Checklist for Blog Writing

- July 6, 2012

One of my graphic designer colleagues once said that he believes the word “Blog” really stands for “Brilliant Lessons of Glory.” MoreVisibility believes your blog can be that–and so much more. A corporate blog provides you with a platform on which you can connect with your target audience and position your business as the go-to resource in your industry. But, beyond that, it can also help improve your SEO, if your content is properly optimized. Here’s a checklist of components you should think about while writing your own Brilliant Lessons of Glory.

  1. Define your theme, and tag your posts accordingly. Defining your theme before you start typing away can help you stay on topic throughout, and it can also help you create tags to make your blog easier for users to find. Think about the key topics your post will cover and what you want readers to take away from it. Then create a list of a few words/phrases that describe or categorize it and would be relevant “fits” for a reader who is using the blog’s internal search feature. For instance, a blog about ways to conserve energy could be tagged “energy conservation” or “green ideas,” and when a reader searched for either of these tags within the blog, your post would display as a result.
  2. Determine your target keyword(s). What word or words might people type into search engines to find the type of content you’re writing about? These are the types of words you’d want to assign to each individual post as its keywords. Keep in mind that keywords don’t actually have to be just one word; they can even be a few words that make up a phrase. For example, if it’s a post about ways to keep your children active, keyword phrases could be, “activities for children” or “youth activities.” These words should be incorporated into your content as you’re writing it.
  3. Find additional opportunities to incorporate your keywords, but don’t force it. Let’s say you write a post titled, “How to House Train Your Pet” and you determine that one of your keyword phrases will be “pet training.” After writing your post, go back and look for additional places you can incorporate that keyword naturally into an existing sentence, by making just a few tweaks to the sentence structure. You would not, however, want to go back and force the words “pet training’ into every sentence. While you want your copy to be SEO-friendly, your first priority should be making it reader-friendly.
  4. Write a unique title tag. Based on your post theme, write a title tag that encompasses what the piece is about and, when appropriate, try to incorporate your primary keyword into the title. The title tag should be 70 characters, including spaces, and, depending on your blog software, does not always have to be identical to the actual post title.
  5. Include a description tag. Your description tag should be between 110-160 characters, including spaces and summarize what the post is about in about two sentences. The length of the description is important because that text will appear in the search engine results and should be compelling enough to convince the reader to click through to read more, but should not be so lengthy that the summary gets cut off mid-sentence and its meaning becomes lost.
  6. Keep the outbound linking to a minimum. If a client or customer came into your place of business to talk about a service you offer, you probably wouldn’t want to start referencing a partner of yours that offers complementary work before even finalizing the initial sale. The same is true of linking off to other sites within your copy. You want readers to perceive you as the expert in your industry–and you want to keep them on your website or blog as long as possible. So, if that’s the goal, don’t push them toward the exit before they’re ready. At the same time, don’t be stingy about citing references or other related resources, where pertinent. Simply do so by opening the offsite content in a new tab or window, thus retaining the visitor on your site as well. Also, don’t forget about your own content: Link to other blog posts or pages within your own website as cross-referenced material when it makes sense within the copy to do so.

By focusing on each of these elements, you can implement a more effective blog strategy for your company and optimize your blog posts for readers and search engines alike.

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