I just got back from a radio interview where they asked for my Top 5 Blogging Tips. Since I'm a strong supporter of business blogs, and our own web marketing blog generates so much search engine traffic, I figured I'd share those tips here on the Maine SEO Blog.
Own Your Own Domain Name
Make sure that you own your own domain name for your blog. That means you want to blog at mycompany.com/blog or mycompanyblog.com, but not mycompany.typepad.com or mycompany.wordpress.com. Two reasons for this:
- When you blog on a domain owned by someone else (i.e., wordpress.com or blogspot.com) you're building up trust for that domain, not for your own. Why would you want to blog for the man when you can blog for yourself?
- If you ever need to change platforms (we did a couple of years back, moving from TypePad to WordPress) you will lose all of your inbound links if you didn't first establish your own domain name. All those links to mycompany.typepad.com/whatever? They don't get to come with you.
Blog so That the Search Engines Can Find You
That means starting with a keyword analysis to determine what keyword phrases your audience is using at the search engines. Then using those keywords in your blog post title, headers, in the first sentence or two, and sprinkled throughout your post. Also drop them in your meta-description, meta-keywords, tags, categories and alt-tags.
Create Keyword-Rich Links Back to Your Website
For many of us, a blog is the place where we establish our credibility and engage with our audience, while our website is where we do our sales. If this is the case for you, you should link your keywords in your blog post to appropriate pages on your website. For example, if you wanted to promote your web design skills you might blog about the top 10 web design mistakes and then link the words website design to the page on your website where you talk about your mad design skills.
Engage Your Audience On and Off Your Blog
If someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts (unless their “name” is SEO India, Whiter Teeth, or Natural Cialis) then you should respond to their comments. Likewise, you should be active in social networking on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as applicable for your business, and engage your network; ask questions, answer queries, and promote their stuff as well. They will be more receptive and interested when you post a link to your most recent post.
Be Patient and Persistant
Blogging is not like PPC ads on Google; you don't get page one results from day one. Instead, it takes time to succeed. I'd recommend 2 – 3 posts a week for six months before you start to get the results you're looking for. Although that may seem daunting, those posts continue to drive new qualified leads to your site for as long as you have your blog. I have posts from 2006 that still bring in hundreds of new visitors every month. Now that's return on investment.
Photo credit: WoodleyWonderWorks