Do you often wonder why your gorgeous new website doesn’t get you any sales?
Have you been sending out product sample after product sample for reviews because you’ve heard that they’re good for SEO but besides getting some great word-of-mouth you haven’t seen any improvement in your Google rank?
Do your traffic reports show you that all the traffic landing on your site is looking for something else?
If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need to roll up your sleeves and learn a bit about search engine optimization (SEO) and how to use it.
Ready? Let’s go!
But first…here are the top three reasons WHY you need SEO:
- To attract targeted traffic that’s interested in and searching for what you have to offer.
- To be found by those looking for industry leaders and experts in your niche.
- To tell your story and actually have it heard.
How to Start with Keyword Research and SEO for Your Business
In one of my personalized workshops with a client who runs a children’s boutique, we talked about how to improve traffic for her website. I naturally suggested using optimized content and her first response was, “I’m afraid that it will be too stuffy and stilted, and my readers would feel that it’s not me”.
While we managed to overcome her fears by creating an editorial calendar that was chock-full of interesting, useful AND optimized posts, I can totally understand why many business owners would be concerned about the same thing.
So, I created a step-by-step guide on how to SEO your business blog content without being stuffy or sounding unlike yourself. A little note – while this guide is for WordPress website users, many of the tips here can be used for other platforms too.
The Step-by-Step SEO Guide for Business Blogs
1. Brainstorm Post Topic Ideas
Start by writing down at least thirty possible post topic ideas. You can create posts around customer queries, product benefits, new features and of course, your story.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
Next, use a keyword research tool to find high-traffic, low-competition keywords for your niche. While I personally prefer paid pro tools, like Market Samurai and Long Tail Pro, you can easily start with a free tool like the Google Adwords Keyword Research tool.
Things to be aware of: You will not always find a keyword or keyword phrase that gets TONS of traffic and has very LOW competition. My “play it safe” guideline is to choose keywords with a minimum of 3,000 local monthly searches, and then use the competition factor to do my final selection.
If you’re using the Google Adwords keyword tool, ignore the competition column in that and instead, type in your search term in the search field in Google using quotation marks like “this” to see how many sites are competing for that term.
3. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
When narrowing down keywords, focus on long-tail keywords. No, that doesn’t mean your keyword grows an actual tail, it’s just a techy way of saying don’t use just one word to be your keyword. Instead, focus on a phrase.
For example, if your business is handmade jewelry, a keyword phrase for you might be “easy handmade jewelry care”, provided it meets the traffic and competition criteria.
Drill down into the keyword research tool by experimenting with keyword phrases that are at least 2-3 words containing your focus keyword. Then, weave your chosen keyword phrases into your blog posts when you write them.
4. Use Your Keyword Phrase in the Title and Sub-Heads
Once you’re done writing your post as naturally as you can, it’s time to come up with a title that is engaging, attention-grabbing AND optimized for search engines with your keyword phrase. Do the same for the post sub-heads usually formatted with Heading 2 (or h2) tags in WordPress.
5. Repeat the Keyword Phrase in the Post
Next, go over your post and see where you could use your keyword phrase instead of an existing combination of words. But remember not to stuff your posts with your keyword phrase.
6. Find Images Related to the Keyword Phrase
We know an image is worth a thousand words, but they can also be worth a thousand searches.
Choose an image that’s related to your keyword phrase and give them a file name that matches it. For example, name your image “easy-handmade-jewelry-care.jpg”. Also, be sure to use your keyword phrase or a variation of it in the “alt description” of your image.
7. Use the Keyword Phrase in your Meta Description
WordPress users will be familiar with the Meta Description field under every post, especially if you’ve installed an SEO plugin like Yoast’s SEO plugin or if you use an SEO-friendly theme like DIY Themes, Elegant Themes, or StudioPress.
It’s important to use your keyword phrase when writing the Meta description for your post.
While your meta description may not help you get ranked higher based on Google’s algorithm, it will get you found faster because when someone types in your search term, Google will bold it in the search results, as shown below.
8.Review Keyword Density and Post Content
Check to see that your post isn’t keyword stuffed. Again, this is something that the Yoast SEO plugin can show you under Page Analysis. If you don’t have this plugin, you can use a free keyword density checker tool.
9. Hit “Publish”
What struggles do you have with with getting traffic to your website or creating search engine optimized content for your business blog?
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