How to make your website attractive to Google? Part 3 – Get found better
To recap: in our previous blog ‘Part 2 – Get content’ blog, we discussed the following:
1.Five reasons why Google ‘likes’ blogs and ranks them for SEO purposes
- Proves the website is ‘alive’
- External Links
- Internal Links
- Long-tail keywords
- Improves user experience
2. Three ways to structure a blog for SEO purposes
- Blog templates
- Categories and tagging
Hopefully after reading this, you felt motivated to write and post your first couple of blogs. If so, excellent work, well done, a big pat on the back — the first step is always the hardest. And if not, go and have a read of Part 2 first before you start on Part 3.
So, now that you’ve written some content, you will need to plan and structure it. Think of it like growing a plant from scratch — first of all you have to germinate that seed (that’s your initial idea), then that seed needs to grow into something visible (that’s your first blog), and finally you need to nurture that plant, to stake it, prune it, deadhead it…etc (that’s what we’re going to discuss now — organising a series of blogs).
GET FOUND BETTER
Remember that it’s your website so make it work for you — nothing is ever cut and dried, you can always change and adapt your content (something which far easier if you have a WordPress website)
- Put yourself in your reader’s shoes
In Part 2, we introduced the concept of Categories to make your blogs easily accessible. This is something you probably aren’t going to get right straight away — it might take a few blogs before a pattern begins to emerge.
For example, you might find that you frequently attend a number of industry events where there is an expert speaker and it is useful to write up these presentations into blogs. You might choose to categorise ‘Networking’ or ‘Industry Briefings’, or maybe have a sub-category ‘Expert Speaker’ or even by broad topic — it’s whatever works best for the content you are likely to accumulate.
So, think of yourself as a storyteller and put yourself in your reader’s shoes:
- Every blog should have a clear message – we will discuss ‘How to write a blog’ in a separate posting and the 5 W’s method, but for now, concentrate upon the ‘Why?’ and ask yourself why somebody should bother reading your blog – what question/problem/issue are you aiming to answer?
- This ‘clear message’ should be reflected in the keyword and title – don’t try to be too clever, spell out the ‘Why?’ of your blog either in your title or as early as possible.
- Stick to one ‘clear message’ per blog – this does depend upon the ‘industry style’, but in general terms, it is better to have a shorter blog which deals with one subject, than a longer blog which deals with a number of different subjects, not least because the latter is far harder to categorise.
- Make the title / headings catchy – think of newspapers or magazines and how they draw people in . If you’re offering expert tips on, say gardening, a title such as ‘5 quick & easy tips for a perfect lawn’ tells potential readers exactly what the blog is going to be about.
2. Optimise your blog for SEO purposes
We touched upon SEO-optimisation in Part 2’s ‘5 reasons why Google ‘likes’ blogs’ section; i.e. having internal and external links.
There are plenty of ‘best-practise’ recommendations for SEO-optimisation:
- Keywords – previous usage / overall density / appearance in title, first paragraph and sub-headings
- Meta description
- Alt tags for pictures
- Readability – sentence & paragraph length, transition words, reading ease
Programmes such as Yoast https://yoast.com are extremely useful for a quick logic check on your blog’s SEO — it often only takes a few tweaks here and there to improve your score.
3. Cornerstone content
Cornerstone content can either be a blog post or a page – think of it as being asked to showcase your best piece of work from your portfolio on a particular topic.
This is what Yoast has to say on cornerstone content:
“Ideally, somebody should be able to click straight from your homepage to your cornerstone articles. Also, all your other posts about similar topics should link back to their corresponding cornerstone article, so its importance is clear from your site structure.
As your site develops, you will write tons of new blog posts approaching that topic from other angles, each one linking back to your cornerstone article. This internal linking structure will increase the chance of your cornerstone content articles ranking in Google searches.”
So, as you write more blogs and your website develops, keep this cornerstone structure in mind – think of it like a skeleton which holds the whole website together and which you can flesh out with other posts and articles…the point being that everything links back (remember those internal links?) to the cornerstone article.
If you follow the steps above, you will have a clear image of how your website should look, how a reader should navigate around it, and how your content should guide them. And, the easier this process, the more Google will ‘like’ your website.
The next blog in our series will be ‘Part 4 – Get analysed’ where we’ll delve into the detail behind Google Analytics and show how you can use it to improve your website’s performance.