Frequent blogging is an essential component of any effective thought leadership program. A blog gives you the chance to present your ideas and promote your business, but it doesn’t do you much good if nobody is reading it. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to optimize your blog to make it easier for people to find and share. Basic search engine optimization tactics aren’t difficult but they do take an investment of time to get good results. The secret to making your blog easier for people to find is to focus on improving your relevance by optimizing your content and increasing your authority by encouraging others to link with and share your entries. Here are some basic strategies to get you started in the right direction: 1. Understand Your Audience: Who are you writing this blog for? Understand your audience and their background so you can write to their specific needs. Avoid using too much industry jargon if you’re writing for prospective clients who may not know much about your business. On the other hand, if your target audience is more knowledgeable, then you can skip the basic material and focus your writing on more advanced topics. Knowing your audience is the first step towards building an engaged base of readers. 2. Develop a Keyword Strategy: Keywords are essentially the terms that someone would type into a search engine to find your business. It’s a good idea to be as specific as possible when developing your keywords, since the more general search terms often have too many companies competing for them. As an example, “financial planner” brings up 40,700,000 search results on Google, while “fee-only certified financial planner” brings up 255,000 results. Both terms describe the same general kind of business, but the more specific keyword faces much less competition. Google AdWords offers a great (and free) keyword tool to help you with your research. 3. Optimize Your Writing: Every blog entry should be written with one of your keywords in mind. If you’ve picked keywords that are relevant to your business, that shouldn’t be a problem. The keyword should be included in your title and the first paragraph of your post, and spread out two to three more times throughout the body. Avoid “stuffing” your blog post with too many instances of your keyword, which makes it sound unnatural and would actually be penalized by the search engines. A good rule of thumb is to focus on a keyword density of between 0.5% and 1.5%. 4. Include Images: Nothing is more boring than a blog that’s all text. People are naturally drawn to pictures and they have been proven to increase readership and sharing. Including an image also gives you more opportunities to include your keyword: Name the image file with the keyword and include the keyword in the “alt” tag of the HTML code (your blogging platform can help you with this). Search engines pick up on these keyword inclusions and they will help your ranking. 5. Use Social Media: All the top bloggers are very active on social media, especially Twitter. Make sure you include social sharing buttons in the header of each blog post. Every time you write a new blog entry, you should be sure to post a link to it on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Not only does this let your followers know that you’ve got fresh content, it also makes it very easy for them to share the entry with their followers. If you come up with a really clever blog post, it might even go viral. 6. Build Backlinks: One of the ways that search engines determine the importance of a website is by how many other sites are linking to it. These are known as “backlinks,” and each link is considered a vote of confidence in the value of your content. The more important a site is that links to yours, the more valuable the vote. Build relationships with the people who manage other websites and encourage them to post links back to relevant blog entries that you write. 7. Write for Other Blogs: A great way to build backlinks is to be a guest blogger. Many blogs accept contributions from outside authors, so do a search for other blogs in your industry. Have a specific idea in place before you contact them about writing a guest post. Most of these blogs will have an “About the Author” section at the end of each entry, which is the perfect place to include a link back to your own blog. If incorporate these basic tips into your blog writing process, you’ll see your readership increase. The changes won’t occur instantly, but be patient and stick with the process. You’ll be glad you did. PRN CONTACT: This article is written by Nick Pandiscio, chief operating officer at WolfCom PR. He can be reached at Nick@WolfComPR.com and blogs at WolfComPR.com/wire.
How to Optimize Your Blog for Increased Visibility
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