How to optimise your blog for SEO

Your business blog and your content output make up a considerable chunk of your online presence, offering a great opportunity to make a genuine impact on your niche via search engines and organic search.

For most businesses, this potential goes untapped. In this article, we’ll outline exactly how you can tap into your audience by showing you how to blog for SEO with great SEO content writing.

How can I get my blog noticed?

Optimising your B2B blog around your selected keywords is one of the most effective ways to maximise organic traffic coming to your website and boost your lead-generation performance without breaking your marketing budget.

Once you have a solid keyword research strategy in place, you can start to put this into practice through your blog. Most blog posts are simply a waste of the company’s time as they are not made with performance in mind, they are simply there to fill the space. Ultimately, this approach to blog content is extremely limited, and a waste of time for everyone involved.

To ensure your blog posts are worthwhile for your business there are some key steps you need to follow. Here we’ll offer a very actionable plan that you can follow to optimise your business blog for SEO with data-driven SEO content.

We’ll start with information on how to optimise specific blog posts, then move on to SEO blog tips concerning your business blog in general, and how to properly optimise this type of content channel for SEO.

What is SEO and how does it work?

Search Engine Optimisation is the process of refining your online presence (website pages, page headings, URLs, Image Alt Tags, blog content, blog titles, title tags, meta descriptions, etc.) to make sure it ranks highly in search engines.

Successful SEO includes a detailed understanding of the audience you are hoping to connect with as well as a strategy that will allow you to connect with them.

Some difficulties with SEO include the ever-changing nature of the search engine mechanics, which sees new rules and strategies come into play over and over again.

This means, the true answer to questions like how to improve SEO ranking, or how to rank high in Google search quickly grow outdated, meaning business must stay on the pulse, and implement an adaptive approach to SEO in order to stay competitive in SEO marketing.

To help you manage this potential minefield of info, we’ve broken the process down into an easy-to-follow plan, covering the SEO basics and working through more detailed aspects of how to craft great SEO articles and how to use SEO effectively across your business blog within an agile and adaptive approach to SEO content.

What is the best way to blog?

The best way to blog is to do so scientifically, using industry research and keyword research to deliver consistently engaging, value-adding content. We’ve broken this process down into 8 easy to follow steps…

Step 1 | Determine the goal of your post

Before you do anything, you need to determine the goal of your blog post. This needs to be understood and should in your head before you start researching, developing ideas or writing.

Is your aim to attract, convert, nurture or delight audiences? The answer to this question will determine the nature of the content and the nature of your outreach drastically.

Another crucial aspect of this process is determining the metrics by which you’ll measure the success of the content. Without an understanding of how you’ll be able to measure the success of your SEO content, there’s no way you’ll be able to maintain an adaptive approach to SEO. Being able to track the success of each piece of content against certain Key Performance Indicators is what allows you to understand what is working and what isn’t, and why this is the case. Only with this type of info can you then change your approach in response to new audience trends and habits, and changes in search engine algorithms.

Step 2 | Identify the audience you’re targeting

The next thing on your SEO checklist (and a crucial part of SEO blogging best practices) is audience persona development.

If your content campaign is focused on ATTRACT content, you need to develop and use a buyer persona built to represent this audience group.

If the content campaign is targeting the CONVERT stage of the buyer’s journey, then it should be based on a buyer persona representative of the convert audience group. And so on.

The more specific you can be in your persona development, the more effective your campaign will be in tapping into this audience in the online space.

How to create a buyer persona

A buyer persona is a fictional figure used to represent the type of person you’re targeting with your campaign.

It should begin with general information about their age range, job type, income, family situation, etc. and progress to more specific information about their challenges and goals.

 Download  our handy guide to creating an effective buyer persona

Key search engine terms used by these demographics can be identified through this research process, allowing you to sculpt your SEO content around that specific audience type. The better your buyer persona, the more targeted your keyword research can be, and the more impact your SEO content will have.

It will allow you to select the right topics, a specific and sharable angle on that topic, and an SEO title that is made to measure for them, meaning your content will be high-impact across the online channels where that audience exists.

