How to get your blog read
This is a guest post by Jack Knopfler of Cambridge Web Marketing Co
There are many reasons to start a blog for your business, such as increasing brand awareness; establishing oneself as a thought leader within your niche; improving your site’s SEO; or to gain a better understanding of your audience. However, while everyone has heard the popular adage “content is king” repeated ad infinitum, having a successful blog requires more than just good content. In order to appease your audience and the search engines that drive them to your site, optimising your blog for SEO purposes is absolutely crucial, particularly in the wake of Google’s continued algorithm changes.
Categories and tags
For excellent navigability, paying due diligence to the categories and tags of your blog is essential. While blogs were initially intended to be read chronologically, categories and tags enable users to jump to other posts based on thematic relevance, increasing the amount of time people spend on your site as a result. Categories and tags are similar in that they both help users to navigate your site, but they are also fundamentally different, and should be treated as such. Categories pertain to the broad grouping of post topics – these help users to determine what kind of content they are likely to find on your blog. On the other hand, tags pertain to the unique details of each post. While categories and tags don’t contribute to Google’s ranking of your site, anything that improves the visibility of your content and makes your site more accessible is a definite positive.
The default URL slug created in WordPress when you upload a post is by no means ideal – usually its too long or inappropriately worded. Click on settings and then Permalinks within WordPress, this will allow you to alter the appearance of the post’s title in Google. Choosing a succinct URL slug is often the best policy – aim to remove prepositions and anything else that impacts readability. Remember, a URL doesn’t have to read like perfect english, it only needs to convey the meaning of the article clearly. For more information about WordPress URL structures, please check out this article.
For those without experience in SEO, the typical hyperlinking strategy is to try and gain as many inbound links from every source available. However, it’s easy to forget that internal links are important too. Internal links not only improve the navigability of your site (by helping users to find relevant content), but they are also great for indexing purposes, so try to include several relevant internal links every time you post an article. External links are also beneficial, since they not only provide people with relevant information which is beyond the scope of site, but they can also be a useful tool for generating inbound links which improve your site’s SEO. If you are responsible for driving traffic to external sites, they are likely to respond in kind by linking to you in the future.
When a URL appears in search engine result pages (SERPs), the meta description appears directly beneath. Thus, writing a succinct, captivating meta description is essential if you want to bring new traffic to your blog. In order create meta descriptions for your posts, you will need to download a free WordPress plugin known as Yoast. Once installed, it’s best to take your time while crafting the copy. Don’t concern yourself too much with keywords, instead think about the kind of copy that will encourage clickthroughs. If you can elicit curiosity, use persuasive language and provide a succinct summary of the content within, this is usually a winning formula. You only have 160 characters to make an impact, so make sure you make it count!
Much speculation has arisen over the role that social media signals play in Google’s ranking algorithm. However, one thing that can be said with certainty is that the easier you make it for people to share your content, the more visible your site will become (providing your content is actually worth sharing, that is). By incorporating buttons for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest. StumbleUpon, Tumblr and LinkedIn into your WordPress layout, you are dramatically improving the chances of your content going viral.
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