Last updated on April 30th, 2014
By now anyone serious about marketing their product or service online knows that Google favors websites that are updated frequently with original, engaging and authoritative content. A blog is a great way for website owners to keep fresh content rolling through their website because anyone, with a little bit of basic training, can create outstanding, shareable content in a short amount of time. And the best part is, the longer you do it the faster you can turn out quality content.
What Blog Software Should I use?
SEO Advantages manages hundreds of blogs for our customers and in almost every case we choose WordPress. Why?
- WordPress is a fast and simple platform for anyone with just a little bit of technical knowledge to install and configure.
- Once installed and properly configured WordPress makes adding relevant content to your website a snap.
- Functionality: The WordPress plugin system is one of the easiest of any content management systems to use, and you will find thousands of quality plugins to extend the functionality of WordPress.
- With just a few plugins and tweaks WordPress becomes a highly-optimized SEO-friendly platform.
- With great plugins like Sucuri and Updraft Plus it is easy to secure your blog and run automatic backups.
Optimizing Your WordPress Blog
Follow these tips to optimize your WordPress blog and blog posts for better SEO and search engine visibility.
- Use an SEO plugin: For speed, performance and quick optimization we typically utilize the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast makes it easy to create important meta elements automatically. It will also help you with Google Authorship and teach you how to properly use keywords in your blog content. Yoast will also create and maintain an XML sitemap for search engines.
- Disable and remove any unused plugins: Besides creating the possibility of slowing things down, unused plugins can create unwanted security issues for your WordPress blog.
- Pick a blog topic and stick to it: Typically when writing a blog post you want to identify the keyword you think people will search for when you want them to find your post and structure your post around that keyword.
- Writing the title: Include your target keyword in your blog post title. WordPress will take your post title and apply the <h1> tag to it.
- Proper use of heading tags: Tags like <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, etc serve a purpose. Their job is to tell search engines what each section of your content is about (and ranks them in importance). At minimum you should be using H1 and H2 tags in every blog posts, but you can use up to six heading tags. You can re-use tags if you want (for instance this page uses one H1, two H2 tags and one H3 tag), but don’t get them out of order. You should also use your primary keyword in your <h1> heading. NOTE: Never re-use the H1 tag. Once H1 is used on a page it is done.
- Links: Each blog post should link to at least two highly-authoritative websites. You can also use links to related content on your own blog to improve your internal linking strategy.
- Media: Include at least one image in your content that is optimized with a descriptive alt tag. If possible you should also include a video somewhere in your post. Properly utilizing and optimizing your media gives your blog more authority than if you simply post a wall of text.
- Meta: Check how your blog post’s meta title and description appear before you hit publish to make sure the title and excerpt will display properly in search results. If you are using Yoast, scroll down the page in the post creation section to see the meta boxes. Yoast will show you what it intends to publish and gives you the opportunity to optimize it.
- Make it easy to share: Install a social media sharing plugin to make it easy for your blog readers to share your content. We typically use the Jetpack social media share buttons along with Jetpack Extras, which lets you further-refine how and where social media share icons will appear.
- Promote: Build social signals back to your post by sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media networks.
A WordPress blog is a great way to produce regular, relevant content that search engines will love. With a little patience (and a lot of practice) you will be able to perfect the blog posting process and increase your chances of ranking for relevant keywords.