Today, content and SEO form a united front. No longer separate marketing concepts, they rely on each other like apple pie and ice cream. Without good search optimization, your great content might never be found. And without great content, your SEO will suffer in searches — and could even reflect badly on your brand.
Improving your blog’s SEO is in the best interests of not only your company, but also your target audience and customer base. While smart SEO strategies include writing good meta descriptions and header tags, it really comes down to writing insightful, relevant, and compelling content that existing and future customers are going to care about.
Doing so demonstrates that your company is genuinely interested in solving customers’ problems by helping them learn new things and stay informed. The more you do this, the more trust and respect you will establish with your customers.
Successfully blogging for improved SEO entails:
- Creating content that audiences find useful and relevant.
- Linking to other companies using SEO successfully.
- Choosing the best blog platform.
- Tracking a blog’s performance on Google Analytics.
- Staying up-to-date on Google’s algorithm updates.
Aligning Your Blog and SEO Objectives
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, consider this: Google is cracking down on low-quality content on websites — including blogs. Its algorithm updates make it clear that sites containing irrelevant, weak, or duplicate content will be penalized.
Here are five steps you can follow to avoid such penalties and start blogging for improved SEO:
1. Tailor content to your audience. Choose topics that your target audience not only cares about, but also finds relevant and useful. For example, if a home décor e-commerce site wants to target new moms, the best approach is creating content that focuses on topics such as healthy recipes for babies or easy ways to decorate a nursery.
The topics you choose should not focus on your products or services. Instead, focus on issues or ideas that you know will inform or entertain your customer base.
2. Use keyword optimization. All blog posts should be optimized for highly trafficked keywords. This makes it easier for your target audience to find your blog.
3. Choose an SEO- and mobile-friendly platform. Many blogging platforms exist — includingWordPress.org or WordPress.com and Squarespace among others. Evaluate the pros and cons of each platform based on your needs and your website platform.
Ask yourself a few questions: Do you have the resources to manage it internally? Is it user-friendly? Does it meet your SEO needs and goals?
No matter which platform you choose, ensure that it’s SEO-friendly. Ideally, marketers will want to own their own domain and hosting, as free blog platforms really don’t do much for SEO. Plugins, such as Yoast SEO, can also help you preview and test meta descriptions.
Finally, ensure that your blog platform is mobile-friendly. It’s what consumers have come to expect. Plus, Google recently added a mobile-ranking system to its algorithm.
4. Measure your blog’s reach. To identify where traffic on your blog is coming from and which topics people find most interesting, use a tracking tool, such as Google Analytics, to measure your blog’s traction.
Tracking the origin of your traffic and which pages visitors linger on the longest provides insight into who your audience is and what they want, allowing you to tweak your content to better appeal to their values and needs.
5. Keep up with Google’s updates. Pay close attention to any new Google algorithm updates, especially Google Panda, which relates specifically to content. Google Penguin is relevant, too, in terms of SEO.
Earlier this year, Google made a significant announcement: Panda is now part of its core ranking algorithm. Google is placing a great deal of importance on high-quality content, and sites with poor or duplicate content can be penalized. Typically, this means that a site will drop in ranking and experience a decline in organic traffic.
How Unique Content Drives Revenue
Mabel’s Labels is an example of a company that started a blog to deliver unique content to drive relevant traffic to its brands’ websites. It’s now seeing a positive return on that investment.
Its parenting blog avoids lining its messages with a heavy sales undertone. Instead, content is informative, entertaining, insightful, and compelling. It focuses on topics that its customers (mostly parents) find interesting and relevant and includes more niche and long-tail keywords.
Mabel’s Labels is a company specializing in personalized labels and tags, but it runs a parenting blog because so many of its customers are moms, dads, or school affiliates — in other words, people who work with children.
This company started out with a goal of driving visitors to its brands’ websites and creating a loyal following of people who would eventually become customers. It drives purchases from its blog and can track the revenue through that referral path. By creating unique, properly optimized blog content, it attracts people to its brands’ websites organically, where they often make purchases.
Organic revenue and transactions, as well as e-commerce revenue and conversion rates, have all increased year-over-year for Mabel’s Labels since it started aligning content with smart SEO strategies.
SEO and Content Are Not Mutually Exclusive
If you want to be successful in increasing organic traffic to your site, you have to consistently create compelling, contagious, customized content — and optimize this content for search.
Headline and title tags, plugins, formatting HTML, meta descriptions, and smart, authentic link-buildingpractices all contribute to more searchable content, ultimately leading to sales and other revenue drivers.
What are your greatest challenges with optimizing your blog for search? Have you optimized your blog and/or website to be mobile-friendly? What are your favorite SEO tips or tools?