There is a reason why people want to rank top of Google’s search rankings, it is because the top ranking site receives 33% of all traffic – in fact 92% of all browser don’t search beyond the first page.
To achieve this organically, you need high-quality content that is well written and informative. However, just having this alone will not achieve the results that you are looking for. This is where having an SEO strategy comes in, the content needs to keyword-focused so that your website attracts traffic from people who are looking for your products and services. Attracting the right kind of traffic is far more important that just generating traffic to your site.
Blogs are a great way to achieve this but where do you start in creating this high-quality, relevant content?
Choose the right keywords
Globally, Google deals with tens of thousands of searches a second. This means that for your site to outrank your competitors it must contain the right keywords and phrases that your potential clients are browsing for. In other words, your content needs to contain those specific terms.
So, how do you find out what people are searching for? Social media is your best option, see what is trending for your target audience. This is where you need to be creative but you also need focus on exact phrases as these are used to monitor popularity.
Google Trends is another tool that is well worth considering as this again tells you keywords that trending. Equally useful is this fact that it tells you which searches are declining in popularity so always focus on ones that are popular at the time, or, and perhaps this is the key, ones that are increasing in popularity as this may give you the chance to get ahead of the game.
Knowing what your competitors are doing is always useful. SEMRush allows you to enter their domain name and tell you what keywords they are using. Not only that, you can also see where they are ranking for those keywords and the traffic that they receive – all very useful information.
It is advisable to steer clear of the most popular or generic keywords and use “long-tail” keywords instead. These make up around 70% of all search traffic and could be the key to your website’s success. Think of your location, something specific that you do or something else that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Once you have come up with a few ideas you can check them in a keyword search tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner. This will give you a great idea about how effective they are likely to be. It is important to remember that keywords evolve so you need to be aware of the changes in your market – remember Google Trends mentioned above!
The keywords must appear naturally
When you write a blog, it is best to focus on just one keyword for optimum results. Obviously, it is important to think of keywords from your customers’ perspective so try to build up a persona for them. Choose topics that will appeal to this persona, strike a chord and force them to continue reading.
You then need to include the keyword in your content but it must appear naturally and on the same note, you want to include variations that you can appear from time-to-time in the post. For maximum results your primary keyword, the one you are focusing on, should appear in the title, in sub-headings and throughout the content. If you can include it in the URL and meta description then that is even better.
However, don’t slip into the trap of writing to suit the search engines, your main audience is humans. Engaging with readers means creating content that is interesting and informative so keywords should appear naturally and not be forced.
Build links to key influencers
Linking to external bodies is always wise, so long as they are not your direct competitors. Go for relevant sites that are well-regarded. This creates a place that readers can go to in order to obtain more information. It also shows Google that you have researched the topic as offering supporting information and facts appeal to everyone.
Aim for longer posts
Although humans have notoriously short attention spans, 8 seconds according to some reports, search engines prefer long articles. 300 words should be the absolute minimum if you are looking to rank on page one but most successful articles are around 1,000 words. However, the articles should be easy to skim read. Bullet points are useful along with paragraph headings. Make the article as easy to read as possible and think about mobile devices.
External links are great but you need to build links to your own site as well. You can link to other pages on your website or previous posts. This has a two-fold purpose, firstly it encourages readers to become more familiar with other content on your site and secondly, it also helps to create a sitemap.
Links, both internal and external, should appear naturally and avoid terms that could be viewed as being linked to spam such as “click here” or “top deals”. Try to be as descriptive as possible so that readers know exactly what to expect when they click on your link. The more they know about it, the greater the chance that they will click on it. Don’t overdo the number of links that you have in a blog as this can have a negative impact as well as they may appear forced.
There is no getting away from it, the purpose of your blog is to appeal to YOUR audience. However, you must appeal to the search engines too if you wish to rank highly so you must optimise your blogs to appeal to both groups. Aim to become viewed as an expert if you want to realise your site’s potential and to achieve this, you must do your research.