One of the great things about Inbound Marketing is that it can provide helpful, interesting content to website visitors AND it can help your organic search rankings. Notice I used the word “can” not “will.”
If you don’t use best practices for both Inbound Marketing and SEO with every blog article, you’re essentially leaving money on the table. And if you’re consistently blogging even once a week, you’re probably spending considerable time writing and publishing those blogs. That time commitment makes it even more essential to leverage that blog content as much as you can.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much time to optimize your blog articles using best practices for both Inbound Marketing and SEO.
Here are 10 tips to help you optimize your blog articles every time.
1. Convey Value Up Front. You can convey that value by writing a blog title that clearly explains what information your reader is going to get from your article. When in doubt, go with a more straight forward title rather than a witty or cute one if you are struggling to communicate value.
2. Do Some Quick Research for your Title. When you’re working on the title, do some quick research on Google to see what other related articles are out there. You can also use Google’s predicted search to help you come up with titles.
3. Avoid Industry and Company Jargon. We all have acronyms or phrases we use internally. If your visitors don’t use those same acronyms and phrases, though, they have no business being in your blog title.
4. Consider the Article Length. Make sure your article has some substance to it without being a novel. It’s like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears - not too short and not too long. And if that metaphor doesn’t resonate with you - just think of that girl who wears a dress or skirt that’s too short. AWKWARD. There are many conflicting reports on how long an article should be,
5. Use Headers. Headers help break up the content and make it more readable. And BONUS - Google likes them too. Use a few H2’s, H3’s and/or H4’s in your article. Make sure not to use more than one H1 on any page, though.
6. Use Longer Anchor Text. There are a few reasons to use longer anchor text. By using a good chunk of a sentence for your links, you’re giving your mobile visitors a wider link for them to click with their finger. Longer descriptions for what you are linking to can set more clear expectations for you reader. Google hates unnatural links. By using more text that explains the link,
7. Leverage your Images. Use Image Alt text that is related to your blog content, not literally what the picture is. For example, use “Optimize Content Marketing for Organic Search” not “Harry Potter Wand.“
8. Don’t Forget your Meta Description. Meta descriptions for blogs are especially important. Not only do search engines usually display these in search engine results, it is also used on social media platforms, like Facebook. Oh - and with Facebook’s newest algorithm update, it’s even more important to have meta descriptions.
9. Make it Easy to Share. Include social share links for your blog article. People viewing, sharing, and linking to your blog article can only do good things, right? Make it as easy as possible for viewers to share it.
10. Set-up Google Authorship. Although Google cut back the amount of authorship markup on search result pages, they are still useful. Google authorship can help increase your click-through-rate from search. Make sure to only use Google authorship on your blog, though.
And one Inbound Marketing tip for good luck…
Don’t forget to include a Call-to-Action to give visitors an opportunity to download your awesome whitepapers, eBooks or other advanced content.
For other tips on optimizing web pages and blog articles, check out my nifty Inbound Marketing Checklist. Do you have any other quick tips for optimizing your blog articles?