Featured image pixabay.com/Pete Linforth

My last blog post offered several reasons why you should have a blog for your business and this week’s post outlines how you should structure your blog posts for search engine optimisation.

Blogging is an inbound marketing technique that can bring potential new customers to your website and it also has a number of benefits for search engine optimisation (SEO). The reason it is good for SEO is because:

  1. Search engines will index your post based on the subject matter of the post which means potential customers can find you when they conduct a search.
  2. If people share your post on social media or link to it from their website it can generate valuable inbound links.

1. Number 1 Rule Of Blogging


Write for the reader not for the search engines such as Google. Although blogging is great for SEO, when people write a blog post and overuse keywords that they wish to rank for in Google this is called “Key word stuffing” and Google will penalise you for it.

Your blog post should be written for human consumption, it should make sense to the reader and the post should flow with a beginning, a middle and an end.

2. Research Your Content


Always think about the audience you want to attract to your website. Businesses should blog about topics related to their industry to attract the right audience, for example a hotel could blog about local tourist attractions that would be of interest to potential visitors to the area.

Visit other industry related websites for inspiration and to research what they are blogging about. When you identify a suitable topic for your post, use tools such as Google Key Word Planner to assess the number of searches conducted each month around that topic and the level of competition in search engines.

Your aim is to write interesting articles for your readers but you also want to write articles that could potentially rank well in search engines and bring new customers to your site.

3. Title


Spend time crafting a good title to capture the attention of the reader and intelligently use keywords where possible. The title should reflect the content of the blog post, i.e it can be very irritating if you click a link to a blog post and the content is completely different to what the title suggests.

4. Opening Line


The first step is getting readers to click your blog title to read more. The opening line must further entice them to read the rest of the article, get to the point of the article early!

5. Enrich Your Post With Links


Search engines such as Google love when you link your content. Primarily because it is of benefit to the reader. You can have external links which brings the reader to an external site to give them more relevant information or an internal link which brings the reader to a page on your site for the same purpose. For example I wrote a recent blog post about how to get your website to rank higher in Google which you can apply to benefit your blog post.

6. Share Some Knowledge


If you want to build a following for your blog thus benefiting your business then give the reader something that they can apply in their own business or life. If they feel it is of benefit to them it will build loyalty. They will keep using your blog as a valuable source of information and they will be more likely to share a link with their friends on social media or promote your business through word of mouth. Social indicators and quality links are very valuable for SEO.

7. Use Images


Images will add life to your blog post and make it more interesting for the reader. Search engines cannot read images and they do not know what is on the image so you should use “alt text” which tells the search engine what the image is about and this further contributes to your SEO efforts.

8. Promote


You have just spent hours researching and writing a blog post, now it is time to tell people about it. Start sharing your article on social media, promote it on your website and include/feature it in your company newsletter.

Finally, I hope that all of the above will help you to start writing more effective blog posts that will get your website ranking higher in search engines and ultimately delivering more customers to your business.

Cathal Quinn