18 May 2011 By Northern Lights
There are three parts to writing a good blog. Identify topics that your clients and potential customers will find helpful and answer questions on. Write about them in an engaging and useful way. And then get your blog noticed by the people you are writing for.
Based on feedback, our own blog is not bad at the first two, but we are certain we can improve the last point – getting noticed.
Thanks to Julian Winfield of Extreme Creations who last week was good enough to share his thoughts on what we could do differently. Here are his views
1. How often should you post a blog?
Julian reckons that ideally, you need to be posting a blog two or three times a week. Google has a system to check websites for new content on a regular basis. The more your website is updated with good quality content, the more frequently Google will check your website.
Even if you are blogging on topical issues, Google may not be picking these up while current if it is not checking your website for another week or so.
We have to accept that the speed of activities on the internet is changing as we speak. As others start posting more frequently, we all have to adapt to maintain our presence.
No doubt it will not be long before we need to post daily. If I’m honest, I suspect that is ideally what we should be doing now – it’s just quite a ‘gulp’ moment.
2. Is link building really important?
Yes is the simple answer. Getting quality websites to include links to your blog is really important. It increases your credibility in the eyes of Google, the more links to your blog the more likely it is to appear higher in the search engine results pages (SERP’s) for your individual posts.
As examples, they could do this by
– Including your website on their blog roll or list of ‘blogs we like’
– When writing a Blog article, try to include a hyperlink into a phrase or word that links to a relevant topic in your blog which will explain the topic in more detail
There have been debates as to whether hyperlinks from your site to others will dilute your own blog. But Google measures a combination of factors, including the quality of blog content. The better the quality the more highly it ranks you. Occasional links to other sites demonstrates a blog designed to be helpful to readers, rather than just there to boost your own rankings.
3. Key phrase in your blog
What do you really want to be known for? Ours is social media for business. That phrase needs to be repeated over and over in your blog over time, but in a natural way so that Google doesn’t think you are trying to spam their algorithms.
Include your key phrase in your blog headings, blog questions, in blog content. Don’t over-do it – if it feels like you are doing it to be spotted, Google will think this is spam and can actually penalise your website, eventually blacklisting your site if you carry on overdoing it.
When writing blog content, try to hyperlink your keyphrases to areas of your own site/blog as this helps boost the selected hyperlink text (or keyphrase) in the SERPs. Using our own example above, we want to be found for ‘Social media in business’, so from now on we’ll be linking ‘Social media in business’ to our main website. The more this is done, the more it will boost that keyphrase in the search engine results.
If you want to see what can be achieved, a few years ago there were a couple of campaigns to get George W Bush associated with ‘failure’ and ‘liar’. If you type in the words ‘miserable failure’ or ‘liar’ you will see his name immediately comes up– actually it is articles to say that Google has taken down the links built up by campaigners to make this happen. Another example is if you type in ‘Click here’ to Google, Adobe Acrobat Reader is number one. Why? Because thousands of websites around the world hyperlink ‘click here’ to this site.
4. Link back – naturally – to your own website
Link back from your blog to your website or other relevant blogs – but maximum of around two per blog or it will come over as spam.
5. How helpful are comments in getting your blog noticed?
Many blogs – and probably most business blogs – have a ‘nofollow’ button for comments on the blog. This means Google won’t pick up the web address of the people leaving comments, so if you leave comments on other people’s blogs this may or may not help to get your blog noticed.
There is an interesting blog on this written by Hobo SEO.
That’s in terms of weblinks. Of course good quality links from people you rate and want to do business with still matter, both ways. You on their websites, them on your website.
6. Do Twitter links help your blog?
Absolutely yes. When we analyse our own blog and our clients’, increasing numbers of visitors to the blog have come from Twitter and now that Google crawls Twitter feeds it’s all the more important.
7. Do Facebook mentions help a blog to be noticed?
To some extent. Google does index the Facebook pages, but unfortunately Google doesn’t follow any links, so don’t add links if you’re only doing it for the reasons mentioned above.
Is there anything else that you think is really important to help your blog be noticed? We would love to share them.