Step 3 | Keyword Research

Writing SEO blogs essentially means writing engaging informative content around areas of high or specific search volume (the latter is where content that targets long tail keywords comes into its own).

To do this effectively, you need to incorporate keywords that you know your target audience is searching for. Every campaign should have a body of keyword research that underpins it.

The best keywords to target are those that have a high search volume and low keyword difficult. You should aim to incorporate as many of these as possible without overdoing it.

For a full step by step guide on how to conduct keyword research in general, you can find that in our article on how to determine the best keywords for SEO.

Included in that article you’ll find a very useful keyword planner that will allow you to compile your keyword research into a simple and easy to understand format before moving into the content creation stage. Here that is again…

 Download our 2018 keyword planner!

Long tail keywords

A great way to create short-term impact with SEO is to target long tail keywords. These are keywords or keyword phrases that are more specific or more technical and can encompass entire search queries.

For example… someone searching, ‘why is bitcoin the most stable cryptocurrency?’ would not click through on content answering the more basic ‘what is cryptocrrency?’ query. You would assume they already know this and are searching for more in-depth content that would move them closer to a sale. If you were a crypto site, this is the kind of content you’d be thinking of creating for this audience. Highly specific content targeting a well-educated audience with intent to buy.

This type of specific blog posts are great ways to target a certain audience who are very invested in a specific topic or challenge, so this is a very effective way of optimising content for search engines. Those searching in this way are usually much further down the buyer journey and will be far more responsive to content that is highly specific to their needs at the moment of search.

Step 4 | Research Competing Content

With an index of great keywords ready to be put into practice, it’s time to start developing content ideas.

When creating content ideas that will perform well with your target audience you need to know what content is already performing well with this audience.

Buzzsumo is a great online SEO tool that allows you see what content is performing well with your audience. It can show you how your competitors are tapping into these audiences, what types of headlines perform well, what topics are trending and offers insight into great blog writing examples for those topic areas.

This may tell you that for a given topic video content is taking all the top-ranking spots, suggesting that for you to compete for this keyword area, perhaps video is the best format for your blog content.

To test their great software, the link above will take you to their 14-day free trial.

Step 5 | Ideation

Now you know what’s out there, and what’s performing well, it’s time to develop content ideas built around your research.

Your aim is to come up with a unique value-adding angle for this keyword area. If you aren’t adding value, then rethink your idea. For every idea, ask yourself, does it go above and beyond everything else that is out there?

To make sure it does, you should consider using original research, interviews or influencer collaboration to establish your brand as thought-leaders in your industry.

This is how to use SEO to your advantage. If you aren’t adding value, you’re just adding clutter to your niche.

Step 6 | Create your post!

Okay so now you can actually create your blog post. But trust us, the research process will make it actually worth your while.

It’s increasingly common to do a blog search and find exactly what you wanted to find. This is the trend of modern SEO. It has to be specific, thorough, and best in class to have the desired impact on business growth.

To ensure this is the case with your content, your audience research, keyword research, and related content research needs to be at the heart of your content offering.

The specifics of SEO blog articles

Using SEMrush – another great online SEO tool – you can export a content plan for a given keyword. By inputting your main keyword (the one that will feature in your title), you can download a clear overview of that piece of content. It will explain the appropriate keyword distribution, the ideal length for that post based on the highest performing content for that keyword, outreach, and backlink targets, etc.

To make your SEO content is high performing, you should…

  • Cover the topic thoroughly – Google is looking for long informative content
  • Incorporate images and videos to bring your posts to life and maintain engagement
  • Include data and statistics
  • Link internally to related content on your blog
  • Provide external links to related and useful content
  • Get Influencers onboard

Here’s a checklist of what you need to have covered in your posts:

  • Your selected primary keyword. This should be in the title tag, meta description, h1 and URL for the blog post
  • Several secondary keywords incorporated in the image alt tags, meta description
  • Many tertiary keywords in the main body of the content. They should be incorporated naturally and with relevance.
  • Semantically related words/phrases

However –  don’t keyword stuff! Google penalizes over-optimisation, so don’t overdo it, aim for a keyword density of around 2%. Your keywords should be seamlessly woven in.

The quality of your content should always be the priority.  

