A blog can be one of the best ways to promote you and your work. It allows you to explain what it is that you do and why you do it in a fun and engaging way. It is also a great way of driving traffic to your website, as well as encouraging people to stay on your site for longer.
To maximize the potential of your blog you need to think about SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the science of ensuring website content will increase the visibility and rankings of your site on different search engines. Say you’re writing a blog about tea. You want to make sure you appear on the first page when anyone searches for topics such as “best green tea” or “how to make tea”. There are ways to do this and different tools and techniques to employ to make sure your blog gets as high a profile as possible.
Keywords are the words or phrases people put into search engines to find what they’re looking for. To ensure you get high in the search engine results you need to anticipate what these search words are. There will be keywords that are specific just for your blog (“drinking tea” for example) but other ones that are specific to the industry or related searches (“tea bags”, “tea leaves” etc).
You want keywords for each post or page, especially if each blog post has a web page of its own.
The simplest way to research keywords is to use Google’s AdWords tool to see the related searches to your keywords. “Tea drinking”, for example, comes up with relevant searches including “green tea drinks”, “healthy tea to drink” and “best tea to drink”. There are a lot of different articles and blogs written online so it’s difficult to know how to filter out the competition. Google Adwords helpfully indicates the levels of competition, giving you a better idea of the most effective keywords.
How to optimize your blog post
You want to use your keywords, but not too much. Search engines are savvy when it comes to SEO techniques. It’s called “keyword stuffing” a technique where you over-use your keywords and litter them throughout your blog post. It can actually result in your blog post appearing lower down the rankings as the search engine in effect “blackballs” you. The ideal is to have a 3%-5% keyword density.
Include keywords within the flow of the language. Don’t forget you’re writing for a human audience, as well as search engines! The keywords shouldn’t sound as though they are being shoe-horned in. Planning your keywords before you start writing will help you slot them more naturally into the text. Using keywords in tags and titles will make the blog post more attractive to search engines.
The importance of links
Quality, inbound links are an important aspect of SEO. You want links to come from trusted and popular sites. The skill to this is to build relationships. See it as networking. If you want a third party endorsement of you or your business then you need to get out there and meet people. It’s exactly the same online. Either do it through social networks or by offering to do guest blog posts or cross-promote blog posts.
Choose a professional translator
If you want to attract a global market with your blog, then you need to localize your content. For SEO, however, it isn’t simply a case of using an online translation tool and translating each of your keywords. Different keywords will resonate with different native speakers so it’s important to do the research and understand what will work best. The most successful strategy is to use a native-speaking translator, who can offer you a greater insight and understanding of how to make your keywords as attractive to search engines, and your potential readers, as possible.
How to promote your blog online
If you write and post the blog, select your keywords carefully, and gain inbound links, it can be easy to think your SEO job is done. In fact you’ve only just started. One of the most important elements of SEO is regular, original content. You need to keep writing blog posts and keep building on relationships with other bloggers online. Use categories on your blog to help group archive posts together by topic which makes it easier for visitors to your site to find relevant content. It can also help in terms of SEO as search engines like clearly structured websites. Get your audience involved in your blog; ask them to share posts on social networks, to feed into polls or rate your content. It will help you build a relationship with your readers as well as boosting your ranking on search engines.
Know Your Guest Author
Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a translation company launched in 2001. Lingo24 now has over 180 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV, World Bank and American Express. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.