If a blog post pops up on the internet but no one is around to read it, does it make an impact?
The short answer is “no.” The long answer is “no, definitely not.” It could be the best blog post you’ve ever written, jam-packed with information that could change the course of human nature (or at least solve the Laurel vs. Yanny debate). But it’s next to useless if no one can find it.
The solution? Search optimization. And it’s your lucky day, because we’re about to show you how to do just that.
Start With a Good Keyword (or Three)
Keyword research is the crux of optimizing your blog for search. A good keyword — which actually can be one word or several — allows the search engine to find your post, categorize it and display it to the people who are searching for that keyword (and other related ones).
You’re probably already use keywords in your posts without even realizing it, in fact. But where and how you use those words or phrases can make a big difference in how easy it is for Google to work its magic and help you climb the ranks.
You can use Google AdWords or another keyword planning tool to identify a primary keyword or keyword phrase that speaks to your potential customers. These search optimization programs allow you to plug in a word — say, “plumbing” — and it will suggest several other related keywords and phrases that people also search for.
Your primary keyword should appear often throughout the text of your blog post. You’ll also want to include it in the headline, meta description, URL, photo captions and alt image text. But don’t overdo it. “Keyword stuffing” — using a keyword too many times in text, or using it in ways that clearly aren’t part of the natural flow of text — is frowned upon by search engines and readers alike.
In addition to your primary keyword, a few secondary keywords will also help even more people find you. Pepper them into your text a couple times each for variety.
Hone Your “Good” Keyword Into a Great One
If you’re a chocolatier, “chocolate” is a good keyword. Unfortunately, good isn’t going to get you very far when “chocolate” currently delivers 37,200,000 results and Ghirardelli tops the list.
Don’t chase keywords that you’ll never catch. Instead, modify them until they fit your specific needs. For instance, the keyword “gluten-free chocolate” cuts the results down to just more than 13,000,000, and “gluten-free chocolate in Oak Park” yields only 500,000 results. The point is, adding more detail to your keywords can help you find a corner of the market that hasn’t been oversaturated, leading to less competition and more visibility.
Unfortunately, the opposite also is true. If you get too specific, you run the risk of using a keyword no one will ever search for, rendering you just as invisible as the vague, popular keyword did.
Other (Non-Keyword) Methods of Search Optimization
Keywords are by far the most important component of search optimization. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only thing that matters. Also try:
- Making your blog easy to subscribe to and share. Include an RSS feed button and email signup button so someone browsing your blog for the first time can easily get all your new posts. And don’t forget to add a share button on the sidebar of your blog. Word of mouth still is one of the best ways to be found, so make it quick and easy for your current audience to spread the word about how great you are.
- Include inbound and outbound links. Does something in your current blog post relate to something you’ve written about in the past? Link to it. This can send your readers down a rabbit hole to Wonderland, keeping them on your site longer. And don’t be afraid to link to other legitimate sites when necessary, either. (Just make sure you’re not linking directly to a competitor’s site!)
- Optimize your site for mobile. In the year 2018, we really shouldn’t need to say this, but if your site isn’t yet optimized for mobile, you’re losing out on plenty of business. As of 2017, nearly 60 percent of all searches were conducted on mobile, and some sectors saw as much as 72 percent. It’s time to make the switch!
Are You Ready to Be Found?
Optimizing your blog for search may seem difficult at the onset. There’s so much to remember! After you’ve gotten the hang of it, however, it will become second nature. Then you can stop writing blog posts that no one can find and start spreading the news all over the internet!
Whether you need help optimizing your blog or creating a blog altogether, Mischa Communications has you covered! Get in touch today and let us take your small business blog to the next level.