Optimizing your Blogs & Articles for the Right Kind of Traffic
If you don’t have a blog for your e-commerce website, you are missing out. Not only does having a blog position you as an industry expert, but it also drives more traffic to your site through SEO. Having a blog is a simple way of adding value to your customers and showing off your brand’s personality.
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You can host your blog on several major platforms that offer different things, depending on what you envision for your blog. WordPress is a major player in the space, with other options like Squarespace, Medium, and Tumblr also offering blog hosting services. Shopify offers its own blog hosting option as well, should you choose to stay within its digital ecosystem for both your store and blog.
Once you do have a blog and a plan on what you will publish, there are a few rules you need to follow to ensure your content reaches the right audience. From SEO optimization, optimized images and mobile responsiveness, this week’s article will cover how to create and publish the best blogs.
Keywords: A Crucial part of Blog Optimization
Simply put, keywords are the words in your article that get picked up by search engines such as Google, and play a key role in how people find your article online. Each web page contains keywords that direct the right audience towards it.
There are some best practices to follow that ensure your article not only has the right keywords but that they are in the right place throughout the page. These are the four most important places keywords need to be present, but the key (no pun intended!) is not to go overboard. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon.
Title Tag – The title of your article should include a keyword. For example, if your online store sells baby clothes, a keyword for that industry is ‘kids clothing’. Let’s say you’re writing about breathable fabrics for kids, an appropriate title might be “Kids Clothing that Breathes: From Cotton to Bamboo”.
Headers & Body – Subheadlines in your article should ideally include keywords as well. Continuing from the above example and using another industry keyword, a headline for the example article could be “Why Use Natural Fabric for Baby Clothing?”. Including the keyword, ‘baby clothing‘ throughout the body of the article is also a good idea. It’s important to include keywords naturally, so as not to be penalized for deliberate keyword stuffing.
URL – While URL keywords are not as useful for search engines as the previous two examples, they do create a better user experience if they are well written. A well-crafted URL should have the following format: http://www.domain-name.com/category-keyword/subcategory-keyword/primary-keyword
Meta Description – A meta description is a summary of the page’s content, up to 155 characters long. Most blog hosting sites like WordPress and Shopify make it easy to include a meta description using the admin area. You can find step-by-step instructions on how to do this here.
Optimizing Images for a Successful Blog
Your blog should include some images since a wall of text will be boring to your readers. Intersperse them throughout your article and make sure they relate to what you are writing about. Think of them as supporting actors and your copy as the lead star. If the subject matter of your article requires it, it’s alright to be image-heavy but the recommended amount is one image per every 150 words.
Make sure your images are optimized! Studies show that up to 40% of visitors leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Ensuring your images are the right size and format is crucial. Use JPEG for photos and PNG for text/graphics and compress your images using the variety of free online tools available out there.
Another important detail is the image alt text. This is the text that pops up when you hover your mouse over an image. It allows search engines to understand what your image is about so when you upload your photos through your blog host backend, make sure you fill out the alt text box.
A Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Blog is a Successful Blog
With more and more people browsing content on their mobile devices, you can’t afford not to make sure your blog works perfectly on all platforms. When choosing a theme for your blog, ensure it’s mobile-friendly. WordPress even has a plugin that will automatically show a mobile-optimized version of your blog to mobile users.
A responsive theme will automatically detect the size of the user’s browser and adjust the images accordingly, so make sure you choose one that does just that. Remember, your visitor needs to be able to easily fill in a payment form and navigate around your blog, so try to see and understand their online experience when you create your blog.
That’s All, Folks!