Tag Archives: small business

How to Build a Blog Audience

Everyone is looking for information online today.  There is an almost insatiable need for information that blogging can help to satisfy.  You will gain much greater exposure by adding a blog to your IBOToolbox promotional efforts. 

Optimizing your blog posts for search can do two things: 

  1. Creates information that your target market is looking for. 
  2. It feeds the search engines with content that can be ranked to that it can be offered to your audience.  

Whatever promotional efforts you undertake, always remember the reader.  Without knowing all of the complex aspects of SEO – (Search Engine Optimization), when your efforts are designed with the reader in mind, you will be following the Google guidelines and help your information to be found on the search engines.  .

There are some important guidelines to follow in helping your blog posts to rank. 

Step 1 – Keyword Research 

In order to find words your target market may use to find information, use the following sources to check monthly traffic volume.   Who wants to write content that no one is searching for, right?

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

Google Trends

Wordstream

Ubersuggest

Wordtracker

Google each of these companies and you will find sites that offer both a free version, and in come cases, a paid version of their keyword research tools.  Note:  Google's tools are free, you just need to sign up for an account.

Instead of targeting a single keyword, try to use a variety of related keywords in a natural way as you write your post.  

An example might be writing a post for the keyword phrase “chocolate”.

You might want to include phrases such as:

gormet chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate desserts, chocolate bars. chocolate milk, chocolate cake, etc. 

Step 2 – Blog Post Title

It could be argued that the title is the most important piece of information your blog.  This is the short snippet of information that will appear on the search engine results page.

If your content is appealing, but your post title is mediocre, chances are no one will ever see your content. If your blog post title is highly attractive, but your content is weak, the may click on the link to your post, but not read your post.

You need to sort of tease your reader to be interested enough to click on the post title to see more, such as the following examples.

 

10 Secret Recipes from the Kitchens of Chocolatiers

Mouthwatering Chocolate Desserts for Special Occaisons

5 chocolate recipies you will not be able to live without

 

Each of these titles uses a formula known for getting clicks, uses the keyword phrase, (or a variation, like Chocolatier). 

Types of posts that attract clicks are:

  • Questions
  • Lists
  • How-to
  • Secrets
  • Mistakes

Here are a few additional rules:

  • Keep it less than 65 characters
  • Use the focus keyword only once
  • Don’t stuff it with keywords

Keep titles in a natural, highly readable format.

Step 3 – Choose the name of the post file – the URL

Here are some theories about this. 

One says you should use the complete title in lower case, with hyphens in between each word, like this.

/10-secret-recipes-from-the-kitchens-of-chocolatiers/

That will work well.  

The other idea is to keep url's as short as possible, like this.

/10-secret-chocolatier-recipes/

Both are valid, but remember you want to reader to understand at a glance what your blog post is about., not what the search engines are looking for.  

A few more recommendation for blog URLs:

  • Do not use the date
  • Be careful not to duplicate url's
  • Use dashes, not underscores
  • Use all lowercase letters instead of mixed upper and lower case

Step 4 – Description

If you are creating blog post on a WordPress blog, the meta description is important because the search engines will see it even if your readers do not. 

When writing your descriptions you want to provide a summary of what your post is about.  Use the targetd keyword phrase.

Keep it under 160 characters. Don’t stuff with keywords. Write it as an introduction to your post.  

 

Step 5 Headings

It’s a simple thing, but it is easy to overlook formatting. 

Books have chapters because they help to break up the content in segments and make it easier to read. It also helps in Search Engine Optimization.  

Step 6 Internal Linking

Internal links help market your blog and make more interesting by linking to additional related content. 

This provides a next step for the reader.  They spend more time on your site.  You can also provide links to related content not on your own site.  Readers benefit and search engine's like that as well.  

 

John Lombaerde – Goldfinch Digital Publishing

Contributor