There are two major components to a good blog. Sure, there are plenty of other components such as design, site speed, consistency, purpose, niche relations… actually, there are so many that I could write a full-length article just listing the different components, let alone going into detail about them. Still, there are two primary components that can overcome poor performance on all of the other areas.
There are many people who believe that when it comes to WordPress based blogs, the only ones which are naturally SEO friendly are those ‘fresh out of the box’ ie. those which have not been customized in any way. When you start to add themes and plugins you begin to create a sort of hybrid version which can become somewhat incompatible with search engines.
Thankfully, there are some fairly easy ways to address this issue and with that in mind let’s look at a few of the SEO do’s and don’ts which will maximize your WordPress based blog’s search engine visibility
DO Make Use of SEO Plugins
When you need SEO help it makes sense to consult an expert in that field rather than a ‘Jack of all trades’. Using a dedicated SEO plugin such as WordPress SEO, Yoast or All in One SEO Pack is a lot like consulting an expert. These plugins are designed to handle all of your SEO needs and many of them are free. There are many themes available for WordPress which offer built in SEO assistance. However, this will tie you to that theme unless you want to redo your SEO whenever you change your theme.
DON’T be Lazy When Adding Images
WordPress has an excellent media uploader that is easy to use, so take advantage of that when adding images to your blog posts. The tool has an easy to follow form to enter all of the SEO information relating to your image and it is important to fill it out in full. You can provide a relevant name for the image, a caption featuring your keyword, alt text and even a description all of which will go some way towards improving SEO on that page/post.
DO Create a Proper Permalink Structure
One of the great things about WordPress is that it gives you the ability to customize your permalinks. This is great in terms of SEO, but only if you make good use of it by choosing a blog title and thus a post URL which will tell search engines (and readers) a little something about the post.
DON’T Go Nuts With Categories & Tags
It is a good idea to use categories to organize your content and to tag your posts; however, it important not go overboard with the categories. If you are going to implement indexing of your blog’s taxonomy archives you will have multiple unnecessary archive pages which are basically duplicates of your posts. It is much better to come up with just a handful of categories that the majority of your content can be filed under. Many SEO experts suggest that between 5 and 7 is the optimal number of categories per WordPress site and that posts should have approximately 3 tags each.
Do Claim Google Authorship On All Posts
Google Authorship is a great way to gain exposure as an expert author in your particular field and will lend additional credibility to your website when used. There are lots of ways to make use of Google Authorship including a variety of plugins which will take care of it for you. Just make sure that your contributing authors have added your blog on their Google+ profile.
These are just a few of the things which will affect the SEO status of your WordPress blog. There are many others that you may wish to thin carefully about including choosing the most appropriate server hosting service and producing truly engaging content. With a little effort and attention to detail you can have effective SEO for your blog.
One of the most common recommendations for businesses this 2013 is to ramp up content generation and content marketing. They need to do this if they want to maintain a presence in the first SERPs.
Search engines, particularly Google, are working towards providing users with the best possible search results—and that means high-quality websites with original, well-written, and high-quality content. Technical SEO is still important of course, but that alone will not buoy a company website for long.
A blog in general has many uses, but if you cross-match that with the qualities of a company blog, it can give a company the following advantages:
1. For SEO
A company blog is a sound solution for company websites that don’t really need to change or update their content that often. SEO 101 tells us that constant updating is necessary in order to rank, and so a company blog resolves that problem. It may be launched on a different platform or site altogether, but the company’s name and link will always be in the forefront.
If you are paying for a recommended SEO company to manage your official website, you should also commission it to create a company blog, if there isn’t one created yet. Anyone can see how useful a blog can be for SEO: it enables you to do content marketing, link building, market content through social media, and even earn additional income through advertising and PPC, among others.
2. For Marketing and Promotions
A company blog is an excellent venue for releasing press statements, official announcements, and promotional offers. These bits of news can also be for the benefit of the company’s own employees in lieu of an internal memo or email.
In between these important blog posts, the blog’s writers can post articles and write-ups on topics related to the industry the site belongs to, or the products and services it offers to customers. These blog posts can help with your marketing efforts, too. They allow people to see the relevance of your company and the products and/or services you offer. That will encourage them to purchase something or pay for your services.
3. For PR (press relations)
Internet users also tend to be trustful of company blogs. People have the impression that as an authority blog, they contain correct information, accurate facts and valuable articles. Of course, it’s going to be the responsibility of the bloggers to live up to that standard. Doing so will help impress upon the readers the integrity of the company.
The purposes of a company blog are not limited to these three. It depends on what you want to achieve with it, besides being more visible in the SERPs.
Topics for a Company Blog
We’ve mentioned earlier that a company blog can be a useful tool for official announcements and the like. But, since it’s unlikely that a company will need to make such posts every week, company bloggers will have to write about other things to keep up with the regular blog post schedule.
The freedom of a company blogger to select topics to write about is often limited by the following conditions:
- It must be related or pertaining to the industry to which the company belongs to. It makes sense for a cosmetics company to blog about must-have beauty and skin care products for winter or summer, for example. However, readers will no doubt be confused if they find a post talking about budgeting and finance in the same blog.
