You’ve probably heard that blogging is a core component of an SEO strategy, but just putting out a post with a couple paragraphs and a picture is not enough. Blogs can do crazy good things for you, but you have to be intentional and put some work into it.
When you want to create blogs for SEO impact, keep these rules of thumb in mind:
#1 Aim for 400-600 words
Google doesn’t want to consider content that’s less than 300 words, and in fact, some of the highest ranking blogs contain about 2,500 words.
That’s a heck of a lot of content, and most readers won’t actually stick around to go through it all. So I find it’s best to walk the line of having a post long enough to have some value, but still easily consumable for readers.
#2 Focus on a single keyword
If you want your blogs to rank for specific words and phrases, they need to be included in the content. You can’t simply slap a keyword in your headline and expect it to rank.
When we work with clients on SEO content, we aim to use the keyword 1-3% of the time. That means for a 500 word blog, that keyword phrase should show up 5-15 times.
Pro SEO blogging tip: when you first write your post, don’t worry about the specific phrase. Sure you want to keep the theme in mind, but let things flow naturally. Once you have a solid draft, go back through the content with an SEO focus and see where you can rephrase things to include the keyword phrase, or a close alternative.
#3 Use headlines
Breaking up your posts with headlines (as opposed to a solid wall of text) improves the reader experience.
Using your target keyword in those headlines can also give you an SEO boost.
#4 Images matter
Not only do images improve the user experience, they can help you quite a bit when it comes to blogging for SEO. The key is to use something called the “alt tag” to describe what the image is all about.
Most image files – whether they come from your camera or a stock photo site – have file names like image1234.jpg. That’s not terribly descriptive and it doesn’t help you with SEO because it doesn’t tell Google what the image is about.
Instead of using the default file name, write a summary of what’s included in the image. Bonus points if you can include the keyword in that description.
#5 Have a call to action
The whole purpose of SEO blogging is to draw people to your site in order to collect more leads. Thus if you put the effort into getting them on your site, you have to prompt them to take the next step.
That could be:
- Reading another blog post
- Signing up for a free gift
- Contacting you with questions
Beyond collecting leads, Google judges the time visitors spend on your site. So the more time they spend with you, and the more pages they visit, the better your ranking will be.
Blogging for SEO can be time consuming, but done well, the results are worth the effort.
If you want to have a blog, but know you don’t have the time to do it yourself, give us a shout. We’ll see if we can help you, or introduce you to someone who can.