Here at the Foundry, we get a lot of questions about SEO. And we totally get why. Search Engine Optimization is one of those hot words that gets thrown around in the website ownership world. Simply put, SEO is tweaking your website so it will rank more favorably during internet searches. Not having it can give you serious FOMO. That leads to mistakes. Many DIY it with old, outdated advice or they shell out big bucks to SEO companies promising to boost their SEO. We don’t recommend the average solo-prenuer or small business do either. Instead, your Fangirls recommend you save your money and turn to a simple, yet highly effective practice – blogging. You see, those sneaky little search engines are forever on the lookout for websites that offer the average user the best information on a topic. The more information YOU have about a topic, the more likely they are to refer a user to you. Yep, it’s pretty much that simple.
So how do you get those cheeky little Search Engines to notice your blogs? We’re glad you asked. Here is the Fangirls Ultimate Guide to Blogging for SEO.
First Things First. Outline That Blog, Babe.
Outlining a blog may seem like a hassle. After all, you’re no longer in seventh-grade Language Arts and crafting a report for a book you didn’t read. But trust us: creating an outline will create the type of well-thought-out and organized blog those Search Engines love. Usually, a blog outline contains a few essential parts.
First, identify the problem or topic. In most industries, this is where you’ll want to reference a major pain point your reader/potential customer is experiencing or “one big idea” you’ll address in the post.
Once you identify the problem, provide a solution. After you have given a teaser of how to solve the problem, lay out a wonderful solution that will rock their world. Don’t forget to work in a mention of why they should care.
It’s essential to provide examples. This is often left out, and that’s a shame. Examples are where you build credibility and position yourself (or your business) as an expert on the topic. Show them how your solution worked in the past. Give them proof or reasons why your solution is the best! In other words, sparkle!
Finally, issue a Call to Action. Call to Action is marketing industry speak for giving your reader a next step. It’s something for them to do with all the newly gained knowledge you provided. And guess what? It just happens to be the most important part of the whole blog. Have a service that can help? Great! Mention it and provide a link so they can learn more. Have another blog that gives them even more info? Ask them to read it.
But What About SEO Keywords?
Look at you smarty. Throwing around more of those industry terms. Yes, keywords are super important. But what are they exactly? Basically, they are the terms or words someone would type in to find you or your business. It’s important to organically include them in your blog because the more a Search Engine sees you as an expert on those keywords, the more they will refer users to you. Hey, you must know a lot about it if you write so many well-outlined blogs on the topic, right? Right.
Selecting keywords is easier than you think. Simply imagine what words you would type into a search engine to find a business or service just like yours. Wouldn’t hurt to ask a few friends as well.
When you settle down to write your blog, it’s best to focus on one to two keywords or phrases per blog post. And make sure you use those keywords in your title, headers, and body of your blog.
But wait! You can overdo it. We’ve all seen those blogs that add a paragraph or two (or five) with nothing but a list of keywords. Some received this not-so-great advice back in the day, but it’s called spamming keywords. Search Engines have evolved and can tell when someone is trying to outsmart them by overusing or spamming keywords. You’re smarter than that, aren’t you? Of course you are. Use those keywords naturally and organically within your text and leave those keyword spammers in the dust! And yes. Plurals, past tense, synonyms, similar phrases, etc. do count!
Bonus Blogging Tips!
A quality blog with thoughtful keywords will get you far in SEO land. But, there are a few other things we suggest. Here they are in no particular order:
Add internal links when possible. Internal Linking or text links that connect to another part of your website, show Search Engines the validity and relevance of your content. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, it’s a best practice to link to that page. Remember to always use contextual linking. That means embedding the links within the context of your blog. Don’t use “here” as a link.
The same goes for external links to other resources or websites. Feel free to link to other sites if it is relevant to the content of your blog. (But maybe skip your competition.)
Improve readability with subheadings! Subheadings are a great place to utilize keywords, but they also help to break up text and present information in a logical order for smooth reading. Subheadings are just so great, and for many they make the text easier to read and understand.
Avoid long or run-on sentences. Use short sentences. No more than 20 words. When possible. Enough Said.
Create a click-worthy title. Notice we didn’t say click-batey. The difference is that click-worthy will represent your blog for what it is. Nothing will anger a potential customer more than a bait-and-switch with your blog title. (And you’re better than that anyway!) A few ways to give your titles an authentic boost:
- Use hype and hyperbole – The Best… or Our Favorite…
- Use How and Why – How to… or Why You Need…
- Incorporate power words/words that elicit an emotional response – Always, Never, Worst, Wonderful, New, Secret.
- Make it personal by using You or Your
- Create a list – The Top 3 Things… 7 Little-known…
- And remember to include those keywords!