• GH

19 Top Tips for Blogging Best Practices (inc SEO!)

1. Get down with keywords.

Lacing your blog content with keywords will ensure Google knows what your article is about when crawling your site. If Google can decipher what a post is about, it is more likely to show it in search results, meaning higher visibility and site traffic. Ensure keywords are natural and not spammy. Over-doing keywords can signal spam to Google, and this will effect your rankings.

If you are ever writing an article and need to do a bit of keyword research relevant to your topic, tools such as SERPS and Google AdWords will give you information on popular search terms and proof phrases relating to your topic. They will also provide you with the volume of searches.

2. Keep titles short and eye-catching.

Research shows that people only read the first three and last three words of a title. To create impact and create an eye catching title, try and stick to around six words. Using keywords in your titles will also help with visibility on search results pages.

3. Use subtitles throughout your copy.

This will break your content down and make it easier for a reader to digest. A large chunk of text can often be off putting for readers, causing them to leave a page or blog. Telling subtitles makes key points prominent and will entice a user to read on, while also getting the point across effectively.

4. How To’s and Lists work well.

This kind of content works well as it normally answers a question; it provides value to readers. This type of content allows you to position yourself as an authoritative expert and give the reader what they are looking for. Answer a question or solve a problem for a reader. For example:

  • How To Organically SEO Your Blog

  • How To Create A Timeless Home Interior

  • 7 Vital Things To Do Before Your Wedding

  • 5 Top Tips For New Dog Owners

5. Don'f forget imagery.

Ensure imagery is used within every post. Easy on the eye and providing context, imagery is great for engaging readers. It’s telling and breaks up long copy. Ensure imagery is also relevant and adds value to your post. Make this a rule, posts should never go out without at least one photo within the body.

When uploading imagery to blog posts ensure to check their size. Large images will reduce your site speed, having a negative effect of bounce rate and Google rankings. Try to only upload small or medium sized images; 2000 pixels per image is a good guide.

If you're after free stock imagery, try out Pexels and Unsplash.

6. Size matters.

On average a manageable blog post (for both the writer and the reader) will range from 700 – 1500 words. Try and keep this as a minimum and maximum. Below 700 often means a piece of content will lack value and thus keywords. Content longer than 1500 can be overwhelming. Having said this, creating high quality content with a substantial point is what’s important; word count can be flexible when the content is of a high standard.

7. Research your topics.

Knowing what your audience wants to read about is vital to attracting traffic. Here are a few tools to help you research popular topics within your industry.

  • Hubspot Blog Topic Generator (By providing three relevant nouns, this tool provides you with popular blog topic ideas)

  • Answer The Public (By stating a topic, this tool shows popular search queries regarding the key term)

  • Google Correlate (After entering a key phrase, Google Correlate shows you what people are also searching for at the time of, before, and after, searching for the keyword entered. This can give you a good overview of the mind-set users are in when searching.)

8. Think about frequency.

With blogging, the more content the merrier. Content is king and the more you can produce the more you will drive traffic to your site. Decide on how often you can commit to posting and then set a schedule. It is often a good idea to post at the same times every week in order to set expectations for your followers and fans. A consistent posting schedule will keep your users engaged and familiar with your brand. Inconsistently can leave users feeling disappointed, it can seem unprofessional and can often mean users ‘forget about you’.

9. Timing is vital.

Posting at the right time is essential. In general, the best time to post a blog is early morning. Research shows 70% of people tend to be more engaged with blogs in the morning. Think about when your audience is likely to be free or have down time. The morning commute is one of these times. Having your blog content ready and published at this time is essential to attracting readers. Stats also show users are generally more engaged on Mondays and Tuesdays. However, it is important to check your analytics to see when your precise audience is most engaged. Tailor your posting schedule to this.

10. Don't ignore your analytics (no matter how boring them may seem).

Google Analytics will give you a good understanding of what content works best. Use this and native social media analytics to see what your audience is responding well to. Keeping on top of this means you can continue to write content that works and avoid topics that don’t.

11. Share, share, share.

In order to drive more traffic to your site it is important to remember to share your blog posts. Publishing them alone is not enough. Use email newsletters and social media as a way of broadcasting fresh new blog content.

12. Engage with your readers.

If users leave comments on your blog, don’t be afraid to engage with them. Building this rapport and answering questions is important when developing brand advocates.

13. Don't neglect CTAs.

Include CTAs throughout your text. Whether it’s a push to one of you product pages, to share a snippet of the post on Twitter or to share the entire article on Facebook, it’s important to prompt users to share your content (this will support exposure and increased traffic). Ensure share buttons are visible on each post page.

14. Heard of readability?

Ensure your blog content is of an easy readability score. Research shows that 70% of the nation can’t read above middle school level. By using Hemingway App you can ensure your content is written well. This tool will indicate how easy your text is to read and suggest improvements. Writing universal content that can be easily consumed by everyone is key.

15. We're suckers for tone of voice.

Ensure your brands tone of voice carries through into your blog. Tone of voice is an important part of branding and should continue throughout all your communications.

Write with authority; it is important to position yourself as experts within your industry. By expressing knowledge and insight your readers are more likely to trust you. A blog in general is a great way of boasting knowledge and authority within the industry.

16. Links.

As a way of increasing credibility and visibility, link out to high quality content that provides your users with value. Add to your article by giving you readers more. By linking out to others you are building relationships and may warrant a link back to your site – great for visibility, authority and SEO (you can use Moz's Open Site Explorer to track your inbound links).

17. Meta data.

When publishing a blog posts ensure the meta title for the content page is 57 characters or below. The meta descriptions must be 157 or below. Meta data must be telling of the content and must include keywords regarding your brand and the topic of content (use your keyword research from earlier). Most CMS' will have built in functionality enabling you to insert meta data. Ensuring your meta data is complete means users (and Google) can tell what your website and pages are about when viewing in search results.

The Good (if we do say so ourselves):

Industry key words and correct length.

The Bad (sorry Chilly's):

Meta description is too long cutting of the key message and lacking in keywords such as thermal and water bottle.

18. Sharing Data.

Sharing data is also very important to complete. This is the title and description that will show in a summery card when sharing a link to your post on social media. Ensure this copy is telling and attracting to users. Do not forget to upload an image here. Doing this will drive traffic to your site from social channels. You can test these by using Twitter Card Validator and Open Graph Debugger.

19. Create quality content.

In 2016 1,440 Wordpress posts were uploaded every 60 seconds – that’s over 2 million a day (and this number will have only grown). Another study shows that 30 billions pieces of content are shared on Facebook every month. Worldometers shows a live count of how many blog posts are written on a daily basis. Figures like these show how important it is to create quality engaging content. Don’t just write for the sake of it, write because your audience want to see it. Create quality.

#seo #blogging

plain background.jpg

Marketing Island is an award-winning online marketing magazine set to inspire those in the digital industry.