This blog has been created to provide you with a clear example to reference when blogging for SEO. Each section will have the written text followed by some overview bullet points to help break it down. The keywords have been bolded so you can easily identify them and how they have been used. You will also be able to take note of how transition words enhance the flow and readability of the text. And similarly, recognise the use of links that provide the reader with more information on key points.
- Provide a brief overview of your content
- Explain why this will be useful to the reader
- Provide hints or teasers for what lays ahead
Choosing keywords should be the first step in blogging. It’s the core component that will actually boost SEO for your website, if done correctly.
Start with one longtail keyword that captures the essence of what you’re going to communicate to the reader. This keyword should be 3+ words and is going to be what you are trying to rank for. Next, narrow in on some smaller short-form keywords (also known as headwords). These are 1-2 core words that correlate with your long-tail keyword.
For example, as used in this blog:
Longtail keywords: Staples for effective business blogging / blog best practices
Short form keywords: SEO / boost SEO / blogging formula
You can include 1-2 long-tail keywords and 2-3 short form keywords. It’s important to remember that too many keywords can muddy your focus, so less is more. There is no magic number for how often your keywords should be mentioned in your text. Avoid keyword dumping and maintain an eye where they fit naturally.
- Start your process with keywords
- Make them fit naturally
- Less is more
3. Click-Worthy Titles
Your title needs to be enticing and have a mixture of common, uncommon, power and emotion words. Keep in mind that blog best practices recommend you include your main keyword in the title. It’s always more important to be accurate than misleading to your readers.
For this blog’s title I was able to combine one longtail and one short form keyword.
Title: 10 Staples for effective business blogging that actually boost SEO
- Use headline analysis tools
- Don’t lose sight of your keywords
- Accuracy is most important
Subheadings will improve readability and help readers find specific content within your structured blog. They are also a great place to try and include your keywords (but again, don’t force this). Create subheadings that are purposeful to the reader, do not just stuff subheadings in after the fact. Try and create an outline with subheadings that relate to your keywords or longtails and write content specific for those areas.
Also, depending on where you post your blogs or if you use a plugin, see if there is an action for you to specify where your subheadings are. This communicates the subheadings in the code and will help search engines identify them.
- Use subheading to outline your writing
- Try and incorporate keywords into them, or use words that relate
- Apply heading codes (<h1>, <h2>, <h3>)
5. Write Accurate Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are your chance to convince an audience to read your blog. They appear in search engines directly under your blog. So naturally, blog best practises suggest including your keyword in your description. However, avoid keyword stuffing because it can actually hurt your SEO. Aim for the most important keyword you want to rank for and elaborate. Otherwise search engines can’t recognise your focus.
Meta descriptions are 160 characters for Google and size matters. If a meta description is too short, Google may review that as a lacking in substance and therefore quality. If a meta description is too long, Google will more than likely rewrite it altogether. So be concise and clear, but also engaging — no one said this was going to be easy.
- Include 1-2 keywords (don’t stuff!)
- Size matters
- Try including a CTA
6. Add Meta Tags
Similar to keywords, tags are 1-3 words that correlate with your content. The difference being that tags are consistently applied to your content in order for search engines to determine how your content is related. It’s more like an internal filing system.
For this blog, the category title is ‘Marketing’. So, the tags are going to be words that connect my blog or content to the category. For instance, for this blog I will use the tags: SEO, content marketing, digital strategy, and social media. My tags touch on specifics within my content that relate to my category. I will use these same tags on other pieces of content to make connections as they fit.
Try and stick to the same consistent tags, that way you will have a better chance of being recognised for that word or phrase.
- Tags help search engines relate your content internally
- Be consistent with your tags
- Tags can and should include your keywords
7. Transition Words
A commonly overlooked portion of the blogging formula is using transition words effectively. Transition words are linking words like ‘and’, ‘because’, ‘therefore’, and ‘similarly’. These words show the reader the relationship between phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. They are important for readers to understand how your thoughts, ideas, and opinions are connected. Smartblogger has an article that outlines transition words that can help you find areas to apply them in.
Transition words are important to SEO because of how they structure your writing, making it easier to read and understand. They can help divide run-on sentences and clarify connections to improve readability. Your blog’s readability is crucial for SEO. If a written text is difficult to read it won’t attract readers. And therefore, your content will be less shareable and will not receive as much attention as it may deserve.
- Readability is key
- Utilise transition words to break up long sentences and connect ideas
8. Hyperlinks: Internally and Externally
Simply put, including hyperlinks in your blog can provide readers with more information on a particular topic and it helps build your blog’s validity. Think of hyperlinks as votes of credibility. The more links in a page, the more credible votes they are getting, which can improve SEO rankings.
Hyperlinking to reputable external sources enhances the credibility of your own content because you’re providing readers with other educational sources. It also backs up your statements or claims with other industry leaders who agree.
Hyperlinking internally will revive old content and suggest that your website is an authoritative source. This also means search engines will be able to make connections between your content when you hyperlink them together, helping them to understand the structure of your site and its purpose. Not to mention it keeps your audience on your website for longer!
- Hyperlinks are votes of credibility and authority
- Linking internally, revives old content and creates internal validity
- Linking externally, provides credentials from other educational sources
9. Post on a Schedule & Share to Social Media
Create a schedule that you can realistically stick to. Try and get ahead and schedule the posts in advance, when you develop a schedule, your audience will come to expect content on that schedule.
There is no one-size-fits-all for any industry on any platform. So do your research. For example: Business-to-business blogs work well on LinkedIn. According to Sproutsocial engagement rates are highest from Tuesday through Thursday between the hours of 8am and 2pm – and as a general rule it is best to post during office hours, 9-5 Monday-Friday.
Once you’ve posted a few times, review your engagements and insights. Use this data to make informed decisions with your posting strategy.
- Make a realistic schedule and try to get ahead
- Do your research
- Review your data
10. Outro / CTA (Call-To-Action)
There is a lot more that goes into blogging than outsiders think. You can be an exceptional and creative business writer — but if you don’t apply some of these staples for effective business blogging, your content may not get the credit it deserves. We hope you found this blogging formula useful, and it helps you improve your business’s blogging efforts. If you need ideas for what to blog on, check out this article for ideas.
If you’re struggling to navigate a marketing strategy in 2021, our marketing team is happy to help. With a wide variety of clients in different industries, we know how to reach your target audience and tell your story. Contact us today to find out how.