One of the most common questions I get asked is “why isn’t my blog working for me?”. In this context, it’s usually about SEO and improving your organic ranking. While it’s not always easy to answer this question, there’s definitely a few things that I look out for when I go through a blog to investigate. Here’s my top 3 tips to look out for when you want to make your blog work harder for your business.
1) Not enough, or too many keywords
Easily one of the main errors I see is the improper use of keywords. In regards to SEO that means either too many, or not enough. Back in the early days of SEO, it was common practice to try and trick the search engine, which involved copy + pasting keywords into a webpage, but then setting the colour of the words to that of the background, making them invisible to human users, but not to search engine spiders. This and plenty of other tricks are now referred to as “black hat SEO techniques” and not only do they not work, they will get your site penalised by the search engine, which is super bad news.
Another case of the overuse of keywords is what’s called “keyword jamming”. This is overusing keywords in your website/blog copy to the point where it’s both difficult to read, is unnatural, and offers very little substance to the reader. An example may look something like this;
“This red Honda sports car is a sports car made by honda that is red”.
On the flipside, you still need to use keywords, otherwise you’re just creating content that has no commercial purpose. In order to start doing this, you’ll need to have done some keyword research to find out what people search to find products or services like yours, and what search terms you want to be found for. Keep this list handy when you’re creating your content and ensure that you work it naturally into the copy. When I say “naturally” I mean as it would appear in normal speech OR where it won’t detract from your message.
2) Internal links
In a general sense, internal links have two main purposes; the first is to aid the search engine in navigating and indexing your website. This is important as it helps the search engine assess the relevance of your site. The second main purpose is to encourage the user to explore your site, or take the actions you want them to. In it’s simplest form, that could be taking the phrase “Get in touch for more details” and hyperlinking it to your ‘contact’ page. Here’s some simple things to keep in mind when adding internal links;
- Be natural – instead of having “click here” or “follow this link” as the words that are linked, use your anchor text more naturally. Place the link on words that have the most relevance to what you’re linking to. (The example here is my linking of “anchor text”).
- Add knowledge or the next step – Link relevancy is important for SEO, so before you link to something internally, make sure it either provides more knowledge to the user, or links to the page that provides the next step you want the user to take. This could be another blog post, or a static page on your site.
- Not too many – Stick to a maximum of 2 per paragraph too avoid clutter.
3) External (outbound) links
The main purposes of external links mirror that of internal links, however you’re linking off-site. Many old-school marketers and business owners have a big issue with this, but it’s important to remember that there are great benefits to doing, and you’re not guiding people away from your site. Remember these key tips;
- Relevancy – like internal links, these external links need to provide the user with more information. For example, I’ve linked to a Moz article above for “anchor text”. This is useful because I’ve just used the term without explaining it fully, so if you want to learn more about it, you can follow the links and read more about anchor links.
- Link to a good website – It’s important not to link to a dodgy website. Apart from using some general common sense, you can check it using tools like ahrefs to check the domain authority and spam score.
- Don’t link to competitors – For obvious reasons, don’t link people to your direct competitors.
- Make sure the link opens in a new tab/window – This is normally a setting in CMS’ like WordPress, but in order to make sure your users aren’t redirected away from your site, set your links to open in new browsing tabs or windows, so your site remains visible.
Write better copy | Reef Digital Agency
The above are just 3 simple things to look out for when you’re looking to start, or fix up, your business blog. Building and maintaining a successful blog strategy for your business takes research, time, consistency, and of course a bit of talent doesn’t go astray! If you’re struggling to see results with your current blog, or have been thinking about starting up your company’s blog, then get in touch with me here at Reef and let’s make your blog work harder for you.