Keeping a relevant and regularly updated blog is one of the cornerstones of a good inbound marketing strategy. Not only does it allow you to showcase your expertise in your field, it also attracts potential customers to your site and exhibits the value of your content.
Attraction is one of the key segments of inbound marketing – according to Hubspot, which basically wrote the book on inbound marketing, it’s the first step that gets the whole process going. You need to attract potential customers to your site, and blogging really helps you accomplish that.
Following proper blogging etiquette techniques will make your site and specific blog posts rank highly in Google search results, which in turn will increase your site traffic. Therefore, you really need to understand what Google is looking for when it determines how to present search results. Follow this list of dos and don’ts to ensure you’re blogging the best way you can:
DO include a lot of links
Google is constantly working to travel and catalog the entire internet – seriously, the whole thing – compiling the results in its index. As you can imagine, this is quite an endeavor, which is why Google’s index is more than 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. It uses a web crawler for this process, and the web crawler travels cyberspace via links. Therefore, the more links you include to past blog posts or site pages, the more times the web crawler will pass through your site.
DON’T worry about linking to competitors
This may seem counterproductive, but if a helpful link is hosted by a competitor’s site, don’t worry about. Remember, your blog is all about being informative and valuable to your visitor – it is NOT to be used as a strictly promotional tool. If your content is good, the visitor will recognize your business as one that is credible and worth their time.
DO feature your keywords in headlines and as topics
If you’re familiar with inbound marketing, you know keywords are crucial. You have to research what people search for when they’re looking for your products/services. Use those keywords as topics for your blogs, and put a keyword(s) in your headlines. Google’s algorithms attempt to provide searchers with the most relevant results, so having a whole blog dedicated to a specific keyword will certainly register as relevant.
DON’T force it
If you’re going to use keywords for topics, then you’d better focus on that keyword in the blog. Don’t bait your visitors by using a keyword in the headline, and then writing a blog that barely mentions it. “Clickbaiting” has become common practice these days, as websites strive to increase traffic, and consumers do not appreciate it. You might initially attract them to the site, but your deceitfulness with certainly repel them afterward.
DO use keywords prominently throughout the blog article
The more you can use keywords throughout blog posts, the more relevant your blog will be in Google’s eyes. Make it a point to use those keywords as much as possible – but again, it has to be in a way that flows naturally and doesn’t seem forced. Because the last thing you want to do is in the next bullet point:
DON’T copy and paste in ways that don’t make sense
Have you ever Googled something and clicked on a result, only to find that the webpage is nothing more than a bunch of unrelated words strung together? The site did that on purpose just to get you there – and that’s essentially spam. If you simply copy and paste keywords over and over again in a way that doesn’t make sense, you are spamming as well.
Google’s algorithms have become very effective at identifying spam. If you engage in these methods, Google will classify your site as spam and you won’t be getting much traffic at all.
DO update your blog regularly
Updating your blog regularly increases the size of your online footprint, because it gives your site more pages and more content. And if you’re consistently posting, Google views your site as more relevant as well.
Consumers are also always interested in the latest and greatest information, especially in our new digital world – if you have a blog that was updated last week instead of last year, visitors will value the information more highly.
DON’T focus on quantity over quality
Don’t update your blog just for the sake of having new content – the content still has to be good. Remember, you don’t just want to make Google happy; you want to make your visitors happy. It’s better to write two good blogs a week rather than five bad ones, because you need your visitors to find your content valuable.