Your blog is an online hub for your business. As Chris Brogan pointed out, it’s not all that difficult to get a blog up and running, but it does take some effort to promote and maintain it. Struggling with obtaining that most valuable of resources: the audience. Here are ten things you can do right now to ensure that your professional blog gets maximum visibility.
1. Use the Right Keywords
Do some keyword research right now to find the words and phrases that are more likely to draw more traffic to your site. Go to Google Insights for Search to get started. Make a list of subjects that your site covers, and perform a search for each of these words or phrases.
The results will tell you how many people are searching for your keyword, and tell you how interest is changing in the keyword over time. Even better, it will suggest other keywords that are similar. It will list the keywords with the highest overall traffic on the left, and the keywords that are showing the most dramatic growth on the right. Spend some time sifting through these keywords and pick one really strong one as the basis of your next article.
2. Get Inspiration
Choose topics that readers are interested in. Don’t ask yourself if it’s interesting, go to your audience. Browse through comments on your site and similar blogs for inspiration. Look through trending topics on Twitter, Yahoo, and the new Google+ trending topics search. Pay attention to which posts are getting the most attention, and get your inspiration from there.
Related Article: Blogging with a purpose
3. Pick Your Title
Put your keyword in the title. There is no question about this one. Ideally, the keyword should be close to the beginning of your title. Keep your title shorter than 66 characters, since this is the maximum amount of characters that will show in a Google search result.
Choose a title that draws attention. Titles that are funny, incite curiosity, and catch the user off guard are best. Try to think of a title that you wouldn’t be able to resist clicking on if you came across it.
4. Stick to One Keyword
Make sure that your article focuses on ranking for just one keyword. This doesn’t mean stuffing the article with excessive copies of the keyword, it just means that the article should be focused on this subject. All too often, bloggers will try to stick together a bunch of loosely related keywords into one post. This will dilute your success. Save the other keywords for your next post.
Related article: Choosing the right keywords for your business
5. Link to Old Blog Posts
Use Google insights to find good keywords that describe your old blog posts. Try to mention those keywords and link them to your old posts. This lets Google know what those posts were about. If you keep doing this with every new article, it will soon become very clear to Google what each post is about. Make sure that the keywords are truly descriptive, however.
6. Fill out the Meta Data
If you aren’t using WordPress, make sure that your titles are wrapped in h1 tags to let Google know that they are titles. Also be sure to fill out the meta description tag. This doesn’t affect your rankings, but it will be displayed as the snippet of text below your title in the search results. Fill this tag with something that will convince the user that it is relevant to their search and make them want to click on the result.
7. Use Subheadings and Lists
These are easy for both humans and Google to read, which makes this one a no brainer. If you can find very closely related keywords in Google insights to put into these subheadings, make an effort to do so. Try to include your main keyword in at least one subheading or bullet point.
8. Add Social Share Buttons
Make it easy to share your new article on social networks. Plenty of plugins are available that make it simple to add sharing buttons to your site. If you’ve done a good job choosing a topic, digging up information, and presenting it in an entertaining way, people will naturally want to share the content.
9. Write Something That Will Age Well
Before you write your post, make sure that you pick a topic that will age well. There’s a good chance that if you focus entirely on topics that will be dead in a week, you won’t bring in much traffic by the time Google even indexes the new article. Ideally, you should write a post that will continue to attract traffic for years to come.
10. Encourage Interaction
Make sure to ask your readers a question at the end of the article. Now you’re ready to post your article and start a conversation. Get out there and start talking to people in your field and grow your social network. Don’t put it off. Get started now!
What’s your greatest blogging challenge?