Following a recent CIPR training session on SEO for blogging, here are some tips I discovered in relation to the minefield that is search engine optimisation (SEO).
The first thing that I learnt was that it is not actually a minefield. The idea that it is all technicalities and no creativity is outdated. Although it’s important to include keywords in the copy, it is just as important for the blog to sound natural. Keyword ‘stuffing’ is frowned upon by the Google bots and doesn’t improve Google ranking.
Don’t forget these important points when creating a blog and writing regular posts:
Be brief: We live in a digital world now, and while we have the world at our fingertips, this has affected our concentration. An inevitable result of our collective need for immediacy has led to skim-reading. According to the seminar, 79% of readers scan blogs. This only leaves 21% of old-fashioned readers who actually spend time reading the entire blog.
Regularly update: Topical content will help drive traffic to the blog, as more people will be searching online for opinions on the latest news. Stay ahead of industry trends and provide a comment on something news-worthy and the readers will come to you.
Relevance is key: It’s important to share new material on the blog, but not at the expense of poor quality content. Make sure that the post fits the tone of the rest of the website – don’t blog for the sake of it.
Include internal links: By linking back to your website you are holding the reader’s attention. Refer to past related blog posts which could offer further insight into the topic. Here for example, while reading about SEO for blogging, you might also be interested in René’s recent blog post on SEO for websites.
Blogs shouldn’t be overlooked in a content marketing strategy. By making it a useful resource for readers you can drive more and frequent traffic towards the rest of the website. Keeping track of the website statistics can be a valuable insight into which website features are working better than others. Use tools such as Google Analytics to assess the impact of your posts, such as page views, average time on page, exit rate and bounce rate.
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