A great idea: That’s what inspires most to start their own blog. But no matter how great your idea is and how well-written or visually pleasing the blog is, no one will read it if they can’t find it. Search engine optimization for bloggers is often as elusive as the Philippine Eagle is for birders. But Lee Odden of TopRank Online Marketing told the audience at BlogWorld & New Media Expo that SEO doesn’t has to be that elusive — and with the right formula, one can propel his blog from Page 15 of Google’s search results to Page 1.
The first secret to having a successful blog is being specific in your blog’s topic. Finding that niche community for your blog is important to set it apart from other blogs. This will also assist in SEO as well. Odden recommends the following to dominate search engine results:
- Develop personas. Know your audience and what they want. This includes demographics, interests, keywords used and so forth. Use surveys to collect the data, whether short and weekly or a larger survey with a reward for taking it.
- Define your unique selling proposition. What are the key benefits of your blog? What are your customer’s pain points? How does your blog’s unique topic fit in? It’s best to be concise and specific in your proposition. The more specific one is, the easier it is to identify appropriate keywords.
- Develop a content and media plan. Identify everything in the plan from what time of day to post, which images or videos to use, where it can be repurposed and so forth. This plan should outline your blog for the next month, providing direction and marketing opportunities.
- Be keyword savvy. Be sure to use keywords in your copy, blog title, page title, URL, alternative text for images.
- Link up. Look for linking opportunities to increase your post’s relevance in the search results. The more legitimate outgoing and incoming links your blog has, the greater its relevance is ranked by search engines.
- Make a content distribution plan. Define your distribution channels and be sure to promote the content across different channels.
- Know where your potential customers are. Whether they’re hanging out on Twitter, Flickr or YouTube, you need to make sure your content is there.
Use the language your customers use, know what they are looking for and use that to craft content for your blog, Odden said. There are tools one can use to help understand how your customers are searching for content. SEMRush.com is one such tool, which assists with SEO keyword research, he added.
What are some of the tactics and steps you use to dominate your niche market?