From an SEO standpoint, blogs have been a “thing” for a while now. It seems like everybody talks about how great they are for easily creating new content for your website, generating good backlinks, drawing in more site visitors, improving search engine positioning.
Those are all important things, especially for B2B SEO. But most people only talk about content when they talk about companies starting their own blogs. Writing and promoting a blog post that’s equally attractive to site visitors and search engines alike is actually the last step in the process.
The critical first step is to make sure your blog is built with SEO in mind from the very start, and that requires a bit of technical savvy. To that end, here are a few tips to make sure your company’s website includes an SEO-friendly blog:
The URL/website address should start with: https://www.yoursitehere.com/blog.
Even though the search engines are getting better at recognizing when a blog is part of a larger website, the “.com/blog” construction is still best because it explicitly shows the blog is part of your site. Less-than-desirable options would be:
- https://blog.yoursitehere.com (which can sometimes be mistaken for a separate website)
- https://yourblog.somethirdpartywebsite.com (which is part of the host’s website instead of yours, substantially decreasing the SEO benefit of creating a blog)
The H1 tag (headline) and URL (web address) for each blog post should be set independently from the name of the post.
Some simple blog packages create the headline and URL based on the name you give the blog post, so if you created a post and named it “Technical Tips”, the headline would simply read “Technical Tips,” while the URL would be http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog/technical-tips, neither of which provides any SEO value.
If each element could be set independently, we could keep the “Technical Tips” name but insert a descriptive, useful search term into the headline - say “Technical tips to keep your [search term] running strong” as the headline and “http://www.yourwebsite.com/blog/technical-[search term]-tips” for the post’s web address.
The title tag and meta description tag also should be able to be set independently.
The title tag is still considered an important SEO signal that highlights for the search engines the terms for which the page should rank.
The meta description (the blurb that’s usually seen when a web page shows up in search engine results) doesn’t currently have any SEO value, but it has a lot of importance for lead generation. A well-crafted description that incorporates search terms can compel search engine users to click the link to get to your website.
You should be able to create categories and tags as needed.
Categories – especially when a search term is included in the category name – are a great way to organize your blog posts for an extra SEO boost, gathering all the posts related to a specific search term on one page.
Tags that incorporate search terms also help provide additional context to help search engines understand the page’s main topic.
The blog should be mobile-friendly.
A blog design that works well on mobile devices will give your posts a leg up in search engine rankings as Google implements its plan to move to “mobile first” rankings.
Organize your posts by publication date in the bar that goes down the right side of your blog.
The date archive should be arranged by year, like the screen cap on the left, with each year dropping down to show the months a blog was posted (screen cap on right):
A chronological archive doesn’t directly affect search engine rankings, but providing site visitors with an easy way to find additional content is a great way to improve your site’s engagement, which does seem to factor into how well a web pages ranks on the search engines.
Here’s one last technical tip that isn’t directly related to B2B SEO: turn off the comments section for your blog posts.
Comments can be a great way to build community, but unless you’ve got a decent-sized group of committed, legitimate followers, the comments section is just a magnet for spammers and hackers looking to capitalize on any vulnerability to spread malicious attacks.
Most small to medium-sized companies don’t have the resources to devote to monitoring comments to root out the bad actors. Turning off the comments section will save your company time and money – and prevent the heartbreak and headache of a hacked website.
Once you’ve got all your technical SEO ducks in a row, then you can turn your attention to writing scintillating blog posts that will perform well on the search engines and wow site visitors.
Need a little help with that wow factor? Pilot Fish has years of experience providing the technical assistance and content writing that manufacturers need for online success. Submit our contact form or call 1-877-779-9994, ext. 2102 to get the SEO help your company needs.