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Insite into the SEO trends and movements.

 

Managing and Writing your blog

As an SEO company, one of the most frequent questions we get from our clients is how they should be managing and writing their blog. While there is some variation to what does and does not work for different forms of content, there are certain best practices that can help enhance your blog from both an SEO and user perspective. If you aren’t already, put these tips into practice for a blog that’s as helpful as it is successful.organic search engine marketing

  1. Unique, Quality Content.For a while now, we’ve heard over and over that content is king. However, you can’t crank out unoriginal, boring content and expect significant user engagement. What’s more, search engines value high quality content and give well-constructed pieces much greater consideration in their rankings than they do poor bulk content. Avoid copying and pasting other content that you find on the internet unless you are quoting a publication. Always try and add your own spin to whatever you’re writing about, especially if it’s a popular topic, and foster strong content writing habits that will make regular production of blog posts a more natural process.
  2. Be Engaging. If you write engaging content, your readers will want to keep coming back. Not only will they want to come back, but they’ll also be more willing to share what you write with their friends. A big part of creating engaging content is providing users with information that’s actionable, specific, and offers utility. This is why content like listicles, checklists, and infographics are so successful; they’re easy for users to quickly absorb and apply, which then makes them more likely to share the content with others.
  3. Social Tools.Incorporating social sharing tools into your blog posts gives your readers an easy option to share content on their social media accounts. This is also important because search engines analyze social signals to determine which companies or websites people like and share as a means of determining the legitimacy of sites. These signals are incorporated into search engine algorithms, so having social sharing tools built into your posts is a must. You can add social sharing sidebars to your content through websites such as com and sharethis.com.
  4. Length of Posts.Even though search engines are looking for content with substance, they do give consideration to the word count of a post. Length isn’t always a true gauge of the quality of a post, but it doesn’t hurt to shoot for somewhere between 250-600 words. Quality content will fair far better than fluff pieces with little depth, but high quality long form content does tend to do better. In short, there isn’t an ideal length for blog posts, because it depends on what you’re writing. Instead of paying attention to length, try and treat each piece of content as an individual resource, and accomplish the end goal of that post in whatever length works the best.
  5. I always recommend allowing comments, because you want to stay connected to your readers. You also get an SEO benefit from the comment content being added to the page, because search engines like it when pages are updated and added to often. If you choose to allow comments, make sure you moderate often and have a comment spam solution in place.
  6. Spelling and Grammar.Search engines pay close attention to spelling and grammar, as well as informed users. There are several low quality websites that outsource their writing needs to content shops that churn out low quality content littered with improper spelling and grammar. Sniffing out and devaluing that low quality content was and is one of the primary objectives for the Google Panda Updates. Moreover, a polished and knowledgeable website should be as free of such errors as possible in order to be considered an authority.
  7. Linking Strategies.When writing your posts, don’t forget to look for opportunities to link to other content within your website-even better if you have the opportunity to link back to that content with a keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for on the linked page. It’s also encouraged to link outside of your website if there’s an authoritative source on the topic of your post. Obviously, you won’t receive as much of a benefit as you would if you were linking to your own website, but the post could earn some trust points with engines. As a rule of thumb, try and limit yourself to 1-2 links per 200 words.
  8. After you have written your blog post, title, description, and keywords, you also generally have the option to set tags. Tags can be used for categorization by the search engines, but probably don’t hold much weight. Content will be the ultimate guide for their algorithms. When you do tag, try and keep the tags limited to ideas, concepts, locations, events, and product names. It’s also important to avoid overusing tags. 10 tags should be plenty to categorize a blog post, but aim for 4 or less.

Changes in SEO

One of the biggest changes for SEO in 2015 was how Google evaluates links. Anchor Text is the one item that really sticks out for me. In 2016 we moved away from Exact Match Anchor Text towards using Brand and Call to Action and saw significant gains in rankings and direct traffic for clients. There are too many SEOs who simply cannot get away from the idea that “click here” and “more info” can pass more link equity than “Exact Match.” SEOs really need to start thinking about the web as an ecosystem and the links are the roots that connect everything together. Now that is not to say that “Exact Match Anchor Text” is dead, but it is on its death-bed.

Another honorable mention for 2016 is Google Authorship. This is a trust signal and when combined with a Google Plus Verified Name Account you have Trust with Google – this is huge.

For a while, people seemed to think that:

  • A) SEO could impact their bottom line within 2 weeks and
  • B) they needn’t think of the results of their SEO campaigns in 2 years

I hope that’s changed now. Your SEO campaign should focus on getting results in 1 or 2 years and take faster improvements as a bonus. On badly SEO’d websites a good SEO can still get tremendous results in a short period, and getting some nicely target links from high-profile sites can still boost rankings, so don’t stop doing that, just think about whether Google will still like what you’re doing in 2 years.

Good SEO always went hand-in-hand with good website design, great content and a good site structure, but many people took shortcuts to prevent having to work on that. Well, that time is over. SEO no longer stands for Seemingly Effortless Optimization, but for Seriously Effortful Optimization. Get to work. The first thing I’d do is look deeply at your site and get all the basics right again. Then see what you could do to make the site more worthwhile for your customers and prospective customers, while keeping SEO best practices in mind. Some SEO’s see that as giving in and agreeing that Google has won. I don’t care, I just want to help my clients make more money.

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