(This is the fourth of a five-part series about blog SEO. This series was published two years ago on HyperlocalBlogger.com with an emphasis on local blogs, but has been updated and rewritten for publishing now.)
In the last article, we went through a list of SEO tactics that apply to a single blog post. In this article, we’ll cover a variety of SEO tactics that can boost your small business blog as a whole; these are things I recommend you do on an ongoing, regular basis to help search engines better understand the value and content of your blog and posts.
I mentioned this at the end of the previous article, but there’s more you can do to boost the internal linking on your local blog. Here are a few:
Link Recap Posts
I do link recap posts every month. Here’s an example of a recent “Flashback” post where I link back to the best articles from the previous year. Other blogs do this more often; Lifehacker, for example, does weekly roundups linking back to their most popular posts (like this one), most popular downloads, and so forth.
Link recap posts are good for two reasons:
- They’re good for readers who may have missed your previous content for some reason.
- They provide another in-article link to your previous posts. This encourages further spidering of your blog posts and gives them a little more internal “link juice.”
Anything that’s good for readers and search engines is a win-win in my book.
Showing related posts on each of your articles serves essentially the same purpose as I described above regarding Link Recap Posts. When you reach the end of any articles here on Small Business Search Marketing, you should see at least a few related posts. Those are created by a WordPress plugin called Custom Post Type Relationships. It lets me browse through my article archives and manually choose which ones show up as suggested reading at the bottom of each new article.
Make a “Best Posts” Category
The main benefit here is actually for readers. When someone new comes to your blog, you can do them (and yourself) a big favor by giving them quick access to the best content you’ve written. It’ll help them learn immediately what you’re capable of and why they should keep reading.
(You can see my Best Posts category if you’d like.)
The SEO benefit here is, again, additional internal linking to your old posts. But much more than that, showcasing your best content increases the chance that others will link to your old posts. If you have an excellent how-to article that’s of great benefit to a wide audience, you may attract some extra inbound links if other bloggers/reporters happen to find it while looking through your “Best Posts” category.
In addition to writing great content, it’s smart to do what you can to acquire more inbound links (from other sites/blogs) on an ongoing basis. In the SEO world, link building is one of the many things that you don’t just do once and stop.
It’s impossible to sum up link building in just a couple paragraphs here. So let me link to a couple articles that you should read for further information:
- The Ultimate Guide to Building the Perfect Link — This is an article I wrote in early 2007, but don’t let the age bother you. There’s a lot of explanation here about the different types of links (one-way, reciprocal, etc.) and which ones are most helpful for SEO.
- Better Than Link Building: Authority Building with HARO — This is a reflection of my current attitude toward traditional link building (skip it) and using great content and PR tactics to build links.
I’ll add this little piece of advice: If and when you find a blogger or web site owner in your industry or area who’s very generous in giving out links, try to make friends with that person. It may help you get more links.
An entire post … heck, an entire series of posts could be written about the importance of analytics to a small business blog (or any blog, for that matter). By using analytics, you’ll quickly learn how people search for content and, when you know that, you’ll become a smarter and better writer who’s able to target content both for readers and search engines.
What analytics software to use?
There are several choices for web analytics, but Google Analytics is what I always recommend to clients and what I use on my blogs. It’s free and it provides more than enough information for bloggers. Some bloggers like to use SiteMeter and Google Analytics together, because SiteMeter provides some extra data about specific visits.
What analytics to watch?
Here’s a very general answer: I would think that most bloggers would want to closely watch:
- How much traffic comes from search — if you’re doing SEO well, the traffic you get from search engines should rise consistently or, if it’s already high, should remain steady.
- What percentage of traffic comes from search — see my article, Two Simple Website Metrics for Small Businesses to Monitor, for more on these first two items.
- What keywords drive traffic — I’m not exaggerating when I say that my approach to blogging has changed because of what I’ve learned about how people search and what they search for. Analytics reports are a great way to get blog article ideas.
Summary & Preview
SEO doesn’t begin and end when you write a blog post; it’s an ongoing process, and this article introduces some things you can do on a regular basis to continue growing your blog’s overall authority and trust.
In the next article, I’ll stretch the definition of SEO a bit to include general blog/content promotion. As many great bloggers have learned, great content doesn’t get popular on its own; you have to promote it to increase visibility, attract links, and so forth. Look for that article soon.
In the meantime, if you have questions or comments about this article or the series in general, the comments are open.
(This is the fourth of a five-part series about SEO for local/small business blogs.)
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)