How to Make Google Sing and Dance with Your Blog

More and more small business owners are blogging these days. Which makes sense because it’s such a great tool for your business.

Blogging allows you to do so much more than just sharing news and promoting events. You can use blogging to boost your credibility, create a personal connection with your audience, and answer customer questions and queries more efficiently.

As a small business owner, I love blogging and recommend it for so many reasons.

But, the number one reason I would suggest jumping on the blogging bandwagon is . . . ‘drum roll please’

Search Engine Marketing.

Many small business owners are aware that blogging is good for search engines (and if you didn’t, well, at least you learned something new today). But just publish posts, and go on their merry way, without understanding all the bits and bobs you can use to making your content search friendly.

If you’re not a techie or Internet whiz, no problem. Optimizing your blog isn’t that hard. Keep reading and I’ll teach you all the areas in your blog that you can use to serve juicy bits of content to Google and other search engines.

Categories
Blog categories allow you to organize your posts by topic and let your readers easily find the areas that are the most interesting to them. But category names should not be chosen randomly. Whenever possible use relevant keywords to name your categories.

Keyword Tags
Each blog post can be associated with keywords. Choose keywords that are related to the topic at hand. And, remember to use the same keywords in the content itself.

If you’re using WordPress and your theme does not automatically include an area for keywords and other optimization areas (we’ll be getting in a bit), Laura and I both recommend the free plugin All in One SEO Pack.

Meta Description
This area allows you to include a description of your post. Create the description, using your keywords of course. Are we sensing a theme here, yet?

Title Tag
The title tag area gives you some flexibility to be creative. I often like to create post titles that are fun and interesting. It makes people want to read on, right?

For example, I titled one of my posts – The greedy email collector. What would be the practical, search friendly title for that post? Common email marketing mistakes or something along those lines would do. I can keep my more interesting title on my blog and use the more practical one in the title tag.

For more tips on naming your blog posts and how to blend creativity with practicality, check out this post on writing titles for your blog posts.

Photos
Did you know that search engines can read the file names of your photos? If you’re using a photo or two in a post, use a relevant keyword for the file name when you save it to your computer.

Text Links
Within your each blog post, you have the opportunity to include links to other content in your blog. Whether you’re referencing your product, service, or a topic that you discussed in another blog post, use keyword rich anchor text to create the link. This gives search engines even more information about the content of that page.

Instead of saying: Read more about my services here try a keyword focused text link, such as Read more about my small business accounting services.

Can you see the difference?

Having a blog is an important way to get your business moving up on search rankings. And now you know how to make the most out of search engine optimization.

 

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Martina IringMartina Iring is an online marketing consultant who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs overwhelmed with all that web stuff. She’s on a mission to help the little guys make sense of Internet marketing, teaching small biz owners how being online is not only profitable, but enjoyable! Her blog, Small Business Bliss, offers up gobs of free marketing info and doses of inspiration just for little biz owners. Get your free website improvement guide here.

Comments

  1. I’m seeing a lot of information on the internet that meta tags do not count as much towards getting better page rank. What is your opinion on this?

    • Great question Kevin! You’re right that the tags aren’t as important as they once were – we have spammers and unethical marketing practices to thank for that :) With that said, Google still does take them into account when crawling web pages. It’s just important to remember that the tags have to match and be customized to the content, of the blog post in this case. And tags are useful beyond the search stuff, as the content in the title and the description shows up publicly – check out the first section of this post http://www.themogulmom.com/2011/08/search-engine-marketing/ for a discussion of that. Hope this helps!

  2. Hi Martina –

    Great post! Do you have tips for knowing what the best keywords/most searched keywords are?

    Thanks!
    Katrina

    • Hi Katrina,
      If you’re new to this search stuff, a great place to start with keyword research is the free Google Adwords Keyword Tool: http://bit.ly/9FqW8F Not only will you see search volumes for the specific keywords you’re looking into, you’ll also see related searches. This helps you get a sense of the different ways people will search for the same topic.

      If you’re a local small business, you’ll notice that the results will only drill down by country (accessed under “Advanced Options and Filters”). To get an idea of local search volume, search for keyword + city name (or other local term).

      Cheers,
      Martina

  3. Thanks so much for the helpful post– a few months ago I didn’t even know what SEO was but thanks to sites like yours and posts like this one (thanks Martina!) I’m learning quickly. The text link tip is especially helpful.

    • So glad to hear that Lauren! Welcome to the wonderful (but often confusing) world of search marketing :) If you ever have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via social media!

  4. Martina, Thanks for this information. I have always want to use the meta tags of my website ranking factor. But with your tips, I will concentrate more on SEO.

  5. I love the title. :) We need to know what should be done, do it timely, consistently and correctly, in terms of SEO. Because Google is trying to make their service better while making it beneficial for all of us as well. It is an ever-changing art, we have to keep on adapting and adapting to all its changes.

  6. Martina, on the text link topic. On any blog posting, the text to include gives greater opportunity to use your keyword as an anchor text. This is what the search engine crawlers will use in ranking your website.

  7. Well, it’s quite easy as you describe it. But where do I start? How should I write to optimize my site? And, what are these search engine crawlers looking for exactly?

    • Hi Kara,
      UK Classifieds shares some good tips (thx!). When writing, just incorporate your key words as much as makes sense. Don’t sacrifice flow and readability to stuff in the keywords. And the more content the better so keep on blogging!

  8. Kara, you can start from anywhere. I will say try and follow this few steps:
    1. Identify your website website market;
    2. Identify your best keywords;
    3. If you can use part of your keyword in your domain name it is good but if not, you can still optimize your website for your key words;
    4. Search and register your website with directory relating to your keywords.
    This are basic steps you need to get started on the right track.

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