Having quality content is key to how well your website ranks in search engines. This is one of the reasons many of us choose to include a blog within our websites. It allows up to keep our main webpages clean, clear, and compelling while providing juicy content search engines will love within a blog. Over the years, search engines have tightened up on its criteria for ranking websites and simply stuffing short blocks of content with juicy keywords is no longer effective. This is a good thing: Quality content now wins the race to the top.
For a site to perform well in search engines, it needs to have content that is well-written, unique, and relevant to its audience. Content also needs to be authoritative and compelling in delivering information and to provide real value for website visitors.
Quality is not the only consideration here, either. Freshness is also important. Search engines look for fresh content all the time, which means you need to add new and interesting content to your website regularly to keep it performing well.
Since many of us blog for the SEO benefits, sometimes we can get a little heavy-handed with it, try to take shortcuts, or produce useless content that is in no way beneficial to the reader. Too much SEO is as bad for your blog as too little SEO. In this post, you’ll discover why.
One way SEO can kill your blog is through keywords. If you stuff your content with keywords hoping to improve your Google ranking, you could be doing more harm than good, especially now since the latest algorithm updates have been introduced.
Getting too bogged down with keywords is a bad idea. It’s best to create a broad range of keywords and use them where it makes sense to do so for your readers. Keywords should be sprinkled throughout your content as they occur naturally, particularly in headlines. Leave keywords out if it’s going to read poorly.
SEO also kills your blog if you restrict what you write about to include only your top keywords. Writing for search engines alone is a sure-fire way of lowering the quality of your content and in providing stale content that doesn’t excite your readers at all.
The best writing for your blog often occurs spontaneously. By restricting your topics, you take away the fun out of blogging. Many bloggers would stand a better chance of getting good rankings and traffic if they simply forget about SEO and simply focus their efforts on creating high-quality content.
The subconscious effect
Search engines love fresh content that’s neither too short nor too long. When you exaggerate the importance of SEO, you end up unconsciously writing content for search engines and not for people. Your content then becomes boring. The content might be of good quality and optimised, but it lacks that genuine feel that captivates readers and makes them return to your blog.
SEO is great until it starts affecting the quality of the content you create. Yes, that can happen, especially on blogs. The quality of the content and the tone of the writing are crucial. Keywords help, but they are not always required and should never be your primary focus.
Focus on connecting with people and not on perfecting your blog for search engines. Search engines are not the only source of traffic: there’s guest blog posting, advertising, and social media marketing. Do the right thing by humans first, and the SEO will take care of itself.
Fresh, flexible, and dynamic
While many pages on your website are probably a build-and-leave-it proposition, your blog should be fresh, flexible, and dynamic. The main pages within your website should be informative about your business, and your products or services. However, they are relatively static. You might make some changes and updates from time-to-time, but that is unlikely to make a substantial difference. Your blog can be less formal than your regular webpages when newsworthy topics arise in your industry. Or you spontaneously come up with an interesting idea to share.
Create for your business a content marketing strategy. It’s my opinion that your blog should be central to your strategy since it can live within your website and, therefore, attracts people to your website where you control the message and minimise distractions. Other marketers hold the view that social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram should be central your strategy. My number one goal for social media is to get people off social media and to my website. That’s often done through the blog.
Your content marketing strategy might involve uploading a weekly, fortnightly, or a monthly blog post or article on a topic that’s interesting for your audience and then sharing that blog throughout your social media platforms. Topics might include:
- Instructional posts on using your products, maybe with how-to videos embedded from YouTube.
- New developments within your industry that have relevance for your customers.
- Successful case studies and stories from your customers.
- Posts derived from newsworthy topics in your industry.
- Humorous and fun posts.
There’s a lot of opinions shared online about the optimal length of content for a blog post. Rather than aiming for a certain word-length for your posts, make the length suit the complexity of the topic. You don’t want to pad a post with waffle or leave people short of key information.
Ensure your posts are visually pleasing and easy-to-read on the screen. This involves considering the fonts you use, as well as any graphics or images and how they display on various devices (Phone, tablet, PC etc.)
Make your blog audience-focused. This means not overdoing the marketing or trying to hard sell, but focusing on providing value. Too much selling could deter your readers from coming back.
If you don’t have the time or skill for writing, or you are not sure where to start, you could always hire a content writing company to do it for you. Although there will be a cost involved, it may be worth having professional, well-written, and search engine-optimised content on your blog. They may draft something up for you, and then you can work your flair into it before publishing.
Adding regular quality content helps make your website more visible online and enhances the professionalism of your website. It adds depth to your website without cluttering your main pages. Make sure that you don’t skimp on content, but rather invest resources in making content marketing work for your business.
I have a confession to make…
I love writing for this blog. However, from time to time, I struggle to come up with something fresh and exciting for our readers. Sometimes, I can sit in front of the computer screen for hours without getting anything useful written.
If you are a blogger like me, you probably have experienced something similar at one point or another. After a while, your content can sometimes seem a little lacklustre. Are your readers still engaged with what you have to say? What can you do to recharge and refresh your content?
Maybe you are having trouble finding fresh topics to write about, maybe you are struggling to come up with something useful and relevant for your target market. You may be feeling that you are losing the attention of your readers. Don’t lose heart; we all feel like this at times and need to reignite our passion.
Almost every online marketer and business owner have gone through a phase like this. Based on what I’ve discussed with a number of people over the years, there are ways to help alleviate the pressure and get you back on track. It can be slightly different for each individual, however; these are the things that seem to help the majority of people I speak with.
Find a new way to write
Bloggers can get stale if you approach it the same way each and every time. It could be as simple as handwriting your new content in a journal first or taking your laptop to a cafe and write something new. Just changing your environment can change the way you view the world and will change the way you write. Do something to break the monotony of your blog posts.
Just coming up with a topic can be hard sometimes. It can sometimes help to formulate a series ahead of time so you can get into the swing of things quickly and easily.
New sources of information
There is a multitude of content online and offline. Try something you haven’t looked at before. Maybe you could listen to podcasts or watch some videos online. Maybe you could read an interesting book. You could also think a little laterally and use illustrations you observe in your day-to-day life to get a fresh message across. If you are into movies, they are a great source of inspiration for many bloggers.
Take advantage of your commute time and listen to some podcasts. It doesn’t need to be about the topic you cover in your blog. Anything you find interesting could inspire a different angle for your blog.
Consider watching YouTube or Ted talks. The debate on whether video online is appropriate or not is well and truly over. The speed of the internet today makes it quick and easy to watch a variety of online videos. You may even choose to embed third-party YouTube videos within your blog and write some commentary about the video. Many web users prefer video over written content, so you are likely to keep visitors on your blog longer if you embed video. The beauty is it doesn’t even need to be something you created.
Hope this helps! Happy blogging.