Sure, writing a blog might sound easy, since it seems as if everyone is doing it. There's even an adorable 6-year old blogger named Martim, who writes about video games, who could be the one of the world's youngest bloggers.
But writing a blog well, for the intention of informing your audience, and helping your website be found on a Google search, is a much more involved process. It's also time-consuming. Because if you're writing for your company, at a minimum, you want to:
- Have the blog be interesting enough to encourage people to read it. Because the more time they spend on your site the better is is for SEO, which is called "dwell time,"
- Have it be educational enough that people might refer to it, perhaps with a link on their blog, pointing back to yours. (Which is what we've done in the bullet points of this blog: pointing back to other bloggers' posts),
- Use the right keywords, in the right places (see screen shot below). That way, with any luck, Google's algorithms might associate your blog with the topic you're writing about, and
- Write often enough, so your company's website is continually being re-indexed by search engines to have it be seen as relevant.
If these points aren't top of mind when writing a blog, you might want to have a professional writer do your blogging for you. As Columbus web design firm, we blog every week, and follow these guidelines for every blog we write.
Ten tips to use when writing a blog.
Google's algorithms look for the following pieces and parts in order to index any page on your website, especially blogs:
- Writing a blog that's long enough to meet the minimum required by Yoast, the defacto SEO plugin for WordPress. That minimum is 300 words, but many SEO professionals say longer blogs are better. Why? Because the longer someone stays on your website the better. As you saw above, this is called "dwell time."
- Having a “focus keyword” on every page that relates to the content on that page. (The focus keyword phrase for this blog is "writing a blog").
- Using keywords in your headline. We've used it in both the blog's headline, as well as the subhead above.
- Using a minimum number of keywords in your content, while making it flow naturally. The focus keyword is used in the body copy of this article 6 times. However, using too many keywords on a page is frowned upon by Google. Read about keyword density (also called "keyword stuffing") here.
- Using your keyword in the first paragraph.
- Adding a Page Title with the keyword in it.
- Adding a Meta Description with the keyword in it.
- Naming images with keywords.
- Adding “Alternative Text” to each image. To play well with Google, each image needs to have its "Alt Text" field filled in. This is to benefit sight-impaired individuals. Those folks have software on their computers that read, and speak, the text you place in the Alt Text fields. Even if you don’t have sight-impaired prospects, having the Alt Text fields filled in, is best practice for SEO. Google, other search engines, and the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) have established universal standards for all websites, and adhering to them helps your SEO.
- Have outbound links going to other websites that supports your blog's points. That way, if someone clicks that link it counts towards Google's algorithms for a lower bounce rate. Read about the connection between bounce rates and outbound links here.
When writing your blog, the Yoast plugin will tell you how you're doing.
Below is a screen shot from a blog post we wrote for a client's website. It shows a sort of "cheat sheet" that Yoast displays while you're writing. It serves as an important reminder of how well the SEO is for your blog, giving you a very helpful snapshot of how you're doing.
Unfortunately, what it doesn't do is let you know how well you know the topic you're writing about. Nor how well you're communicating the points of your topic. That, my friend, is up to you.