Your eloquent, inspirational, educational, and content-laden blog posts and white papers become far more valuable if you ensure that they are SEO (Search Engine Optimization) “friendly” before posting them on your website or other digital sites.
Logos Communications has a few practical tips that might assist your efforts to engage readers and increase your blog traffic. There are seven key areas to focus on.
- Research and choose the right keywords
Every search engine relies on keywords and key phrases to determine the relevance of your content to a user’s web search. The search engines list the top results, after that determination is made. So, it is essential that you include those words that would be used by an ideal customer in your content, as often as possible.
How do you determine what those words are? Simple, define your customers well, asking existing or prospective customers what they would use to search if they were trying to find a company/organization like yours. If you are in “start-up” mode, your marketing plan should include “personas” (profiles of the decision-makers who would do business with you). What do they want/need? Then include phrases they would use to search for an organization that would meet their needs.
Also, review the websites and content for your current and future competitors. What do they emphasize in their content? Do you think some of those phrases and words also apply when people are searching for an organization like yours? Make a list of the words and phrases and try to rank them logically.
You can also use tools, like Google’s Keyword Tool, which enables you to look up any keyword’s relevance, average monthly searches, competitiveness, and relevance. Importantly, do not “force” the use of all words and key phrases. Just ensure that some or many of them sensibly occur organically in your posts, blogs, and digital white papers.
- Optimize the title of your blog or content
Having determined your readership’s interest, ensure that you catch attention through a well-designed title for your content. Capture the essence and most vital message you are conveying. Try and keep your headline under 65 characters to allow that title to appear, in its entirety, on a search engine page. And remember #1 above – include keywords or key phrases in the title, if possible.
- Use relevant external links
When appropriate, include 2-3 links to other social media channels, important pages, or other sites. Ideally the other sites may also, then, link their content to your site. That can dramatically increase your audience, reach and traffic. If you work with partners, ask their permission to use their links. Ask them to link to you.
- Create long-form blogs
Original content of over 1,000 words tends to rank better with search engines, while articles that are over 3,000 words seem to attract as much as triple the engagement and quadruple the number of shares, in our experience. However, you need to make the content highly readable. That is not as daunting as it might appear.
Here are some tricks that we use at Logos Communications:
- Create short paragraphs, use sub-heads and make lists or bullet points.
- You can also deploy “block quotes,” a memorable text that underscores key messages, and function as potential “take-aways” by readers.
- Finally include a “call-to-action” to conclude your copy, whenever possible. What do you want the reader to understand, or do? Do you want them to call you, go to your social media channels, go to other parts of your website? Make that a part of your message.
- Use sub-headings
When possible, it is particularly important to use sub-headings to break up your copy. Those sub-headings also help search engines scan and index your posts. They tell the search engines what is most important in what the post is saying. They also help your writing, by organizing its most essential points and should include keywords and phrases whenever possible, to further enhance search relevance.
- Use meta tags in your headings and headlines
A meta tag is an HTML tag that describes the content on any given web page. Any content you publish in your blog and white paper should also include meta tags that include searchable keywords and key phrases. If you use WordPress, there is a plug-in tool that helps with this.
- Insert relevant images
A picture is truly worth 1,000 words, particularly when the images accompany long-form copy. Blogs and white papers that include pertinent mobile-friendly images rank higher in popularity in reviews of readership. The rule of thumb is that the average reader remembers images 5-6 times better than they remember text. The search engines love images. Always include keyword friendly labels, ALT tags, under the images, and in the coding beneath the images. It is also recommended that you credit the image’s source when using royalty free images (make sure you always have appropriate permission to use an image).
At Logos Communications, we can assist with all of this, and more. We have worked for years with many organizations, like yours, to optimize both the importance of their unique content, and its “searchability.” Can we help you, too? Please contact us to learn more about these kind of communications best practices.