Blogging for your business website
Keeping a blog on your company’s website is a key tactic for content marketing and also improves your visibility on search engines.
But if you’ve never written for a living (and few people have), here are a few pointers I give to clients.
When starting a blog post, remember what your topic is: choose one and stick to it. If a post has more than one aspect, consider splitting it into a series. Search engines like specific topics, ranking your posts higher if you keep to one subject.
Give the post a clear title explaining what it’s about. This should usually be under 90 characters as that’s the maximum length Google will display. Think of what people might be searching for, and use that to help you title your post.
Don’t forget the first couple of dozen words will also appear in Google search results, so try to make sure you give people a reason to keep reading.
Ideal blog post lengths
Be succinct – but not curt! Google likes blog posts of at least 300 words, while people’s attention spans tend to run short at about 750 words. Keep those limits in mind when you’re writing.
That’s not a hard limit – but as your post gets longer, fewer people will be reading it.
Sub-headings are very important to break up chunks of text. Not only do they improve the look of a blog page, but they help readability. In general, use a subheading every 200 or 300 words.
Try not to get too clever with your subheadings or titles – these will appear in search results and “how to do something” is much easier for people to find through a Google search than a pun, no matter how witty!
Image is everything
Having ignored my own warning about punny titles, some hints in pictures and graphics.
Ensure you have a picture to use with your post. Usually, it’s best to place them at the very top of your post so they will appear on archive pages.
Make sure you optimise files properly – most blogs won’t need huge images and massive files will affect your page’s loading speed. A massive 40% of people give up on web pages if they take longer than 3 seconds to appear.
Also include “alt text” when you use images. It’ll appear if the image itself doesn’t load, and also helps with accessibility – it’s what a website reader for the blind would pick up. It also helps with Google ranking.
Just a word on copyright – lift images you find on the web is a bad idea. You don’t need a letter claiming money… and if you’ve used their photo, you’ll pretty much owe them for it. Use public domain images!
Other tips and tricks
Include some links, even if they lead away from your site. Google favours pages with hyperlinks. You can always link to other pages on your site if necessary. And if you link to somebody’s blog, there’s the possibility they will link back to yours – upping your search ranking.
Make sure you keep comments open, but moderated. They’ll be held for approval and not appear until you say so, denying spammers and critics free reign.
Comments also help search engine rankings as they add content to your page. The next time Google looks at it, it’ll find changed, fresh content.
It’s vital to include social media “share” links on as many different networks as you can. The vast majority of people will probably find your site via Facebook or LinkedIn (if you’re in business), so give people the chance to share your posts.
And finally, try to keep posts flowing – they don’t have to be on a regular basis, but one every week or two will keep your site current. Google and other search engines love regularly updated websites, so make sure there’s something for them to find!
If you have a business blog but are struggling to maintain it, find out what Chips Cheese Gravy Media can do for your online presence. Click here to get in touch with us and see what we can bring to your blogging game!