Once your site has been built and your content has been written, you are unlikely to want or need to change that content any time soon, right? This is fine and your website can still work well for your visitors, but after some time in the view of the search engines, you website can appear out dated. So how can you overcome this issue without having to change your content frequently?
An easy answer is adding some form of dynamic content, such as a blog or news page. Dynamic content is important for SEO for a number of reasons. It shows search engines, like Google, that your site is fresh and up to date, filled with new and relevant content – which Google loves! Not only does this new addition of content look good to search engines, but it also keeps your website fresh for visitors.
Of course, it is important to keep your blog up to date by writing new content on a regular basis, but there are some points to consider when writing so that your content is not only search engine friendly but actually engages your visitors
Tips for writing an engaging blog post
1. Your target readers – When choosing a topic for your blog post, think about what your target audience are likely to be interested in? What would they read and share with others? If you are stuck for ideas, write something topical that is currently popular, or that people might be looking for.
2. Catchy title – a catchy title can make the difference to whether the visitor reads your blog post or simply passes it by. Your blog title should sum up your blog post in just a few words while catching the visitors attention at the same time. Some popular techniques are to ask a question in your title or use strong wording (‘free’, ‘quick and easy’, ‘discover’, ‘revealed’). Keep it short.
3. Can you scan? – Make your blog post easier to read. People generally read things by scanning the page, reading headings and subheadings. To make your content scannable, format your text by making use of bold and underlining to emphasise important points in your post (although not too much!), add headings and sub headings to break your content up, add images (I will talk about this more below) and use lists.
4. People love lists. Bullet points, top ten, ‘five reasons why… .’ type posts generally catch people’s attention and are much easier to read than paragraph after paragraph.
5. Images, images, images – Images really help to break your content up and engage the visitor. Choose something which is relevant to your blog topic or adds extra value to a point you are making.
6. Get social – One of the main aims of writing a good blog post is to get your readers to share your content, driving more visitors to your site. Make this easy! Add social sharing buttons for people to Tweet, Like and share your blog post (there are many plugins to achieve this, see Scott’s 53 plugins post). Remember, it’s OK to kindly ask your reader to share your post if they enjoyed it
Now it’s visitor friendly, is your post search engine friendly?
Once you’ve written your blog post, ensure it is SEO friendly. This is a whole different blog post, but here are a few pointers:
1. Include Keyword titles, or search terms in your blog post title
2. A friendly URL helps – can you add your keywords to the post URL?
3. Internal linking – add anchor text links to your blog post to your other blog posts or areas of your site
4. Keywords – make sure you use your keywords in your blog post
Fresh content is important in SEO, and if done well enough, you can make both the search engines and your visitors happy!