This blog has been written by our long-time friends over at Clockwork Moggy, after a conversation between our founder Sarah Hawes and their Director Neil Dickson.
Sarah was talking about great content and Neil was talking about how it is vital for SEO – so we’ve got together with their SEO expert Alicia Dickson to bring you this blog that busts some of the myths around it and gives you all you need to know about blog writing and how it can really help your business move up the Google rankings.
If you have never done any SEO before then blogging is the perfect place to start. Near the end of 2019, Google updated their algorithm again and introduced BERT. Translated from techie talk, this means they updated the way their search engine ranks pages within Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs. But with the arrival of this update, the thing that was most noted as the best strategy for high ranking pages, was quality content.
BERT loves content; BERT is Google’s attempt to make their AI more human, more understanding of the meaning of a search term, to better provide answers. After all, that is what Google wants to do. It wants to provide the best answers it can to its users.
This means that writing content specifically for search engines is well and truly not the thing to do any more.
No more cramming in keywords just for the hell of it – BERT wants you to write for humans and answer their questions to please the search engines.
Blog posts rank much easier than other pages do, so they are a great way to up all your rankings across the web!
Where to start
A great place to start is to answer the questions your clients are asking.
What do they ALWAYS ask?
What do you wish you had a Dictaphone to hand for, to play back to people asking the same questions?
When you are writing, make sure you have researched your keywords correctly. These are the terms that people use to search the product or service you provide. Try to answer a question – you will then make yourself the knowledge base in your industry and avoid selling yourself constantly. If you write quality content and answer questions, you are more likely to impress people and they may just give you an all-important backlink. (More about those later).
How do I find the keywords and search terms?
You can use resources like Google Keyword planner that come with Google Ads or Answer The Public to find the search terms that are related to your industry. These are the questions your audience are asking – now you need to provide the answer.
This is a great site that you can use to find out exactly what people are asking about in your industry and it finds you keywords that are solely questions, which is perfect for blogging.
Simply type in one of your prime keywords or blog titles and you will find an extensive list of questions being asked about that subject. Use it as the focus of your blogs and answer the question as best as you can.
Do your research
Check the market
By this, I mean you want to make sure that the keyword you have chosen is bringing up the right kind of content. We don’t want all the content to come from home or service pages on websites – blog posts are much better content to find the keywords in. If you use a keyword that doesn’t appear in the search, then it means people aren’t searching for it when looking for what you offer – so they won’t find you if you’re using it in your content.
Use the two tools together to find the best keywords – the ones that people are searching and also the ones that don’t always lead to the big companies in your industry.
When it comes to the keyword, you want something that has a high amount of searches per month looking for it but has a low competition. Finding that niche is where your perfect keyword lives.
When it comes to competitors, even the keyword with the lowest competition possible will still have some, and you need to know who they are. Once you have chosen your keyword, open up an incognito browser and type your keyword into the search bar. Find out who is currently ranking at the Number 1 position for it, then read their blog post to find out what it’s like; how do they write? How long is it?
Don’t be tempted to steal. Google hates duplicated content, NEVER copy and paste content from other sites or post the same content to multiple places across the web either – it just doesn’t work.
Make sure to write something that is as good as, if not better than, what is ranking at number 1.
How to optimise
You can either optimise as you go but if you are new to blogging, we would suggest writing your blog first and then start to optimise it. Just make sure that your blog is at least 300 words long; we often write between 500 – 1400 words for a blog.
If you have a WordPress website then you are going to have a much easier time of optimising than those without. That’s because you can install Yoast SEO, a free plugin that helps guide you through optimising your posts.
Yoast scans your pages and gives you optimisation tips and tricks to improve the SEO quality of your post. If you don’t have WordPress then you can still use Yoast’s online Real-time Content Analysis. Just copy and paste your blog post into the window.
Yoast works on a traffic light system, showing you what needs improvement.
Don’t worry about completing every task, but note, the more you complete, the more optimised your page will be and therefore more likely to rank higher.
Remember that this is computer-generated, so not all improvements will be good for you to add, so read through each bullet point carefully and decide whether adding these recommendations will be worth it.
My industry is too boring to blog about
People often complain that their job is too boring to write interesting content about, but we have never once found this to be true. While you may think this, your customers may not. They have questions about your job, about how you do it or even how to do it themselves. Don’t be afraid to tell people how to do it themselves. It proves you know what you are talking about. Studies have shown that 74% of people who research how to complete a job themselves end up getting professional help in the end. Then when it comes to choosing that professional, they are more likely to return to you.
So now I will rank?
Well hopefully, yes. But as you may have guessed, SEO is more complicated than simply putting out a quality piece of content and hoping for the best. You will need to market your blog, by posting it to social media. While social media gives no direct SEO value, leading people to your blogs from your social media can help improve your page score and in turn, helps your overall SEO.
Remember to link to your actual post and not just your blog page or home page. Take people straight to the blog – they want to land on the page and start reading.
If you really want a challenge, then backlinks are your next step. Backlinks are links coming from someone else’s site to yours, perfectly to that lovely blog you just wrote. Backlinks can be hard to come by but 5 simple ones to gain are:
- Blog Comments
- Editorial Links
- Guest Blogs (just like this one)
Each holds a different amount of value but they are great places to start.
Blogging is a great first step – try to set yourself an achievable goal, such as once a month. Fresh content will prompt Google to take another look at your site and that is when your rankings may change.
Good luck and happy blogging. If you would like more help or information check us out – Web Design and SEO Kent.