- It is in line with, or at least supports, the mission of the company and the principles it stands for. A company that promotes green energy, for example, will not publish posts that applaud technologies and innovations that compromise the environment.
- It shouldn’t be blatantly speaking negatively about the company’s competition. Not only is this unethical and unprofessional, it also leaves a negative impression on the public.
- It should never put the company in a questionable light.
So what does that leave company bloggers to write about?
- The exciting products being developed that customers should watch out for.
- A commonly-asked question, which is fully answered and explained in the post.
- Everyday situations will show how your products/services will be very useful.
- The company’s chosen charity or a recent outreach program.
- Economic developments and upheavals, how the company responds to them, and how its products/services will be affected/not affected by them.
- Sympathetic posts about the common problems your target audience face.
- Transcribed video blogs featuring the company, its stores and branches, the employees, etc…
- Accomplishments of the company, including awards and recognitions it receives.
A company blog should be a positive reflection of the blog itself. It should be presentable, professional-looking, has obvious credibility, and is trustworthy. Company bloggers can’t go wrong if they keep that in heart and mind.
One of the hardest parts about blogging is staying consistent and pumping out enough content to keep your readers coming back for more. It’s a challenge, not just because of the time necessary to stay consistent and abundant, but also because it’s possible to run out of ideas. Don’t get me wrong – there’s not really such a thing as running out of ideas completely – but we can hit a road block and sometimes we need to get some inspiration.
Other times, all you need to do is take a look at the infographic below that will give you some examples of types of posts to help keep your juices flowing, your fingers typing, and your content bursting. This graphic comes to us through Copyblogger.
Some of the greatest columnists and opinions writers of the past have nothing on today’s celebrity bloggers. It’s not that the Michael Arringtons and Michelle Malkins of the world are any more talented than traditional journalists before the internet. They simply have a bigger stage, are easier to access, and have no rules containing them.
Journalism in the era of blogging has taken the restraints that made it necessary to have a journalism degree and a perfect written diction and replaced it with the type of shock and awe commentary that was once reserved for underground publications and tabloids. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it at all; as editor of my high school paper and reporter for a city newspaper (yes, I’m old enough to have worked at an actual newspaper before the internet), I have to admit that blogging is much more fun than trying to remember to never put a comma before the last piece in a list of four or more.
Journalism is no longer simply about reporting the news. It never really was, but today there is simply a lot more leeway given to the reporters that aren’t held back by old-school publications. As a result, one would probably have an easier time identifying a writer for Mashable than one for the LA Times.
Bloggers have become part of the news they are reporting. This is a huge benefit for publications that take it to the limits on social media. Look at Buzzfeed, for example. This team has done one of the most masterful jobs in memory of taking something pretty good and exposing it to the world through social media domination. Arstechnica, Techdirt, and PoliticusUSA fall into the same category.
What do they all have in common? They play to the people. That has always been a goal of many publications, but the digital age tempered by the rise of social media has made it a benefit to slant the news, to personalize it, and to build an expectation around controversy from the publication and its writers. We want to be polarized because it makes for more fun on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
There is and always will be a place for true reporting. It’s necessary as source material from which all of the blogger opinions can derive. We don’t have to be in Washington DC to have a quality political blog. We don’t have to be in Hollywood to have a strong entertainment rag. We have the internet. We have social media. Let the opinions flow.
There are two things that can make or break whether or not your blog post is going to be read – quality of the post and the title itself. Between the two, quality is more important in getting people to continue to read your posts, to share it, and to possibly even subscribe to your blog, but when it comes to visibility, the title is much more important.
The reason is simple. We get hooked into something or we don’t. With so many options available for us to consume media, there’s no way we could read everything that we want to read. Time is precious. How we spend it is often dictated by what catches our attention. For this reason, the title is so very important.
Here’s an infographic by Boot Camp Digital that breaks down ten winners in the title arena.
- Optimizing Blogs for Doctors with Surgical Precision
- Failing to Deliver: Captivating Blog and Article Titles with Empty Promises
- The Adams Addiction: WWE Battleground – The Review – Sunday 6th October 2013 – (Spoilers)
- Why the book is called The Year Without Pants (the real reason)
- How to insert the post title into the content using shortcode in WP?
- Taking Courage and Collapsing Blogs
We almost never post press releases, but as an avid fan and frequent user of Post Planner, it’s an exception. For the record, I love the service. It can be a little buggy sometimes, but it’s a Facebook app rather than a standalone web service so bugs can be expected. What Facebook app is bug free?
If someone asked me for a single piece of advice about blogging, it wouldn’t be a standard answer like “post regularly” or “know your audience”. It wouldn’t be to “find a niche” or “add keywords to your title”. These are all good pieces of advice and are almost always in the mix in “X Top Tips for Blogging” posts that pop up every couple of weeks across the internet.
Blogging is an easy way to express your views and reach out to the world. People usually connect with blogs and their content as they do not preach. The language of blogs is mostly in simple English and easy going which further helps people to connect with the blog content easily. Another form of social media is social networking websites. These websites help you to build social network, connect with new friends, keep in touch with old friends, build social relations among people, etc.