A business that adds new content to its blog at least semi-frequently will often receive much more website traffic than those with no blog (or an outdated, unmaintained blog). In addition to receiving more traffic, a few other benefits of blogging include: building your brand presence & awareness, demonstrating expertise & building credibility, generating new leads for your business, and much more.
The more you blog, the more Google and the other search engine spiders will visit and crawl your site. Each piece of content likely covers more phrases that your site may rank for, which can help increase your presence in the search engine results pages (SERPs). If you write high-quality content, you may inspire other websites to link to you. This can lead to more traffic from the linking site (which could turn into more leads and/or sales), and can help build your site’s authority which can lead to higher rankings and more organic traffic.
Any blogging is better than no blogging, but most blogs can stand to use some optimization to help improve their chances of being found in the search engines. Fortunately these tweaks are often simple to implement, especially if you use WordPress for your blogging platform (which we highly recommend). Other CMS platforms are relatively simple to optimize with the right plugins.
Today we’ll take a look at 3 useful tweaks you can make to your blog today to better optimize it. Soon we’ll take a look at several more blog optimization tips.
1. Utilize Categories
Proper usage of categories for your blog posts can make a huge difference for both spiders and readers. Using categories creates organized content themes across your site and keeps relevant content clustered, which makes it easier for users to navigate and can often help with search engine rankings.
Decide on about 5-10 categories that your site will use. Try not to create anymore unless you absolutely need them (or you have a very large site). When you post a new article, only choose one category in order to prevent the post from showing up on multiple sections of your site (duplicate content doesn’t help SEO!).
2. Utilize Pagination
Many people make the mistake of having all of their blog posts on a single never-ending page. This is a bad approach for a number of reasons, especially because it can hurt load times. Long load times are bad for user experience. It also helps keep your content organized and allows for archiving by months, which is beneficial for readers and search engines.
Be careful if you have a free WordPress blog theme, as many of these are notorious for having all archived content on one page. If that’s the case, be sure to search the WordPress plugin repository for “pagination” and you’ll find a number of great free plugins to choose from. We’d recommend one, but in a few months a better one might be out, the one we recommend could break, etc., so just be sure to look at recent reviews and choose a highly-rated option.
3. Add Related Posts
A great, and often underutilized way to organize your blog content is by showing related posts at the bottom of your current blog post. There are a number of plugins that can automatically choose a few blogs that are similar to the current post and add them in with no extra work on your part. This ensures that older blog posts don’t get lost over time and lose their power, plus it helps create a flow of backlinks with similar content–which passes useful link juice around your site.
If your blog doesn’t automatically show a “Next” and “Previous” post link at the bottom of your posts, consider installing a plugin that will add it in as well. This can help boost engagement and increase a reader’s time on your site, which is a metric Google uses to determine how helpful your content is. The more helpful, the better you’ll rank.
If you’ll go and make these few small tweaks to your site, your blog (and whole website) will be much better off! It’s well worth the effort. If you need any assistance, give tekRESCUE a call, we’d love to help optimize your site!