One of the most powerful benefits for a blog is its SEO capabilities. Every single post can provide content to the search engines on a topic catered to your product or service. This is extremely valuable to trainers, consultants, and professional coaches because it provides a platform to illustrate their knowledge and how they help clients. However, a plan needs put in place so that the right content is being fed to search engines. Setting desirable keywords and page structure is critical to maximizing the SEO benefits.
Keywords are phrases that you’d want to rank highly on search engines for. Make that list and have it handy. The more you can work those phrases into your articles the better. Using those keywords in titles or links can add an extra boost to the importance search engines place on it.
A word of warning not to get carried away. Using the same phrase every other sentence is annoying to read and first and foremost we want to ensure that the posts are valuable to our readers. Also don’t try to cover every topic all at once. For instance, in my case, if I write a post about blogging, I shouldn’t be looking to sprinkle in a lot of email marketing keywords. Mix in the appropriate phrases where it makes sense but don’t force it.
After a post is written with identified keywords, an often overlooked aspect of blogging is incorporating search engine optimization features. Truly, there is no reason to skip it as there are plugins for blogging platforms that make it easier than ever. For wordpress, I use All in One SEO Pack but if you are less familiar with SEO, YOAST provides a visual dashboard to rank how well the page is set up and provides suggestions to improve.
Whatever plugin you use there are 4 major areas that should be filled in.
The first is a category. These are your overarching topics for the blog. Using categories serves as a general keyword and on most templates will function as a navigation link that readers can use to sort articles. Assign a category to every post, nothing should be left on the default “undefined”.
The second is tags. Every keyword or phrase that is in the article should be tagged in your blog. This insures that the code includes those keywords directly to the search engine so that it’s sure to be incorporated into the listing.
The third is URL name. It’s more advantageous to have the URL include the title and/or keywords rather than be a random string of numbers, which is usually the default setting. Most plugins will do this automatically or let you define it manually.
The fourth is a title tag. This is an unseen section of the site but very important for search engines. Most plugins will use the title by default but can usually be modified. The title is a good start but if you can work in a couple extra keywords here, so much the better.
SEO is often a part of blogging that trainers, consultant, and professional coaches struggle with but it doesn’t have to be daunting. Once you set up the tools for SEO it’s just the follow up step to writing an article. The advantage being that it will be visible to more people via search engine and drive targeted traffic to your site.