Step 7 | Content Amplification

In order to amplify your content beyond the scope of organic SEO, there are some interesting ways you can develop content that will ensure it gets seen by new, larger audiences.

When developing ideas for your SEO content writing, ask yourself…

  • Who could you get involved to help you share it – could you get a quote from them, what’s their following like?
  • How will I get them invested in the piece of content so they will share it with their following?
  • Why would this influencer/publication get on board?
  • Where will this content be going?
  • What style is best suited for that channel?
  • When are the best times to push content out?

By building SEO content around research, interviews or collaborations you can immediately double your outreach and potentially increase it exponentially, depending on who you can get on board.

Looking to Twitter for influencers in your field is a great place to start when trying to connect with someone who may be able to bring something to the table for a piece of content.

Alternatively, you can use sites like SurveyMonkey to conduct your own research into areas that have not yet been uncovered. This is a great way to add unique value and bring something fresh to the topic.

Step 8 | Experiment & Learn

SEO is a science, but it will never be an exact science.

By going through this process for different campaigns you will learn what works and what doesn’t work, tracking your metrics and KPIs to understand more and more about your audience and your content.

A/B testing titles on twitter is a great way to maximise engagement with your blog posts, as you can learn which titles are stirring enough to be clicked on and which ones are falling flat. When you come to actually post your content live you can do so in the confidence that the title you are using is doing the content justice, as a bad title can cause the best content to never see the light of day.

Also, using Google Search Console, you can track and measure the specific search terms that people used to arrive at your blog. From this information, you can learn about your audiences online habits and develop better SEO content to attract them into your pipeline.

Staying adaptive throughout this process is key to its success. Every failure is a chance to grow. Every success is a chance to build greater success.

With this kind of flexibility in your approach, your SEO blog will soon evolve into a reactive hub of thought-leadership content that is making a real impact on your audience – tapping into their challenges with SEO content that brings real value to their lives and businesses.

SEO blog tips

Here are a few extra tips on how your business blog should be optimised for maximum impact on search engines:

The architecture of your Business Blog needs to be clear and on brand

Your blog needs to be more than just easy to navigate and easy to understand, it needs to be clustered by topic to prevent your posts on similar subjects from competing against each other in search engines, especially if you’re producing lots of content on similar topics.

By incorporating site architecture that breaks content into distinct topics related to your business focus, you can build content that answers queries around those topic areas to generate maximum traction for your blog on search engines.

Make sure your blog is mobile friendly

In the UK in 2017, 61% of web-usage was on mobile. This means your content must be mobile friendly to ensure your visitors and clients get a great first impression of your brand and keep coming back for more.

Don’t duplicate post tags

Using tags for SEO is an important part of establishing the structure of your business blog, as they allow the google bots to properly understand what content is what.

However, this means that if you have too many repeated topic tags attached to your content, search engines may punish you for having duplicate content. So make sure each post is tagged with a unique combination of post tags.

Write thorough, interesting content

In 2017, and more so going forward into 2018, Google is looking for long informative content, before pushing your piece up the ranking for a given keyword, the search bots want to see that you’re an authority on that keyword subject, so will bump up those articles that are in-depth and easy to consume.

You should be aiming to own your space with strong thought leadership, detailed, interesting and unique research content is a sure-fire way of presenting your brand as an industry specialist.

Optimise images

Adding your keywords to image alt tags can give your content an added boost as Search engines look for its relevancy.

Include relevant internal links

Including Internal links to and from relevant content and pages on your website makes it easy for search engines to understand the depth and relevancy of your blog, and spreads the link love around your site to increase Domain Authority and Page Authority.

Be responsive

SEO marketing is constantly changing in line with the ebbs and flows of Google’s search algorithms, meaning SEO marketing must be highly adaptive.

Using Google Search Console you can track and measure the searches that people used to arrive at your blog, and you learn from this to develop better and better SEO content for your blog.

Stay in tune with how and why your audience is searching and you can stay ahead with great content primed to reach them. That’s the magic of SEO content marketing.

For more information on this process, or to talk through any other aspects of SEO marketing, feel free to drop us a call to chat with one of our SEO experts.

Happy optimising!