In today’s blog, we’re going to go over how to increase your website’s SEO by using the blogging tools available in SoCast, as well as some tips and best practices.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, guides a search engine (such as Google) through the posts, pages, categories, media library etc to help the search engine crawl your site and gather the information it needs to include your site within its database.
Below are some steps to get started.
Step #1: Keywords
Hubspot has written a great, in-depth article on keyword research and SEO strategy, you can read it HERE. As Hubspot explains, “Keyword research tells you what topics people care about and, assuming you use the right SEO tool, how popular those topics actually are among your audience. By researching keywords that are getting a high volume of searches per month, you can identify and sort your content into topics that you want to create content on. Then, you can use these topics to dictate which keywords to look for and target.”
To find out which keywords are already getting hits on your site, you can use Google Analytics and the Traffic Analytics tool (if you already have it setup and added to your site)l.
Another good tip (and one that I use frequently) is to search the topic in Google first, then scroll down to the bottom and look at the related search terms. I also look at the titles and meta descriptions of the top results to see what keywords those articles are using.
Then, the goal is to strategically add those keywords to your blog, the blog excerpt, and title. However, don’t just add them for the sake of adding them, make sure what you’re writing makes sense, and that it brings value to your audience.
Step #2: Blog Post Titles
This is a continuation of Step #1, but it is the most important part of SEO for blogging. Your title should include your researched keywords, and entice your audience to engage with your content further. I found this great article from Optinmonster.com that goes over viral headlines, and how to copy their success HERE. The article shares a study by coschedule.com that explains “people share content to increase their self-esteem, popularity, and standing among their peers.” and that those factors are the driving force behind choosing to share a headline or article.
Step #3: Internal Linking
Internal linking at a basic form, is simply linking to other content within your site related to your blog post. For example, if you’re sharing a blog on a local restaurant news story, and have covered that restaurant in the past, you would want to link to, and mention those articles.
SoCast helps with this with our Blog Content Footer tool, which allows you to add related blogs from a specific blog category to the bottom of your blog. You can find out more in our Knowledge Base article HERE.
Step #4: Media
How you add, label and organize media for your website makes a huge impact with SEO. We covered this topic in our first blog post in this series HERE. I encourage you to go over it, and make sure you’re using our suggested best practices. Big things to look out for are file names and alternative text.
Step #5: Blog Post Excerpt
The blog excerpt box controls what is displayed in Google, and other search engine results, as well as the preview for social media cards like Facebook and Twitter.
Generally the excerpt is a paragraph or less, and often includes your researched keywords. You can read our announcement on this feature HERE.
As a reminder, if the excerpt box is empty, SoCast automatically creates an excerpt using the first few sentences of the blog post, which isn’t always ideal for SEO.
Step #6: Blog Categories & Tags
Adding blog categories creates structure and helps Google and other search engines make sense of your website and how all of your blogs are connected. A good tip is to review your blog categories periodically to ensure that you still use all of them, and remove any categories or older content that no longer serves your audience.
Filling in the blog description for each category is also great for SEO, and is generally a sentence about the content featured in that category. You can fill in blog category descriptions in SoCast by going to Website > Blogs > Blog Categories > Clicking on the blog title and filling in the description.
Sub-categories and tags are a way of further organizing your content, these will become more important as your content and website grows. They continue to help Google and other search engines understand the blog structure and how your content is related, especially if you share a lot of similar articles.
Step #7: Headings
Most of us (including myself) have been using headings as a way to style our font, not realizing that it’s actually used to present structure to the blog. Basically, Google and other search engines crawl the blog and look for those headings. The bigger the heading, the more important that section is assumed to be. Google scans your post for content relevant to the searched words, and looks within the heading tags to see what the content is all about. It’s pretty generally well known that Google finds the keywords more easily if they are wrapped in headings, and this is huge for SEO purposes.
You can set-up styling for your headings in SoCast by going to Website > Website Settings > Headings. However, you don’t need to use the styling options. You can use the headings on a blog or page via the ‘headings’ widget.
Step #8: Clean Up Outdated Content & Update Evergreen Content
If a blog post is no longer relevant, not getting hits or features outdated content (e.g a indie band that no longer exists) then I’d suggest deleting, hiding or putting that blog back into ‘draft’ mode. This will help prevent search engines from crawling through content that no longer matters, and helps them to determine the most relevant content to display in search results.
If you’re creating evergreen content (e.g content that will always have value) such as movie lists, book reviews, band interviews etc, then I’d suggest periodically going through this content as well to make sure all links, social content, and media are still relevant and working. (e.g look for Youtube videos that no longer exist, or broken Soundcloud links).
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Client Success team via the live chat feature or through the support desk: Support@socastdigital.com
Kat & The SoCast Team