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A company blog can be a very strategic and powerful component of your SEO Strategy.
However, writing interesting, informative and optimized blog posts is an art to master. In this blog post we offer some simple tips for blogging and final checklist items to go through before you officially hit “publish” and share your blog with the world.
1. Read the entire blog post out loud.
Reading your rough draft or near-finished draft out loud will help you identify minor typos or mistakes you may not notice when reading the text in your head. This can also help make sure there is overall clarity and flow throughout the entire blog post.
Have someone else read the blog post and give their feedback. It is best if this person is outside of the company or at least outside of your department. Does the article make sense to them? Are there any holes in your reasoning? Does the blog post leave them confused? Are they motivated to take action or feel they can accomplish what the blog describes?
Make sure there is one or two links going back to relevant pages on your website. For example, this post about publishing content may go back to our Content Optimization sales page on our website. This does a few things:
- Keeps readers on your website by pointing them to other related pages they may be interested in.
- Helps “support” or push credit towards your more important sales pages.
If you need to link to an outside website as a reference make sure that your link is set to “open in a new window” so that your website remains open on the reader’s desktop. You don’t want to send your reader offsite with them never to return.
4. Write a Meta Title and Meta Description worthy of a click.
The Meta Title and Description are the few lines of text shown in Search Engine results. Typically your Meta Title is a shortened catchy version of the Blog Post title that includes your target keyword. The Meta Description explains in a nutshell the purpose of the blog post or what the searcher will learn by reading the blog post. Keep these interesting and informative while building curiosity.
5. Stay focused on one topic.
It can be easy to get sidetracked on other semi-related topics. However the more focused you stay on one topic the better. Think of it this way, what is the one problem you are trying to help your reader solve? What is the one process you are trying to explain? What is the one key point you want your reader to walk away knowing? You can go into depth on your chosen topic but don’t get sidetracked. If you find you’ve gotten sidetracked and have written three or four paragraphs that are off topic but still good, why not save them for another post?
6. Acknowledge relevant keywords for SEO.
Once you’ve established your primary topic or theme you can start selecting the keywords you want to target for SEO. In order to do this, think about how your readers may search for your blog post in the Search Engines. If the topic is “How to install a toilet” you can first anticipate various ways people would search. For example: install toilet, how to install toilet, installing a toilet, etc.
Don’t get stuck on just variations of the one keyword. Use Google Autosuggest and start typing “install toilet…” into your search bar. This will bring up related terms and topics, including flange, tank, seat and basement which is how people are actually searching for your topic. Incorporate these ideas and phrases into your blog post to give a well rounded and well optimized blog post on installing a toilet.
7. Make the post easy to scan with headings and lists.
Your readers will thank you for visual cues such as headings, bullet lists, number lists, tables and other formatting. The added white space gives their eyes a rest and they can quickly check if your blog post has the information they are looking for. Remember to use proper Heading Tags in the proper order: H1, H2, H3, etc.
8. Brand the blog post.
Your blog post should have personality and reflect your company’s brand. It should clearly communicate the message, match your intended audience and accomplish your brand goals.
Many companies choose to add extra personality to their blog by sharing who the author is. This makes your blog more personable and shows the faces behind your blog. It can also add credibility to the information in the post. For example, a blog post on preparing for tax season would carry much more weight and credibility if the reader knows it was written by the Partner of the Accounting Firm.
10. Add images for interest.
You can give your blog post extra interest by adding one or two images. Images are also useful when sharing your blog post through Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
11. Add images Alt Tags.
If you do add images to the blog post be sure to add an Image Alt Tag to each. This is a little piece of code that attaches to the image and is displayed if the image can’t load. It is also the text the Search Engines use to understand your pictures as Search Engines can’t actually see the picture itself.
12. Tell your readers what to do.
The purpose of a blog is to build out relevant supporting content that is usually time sensitive. It is also a great way to bring visitors into your website, introduce them to your brand and to get them to take an action such as submitting a quote form, downloading a PDF, calling your company or even printing a coupon. What do you want your readers to do after reading your blog?
You can ask readers to share or you can make it even easier by having social sharing icons at the top or bottom (or both) of the blog post. This makes it really easy for your reader to share your blog on their Facebook wall or through Twitter.
14. Encourage feedback and comments.
Towards the end of the post you can ask for feedback to create open lines of communication. For example, if you are a contractor blogging about tips on keeping renovations on budget you could ask your readers about how they have saved during renovations. Or you could ask about their biggest renovation mistakes. If you have a comments section be sure to monitor and respond to any feedback.
The rest of your team can promote the article. Perhaps you wrote on a unique or cutting edge topic …. The blog can be used to inform and educate co-workers in your own workplace. Your co-workers may also have clients who need to know the information you just posted.
What do you always do before publishing a blog post? Do you have any other tips for blogging?
At 1st on the List we can help you create a blog for the first time or we can help keep your blog updated with new, interesting and optimized blog posts. Give us a call at 1-800-262-6687 for more information!