, they check whether there are any mentions or links to the post in the popular social media and social bookmarking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, and Mix.
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