You’ve probably heard. Blogging is a guaranteed way to attract new customers. It’s a sure-fire SEO tactic and Google will smile fondly upon websites that blog regularly.
Well, it’s true. Blogs are the best way to tempt more people onto your website. But the idea is to convert a mildly curious first-time visitor into a regular subscriber. So how do you do that?
Never forget that you’re writing for the reader, not the search engine. A blog written solely for the purposes of SEO will inevitably fail. It will be a sloppy, keyword-stuffed waste of web space that nobody wants to read.
Choose subjects that are genuinely valuable to your reader. Which questions do your customers tend to ask most frequently? If you answer those questions in an engaging way and help solve a problem, your reader will keep coming back to you for more information.
Write about something that you’re passionate about. If you’re brave enough, be controversial. Pick an issue where your ideas run against the mainstream. Your reader may not agree with you, but you’ll kick-start a debate and open up a conversation.
Make it scannable
I don’t want to depress you, but most people won’t read every word. No matter how well-crafted your blog content, readers will scan for something which grabs them.
Think of the reader. What would they be interested in? Be careful. Links are great for SEO but only if they’re used for the benefit of your reader, not your search engine ranking.
Create links to useful and related stories on your own blog, relevant website pages and trusted external sources of information. Use anchor text that tells the reader where they’re going. Don’t “click here”.
When it comes to external link-building, there’s a lot of information out there. It boils down to this:
Make it shareable
There’s little point in writing a readable, knowledgeable 300-500 word mini-masterpiece if nobody sees it. Make sure that your blog posts have social media sharing buttons that make it easy for readers to share with friends and followers.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. It gives you access to an unlimited number of potential new readers who, in turn, become new customers. Social media gives you a direct connection with your reader. They’ll comment, ask questions and create a relationship. In other words, they’ll engage.
Turn it into SEO
Every time you post a blog it becomes a new web page. The more fresh pages you post, the higher your visibility.
Many first-time visitors will come to your blog via search engines. Bear in mind that they’ll often begin by typing the words “how”, “where” and “why”. This is particularly important when choosing your title because search engines rate them highly. Your blog will automatically become more findable if your title addresses a question that people are asking.
Here are some basic tips on blogging SEO:
Above all, be subtle. Incorporate relevant lead and long-tail keywords naturally and seamlessly into your blog. Google can easily spot keyword-stuffing and will penalise you for it. More importantly, so will your reader.