Companies that only do things halfway rarely amount to much. To succeed in business, especially given the cutthroat nature of the Internet, you have to commit and you have to be dedicated to making sure that every aspect of your business is top-notch.
This is absolutely true of blogging.
Business blogging is one of the most powerful weapons in your online marketing arsenal, but there's more to it than just putting an article together and calling it a day. The companies putting out the best blogs engage in heavy blog optimization, tweaking and refining their blogs to make sure they're performing at their peak.
So if you have a blog but you think it could be doing better – which should be everyone reading this! – here are some blog optimization tips to help get the most out of it.
Blog Optimization Strategies For Maximum Returns
Invisible keyword usage: Don't write blogs centered around keywords which are blatantly ungrammatical, such as “best used car dealers Charlotte.” People may be searching for you with terms like that, but putting them in a blog just makes it look like poor writing. This drives off readers. Save such keywords for “hidden” elements, such as HTML headings and metatags. And speaking of which...
Make full use of metadata: Don't forget that your blog is being “read” by two different creatures. One group is your human visitors, but it's also being read by the search spiders who index the web. You should be making good use of HTML tags, rich snippets, and other forms of metadata to get your keywords seen by the spiders.
Don't exclude mobile users: Mobile browsing is constantly on the rise, with some experts predicting it becoming the dominant form of web usage in just two or three years. Make sure your blog is optimized to use as little bandwidth as possible, that it has a mobile-friendly layout, and that it doesn't rely on plug-ins like Flash that not all mobile users can access.
Get analytical! Analytics products, such as Hubspot or Google Analytics, are invaluable in blog optimization. Track the performance of your pages. See which get the most views. See which garner the most leads. Use this information to fine-tune your content and to try to deduce what your visitors most want to see.
Include multimedia elements: Photos, infographics, video, slideshows, or even music can all be used to spice up a blog. Every blog post should have at least one or two pictures, to break up the text and attract the eye. Use other multimedia forms to enhance your arguments, add information, or illustrate points not easily written out.
Keep your sitemap up to date: XML sitemaps are a great tool for attracting search spiders and ensuring your content continues to get indexed. You should periodically update your sitemap, so that it includes all new content. This is a dead simple way of increasing your blog's presence on search engines.
Encourage feedback. Don't let the “comments” section of your blog become a ghost town. You want an active community of people responding to your posts, since it encourages return visits and helps establish your site as a valuable resource. Write blog posts that are open for discussion, and consider including a question at the end to help spur conversation.
Make social sharing easy. Every blog post you make should include buttons for sharing your content on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any other social services you might use. This is an extremely cheap and easy way to increase your exposure.
Always Strive For Improvements
The great thing about marketing online is that you can always tweak, refine, and improve your strategies. Every blog can do better, and with good blog optimization, you can make it happen.
What changes have you made to your blog that made it a more effective marketing tool?