In the last post I mentioned some best practices on how to get more followers for your website or blog.
It’s important to understand your own motive for blogging because it is a huge commitment and to do it well, longer-term requires a lot of self-discipline and honesty which I go into on this post.
For starting business, entrepreneurs and authors I believe it’s crucial to have an online presence in today’s competitive network and to leverage the social channels to widen your scope. Your website and the content you create still should be the focus and there are several parts that shouldn’t be neglected or all of that good work could go to waste – unnoticed and languishing in your archived blog repository.
The principles I’m going to speak to here typically apply to other CMS (Content Management Systems) than WordPress but it is still relevant to every blogger trying to tag and optimise their pages with relevant keywords.
We’ve already covered that the perfect blog posts should be concise (250-750) words, educational/entertaining without being self-promotional and peppered with the right keywords to ensure they make the greatest impact on search engines.
Every page that you create on your blog should be centred around a specific key word or phrase to encapsulate the theme of the post. Every page you create is another chance for your future customer to find you online and Google looks favourably on those websites that are releasing fresh, relevant and consistent content and it can boost your search ranking in turn.
Also, the more pages you create that are keyword optimised, the greater the likelihood that others will link to that content again increasing your authority in the eyes of Google making you stand out as a ‘thought leader’ bumping your posts even higher on search engines.
I strongly suggest spending some time considering which keywords you would like to rank for.
Many people use Google Analytics to measure the number of searches for a specific keyword. This can be a valuable tool to better understand what people are looking for online. I would exercise caution however because you might have 50,000 people searching for ‘bike route 66‘ but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you write a blog post you’re going to get many of those searchers falling onto your site. There will be dozens if not hundreds of sites vying for that keyword, most better established and more of an authority than your own.
Something I’ve used in my day-to-day job and to help educate prospective clients of Hubspot is the ‘Keyword tool‘. You can sign up for a free 30 day trial to use it yourself.
It goes one step deeper in your keyword strategy research and will reveal not only the number of searches per month, but the difficulty scoring from a scale of 1-99, of how tough is is too rank on the first page of Google for that word. If you aren’t on the first page of Google, people are highly unlikely to trawl through other pages to find that content.
The Keywords tool allows you to identify the low hanging fruit and can dictate where and around what themes to create your blog content to maximise the chances of being found online.
It can be set to specific countries too which can be useful if your target market is international and you want to rank for certain keywords elsewhere (i.e. a series of speaking events in Europe, book launch in USA etc.).
The three columns that accompany the keyword search are as follows – Monthly Searches, Your Current Ranking and finally the Difficulty scoring. It is a fluid system and trends can be noticed as you begin to create content and see it resonate with your target audience.
Typically if the core of your business is travel related, and the search term ‘Travel’ is difficult to rank for, then you would need to consider as part of your short-medium term plan going after longer tail keywords to get those quick wins instead of being bullied out by the more dominant companies who all but have the keyword ‘travel’ sewn up.
Personally, I’m going to start using this tool to brainstorm new blog ideas and will be sharing the traffic numbers in coming months and what impact this research has made on the hits I receive to my site.
Once you have identified the keywords that you’d like to start ranking for through organic search traffic, it is important to dot these into the right areas of your website. I’ll look at that in the next post.