One of the best reasons to start a business blog is the search traffic.
Some think of it as search engine optimization or SEO. The optimization part has actually gotten easier over the years. Google has gotten really good at finding the best information from the best sources. Optimization remains important. You want the information to be easily understood by readers and Google, but Google has allowed bloggers to focus more on the content than ever before.
Let’s say you’re starting a blog or have been blogging for awhile. And you want to get the SEO going a little more for your blog.
Here are some tips…
1. Reset Expectations
One of the most common frustrations I see with blogging and with business blogging especially is expecting lots of search traffic within the first few months.
That never happens.
Think of your favorite blog. Or a blog in your industry. Or one that a competitor has. The odds are 100% that the blog has been up for years or that the brand or author has previous experience and reputation with blogging.
If you’re not comfortable committing to years of blogging to build your SEO then blogging is not for you. You can get faster results elsewhere. You’ll have to pay for it with advertising usually. But anything organic and earned comes with years of effort, learning and building trust and credibility.
2. 2 E’s vs. Sales
The two E’s are:
This is what you want to focus on when creating topics and titles for your blog posts. People don’t want to read sales content. They don’t want to read about your products and services. They don’t want to read about your brand.
If they do, they would go to your homepage, sales pages and about page.
A blog is best when it provides content that is educational and entertaining. When it answers the questions your target audience is asking in their personal and professional lives.
That outlook provides a wealth of topical opportunity for your blog. That can also be frustrating because it doesn’t narrow down the focus for what your blog can cover.
We’ll get into that with tip #5 in a little bit.
3. More Consistency, More Quantity
Quantity gets a bad reputation in the blogging world. I don’t know why. My favorite bloggers typically blog everyday or nearly everyday. And if they don’t do so now they likely did in the past.
The same is true for your favorite musician. They likely wrote or sang thousands of songs before they had a hit. They might be able to cut back on the quantity once they are established, but it’s all a numbers game. It’s all about quantity.
Committing to a consistent schedule of blogging and focusing on quantity will help you learn what works. You’ll improve with each post you write.
Set a goal of writing 1,000 posts that are 600-words each. Try a few that are longer. Try some that are shorter. But set that as your goal.
You’d be amazed at how this goal will lead to the SEO results you’re looking for. It’s much better than trying to write the perfect post that ranks #1 for a big keyword or that goes viral.
4. No CTAs
This builds on the No Sales thing again. But it’s worth calling this one out. Blog posts are shared and engaged with most when the focus is on the content. The answers to the questions people are searching for. Or something that is incredibly useful or entertaining.
Nobody shares a post and says, “Wait until you see the ad at the bottom!” or “You’ll love the popup that asks for your email when you click on this link!”.
Just forget about the calls to actions on blog posts. If you educate and entertain, people will discover you through other means. They’ll search for your brand name more. They’ll come to you when they’re in buying mode or your reputation in your industry will grow and that will lead to more sales.
Find something that works. Do about 80% of your blog content that way. Leave the other 20% for experiments. Even silly experiments. Try telling a personal story. Try not having an agenda with a post. Try a rant. Try a silly list. Get crazy. It doesn’t matter.
Think of your favorite music artist…
Now think of their 5 worst songs…you probably can’t think of them. Nobody remembers the worst of anything. We focus on the best. We focus on our favorites. It’s all subjective anyway.
When you find a type of post that works then try that most of the time. Then leave 20% for experimentation. Let them fail miserably. Then try something new. Eventually one will hit big and you’ll have a new formula to expand upon.
That will lead to more traffic. From sharing and from search.
SEO is as important as ever. Blogging is a great way to build SEO for your website and business. But there is really no shortcut or secret to successful SEO with a blog. It’s patience and a consistent blogging schedule. And focus on education and entertainment instead of sales.