Last year, digital marketing expert Kevin Ekmark surveyed his peers to get their take on the digital marketing landscape. One highlight from Ekmark’s survey: SEO is not dead. In fact, he said, the quality of your entire Internet presence—blog posts, website design, social media and so on—matters more than ever. After all, Google is constantly watching.
“Don’t skip over the basics of optimizing your site,” Ekmark wrote.
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we all understand what SEO is. SEO, or search engine optimization, boosts the visibility of a website in “organic” results on search engines like Google. Here at SpareFoot, for instance, we want our site to rank highly in Google search results for a term like “self-storage unit.”
Here are four tips from our in-house SEO authority, Josh Waldrum, on how your startup’s blog can step up its SEO game. Waldrum initially came up with these tips in response to a request from freelance journalist Katie Truesdell for advice on how to make your blog more SEO-friendly.
1. Create Relevant Content.
Don’t write a blog post for the sake of writing. Create relevant content that is useful and engaging for your target audience. Google’s algorithm has become extremely sophisticated and can tell the difference between spam content and real content. If you’re just cranking out useless content or spinning old content, you could be setting yourself up for a penalty from Google.
2. Promote Your Content.
You know the old philosophical question of “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This adage can similarly be applied to a lot of blog content out there. Plenty of small businesses create great blog content but do nothing to promote it. If you’re creating compelling content, you should be promoting it through Facebook, Twitter and other channels. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Share your content with anyone you think would be interested. If you find influential bloggers or social media influencers in your niche, make sure you’re sharing your content with them—and let them promote it for you.
3. Develop Sharable Content.
Keeping in mind the first and second points, you always should create content with the intent of it being shared. Some of the easiest ways to get your content noticed by others are to mention other businesses or quote influential people in your blog posts. This is ego bait at its finest. People are always more likely to share content that mentions them.
Also, create content that you’d be likely to share even if you were not associated with your business. Write an interesting piece on the city where you do business or even post a list of the best restaurants in your city. This sort of content is likely to spark interest from people who may not be familiar with your business.
4. Use an SEO Plug-In.
If you’re using WordPress, there are tons of great plug-ins that will quickly make your posts more SEO-friendly. Plug-ins like Yoast offer the ability to optimize your posts for search engines. With this plug-in, you can write unique meta-descriptions for your posts and even choose focus keywords. Yoast also will grade your posts on the relevancy of your focus keywords.