Blogging is one of the most effective marketing tactics used by companies today. By starting a blog — or taking an existing blog up a notch — you can increase your influence and establish stronger relationships with potential and current customers.
Not only that, but companies that blog receive 97 percent more inbound links to their websites, and marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI, HubSpot reports.
But the blogging holy grail is just this: A quality blog improves your Google ranking, which will draw leads to your website and encourage them to make purchases.
Maybe you’ve already started a blog, but it’s not getting a lot of hits, or perhaps you’re gearing up to write your first post. If you want to create a high-quality blog that boosts your results in Google, follow these tips:
1. Blog consistently, but don’t sacrifice quality
Sixty percent of marketers post at least one piece of content per day, Neil Patel reports. While it’s important to put out content regularly, that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality to do so.
When you’re writing a blog post, make sure it provides value to your readers. It can teach them something, solve their problems or entertain them — the route you go depends on what’s relevant to your brand. The idea is to create content that moves people through the sales funnel. For example, Sephora provides makeup application and hair styling tips to its readers, and naturally, their how-to’s feature the products they sell.
2. Garner high-quality backlinks
Natural, relevant links to your site from reputable websites is what takes you to the top of Google. There are many ways to go about getting your site linked.
After you go live with a blog post, tweet it to bloggers and other influencers who may be interested in sharing it. If there are forums, message boards, or Facebook or LinkedIn groups that are relevant within your industry, share your post on there as well. Backlinko recommends writing a testimonial for a company or product, because you’ll be able to link to your website within your review. And Entrepreneur offers these 10 tips to earning backlinks.
3. Incorporate relevant keywords
Website owners used to litter their content with tons of keywords in order to rank higher on Google. Now, the search engine penalizes for those practices. When you use keywords, they have to make sense within the context of your blog post.
The best keywords are ones that don’t have much competition. Try long-tail keywords — these are three- to six-word keywords that are extremely specific and tend to have less competition for them.
To find these keywords, try doing a Google search with a few generic keywords and see what else comes up. That will give you ideas for the kind of content to create and what keywords to place within your posts.
And make sure to add your keyword(s) to your title, in your media, within the blog post’s URL and in the meta description. This post from HubSpot has more info about optimizing your posts for SEO.
4. Invest in longer posts
Both short and long blog posts have their place. Mostly, it depends upon your audience and what kind of content you’re providing. For example, instructional posts tend to run longer than entertaining ones. People are willing to spend several minutes reading a blog, as long as they can glean something from it.
The best thing you can do is provide value and deliver helpful information. That said, longer posts tend to perform better than shorter ones, according to Patel’s research. His posts that have more than 1,500 words generate 22 percent more Facebook likes and 68 percent more tweets than those with fewer than 1,500 words.
5. Interview influencers for your blog and link to their sites
Tap into influencers within your niche. Ask for an in-depth interview or for their opinion on an important industry matter. Another method for collaborating with influencers is to do a roundup piece and include many different opinions. That way, you’ll increase your chances of being linked from all their websites. For an example of this, check out Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Predictions From the Experts.
And if you’re wondering how to even find influencers, these three popular tools will help.
6. Ask influencers if you can guest blog for them
When you guest blog, you’re reaching a new audience that’s already interested in your niche. Don’t waste your time writing for lower-quality sites; instead, look for ones with a decent-sized readership, a good domain authority (minimum of 30, unless it’s new) and a bustling comments section.
This post from EOFire walks you through how to request a guest posting opportunity. Follow the writer guidelines established by the site, and don’t make your post overly self-promotional. Focus on putting out great content for this audience, and trust that they will follow the link to your website.
The ‘Q’ word
Have you noticed that “quality” is a constant theme in the six tips above? As a rule, the best thing you can do to create a successful blog and show up high in search results is put quality at number one. Provide value, solve readers’ problems, and make your content and SEO practices natural and relevant.
Ranking high on Google is crucial for attracting consumers to your company. By investing in blogging, you have the opportunity to establish your company as a leader in your industry, as well as reach the customers who are going to take you to the next level.