By Marie Westerhof, a content writer at Legal Web Experts. She provides specialized written copy for web and social media marketing projects, including custom website content, articles, blogs, press releases, and newsletters.
Setting up a blog in for your website is the first step in maximizing your SEO campaign and sending your company's site to the top of Google. Given Google's current algorithm and legal practice marketing trends, a blog can make a huge difference – but it's important to run it right and optimize your posts to take full advantage.
- Post often. Search engines “crawl” (visit) your website or blog based on whether you've added new content recently, and blogs that are updated more often will be crawled by Google more frequently. While it's ideal to update your blog every day, many people simply don't have time to post daily but will also enjoy great benefit from posting two to three times per week. A WordPress blog is one of the most popular options, and will allow you to enter a post and schedule it to go live at a later date; this allows you to write several at one time and set them live at regular intervals throughout the week.
- Keep your posts between 175 and 350 words. Posts should be a minimum of 175 words for SEO purposes, and anything longer than 350 words will lose the attention of your human readers.
- Use 1-3 relevant keywords from your SEO campaign in each post. 1-2 keywords is ideal. Don't try to cram too many in or they'll lose value.
- Use your keywords in the first 60 characters of the title as well as in the first paragraph of the body. Search engines usually only crawl the very beginning of titles, articles, and descriptions for hints to the post's content and relevancy to the search term.
- Make those keywords into anchor text links that lead back to your site. The last three words of this sentence are an example of an anchor text link for the keyword legal website design. Search engines place more value on links with anchor text related to the content on the page, and in WordPress these links help your SEO efforts by counting as backlinks back to your site Use the hyperlink button, and you can also link to to other sites besides your own – outbound links don't have as much weight in SEO as inbound links, but they do offer some benefit and add interest for human reading purposes.
- Use an SEO plug-in tool. A plugin, like the one available free with WordPress, automatically optimizes your posts for you by generating meta tags, optimizing your titles, and allowing you to change what Google sees when it's crawling your site.
Located on the “Add New Post” page, this plugin is very easy to use:
- Start by filling in a simple title that uses your main keyword within the first 60 characters – this title will be the title of the page as it appears in a search engine (such as “How to Optimize Your Blog Posts for Maximum SEO Benefit”).
- The “Meta Description” line allows you to write a custom summary which would appear in black text just below the title of the page in Google. Again, use your important keywords in this description.
- Meta keyword tags in a site's HTML coding are a way that search engines pick up relevant pages when crawling a site, and the “Meta Keywords” line is a way to add SEO-beneficial keywords to your post. Add your keywords on this line, separated by commas.
- Your version of the plugin may have a “Focus Keyword” line allowing you to give weight to one keyword over the others.
- The SEO Pack also allows you to decide whether you want search engines to crawl (“follow”) or list (“index”) your site. Be sure that each of your posts is being followed and indexed for maximum SEO benefit.