There are hundreds of ways that you can optimize your website to influence your search engine rankings, which can make search engine optimization feel like an insurmountable problem for business owners. Google has decreed that quality content is king, however, and this makes things a lot easier for any business owner wanting to increase the traffic to their website.
Having strong static content on your website is a must, but the best way to ensure that Google (and the other search engines, we suppose) re-indexes your site is to regularly update your blog. Here are some easy SEO tips to ensure you get the most out of every blog post!
Make sure that you choose a topic that is both relevant to your industry, location, and is somewhat popular for people to search for. For example, a bakery wouldn't benefit from writing a post about seasonal car maintenance, but sharing traditional Thanksgiving recipes in September would bring relevant readers to their website, and increases the chance of converting that visitor into a paying customer.
Pro Tip: Use Google Trends to see how often your topic has been searched for in your region, how popular it's been over time, and check out alternate topic suggestions to find one that is more popular.
After choosing your topic, identify 1-2 keywords (or 1 phrase) to focus on for your post. Continuing the bakery example, they could use "thanksgiving baking" or "hot crossed buns" as keywords, or "traditional thanksgiving baking recipes" for a phrase. These are relevant and will be easy to include a few times naturally in the post. Naturally integrating them is key, because search engines reward content that is written for people and not crawlers.
You'll want to include them in the following places:
- Blog Title
- Header (H1 or H2)
- Body (2-3 times)
- URL (optional, but readers are more likely to engage a URL that is short and descriptive)
- Meta Description
Pro Tip: If your site is hosted on WordPress, use the Yoast SEO plugin to check post for readability & keyword saturation. The plugin will give you suggestions to improve your SEO as well as easily allowing you to change the meta description without having to dive into any code.
One of the best ways to ensure that your older content isn't going to waste is to internally link to relevant past posts in your new posts. This provides the search engine crawlers with additional chances to index content as well as provide valuable information to readers that can lead to them spending more time on your site. For the Thanksgiving baking post, the bakery could link to a pie crust recipe from last year and a table decoration post from 2010. Both are relevant to the new post and will encourage site visitors to 'fall down the rabbit hole' of site content.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you properly tag each post with relevant categories and tags; this will save you time finding relevant posts to link to in new content.
Because we consume so much content on the web now, the last thing that visitors want to do is read an essay on holiday baking. Instead, break up paragraphs with relevant images, separate topics and use H2 modifiers to creating headings, use lists instead of paragraphs when possible, and keep the post short and to the point.
In the end, the most important SEO trick isn't really a trick at all--just write great content! Sometimes, though, this isn't enough, and that's when these other SEO tips come in handy.