All Posts in SEO
Many businesses are finding value in writing blogs these days, and rightly so—it's certainly something we recommend to our clients. A blog is a way to keep your customers and stakeholders aware of new products, promotions, and industry-related news. It also serves as a PR tool to address your audience quickly in case of a crisis, and provides an additional platform to syndicate your company’s press.
So, for many, the question is not, Should I blog? but rather, What do I write about?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of your blog’s most valuable (and commonly overlooked) functions is its ability to impact SEO, since it gives your site a venue for fresh, keyword-rich content. Whereas homepages or product pages can be difficult to update with detailed copy, a blog allows you to tell a longer narrative that can positively impact your ability to rank for key terms.
We recently conducted a workshop for guests from Chicago's Neighborhood Parents Network that was dedicated to the importance of blogging for SEO. Here are some of the free tools we recommended that can help you get the most SEO lift from your blog:
G+, the social network that Google launched last June, has grown to more than 62 million users in only six months. G+ allows users to connect over Google features like Stream (a newsfeed), Sparks (a recommendation engine), Hangouts (a video chat service), Circles (a friend management service), Games, and Photos. In November, Google rolled out “pages” for brands.
But given the ever-changing social media landscape, we’ve heard our clients say, “I have enough trouble staying up-to-date on Facebook, let alone Twitter. Does G+ even matter?” In short, yes, and here’s why:
In working with our clients to create highly visible websites, we've found that there's a lot of confusion out there about meta tags and their value in search optimization.
Meta means "about"; thus, meta tags are html tags that give information about your webpage to search engines. The three most common meta tags are titles, descriptions, and keywords.
A page's title is one of the most important factors for search engine optimization, and is weighted heavily by Google to determine a site's relevance and content. Meta titles not only affect ranking, but are displayed as the headline (the part you click on) in search results. Use unique, keyword rich titles for each page; if you want to include your site name, place it to the right of the title that describes the page's specific content.
Meta descriptions don't have much effect on a site's rank, but Google often uses them to characterize a page in search results, and an appealing description can garner you more click-throughs. When writing a meta description, think about what will make someone want to click on your link, rather than the twenty others on the page. Make sure it's quick and to the point—it shouldn't be more than two sentences. For more details, check out Google's guide to picking good meta descriptions.
Many people think that meta keywords are the secrets to search engine success, and historically, they did determine rankings. Unfortunately, these keywords became too easily abused—people simply stuffed in popular but irrelevant keywords like "Britney Spears" to get traffic—and Google now openly states that meta tag keywords are no longer a factor in determining web rankings. So don't waste your time coming up with the perfect meta keywords—it's much more important to have well crafted meta titles and descriptions when it comes to seeing search results.
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