One of the most significant SEO strategies your company can implement is publishing valuable, engaging content on a consistent basis to a company blog. Here are a few simple guidelines to properly optimize your blog post content.
First, research relevant, desired keywords that are important to your organization with the tools listed below. In general, companies will benefit from producing informational-based content (who, what, when, where, how) that provides relevant value to the reader. Blog posts that educate, inform, inspire, motivate, entertain, and engage can be extremely successful.
For example, Home Depot’s blog, The Apron Blog, is focused on providing do-it-yourself related content in an effort to attract an audience most likely to make a purchase. As a Do-it-Yourselfer, you can discover content on everything from how to install wood flooring to how to unclog a tub drain. Likewise, the Disney Parks’ blog focuses on helping the reader experience the Disney brand with “behind the scenes” content. One of our favorite examples is a YouTube video Disney produced that shows how park character costumes are made and how you can make your very own costume at home.
Some of my favorite keyword research tools include:
Blog Post Optimization
Once you have determined your target keywords, here are ten steps content writers and publishers can follow for easy blog post optimization:
Using Target Keywords (TKW)
1. Include the target keyword (TKW) in the title of the blog post. The blog post title can be clickable, making it simple and intuitive for the reader to consume.
2. Include the TKW in the title (65 character limit) and meta description tags (150 character limit). Title and meta description tags should help entice the searcher to click on your blog post listing in the search engines. This is done by including the benefits of your post in the title and meta description tags.
For example, if you needed to unclog you tub after a few days of misery, and you search for “how to unclog a tub,” would you click on a title tag that read “How to Unclog a Tub in 3Mins Flat–Proven Steps That Work,” or “Unclog a Tub”? The majority would chose the former.
Here are two tools for evaluating title and meta description tag length:
3. Use header tags (H2-H6) with variations of the TKW. If your TKW is “how to unclog a tub,” you might consider using “how to drain your tub” or “how to unblock your tub.”
4. Include synonyms of your TKW in a natural, conversational way throughout your blog post content. If your TKW is “how to unclog a tub,” you might use synonyms for “unclog” and “tub.” The general guideline is to write content naturally, don’t use the TKW more than is necessary in natural conversation. For example, you would not use “how to unclog a tub” twenty times in a 400-word blog post.
Structuring Data and Outside Sources
5. Include structured data when applicable. Structured data is a form of code you can use to help search engines identify specific content. For example, if you’re reviewing a product, you can use the structured data code for a product review found at Schema.org—the structured data library.
6. Link to internal content (relevant blog posts, resources, corporate subpages, etc.) using natural language anchor or hyperlink text. If you’re Home Depot writing a blog post on “how to unclog a tub,” you might include a link to a product page to purchase a wrench or a “find a location near you” page.
Fine-tuning the Details
7. Use descriptive image ALT tags. For example, if you publish an image of a man unclogging a tub, use, “Man Unclogging Tub,” as the image ALT tag.
8. The blog post URL should include the TKW. Continuing with our Home Depot TKW example, “how to unclog a tub,” a good URL would be Homedepot.com/blog/bathroom/how-to-unclog-a-tub/.
9. Create a Google+ profile for each blog contributor and connect your company blog to your contributors’ Google+ profiles. This is done in the about section of your contributors’ Google+ page. Simply add your blog URL to the “contributor to” section.
10. Test blog post links to make sure they work and correct any broken links. Evaluate internal links as well.
Following these guideline will help you properly optimize your blog posts for maximum exposure in the search engines, leading to greater targeted traffic to your company blog.