Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is really important for small online businesses. Optimising your website to make it more attractive to search engines will help your ecommerce business rank higher on SERPS. As a consequence your online business will become more visible to people using certain keywords and keyphrases to search for information via search engines such as Google. Making your blog posts search engine friendly are an excellent way to help support your ongoing SEO efforts.
Not only are blogs a great way to engage your audience, grow high-quality leads, build credibility and authority for your site, they are also one of the most straightforward ways to add relevant, fresh and quality content to your website on a regular basis. Search engines like new content so it is important to keep a regular stream content coming on to your site.
How to make your blog posts SEO friendly
Start by doing some keyword research
Think about the kinds of keywords and keyphrases that your target audience might search for when looking for products or services related to your business. There are some helpful tools available that can generate ideas and give you indication of how popular a particular keyword or keyphrase is – try Google’s Keyword planner. It’s a free Adwords tool (you just need to create an Adwords account) aimed at advertisers but really helpful if you are doing keyword research for your business.
“Is the keyword relevant to your website’s content? Will searchers find what they are looking for on your site when they search using these keywords? Will they be happy with what they find?’ MOZ, The Beginners Guide to SEO
Identifying the kind of words and phrases your target audience may use will help you create copy that is attractive to search engines. Just make sure the keywords and phrases are relevant to the content of your blog article. If they don’t marry-up then visitors won’t stay around to discover more about what your ecommerce business has to offer.
Keywords and phrases should flow naturally through your copy
This is a really important point. Your keyword research doesn’t for one second mean that you simply use the keywords and phrases you’ve identified and stuff as many as possible into your blog post. This is known as keyword stuffing and as a practice it will actually do your ecommerce business more harm than good. The keywords and phrases you’ve researched should be relevant to the article or post you are writing and therefore should flow naturally into your copy anyway. Utilise a few keywords and phrases to help keep you focused on your goal of optimising your post. If you always bear in mind that you are writing for your target audience then you’ll probably find that the most relevant keywords and phrases will pop up naturally anyway.
Use keywords in certain key areas
There are however specific areas in your post where including some strategically placed keywords and phrases will have a positive impact, not only to help the audience quickly glean how relevant your article, but to help search engine crawlers to index your content. The general consensus is to include your keywords / key phrases in:
- Title (your headline)
- Headers, sub-headers and body (remember keeping them natural)
- Meta description
Not only will images help engage your audience (content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images), images can also be optimised for search engines. For each image you publish make sure you complete its Alt Text using a keyword relevant to your post. Search engines can’t see an image so they rely on Alt Text to tell them what the image is about. In addition, it is also important that you add alt text to the image to ensure accessibility for people relying on-screen readers.
OK, so we all know the value of having inbound links from authoritative industry relevant websites, however don’t forget that there are other opportunities that will be helpful to SEO. When you are creating your post think if there are any other articles you’ve written that it would be relevant to include an internal link to. For example, earlier on when we looked at keywords research I’ve included a link back to a previous article that examines keyword research in more detail. This ‘internal linking’ can help highlight other related content to search engines – it may also help keep visitors on your site for longer.
In addition, it can be a good idea to link externally in your post to other authoritative sites (if relevant to your content). It won’t be as beneficial as an inbound link, but it will still help towards your trust rating.
Be mobile friendly
Ensure that your blog posts are multi-device friendly – for example, that they are just as readable on a mobile as they are on a desktop. Firstly, you want your readers to be able to access your posts when it suits them such as on the train on the way to work. According to research mobile now accounts for 65% of all digital media time – with all new growth coming from mobile usage.
Secondly, if people are using a mobile to search for information, Google will display mobile friendly sites first on SERPS. Google adds a mobile friendly label to all mobile search results displaying websites that have been optimised to be viewed on a mobile device.
Add a comment box
Opening up your blog posts to comments, not only is a great way to build relationships and engage directly with your audience, it is also another way to add relevant, fresh content to website for SEO purposes. If you decide to go down this road and open you posts up for comments, then make sure you have the resources to monitor them to ensure nothing inappropriate or spam related is being posted.
Blogging is a really excellent way to support your SEO efforts through adding fresh, relevant and regular content to your small online business. Hopefully by introducing some of the tips we’ve mentioned above your posts will be that extra bit more search engine friendly.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on blogging and SEO so please do leave a comment.