I love writing a blog and I love reading them too.
Blogging is a great way to demonstrate expertise in your given genre. It’s also an effective strategy to build credibility for your micro business.
What’s more, search engines just love blogs too.
Regular posting means your website is always refreshed, and search engines love new, quality, relevant content that gets shared and helps internet users find what they’re looking for.
In addition, well categorised blog posts with search engine friendly links make it easy for Google to discover what your website is about. This in turn makes your website easier to classify and more importantly increases the likelihood of it being found.
To achieve this, you must pay close attention to your blogging content. Then gently tweak it to make it search engine friendly.
First of all, draw up a list of your keywords.
Think of a keyword as a phrase (2 or 3 words) that someone will enter into a search engine to find your product or service. Or put another way, the keywords and phrases you would like your website to rank for.
This research is crucial so go and write a long list of possibilities and use tools such as the Google Keyword Tool to research variations and ideas. Generic terms like “Social Media” can be very competitive, so don’t be afraid to opt for more niche phrases like “social media for craft businesses”.
Next, brainstorm topics and themes for posts that incorporate your chosen keywords. For each post aim to naturally incorporate one keyword on your list. Maximise its impact and use the keyword in your title, in your headings and in the body of your content. Although avoid “keyword stuffing” (when a web page is overloaded with keywords), as this is a big no no.
Over time you’ll build up a wealth of content containing the keywords that relate to your business and the search engines will get to know what your website is about.
If you’re just starting your blog make sure your website has been set up to use descriptive permalinks.
This is where the direct URL to each post includes descriptive words. For example instead of www.yourdomain.com/?p=123 it would be www.yourdomain.com/how-to-make-your-own-fabric-bag. Why do this? Simple. The descriptions help both the search engines and your reader’s identify your post’s relevance to the topic being searched for.
If your blog is on the WordPress platform you can easily change your permalink structure in the settings. But please note, do not change your permalinks on an established website!
It’s always easier to promote something new to your audience.
And regular blogging means you’ll have something to talk about on your social media channels without appearing too “salesy”. People will come and read what you have written and then may go on to browse the rest of your website.
As well as social media, remember to include links to your blog posts in your signature when you comment on forums and discussion groups. Some blogs use the Comment Luv plugin (this website does) which offers you a link to your latest post.
Remember, use the link direct to your post when you are promoting your latest blog post (not the home page) – it ensures your visitors go where you want them to.
Do try to engage visitors and entice them to read using statements or questions. Tweeting “Don’t let your customer be in OTHERS http://joannedewberry.co.uk/facebook-tips/in-the-others-get-me-out-of-there/” will be far more effective than “have you read my blog today http://joannedewberry.co.uk/facebook-tips/in-the-others-get-me-out-of-there“
The more quality incoming links you receive from different websites the better you’ll rank.
This is because links help show Google your blog is an authority on that topic. The easiest way to build your incoming links is simply to create great content. The better your content and the more interesting your article, the more people will link and share it on their own social media platforms and websites. Another way to increase your links and share factor is to guest post on other websites and blogs. This not only increases your incoming links but also opens you up to a whole new audience of readers.
Google likes internal links within blog posts. They help enrich the reader’s experience by directing them to other relevant content – whether that’s on your site or elsewhere. However make sure these links are “informative links”.
This simply means the link text should relate to the content of the link destination.
A common mistake businesses make is to link to the home page of their website, and use their business name as the link text.
For example, one of my businesses is called Charlie Moo’s. However if I just used my business name in the link text it only tells someone who follows the link (including the Googlebot) what my business is called. It does not tell them what I do/sell.
One of the things Charlie Moo’s produces are fabric party bags. Therefore it’s far more useful for my link text to say “handmade fabric bags” and for the link to directly take visitors to that page on my website. Visitors get to locate what they want much quicker, and Google is satisfied because you’ve told it what it will find when it follows the link.
It takes time
You can try to entice Google to index your website by submitting your URL to the Google webmaster but as long as you have links from other websites and social media then the Googlebot will usually find you pretty quickly anyway.
And remember, although blogging is a great strategy to increase the overall ranking of your website you will not get results overnight.
Instead you need a strategy and blog consistently to please both your target audience and Google.
Today’s Micro Action
Generate a list of your keywords and think of some blog posts you could write which will naturally include those phrases.