Creating a Blog in Five Simple StepsCreating a blog that speaks as compellingly to search engines as it does to your audience requires far less geek-cred than you might imagine. Algorithms have evolved to give those who simply create great content the rank they deserve. You can delve into the technical details of keywords, Panda updates, and link building until you’re blue in the face, but if your content doesn’t engage readers, search engines won’t care about it either.
-1) Put Down the Black Hat
Before Google’s Hummingbird algorithm descended, it made sense to stuff your content with keywords and pay for link exchanges. Search engines are more intelligent today, so black hat tricks won't pull the rabbit out of the hat. They will get your site penalized, though, so it’s best to play by the rules.
While keywords and links are still important for creating a blog, they need to be relevant to your business and occur naturally within your posts, titles, and the alt. text of your photographs. Search engines can sniff out clumsy writing and glitchy syntax as easily as they can pick up spam. Long tail keywords are effective because Google now gives unique searches that include synonyms.
-2) Using Links
If your readers are engaged enough to share your blog content, you’ll win, but if you go on a fervent link exchange campaign, search engines will pick up your wiles faster than you can say “spam”. Guest blogging for reputable sites to build links is an excellent white hat tactic, as is including outbound links to reputable sites in your niche.
-3) Learning How Search Engines Work
Bing and Google bots have evolved to scour the web in the same way a real reader would. Their behaviour metrics are crafted on authentic users, so when you’re putting your content together, you need to think about how flesh and blood readers will respond. Today’s users tend to type questions into search engines, so ask yourself what your demographic wants to know before choosing blog topics.
Top ranking posts are about 1,200 words long, yet content marketing moguls frequently churn out 300 word posts. That’s because search engines are more concerned with how comprehensive your posts are and how well they entertain your readers than they are about word count. You can succeed with short posts if they’re unique. Google can pick up how thin your content is without breaking a sweat, so your writing should:
- Not repeat the same ideas in different words
- Be well edited to eliminate grammatical errors
- Not cite obvious facts
- Not paraphrase other blogs
-4) Keeping Up to Date
Newsworthy content builds rank as long as it’s relevant to your keywords and niche, but it’s far more important to make sure all your posts are up to date. Google despises dead topics, and blog readers habitually reread updated posts. Frequently going through your existing content to update links, concepts, and scope also works wonders with your return on investment.
-5) Using Tools
Free blogging tools help you to track your success and adjust to maximize your rank. Everything from social media listening tools to determine your topics to SEO software to track and create rank are on offer. Google even suggests keywords for you. Simply search your existing keywords and check the bottom of the page for suggested alternatives.
B2C marketers who use blogs generate 88% more leads than those who don’t, so as long as you give your blog plenty of attention, it will deliver returns worth getting excited about. To find out more, watch our training video.
About the Author Casey O'Quinn
Casey founded Gravity Digital in 2000 after serving as the Internet Services Director for a Nashville-based Ad Agency. He's a rare breed that operates both left and right brain, so along with oversight of the company he's active in the creative process for our clients.
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