Blogging is an important activity for businesses. In fact, it can help drive web traffic and increase brand awareness. With this in mind, if you’re blogging incorrectly, then all of your efforts are meaningless (like going to the gym for an hour, then coming home and eating a whole pizza). In order to gain the most from your blog, you need to optimize your posts for search engines. Here are some helpful tips on how to blog for your business.
A subheading is a title for a small section of a longer piece. More importantly, they are important for our attention-deficient brains. They point out what a paragraph is about, so that even a user skimming the blog can get an understanding of the information presented. I know, I know, users never skim your blog. Regardless, subheadings are a good tactic to incorporate into your web writing because they often get caught by search engines’ spiders.
Another important aspect of how to blog for your business is the focus keyword. Your focus keyword is the word or phrase you want search engines to zero in on. In other words, which word or phrase do you want your page to rank for? There are two ways you can approach this. First, think about how you as a customer would search. What would you type? Also, you can use Google Analytics’ search queries to see what your website visitors are using to search for your website. With Alexa and other voice-controlled search engines slowly becoming the norm, consider using more “long-tail” (multiple words or a phrase) for your focus keyword. Additionally, your focus keyword density (how often you use the keyword based off how many words are in the blog) is important. Use your focus keyword at least 3 times for a 300-600 word post.
People often think, “But I got them to my site, so I want to keep them there. I don’t want to link anywhere else.” Unfortunately, this isn’t correct. For blogging, you need to use outbound links (links that send you to another website). In fact, outbound links act as a summary for your blog, and they let search engines know what your writing about. In addition, make sure you use inbound links and internal links too. Inbound links are a link from a traffic source sending website traffic to your site, while internal links send visitors to another page on your website.
An often overlooked aspect of how to blog for your business is readability. Fortunately, the Yoast plug-in does a great job of telling you how your writing is making it harder for people to digest your content. Here are some tips to improve your readability:
Use the Active Voice Instead of the Passive Voice: Keep the subject of your sentence (who or what is performing the verb) the focus. For example, here is a sentence: your car is destroyed by a fire. The active voice reads “The fire destroyed my car.” The passive voice puts to focus on the car instead with “My car was destroyed by the fire.”
Keep It Short, Stupid: This famous Composition 101 advice holds true for web content. Keep your sentences short (under 20 words). Specifically, long sentences are harder to read. After all, these are blogs, not The Sound and the Fury, so keep it short, stupid.
Use Transition Words or Phrases 30% or More: Another Comp 1 staple of advice. Use transition words to introduce new ideas. Your content flow improves greatly by using transitions. Therefore, your blog should contain at least 30% transition words.
So, now that you know how to blog for your business, get to work! Be consistent, but also be creative. People want to read interesting content.