Good marketing reaches far and wide. It’s not as hard as you think!
A strategic, engaging blog can drive thousands of potential customers and leads to your website – but only when done right. It takes more than writing a few posts about your creative work and calling it a day.
So you can get the most out of your blog, I’m sharing with you these tried and tested search engine optimization (SEO) hacks.
Quick note: Don’t forget to add your website to Google’s search console before following these tips.
Let’s get started!
1. Fix your metadata and snippets
Metadata contains information about your content. It’s the little things such as tags, categories, author, and publishing date.
WordPress makes it easy for you to add tags and categories to your blog posts. Don’t make the mistake of skipping these altogether and grouping all your posts under Uncategorized. Not Google friendly!
My advice to you is to define your content categories before you even start blogging.
Are you planning to write tutorials? That’s one category. You can also add news, tips and tricks, and features/spotlight.
If you’re writing about a broad topic, let’s say finance, you can group posts according to sub-topics. Category ideas can be personal finance, investing, business finance, and more.
Here’s an example of a Google snippet:
Appropriately modified snippets get featured closer to the front page of Google.
The example above is the first result for “digital marketing.”
Let’s break down what makes this snippet SEO friendly.
- The headline and website name appear in the title
- The URL shows you the page title
- The main keywords appear multiple times in the snippet paragraph
Search for your content on Google and looks at the results. Do your snippets look optimized?
If not, use a plugin like Yoast and audit all your snippets to follow my recommendations.
2. Use proper formatting and structure
Writing for the internet – or Google – is not the same as writing for your English class.
Forget about your APA, MLA and Chicago and say hi to your H1, H2, and H3 tags.
If the formula of your blog posts is simply “title + paragraphs”, you’re not doing a good job. Google won’t reward you for that.
It doesn’t matter if you have a stellar topic and a catchy headline. Your content shouldn’t read like your English class homework, and it shouldn’t look like one.
Here are three components of a properly formatted SEO blog post:
- A relevant title with your primary keyword
- A short introductory paragraph that contains your keyword and sub-keywords
- Subtitles that contain sub-keywords that refer to sections of your content
Before writing your blog posts, come up with organized outlines.
Divide your content into sections. Deliver information in bite-sized chunks.
Each section must have proper subtitles. Take the time to format using corresponding HTML title tags.
If you’re writing in HTML, your code will look something like this:
<H1>5 Reasons You Need A Catchy Headline<H2>
<H2>First reason you need a headline<H2>
<p>Paragraph that proves your point</p>
<H2>Second reason you need a headline<H2>
<p>Paragraph that proves your point</p>
And so on until you have discussed everything in your topic. If you want to create a subtitle under a subtitle, you can use H3 tags.
What about subtitles under the subtitle of your subtitle?
Yes, there’s such a thing as an H4, but it’s not advisable because it makes your content a little too “nested”. Look at the last paragraph and think again!
If you’re writing on Markdown – my preferred formatting language – you use a hash instead of H tags.
# This is the title
## This is a subtitle
### This is a section of the subtitle
3. Keep an eye on links to your business blog
Link building is necessary if you want to appear on the front page of Google. Your blog posts must include internal links, outbound links, and backlinks.
Let’s say you wrote a blog post about product features, and you happened to mention one or two of these features in a different blog post – link them!
You can add hyperlinks by highlighting a piece of text and clicking on the “add hyperlink” icon.
Interlinking makes blog posts more engaging and in-depth. In Google’s eyes, your website will appear to have better structure and rich content.
When you’re mentioning facts like statistics, industry news, or events, always link to the source. Proper citation establishes credibility on your part.
Besides, it is wrong to use other people’s ideas without giving due credit.
When you link to authority websites, Google sees it as a plus. Be careful not to link to spammy websites and other malicious content.
As a business blog, you might have sponsored content, or you want to promote products and services that you trust. Affiliate marketing is another strategy to monetize your website, but be careful.
Google doesn’t favor content that overflows with promotional intent. So when you’re linking to affiliate programs, use no-follow links or use plugins like Pretty Links, so you don’t get minus points for SEO.
Google measures your authority according to the number – and quality – of websites that link to your content. The more authoritative your website is, the more chances you have of getting to the front page of search results.
If you’re linking to authority websites, you must also get them to link to you.
I know it’s easier said than done, but I have to tell you this. If nobody is linking to your website or blog, you will never get to the front page of Google.
Just because you have a blog and you’re writing some content doesn’t mean you can call it a day. You have to do a little bit of work if your goal is to generate revenue, traffic, and customers to your website.
You need other websites to link to your blog. So how do you do this?
There are two ways to earn high-quality backlinks:
- Guest post on authority websites; link to your blog in your author bio or within your guest post
- Ask influential blog writers to link to your content within their posts
Buying links or going “blackhat” will punish your business – don’t you even think about it.
You must develop a good network, produce great content (that other people will want to link to!) and strategically promote your blog.
4. Produce high-quality blog posts
Google’s reputation as a search engine lies in delivering helpful and useful content that satisfies the needs of its users. If you want Google to drive traffic to your business blog, you must produce high-quality content. You must be worthy of readers’ attention – there’s no other way around this.
Therefore, your business blog must be:
- In-depth. Give as much information as you can to your readers. Dig beneath the surface and answer your readers’ significant questions.
- Relevant. Do you know what Google’s readers are searching? Do your homework and perform some keyword research. Look into search trends and statistics. What are the hot topics in your industry?
- Helpful. Your content must solve the problem of your readers. At least, give them valuable information that will improve their lives.
The hacks I mentioned above are essential. If you want to get a good game going, you have to go beyond the necessary – or what everybody should be doing.
The boss writer’s takeaway
If you have a business blog, that’s great! You’re showing customers that you are a credible, knowledgeable, and dedicated business owner.
But don’t sit back and relax just because you have the bare basics – or a few starter posts.
You must optimize your content for search engines if you want to get some organic traffic rolling in. Get the right format, structure, and produce only top-notch quality.
A useful business blog takes some work to maintain, especially if you want to use it for strategic content marketing and branding purposes.
You can get content from mill-type websites and anonymous contractors, sure, but ask yourself: “Am I getting the quality that Google ranks? Do I even have a strategy?”
Your business deserves nothing but the best – and that includes maximized benefit from all your blogging efforts.
P.S. I have something for you! Get your FREE list of Essential SEO tools now
I’m giving away a FREE list of SEO tools that correspond to each hack above. Pretty neat, right? Now you don’t have to worry about searching for each all over the internet. Isn’t that neat?