One free way (aka organic) to get more customers coming to your website is to create a blog.
It doesn’t need to be the most original one out there; don’t think that because there a thousand blogs on parenting or business that means that there isn’t room for yours too. Your own point of view is relevant, and there are people out there who will connect with it. Plus, when clients are “shopping” for a provider, they want to do their research on you and see if you actually know your stuff, a blog for your business can help you secure the deal ;)
The best place to start a blog is with your own voice and your own story and go from there.
The best business websites and blogs capture the essence of the writer within their words so that when you read them, you can hear the person behind the blog and feel like you are talking with them in person.
Starting a blog doesn’t mean you need to be the best writer (although there are tools all over the internet that can help you improve your writing skills) but you do need to know what you want to say, and lead people on a journey.
If you are starting a new blog, the first post is often the hardest. It’s easy to get that out of the way with a post about you, your hero story, or start with a topic series and just go from there. It doesn’t really matter as long as you start.
How to search engine optimise your blog posts to bring in more customers
Once you have a blog setup ready to go, here are a few key tips on how you can optimise your posts to increase the visibility of your business in search results, and attract and convert more customers.
Update your blogs regularly
Search engines are looking for content that is relevant, interesting, up-to-date and authoritative. One of the ways they assess whether your blog fits these descriptors is by looking for blogs that update regularly. Hence why you see latest news reports being indexed instantly and top of SERPs.
Create long-form content
Search engines like website pages that are over 1000 words in length (most experts will recommend that your blogs should be between 2000-3000 words) because this length of copy can indicate that this one post or page on your website has loads of info about the one topic you’ve optimised for.
Anyone then looking for the answers about this topic should be shown this content in search results as it will be highly relevant to them.
Research keywords, and target one long-tail keyword with each blog post
Each blog post should be written to attract people searching for the one long-tail keyword you have targeted in your post. For more information about keywords and how to start researching them, read this article here.
You should research keywords regularly to find out what is popular and discover opportunities for your business.
It’s a big no-no to target your entire website to one word or phrase as this confuses the Google robots as they dont know which of the pages or posts is the most relevant for that target keyword, and therefore your pages and posts are competing with themselves for ranking and none of them win.
Each blog post or web page needs to be optimised for ONE long-tail keyword only.
Write good quality, easy to read content
If you are blogging for business, the content you share in your blog needs to have a purpose. It also needs to be high quality, accurate and engaging; it can’t just be filler or stuffed with the keywords. That is not helping you connect with your customers at all.
The copy should be easy to read, which means using little words, bullet points, and sub-headings that people can skim through quickly.
Writers hate writing like this because they like to sound intelligent, but search engines like Google and customers seeking an answer prefer things that are quick and easy to skim read.
Optimise the content by adding your target keyword/phrase into the title, sub-titles, the main copy (include in the first paragraph for extra brownie points), media titles and alt-tags and the post URL.
For instance, let’s say our long-tail keyword for this article was ‘search engine optimise blog posts’. As well as writing the whole article about this topic, I can optimise by including the target phrase in all of the following places:
- In the heading of your blog post, and at least one sub-heading
- In the content a handful of times (easier to do when you have 1000 words or more)
- In the titles and alt-tags of any image or video files linked to the page, and in their descriptions
- In the URL of the blog
- In the meta titles and description
In short, duplicate content is a big no-no.
Firstly, you are not going to come off well to anyone if your content is stolen from somewhere else. Plus it’s against the law, so just dont do it.
Secondly, similar to if you optimise your whole website for the same keyword, if there are many pages and websites across the internet with the exact same copy, there is no way for Google to know which one is the original or the right one to send people to and that can play havoc with your rankings.
Grammar & Spelling
Search engines also look for content that has a lot of spelling mistakes and pops these way down the results page.
Online tools such as Grammarly.com can help with this.
Write headings that create impact and engage your readers
There is a bit of an art form to this, but writing better headings makes more people click through to read your content. Download my Create Clickworthy Headlines Swipe File here.
Your heading should contain a certain amount of mystery, but not too much. It should solve a problem for your customers, or make their lives better or easier in some way. Emotional words provoke better responses, as do power words.
Other characteristics of a great hook heading include:
- ‘How to’ headings and question headlines
- Listicles such as ‘Top 10 famous pirates’ or ‘7 things your wife doesn’t want you to know’
- Headings that create a sense of urgency or time, ‘How to make $1000 in 5 days!’
Use internal and external links
Placing links within your website, and between your website and other websites will also help your blog posts to attract SEO attention. Having real people rather than just robots or crawlers following these links is better, but you can start with just having the links in the first place.
More links to external sites or mentions of you on other sites increase your authority and position in search.
Building your back-link profile using your business name, niche, services or target keywords is what you are aiming for. This tells Google that a bunch of other people are linking to you for that key topic so you must be the go-to for that, and this bumps up where you rank in results for that go-to topic.
Research websites you should be linking to or guest blogging for
While you are researching keywords it also helps if you look for the prime websites that you should be trying to link to as well. If you enter your keyword into Google, what sites come up first? Are there other blogs, reviewers or consumer sites that rate highly?
Consider these websites as your next plan of attack; if they are the highest ranked, then figure out if there is a way you can get your product or back-link in their content. This is easier than trying to get the top spot yourself. Do they accept guest blogs, blog comments, or maybe will add a back-link in their existing content? You won’t know unless you ask.
Appearing as an event speaker, Podcast guest, referenced sponsor can also give you a profile with a strong back-link to your website or sales page from external sources of authority.
Use social media to boost your blog posts
This step takes it a little further than just optimising your blog post, but another way to increase links to your page and be considered an authority on the topic by search engines is to have your content shared on social media.
Use social media and online business directories to build a business profile, and then link or share your blogs. This ensures you are updating often, and allows your content to show up in social media searches as well. For example when vlogging, you can optimise your video for search results on YouTube (a search engine in it’s own right).
The more people that engage with and share your content, will drive more traffic to your website and improve your authority according the search engine gods.
So that you don’t forget these steps, download the Ultimate Guide To SEO For Blogging and keep the checklist at the end handy when blogging until you have this nailed.