In case you didn’t notice, the Gnome Likes series took an extended vacation over the holidays, but now, it’s back and better than ever in 2013!
There haven’t been any recent Google update announcements (Panda #23 went live right before Christmas, but that was weeks ago) so we’re going to jump right into this week’s featured SEO posts.
If you have a blog, you’re going to love this week’s posts (if you don’t have a blog, these posts might motivate you to get one). They include lots of content creation ideas and very exciting SEO-related tips. So without further ado, let’s get this party started…
Jason Acidre kicks off the new year with this excellent post about improving your blog’s organic search visibility in 2013.
Specifically, he provides 11 actionable tips for improving your blog’s SEO. I encourage you to read the full post for all 11 tips, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Create content that gets searched – “If you build it, they will come,” is excellent advice in Field of Dreams, but it doesn’t apply to your blog. If you want visitors to come, you have to write content that they’re searching for. Do your keyword research, and write for your audience!
- Pumpkin Hacking – Focus your efforts on topics and techniques that have worked the best in the past. If something isn’t working, don’t continue to waste time on it.
- Use other content formats – Don’t restrict yourself to text-only blog posts. You can quickly expand your audience by creating other forms of content (e.g., videos, infographics, slide presentations, etc.).
- Make the blog’s architecture search-friendly – If search engines can’t access and index your content, people won’t be able to find it. Make sure you follow on-page SEO best practices (e.g., use appropriate titles, properly handle canonicalization, eliminate broken links on your site, improve page load speed, etc.).
For the rest of Jason’s excellent SEO tips (and more thorough explanations), check out his full post!
In this post, Tanner Christensen presents a simple strategy for blogging about any topic. Yes, any topic.
So what’s Tanner’s secret? Questions… lots and lots of questions!
As Tanner explains, questions can help make any topic interesting because 1) they give you an opportunity to learn and grow as a person and 2) they provide a built-in audience (others will be looking for answers to the same questions).
Thus, the very first step when covering a topic is to ask as many questions as possible. If you have trouble brainstorming questions, you can rely on the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why), or you can search for questions on Q&A sites (e.g., Quora, LinkedIn Answers, Yahoo! Answers, etc.).
Then, once you have a list of questions about your topic, you research and write blog posts that provide the answers to those questions.
And there you have it! A simple, yet incredibly effective, strategy for blogging about any topic: answering questions.
For more details about this strategy (and industry-specific examples), be sure to read Tanner’s entire post!
If Tanner’s content creation strategy isn’t enough to fill your editorial calendar, this post by Amanda Gallucci will help finish the job!
To really get your content creation juices flowing, Amanda presents 31 different types of blog posts: one for each day of the month. I’ll let you read the full post for all 31 types, but here are a few exciting examples:
- Present a case study – People love case studies (especially in our industry) because they provide empirical evidence to support your claims. So give the people what they want… and write a case study!
- Make a list of top posts – This is a great idea, but please provide more than just a list of posts. Add your own commentary or insights. Tell a joke or two. Give me something other than a list of post titles — my RSS reader already does that for me!
- Interview a thought leader – I’ll let you in on a little secret. A lot of people really enjoy being interviewed (I know this because I’m one of those people). You can exploit this fact to learn more about others in your industry, while also generating great content for your blog.
- Show examples of what not to do – If you’ve already made a few mistakes, you have an excellent opportunity to prevent others from repeating them. In a lot of cases, you can learn just as much (if not more) from negative examples as positive ones.
- Draw a cartoon – I love this idea because I was an artist many, many years ago. Plus, who doesn’t love a great cartoon?
For even more excellent blog ideas, don’t miss Amanda’s full post!
Now that your editorial calendar is full, it’s time to audit your site’s SEO. To learn how to do that, watch this Q&A with Alan Bleiweiss and me, which is the latest video in Max Minzer‘s excellent series of Max Impact Hangouts.
Of course, if you’d prefer to have the Web Gnomes take a look at your site, we offer a comprehensive SEO audit service.
Now, It’s Your Turn…
I hope you enjoyed this week’s SEO recap, and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. What are some of your favorite types of blog posts? Do you have any questions about SEO audits that Alan and I didn’t cover in our Q&A?