Do you know how to optimize a blog post? No, I mean really optimize a blog post?
Before I let the cat out of the bag let me just say why you need to optimize your blog posts. You see, every blog post is counted as a separate page in the search engines. Read that last sentence again. Every blog post is a separate web page. Do you optimize your web pages? Why then would you not optimize your blog posts?
Think of this way. You have a website with static web pages. Most of those pages won’t ever change. They consist of static content. Your blog, on the other, changes every day. It consists of fresh daily content. The search engines love fresh content. It’s their food, their life, the one thing that keeps them motivated – like the werewolf’s full moon or the buzzard’s carcass.
The Two Parts Of Blog SEO
If you learn anything about search engine optimization you need to know this: Keywords and links. Those are the two legs of strong search engine optimization.
When you write your blog posts, anchor your content with keywords – just like you do your web pages. Each blog post should be rich with one or two keywords. Optimally, two keywords but you can use just one for shorter posts. But don’t water down the SEO with more than two primary keywords in your blog posts. Can you find which keywords are important in this post?
Secondly, links. You want each blog post to link back to your website at least once. Probably not more than three times. You don’t want it to appear like spam.
There are three primary ways you can link to your website with your blog:
- Contextual Links
- Signature Links
- Sidebar Links
Contextual Links In Your Blog
You know that search engines love contextual links. These are links that appear within the body of your text. As you are reading along you encounter a sudden link within the text. That is called a contextual link.
Contextual links work best if they are also keywords. This is a way to kill two birds with one stone. You can include your important keyword in your post and establish a link to your website all in one. When used this way your contextual link is called anchor text. That simply means that you have built a link using an important keyword. It works for websites and it works for blogs too.
Your Blog’s Signature Links
Would you write a letter to a friend and not sign it? How about a business letter? Then why write a blog post without your signature?
Your signature is your authentication that the information you are conveying through your blog is your own message. You wrote it, you sign it. Even if you use a blog ghostwriter you should have a signature at the bottom of your blog post. Your ghostwriter is acting on your behalf. What he says you are saying so make sure that you have the same philosophy and that he knows where you stand on the issues. Then give him the authority to sign your blog posts.
Make sure that when you sign the blog post that your signature links to your website. There are several reasons for doing that. No. 1, you’re at the end of the post. What’s the reader to do? If you don’t give them something to do then they will leave and go somewhere else. Don’t let them do that. Give them a link to click and they’ll go right where you want them to go.
Another reason to link to your website is to capture the SEO benefits. Every link builds link popularity for your website. Make it count. Use keyword anchor text in those signature links. Also, include more than one. I recommend at least two links in your signature and no more than three or four. More than that and it will look like spam. But what should you link to?
- Your website’s home page
- An internal page of your website
- Your blog’s home page
Give people a chance to learn more about you. Include a link to your website’s home page so that your blog readers can do that more easily. Secondly, every blog post is about a specific topic. Your keyword establishes that topic. Send your readers to an internal web page on your website that also deals with that topic. This is called deep linking. Send them to a landing page, a sales page, or a page that offers more information on the topic related to that blog post. The link for that should be some keyword-rich phrase that is a call to action. That is, it asks a question or creates curiosity in your reader so that they take the desired action and click the link.
Finally, you want them to read more of your blog, right? Make it easy. Since every blog post is a separate web page your readers will likely find that blog post (especially if it is search engine optimized) in a SERP or a bookmarking site. If you don’t have a link to your blog’s home page and the reader wants to read more blog posts then they will not be able to do so. Make it easy. Give them a link to your blog’s home page.
Your Blog’s Sidebar Links
One of the most overlooked SEO opportunities on company blogs is in the sidebar. Most company blogs will feature links that send people to other areas of the Internet. When you do this you are essentially sending people to your competition or to somewhere else entirely. Why not send them to your website instead?
Put a list of important keywords on your sidebar and make each one a link that sends traffic to a page on your website that discusses that topic. You’ll have a whole list of anchor text links right there in your blog’s sidebar, increasing your link popularity with every single post. For instance, if you write a blog on baking then your sidebar might consist of links with titles like
- Apple Pie
- Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Sugarless Snacks
Get the idea? Each keyword is an anchor text links that takes people to a specific web page that is all about that topic. Targeted traffic plus one-way inbound links that are high value links and that deliver on SEO benefits in powerful ways. By the way, link building with your blog helps if your blog is on a separate domain from your website. Not that you can’t put a blog on your website too, but that’s a different ball game altogether. As for now, suffice it to say that using your blog as an SEO tool in addition to using it as a marketing and business building tool is the smartest way to blog. Why would you do it any other way?