Getting visitors to your website is a challenging job for many business these days. In fact, the competition for grabbing user attention has never been fiercer.
A blog is arguably the most effective tool to summon the desired attention and interest from your users, increase website traffic, generate leads and develop long-lasting, happy customers. eMarketer reveals these trends are expected to maintain an upward course as blogs continue to gain influence in the mainstream media.
Still not convinced blogging is integral to the success of your business? Read on to know some interesting facts revealed about blogging in the Technorati Media’s Digital Influence Report:
- 45% of the total Internet population and around 60% of the total U.S. population actively reads and follows blogs.
- 29% of consumers pin down their trust on business blogs.
- 31% of consumers believed that authoritative blogs influence their purchase decisions.
But, blogs alone won't guarantee success for your business. Here are 10 vital SEO rules to follow for your company blog.
Ensure a Pleasing Aesthetic
There are over 1 billion websites and over 165 million identified blogs on the Internet, but only a few a few of them are successful. Why is that? The answer is simple: these sites and blogs are not visually appealing.
Remember, the overall design of your site is the first thing your visitors see. It impacts bounce rate, page views and conversions. Statista reveals you get less than 9 seconds to grab visitor’s attention.
But what if you can't shell out, say, more than $1000 for a professional web design? With an ever-increasing number of online contest-based crowdsourcing platforms, you won’t have to worry. You can sign up and you’ll get the best web designs for your business, at a price that fits your budget.
Don’t Ignore RSS Feeds
RSS or Real Simple Syndication automatically syndicates your site’s content for successful distribution among interested subscribers.
Google and other major search engines index RSS feeds quickly, which eventually help you boost your search engine ranking. In addition, RSS feeds are cached quickly and this further boosts your search engine ranking. You can optimize RSS feeds for search engines to increase web traffic to your website.
Remember, high-quality RSS feeds are crawled by Google easily. Builtwith stats reveal that around 20,501,436 live websites use RSS to their advantage. RSS feeds help you get repeat visitors to your site increasing the conversion rate of your website.
Maintain Consistent Navigation
It is vital to structure your website’s information architecture effectively through navigation. Follow these simple rules for useful and optimized navigation:
Remember, classic HTML/CSS links remain your best bet when it comes to ensuring a delightful browsing experience for visitors.
Don’t Shy Away from User Comments and Feedback
It pays to listen to what your readers have to say about you. Remember, comments and feedback are the most productive form of user-generated content. Here are two major points on how comments add value to your SEO:
- Comments and feedback help your website rank better on traffic generated through long-tail keywords.
- Better user interaction boosts the performance of your site on search engines result pages.
Conduct a Speed Check
If your blog’s load time is higher than usual, your visitors may change their minds and exit your page. Remember, you’re just one click away from oblivion. So, make sure you have an optimal web page load time.
This not only helps you improve user experience, it also gives an automatic boost to your site on the SERPs.
Don’t Forget Breadcrumbs
If you thought breadcrumbs weren’t that important for your blog, it's time to think again! Breadcrumbs perform several essential functions to ensure the usefulness and appeal of your site. Here’s a list of three such functions:
- Increase the indexation of and crawling within your blog.
- Help users navigate more easily.
- Help search engines easily categorize content on the basis of topics.
Explore the Potential of the Search Box
With Google’s big search box and auto-fill element, netizens are now so used to this excellent feature they can’t imagine a site without a proper search box in place! Therefore, it's important your site contains a search box that works well with your blog section too.
While it effectively provides a better user experience, it also helps you determine what keywords are searched, how users are searching your site and what is ranking in terms of popularity among your users.
In case you’re confused on how to find that perfect search box functionality, don’t worry; almost all blogging platforms come pre-equipped with search box functionality.
Keep an Eye on Your Ad Space
In a survey and correlating data released by Moz, the researchers discovered there was a negative correlation between rankings and Google AdSense metrics; a considerably large number of websites had a large number of ads above the fold. Not to mention, these sites were hit by the recent-at-the-time Google algorithm update.
Having ads on your blog is one of the best ways to monetize your blog content. But it makes sense to not let ads dominate your content in terms of placement or raw pixel area. Remember, your company blog is your chance to create that desired first impression among visitors; don’t ruin that first impression with unnecessary cluttering of ads on your site.
Pick Right Graphics/Images
With so many websites and blogs out there, you’ve got to battle it out for the user’s attention. For that, you need unique images or graphics to evoke the right kind of emotion. This is where images and graphics come to your rescue.
You may argue that finding such relevant, unique and interesting images or graphics is not so easy. Thanks to online crowdsourcing platforms and free image hosting sites, it is easier than ever.
No matter where you source your images from, never forget to play by the rules. That means posting only legal and visually appealing graphics or images. Additionally, make sure your images or graphics contain alt text for better SEO.
Avoid Too Many Links
There’s no doubt that links are essential components of an effective blog. However, too many links can dilute link juice and may cause crawling issues.
How can you ascertain the “right” number of links for effective SEO? Matt Cutts reveals in one of his blogs that it makes sense to keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.
Remember, users don’t like link-heavy websites or blogs. So don’t add too many links on your blog in order to ensure your blog works well for your users.
Your blog should be a positive extension of your company. Play by these vital SEO rules, and you will be able to successfully optimize your blog and user experience.