One surefire way to improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) is to consistently blog. However, blogging for the sole purpose of SEO is a bit like starting a band just to get rich and famous. The motivation will be too shallow to power you through the early stages of consistent work, microscopic progress, and a lack of recognition. There must be some passion, and you should be having fun. Otherwise, you’ll quit.
That’s why we encourage our clients, friends, and colleagues to write what they care about and then go back and optimize it for search. And SEO doesn’t just mean making it easy for Google to find; it means making it easy for people to find, understand, and read as well.
Intro to SEO Blogging
SEObook.com offers a terrific introduction to the world of blogging from an SEO standpoint. It covers how Google sees your blog, the unique social and SEO characteristics of blogs, keyword research and optimization, and much more. There’s even a video featuring an interview with Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, blogger, and technology activist.
In the video, Doctorow gives his No. 1 piece of advice to bloggers: “Write headlines like you’re a wire service writer.” In other words, don’t get too clever. This is good news, because being clever can be a lot of work. Just stick to the facts and let the reader (and Google) decide if it’s relevant.
Doctorow makes all of his work available for free under Creative Commons licenses, including Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright and the Future of the Future.
It’s tempting for most business owners and marketers to search for SEO secrets, quick fixes, and insider tips as they begin to blog. Michael Gray, who writes about SEO, social media, and blog management on his Graywolf’s SEO Blog, writes “It’s the combination of all the pieces working together–content, information architecture, and good marketing & promotion–that leads to true success, not the elusive secret you are looking for to avoid one or more of those steps.” That means no shortcuts.
And readers aren’t the only ones who are learning to spot SEO tricks: Google is learning too.
Be My Guest Blogger
Once you’ve gotten the hang of writing your blog—or working with a writer who knows blogging—consider sharing your insights on someone else’s. Guest blogging is a practice emphatically supported by SEO professionals and content marketers alike. That’s because when you publish on another site, both interests are served.
At the end of your guest post, you can say a little about yourself and your company while also linking back to your site. The higher the quality of the site you’re guest blogging on, the more that link back to your own site will help your search rankings.
Content marketers love guest posts too, because it spreads your message to a larger audience, allowing them to engage with your brand. Thankfully, James Agate contributed a guest post of his own to SEO Book.com titled “How to Evaluate Guest Post Opportunities,” a checklist of considerations that everyone should keep in mind before submitting their valuable content to another site.
Give it a Shot
If you still haven’t gotten around to starting a blog—whether a personal or business one—why not start today? We’ll be following up with more information in the weeks to come that will help you develop effective content of your own.