Did you know that although roughly 60 percent of businesses have blogs, 65 percent of those blog owners haven’t updated their content in the past year?

 

Content marketing is a beneficial strategy for marketers. It’s relatively low cost, advantageous for customers and can have long-lasting results. The truth, however, is that many businesses fail to take advantage of the enormous marketing potential of their blog.

By providing relevant content and optimizing your blog posts for SEO, your business has greater opportunity to rank in search engine results and encourage consumers to visit your site.

 

Here are four easy-to-implement tips to format your blog content for SEO:

 

1. Provide an Enticing Title

 

A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page. In most cases, your title tag is the title of your blog post, which is also displayed on search engine result pages (SERPs) as the clickable headline. Because the title tag is meant to be a concise description of the page’s content, it’s critical to make a good first impression.

Before a visitor even enters your webpage, they’re met with your title tag, which means that even if your site ranks well, the blog title can be a make-or-break factor in determining whether or not someone clicks on your link.

 

Though selecting a blog title might seem like a menial task, it plays an integral role in both search engine optimization and the user experience. Be sure to create intriguing, actionable titles that utilize keywords strategically and naturally. Google continuously strives to deliver “the most useful and relevant information,” so in order to rank well in its results, your blog title should follow suit.

 

Pro tip: Keep your title under 60 characters. This is where Google truncates titles on SERPs, so your title might get lost in translation if it’s anything longer.

 

2. Utilize Headings

 

Headings affect SEO. Headers make it easier for your visitors to read your content. They provide structure and break up lengthy text within the post. As Search Engine Journal reports, “a scannable article is a readable article, and a readable article is one that’s more likely to perform well in the search engines.”

Blog readers respond best to articles that are easy to scan, and are more willing to share it with their friends. While social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor, the more an article is shared, the more likely it is to earn natural backlinks, which are a ranking factor.

 

The proper way to utilize header tags mimic the way you would use chapters is a book. Your H1 tag, or your blog post title, introduces the topic of the post, just like the title of a book would.

The H2 tags are comparable to chapters of a book, describing the main points of the article. Subsequent headers, H3 through H6, serve as additional subheadings within each section. Your headers can also be a good place to insert a few keywords.

While it isn’t wise to stuff keywords, you’ll likely find that your headers are a natural place to include a few here and there. Design content for users first, then make tweaks to optimize for Google---without sacrificing the user experience.

 

3. Write With Your Audience in Mind

 

Many SEO professionals are finding that good user experience (UX) translates to good SEO. Too many times marketers who create content for SEO focus solely on Google’s readability, that is, stuffing their content with keywords so that it subsequently ranks better on the SERPs. Not only is the content irritating to your readers, but keyword stuffing can get you penalized by Google.

Writing for your audience should always be top of mind. At its core, your blog is created to provide value to your readers.  This ensures relevancy and uniqueness, which are both factors prioritized by Google.

 

Before you write your SEO-optimized content, be sure to sit down and ensure that you fully understand your audience. Determine your niche audience and decide what blog topics they might find useful. What are subjects they’re interested in or problems they need solving? Putting your own unique spin on these type of queries allows your blog post to stand out from the sea of content available online.

 

4. Link Wisely

 


Keyword frequency and density are no longer as effective as they used to be. As mentioned previously, keyword stuffing, excessive keyword insertion, can all subject your content to penalization by Google. As Brian Clark from Copyblogger states,  “You don’t need to mindlessly repeat keywords to optimize. In fact, if you do, you’re likely to achieve the opposite result.”

Utilizing external links, however, can be an important element in asserting trust and relevance. Linking to additional sources outside your own is beneficial to your readers and also demonstrates to Google that your page is serious about the topic at hand and deserves to be a part of the ranking conversation.

 

When you do decide to link in your blog posts, be sure to link to sites that are both authoritative and trustworthy. If you link to sites that are unprofessional, spammy or considered to be clickbait, you undermine your own credibility and probably hurt your search engine results. Linking to credible sites increases your digital footprint, and as SEO Expert Rand Fishkin says, improves “the potential to attract important, relevant, valuable eyeballs when we link.” You should also include a few internal links in your post. Internal linking makes your site more user-friendly, as it helps build page authority and improve the users experience. It’s also been shown to positively boost search ranking.

 

If you haven’t focused your efforts on your site’s blog content, now’s the time. Honing in on a few content marketing basics can have innumerable benefits for your site, your brand’s exposure, and inevitably, your sales. Take the time to update and optimize your blog content. Your bottom line will thank you!

By Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital