Nowadays, SEO is a term that pops up a lot when talking about marketing advice. Maybe you’re a pro at it. Maybe you’ve heard of it, but aren’t quite sure how to reap the benefits. Maybe you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.
SEO stands for “search engine optimisation” and it refers to the actions that can be taken to ensure that your business appears on Google, preferably as high up in the search rankings as possible.
Let’s say you run an accountancy practice in Leicester. When someone types “accountants in Leicester” into Google, you want your practice to be one of the first presented to them.
Google’s decision to rank search results in the way that it does is based on a number of very complicated algorithms, but it can generally be summarised by the idea that Google will serve content to its users that it believes to be genuinely useful.
This essentially means proving to Google that your content is worth serving, as it will directly benefit the searcher. One common means to this end is blog-writing. With that in mind, how do you write effective, optimised blogs which will propel your business up Google’s search rankings? Here’s a quick guide to get you started…
What Do I Blog About?
When you start blogging, this is always the first hurdle. What do you even blog about?! Luckily, the answer is a simple one. As I mentioned earlier, Google wants to present its users with genuinely useful content. This means your content needs to do one of two things: solve a problem, or answer a question.
In order to do this, you must ask yourself one simple question. What are the ten questions that my customers most frequently ask me? Those questions are your first ten blog posts, because they will answer questions that your customers, and Google’s users, are asking, and that’s what gets you ranked.
How Often Do I Post a Blog?
If you want a simple answer to this question, roughly once a fortnight. With that said, however, how frequently you post is not as important as how consistently you post. Set yourself a realistic target. There’s no use in posting two blogs a week to begin with if it just means you get overwhelmed and stop posting altogether within a month. It’s fine to post once a fortnight, once a month, or once every six weeks, as long as you’re consistent. Consistency is key.
How Do I Go About Writing my Blog?
Know Your Keywords
So, you now know what your first blog is going to be about. How do you write it? Firstly, you need to know what your keyword is. Your keyword is what people are typing into Google to land on your blog post. For example, if the question your blog answers is “What is search engine optimisation?”, then your keyword is (you guessed it!) “search engine optimisation”. Knowing your keyword is really important, so keep it in the forefront of your mind as we talk through the rest of your blog post.
The Main Body
In terms of the main body of your blog post, a few simple actions can go a long way in terms of optimising your content for Google.
- Paragraphs and subheadings. Optimised content is broken down into digestible paragraphs with useful subheadings that contain your keyword. Paragraphs and subheadings lead Google to believe that your content will be easy for the searcher to understand and thus makes Google more likely to serve your content to its users.
- Make it at least 500 words long. Obviously, you’re going to want to know how much to write. The minimum is 500 words, as this is what Google deems, within its algorithms, is long enough to provide sufficient information to be useful. With that said, however, try not to make every blog exactly 500 words in length, as formulaic content is seldom compelling. As long as all your blogs are over 500 words, try to vary the length a little with each piece.
- Keep using your keyword. Use your keyword frequently throughout your blog, because this is how Google ascertains the topic of your article. In addition to featuring your keyword in your heading and subheadings, make sure it is scattered throughout the main body as a whole. It’s also worth making sure that the keyword features in both your first and last paragraph.
- Include links. Within every blog post you write, make sure to include at least two links – one internal and one external. An internal link takes the reader to elsewhere on your website and an external link directs them to a page on a different website. Google ranks blog posts with links higher than those without. (Note: Don’t go link crazy, as that will have the opposite effect. Stick to 2-3 per post where possible.)
- Finish with a CTA. A “call to action” (CTA) at the end of your post tells the reader what to do once they are finished reading. This could be to fill in your contact form, give you a call, or just to check out another page on your website that they may find equally useful. Tell your reader exactly what they should do next.
I’ve Written My First Blog… Now What?
Spread it far and wide! Once you’ve gone to all the effort of writing your blog, you might as well make the most of it. Share it on your social media pages, post it on LinkedIn and include it in your next email newsletter. It’s even worth sending your blog to local newspapers and magazines, as some will happily feature your piece in the next issue in the interest of free journalism.
The more people that read your blog, the more people that will share it. If people are sharing your blog, Google will notice this and assume that it must mean that your content is worthwhile. Once that happens, you’ll be flying up the search rankings.
Seeking Marketing Advice from an SEO Specialist
If you still find the concept of blog-writing a bit daunting, or simply don’t have the time to be consistently writing compelling content, there are other options. At the Fabulous Group, we specialise in writing highly-optimised, compelling content for our clients. We pride ourselves in our ability to become an expert in your field, enabling us to deliver useful, Google-friendly content that benefits both the reader and your search engine ranking.
To find out more, get in touch today on 0800 112 0880, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to speak with you.