Writing by Nick Stamoulis in SEO
In my opinion a blog is the second more valuable piece of real-estate a brand has, next to the company website of course. But just having a blog isn’t enough to make it a real SEO powerhouse. If you want your blog to take your SEO and content marketing efforts to the next level than you need to be sure each post is properly optimized for SEO.
Here are 6 ways to do just that:
1. Create a master anchor text list.
It’s so important to keep your link building and anchor text usage as natural as possible, especially since the Google Penguin update. One way to do this is to create a master anchor text list with a wide range of keywords (broad, long tail and everything in between) and what URL on your site they correlate to. As you’re writing a post you can randomly select the most appropriate anchor text to use and link it over to your website. By keeping track of your keyword variations you’ll be able to ensure you aren’t accidentally relying too heavily on one specific keyword.
2. Incorporate the main keyword into the URL, title and headlines of each post.
The key to optimizing a blog post, just like any other form of content, is to keep it as natural as possible. You don’t want to stuff your post full of keywords, but you do want to work it into your content as it fits. An easy way to optimize your blog posts is to ensure that your main keyword is in the URL, the title and the headlines and sub-headings of your blog post. Even if you only work your main keyword in one more time in a 500 word post at least it’s in there and gives something for the search spiders to grab onto.
3. Write posts that reflect search behavior.
A great way to naturally optimize your blog posts is to write in such a way that it reflects search behavior and user intent. How would someone looking for the information in your blog post search for it? For instance, is someone going to search for “how to tie a Windsor knot?” or will they search for “Windsor knot tricks.”
Keep in mind that it’s okay to write about the same topic more than once provided you take a slightly different approach to the content itself (no duplicate content!) By revisiting the same topic you’re able to optimize the blog post for slightly different keywords and reach a different searcher.
4. Install an SEO plugin.
I am a big fan of the YOAST SEO Plugin for WordPress. It helps you create an optimized Meta title tag, Meta description and Meta keyword tag. Since it “grades” your blog post you’ll get a good idea of how well optimized it is and what you could do better next time.
5. Interlink between related posts.
Links are like a thumbs-up to the search engines and they pass link juice (the value of one page of content) from one blog post to another. Interlinking blog posts is a great way to push the search engine spiders through your blog (ensuring all the posts are being properly indexed); keep readers engaged with related content; share link juice from popular posts to other, deeper posts or pages of your website and more.
6. Promote, promote, promote!
Even the best content in the world needs a little push to get the ball rolling. Whenever I have a blog post go live I submit it to a variety of social bookmarking sites (I’ve found this helps it get indexed faster) and send it out through all my social channels. I also use blog posts as content in my SEO newsletters, giving older posts a second chance at life. Don’t wait for your audience to come to you. Promote your content in as many places as you can!