Got a business blog? Great—make sure you optimise that bad boy with relevant keywords so your content doesn’t go to waste!
If you’re a business and you’ve got a website then it goes without saying that you should be blogging.
Blogging is a great way to get your business name out there and, as an added bonus, it’s also great for your website’s SEO as it means you’re constantly updating your site with fresh, new content—Google LOVES that!
So, if you don’t have a business blog yet, GO GET ONE!!
That being said, if you DO have a business blog—or you’re on your way right now to get one set up—you better make sure you’re optimising each of your posts with keywords that are relevant to your business.
What Are Keywords?
Put simply, keywords are the words and phrases your customers are using to search for your products or services online. So, if I’m searching for an awesome new pair of dinosaur socks, I might enter ‘dinosaur socks’ into Google.
Short-Tail Keywords vs Long-Tail Keywords
This would be considered a ‘short tail’ keyword as the term ‘dinosaur socks’ is fairly broad, which means I’ll get more results from Google but they might not all be exactly what I’m looking for:
As you can see in the screenshot above, my search has produced over 13 million results and I can see straight away from the shopping snippets at the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) that I’m getting a lot of children’s socks—which is no good for me and my adult size sevens!
So, I might update my search query to ‘adult dinosaur socks UK’. This is considered a ‘long-tail keyword’ as it’s more specific and will give me fewer results that are much more qualified:
As you can see from the second screenshot, just by adding two more words to my search query, I’ve reduced my results by over 9 million!
In relation to blogs and business blogging, keywords represent the main words or phrases related to your content.
In this blog post, I’m targeting people that might be searching online for advice about blogging for business. Therefore, the keywords I need to include (naturally) in my content are phrases like ‘business blog’, ‘blogging for business’, ‘SEO optimised blogging’ and ‘blogging for SMEs’.
The above keyword variations are called LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords and represent other words and phrases that are closely linked to your overall target keyword or phrase.
LSI keywords are vital for helping Google figure out what your blog post is about, so make sure you’re not just stuffing your posts with the same keyword phrase over and over again!
An easy way to discover LSI keywords is by looking at what Google Autocomplete suggests and the bold part of the suggestion is your LSI keyword, use this as part of your blog posts:
Finding and targeting keywords for your business that rank well within search engines is important as it gets your content seen, however, taking the time to research the keywords your customers are using as opposed to the ones you would use is even more important.
While carrying out proper keyword research takes time, it’s well worth the effort in the long run as your keywords represent the building blocks upon which your wider SEO and digital marketing strategy can be built.
If you want to find out more about keywords and how to choose the right ones, check out this killer video from Exposure Ninja which covers all the basics in a nicely digestible 25-minute visual feast!
SEO Optimised Blogging for SMEs
SEO optimised blogs are the holy grail of business blogging. A lot of businesses fail to achieve their goals with their business blog because they use it as a press release platform. But your business blog should be more than a soapbox to shout about your latest products and offers.
If people are on your website they already know what you sell, you don’t need to duplicate this on your blog. Rather, your blog posts should aim to provide visitors with other valuable information that is relevant and useful to them.
This is where your keyword research comes into play…
Using Your Keywords to Plan Your Blog Content
Most blog niches are widely overpopulated with the same content, so half the battle is finding an angle which is lacking content. Once you’ve found your keywords, think of content you can create from that.
Sites like AnswerThePublic.com are a fantastic tool for this as you simply input your keyword phrase into the search and it will generate a variety of questions which are regularly being searched by the general public. Creating content that answers these questions is a great way to get your content found in the SERPs – answer the questions well and your content will be showing up on page 1 before you know it!
As a very quick example, say you have a small business selling art supplies and one of your target keywords is ‘drawing pencils’. If we enter ‘drawing pencils’ into the search on AnswerThePublic.com it provides us with over 60 different questions!
As with any tool that auto-generates its results, there will be a few duds within those 60+ results, but with a sensible eye (and keeping your customers in mind) you can easily pick out several potential topics to create posts about on your blog:
Know Your Links
Utilising links within your blog posts can be super effective for boosting your content’s rankability within the SERPs, but it’s important to choose your links wisely and not cram your content with irrelevant sources.
Internal Links vs External Links
So, quick definitions: an internal link is when you add a link to another page on your own website, for example, you might link to your contact page or another blog post you’ve already published.
An external link is when you add a link to another website, for example, if you refer to a news story, or quote something someone has said you might link to the original article or source.
Having a mixture of internal and external links in your blog posts is great for your site. While you may think external links are more important, it’s actually healthy for your site to include a good amount of internal links back to your own pages too. Not only does this help readers find other related content they may like to explore, it also helps to reduce your site’s bounce rate and establish or improve your site’s architecture which makes it more appealing to Google.
Moz describes external links as ‘third-party votes’—that is to say search engines view external links to your site, or from your site to others, as ‘votes’ saying “this page is a good source of information on this topic”.
While ranking websites is far more complicated today than the original idea of ‘the webpage with the most votes (read: linking domains) = the best source of information on this topic’, it’s still widely accepted that building good quality external links to your website should play a part in any good SEO campaign.
So, before you go adding any old external link to your content, look into the value of that link; does it fit well with what you’re trying to say? Is it a reputable source? But most of all, is it relevant and useful to the reader? Basically, does the addition of that external link add value to your content? If it’s unrelated or a site with poor quality content/a high spam score, including that link in your post is probably going to reflect badly on your site.
Anchor text is the clickable link within your text which will take your readers to an internal link or an external one.
If you’re looking to show your readers an external site, using an anchor text which matches well will have better results and is likely to rank better.
So, if you’re writing a post about car insurance for new drivers, linking to an insurance comparison site makes sense and anchoring that link on text like ‘car insurance for young drivers’ fits well with the subject matter.
On the other hand, adding a link to a cosmetic surgery site, which is completely unrelated to the rest of your content, is going to look super spammy as it has nothing to do with what you’re writing about. Google will flag this as spam and your readers will be confused as hell!
You can also use phrases like ‘click here’ or ‘see here’ as your anchor text, but these won’t have the same SEO properties as using relevant keywords.
Do-Follow vs No-Follow Links
The debate around ‘follow’ vs ‘no-follow’ links is a massive thing in SEO (and is likely to continue until the end of time), but the current thinking is that using a no-follow link has less of an impact for the linked site as Google doesn’t pass on the “link juice” like it does with a follow link.
That being said, Google recently announced that they’re throwing TWO additional link tags into the ring, namely ‘ugc’ (for user-generated content) and ‘sponsored’ (for paid and sponsored links), which has caused quite the stir and reignited the debate around the differing values of link attributes.
If you want to dive into the murky world of link attributes, you can read everything Google has said on the no-follow link attribute change in this awesome piece by Barry Schwartz.
Regardless of the amount of link attribute options we have going forward, just remember: a healthy site uses a mixture of links, so as long as you’re not stuffing your content with follow links or trying to hide paid or sponsored links by misattributing them, you’ll be fine!