When Life is Too Fast to Keep Up
Who can keep up on new blog content (or new website posts)? If you are like most small business owners, entrepreneurs, and real estate agents, you are crazy busy and just don’t have time to keep up on writing new, creative, and captivating blog content. In fact, you may not have added new blog content for months (or years).
If you are facing this obstacle on a daily basis, you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach on a consistent basis and think, “Yeah, I really need to update that blog soon.” I hear it all the time, “We paid to have our website built, but we just don’t have time to post updates,” or, “We really want to post every week, so hopefully we’ll get to that soon.”
You are in the fast lane. Small business owners who are in the early stages of developing products or services and building a base of clients are putting in extra hours doing the job of many people PLUS managing staff.
Busy is Good, But Preparations Today Pay for Tomorrow
You may be busy now, which is fantastic (and what we all want) but but as John F. Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
In fact, the more you do of the right things, like systematically posting new blog content on a regular basis, updating your social media, and getting back to leads and clients at a 90+% rate.
Why Is New Blog Content So Important?
The Ultimate Blogger puts it so well when they say, “search engines serve up web pages—not websites.”
Blog Post = Web Page
Web Page = Search Opportunity
In other words, the more pages you have on your website, the more opportunities you have to be found, Tweeted, and shared.
Since time is precious, it is also important that your posts are highly optimized if you are going to use your most valuable resource – your time – to post new blog content.
Write for Your Audience
When you sit down to write your post, write so that your audience (clients and exactly the type of people you would like to have as clients) feel that they got some of your best stuff without having to contact you. Give them ideas and suggestions that address their current concerns.
This is what the pro’s call, “Quality Content.”
Easy Ways to Optimize Your Blog Post
Search engine algorithms and best practices seem to constantly change at an extremely rapid pace. Here are some good rules of thumb that are easy (and free) to do every time, once you write up a blog post.
1. Research to Find a “Focus Keyword” String.
Go to Google AdSense and use their Keyword Research Tool to find a keyword string (2-4 words) that gets decent traffic (I usually select keywords with 1,000-5,000 search traffic each month) and best fits your blog post.
To test your keyword string, go to the main Google search page and enter that search string as a search. The websites that come up should be similar to your blog post/page. This type of search shows what people are looking for when they search using that keyword string; if your site comes up and they are not looking for something like that, it may turn potential visitors off.
2. Use the Focus Keyword String
I use a free WordPress plug-in, Yoast SEO to be exact, to easily integrate the focus keyword into my blog content. Yoast SEO will also evaluate the post as I’m building it to make sure that I’m using best SEO practices.
Also, when you save images and videos, save them with a file name that includes the keyword string. Images also need to have Alt and Title tags that include the keyword strings.
3. Upload Sitemaps on Google on a Regular Basis
Once you are keeping that blog content updated regularly, you’ll want Google to know about your new pages as soon as possible. One way to update your new blog content with Google is to submit your website’s sitemap on a regular basis.
According to Google, “A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content. Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site.”
If your site has good SEO and does not have thousands of pages, theoretically, you shouldn’t need to submit a sitemap. However, most local small businesses have few external links. Google suggests that it is a good idea to submit a sitemap if, “Your site is new and has few external links to it. Googlebot and other web crawlers crawl the web by following links from one page to another. As a result, Google might not discover your pages if no other sites link to them.” However, they do not guarantee indexing, even if a sitemap is submitted. I schedule it on a regular basis, just in case it helps.
Use either Yoast SEO or XML Sitemaps Generator to generate a sitemap.
Yoast: Use the sitemap link provided in the settings and submit the sitemap to Google at least weekly.
XML Sitemaps Generator: Enter your main website URL, generate the sitemap, upload the sitemap to your main site via FTP, then submit the sitemap to Google.
As you can see, using Yoast is much more simple and straightforward.
4. Share Your New Blog Content on Social Media
Once your new post is up, share links all around social media! Before you do, it is also helpful to have an account with a link-shrinking company like bit.ly, shrink the link to your new blog content, and share on social media using that shortened link, because bit.ly provides valuable analytics such as the number of times the link was clicked.
Conclusion: One More Step to Great SEO
Search Engine Optimization requires many, many pieces that all fit together to EVENTUALLY move your links towards the top of search results. It takes time to succeed at it, so keep doing all the little things to improve your search position results, with the faith that you will see the results … in time (it can sometimes even take years).
But, all of these things are easy and don’t take a lot of time, so keep getting that fresh blog content up — your visitors will love it, and by doing this very valuable task, your website ranking will improve as well.