Fifty Five and Five
how to optimize blog posts for seo

Top tips for mastering the art of blog SEO

  • Remember to put your keyword or phrase into the title of your blog post
  • Link your blog post to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter accounts
  • Reference to other sites – it brings value to your content
Microsoft is a giant. The Microsoft ecosystem is a fundamental aspect to its success. But with 640,000 partners, vendors and service providers all vying for a ‘slice of the pie’ it can be difficult for your prospective customers and clients to know who to do business with.

Who is serving the best Microsoft pie, as it were? Who has the best toppings or side dish? It’s hard to know because there are a lot of Microsoft partners selling similar or even identical products or services. And if you’re a fellow partner, you probably already know that you need to stand out to reach as many potential customers as possible.

A very effective way of doing this is to create quality content that gets your name and brand into the right light so your current and potential customers see you as the expert. However, the Microsoft Partner sphere (and the technology industry itself) is crammed full of content that render many of these ‘channels’ jammed. So, how do you stand out from the crowd? In this post I will explain how to optimize blog posts for SEO.

There is a certain ambivalence to our lives from the very beginning. We are born in precisely the same way, yet none of us are precisely the same. We strive to be accepted by our peers, yet we wish to stand out and cultivate a sense of individualism. We are all unique, have particular gifts, abilities and experiences, and yet we will all, at one time or another, experience the same range of emotions, characteristics and events that make up the Human Condition; birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, success, failure, death, etc. Yet it is also our differences that make us human.

The same applies in business, where being different, being unique can be the difference between success and failure. Differentiation is essential. You need to differentiate your company from your competition so that you can be seen as more than just a corporate entity. A great way to this is through smarter, better marketing. By focusing on a trio of marketing strands, you can create a better image of your company, enhance your blog seo to drive more traffic to your digital home, and really get your personality across with both unique and engaging content.

While all three are important, and feed off of one another, today I’m going to concentrate on the importance of your blog posts and how to get them seen by as many relevant people as possible which will, in turn, earn your business those all-important leads.

Your blog (along with your social media output and website) is where you broadcast your unique voice and is how potential customers get a sense of you as a company and as a brand. As I’ve mentioned, there’s a lot of content being churned out every single day. So it doesn’t matter if you are potentially the blog writer par excellence of your generation if nobody sees what you’ve written.

Blog SEO and optimising your content is what you need to do if you want it to have any chance of reaching your potential readers. And in case it wasn’t clear: your potential readers are your potential leads, who are, of course, your potential clients.

When I talk about optimising your blog, I am talking about making your content more discoverable by search engines. Your site is ranked by search engines such as Google, who send out spiders or bots that crawl your website and check it for indicators that decide if it’s valuable or not. So, the ideas behind blog SEO (search engine optimisation) is making sure these ‘bots’ are pleased with what they find. The better optimised your blog is, the easier it will be to find you through an Internet search.

A focus keyword is the word you are betting potential readers will be searching for and will lead them to your content.

In the tech world, you already know you will be competing with a number of established and reputable companies for those popular keywords. That’s where a little creativity on your part comes in – finding words that return search results but doesn’t leave your post in a content jungle. It’s best to focus on long tail blog SEO, which essentially means using specific, key phrases rather than just one word. Yoast is a plugin for WordPress that is used to optimise blog posts; it allows you to select a keyword or phrase for your posts and will show you how many times they appear in that post.

Good keywords are those returning actual search results; don’t go chasing ‘trophy phrases’. Remember to put your keyword or phrase into the title of your blog post. And make sure it’s scattered throughout the post in as seamless a manner as possible. Yoast in WordPress will direct you through a checklist which indicates how well your post is optimised

Historically, by linking other websites to your posts, Google recognises you as ‘popular’ and therefore your search ranking goes up. For example, a good number for outbound links is 3-6 links per post. Recently it has been suggested that outbound links are not a ranking signal any longer – on their own. However, linking to other sites brings value to your content and that in turn becomes a relevant factor for your blog SEO.

The value of both outbound and internal web links in your posts cannot be underestimated. Creating a ‘pipeline’ for your blog/content – i.e. a website you are linked to, a place where people can subscribe to your blog – is fundamental to tying the other aspects of your online brand presence together (such as your social media feeds and website).
Related to outbound links, and creating a flow between your marketing pillars, your social media presence is more important today than ever before. It helps you increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your blog and website and boost your organic search presence.

Tweet at least once a day, link your blog post to your Facebook page and LinkedIn profile, provide internal links within your blog post to your Twitter, and promote links and news items that are relevant to your brand or what your company does – discover the best time to post across your social media

Of course, this is only part of the full process of best practice digital marketing. In addition to making your blog content SEO functional, you also need to shout about it. Send it out on your social media channels, keep fresh content coming at regular intervals and develop your unique voice. These are all increasingly important aspects that will allow you to rise above the business brand banality that so many tech companies face, and make you stand out to potential customers as well as current clients.

Take a look at these impressive Microsoft partners who have utilized great optimization and made it into our Top 50 Inbound Marketing Excellence report. Check out the rest of our website here to see other ways we help Microsoft Partners stay ahead of the competition. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!

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Stephen Reilly

Stephen Reilly

Stephen works in our growing writing team, joining us after a long stint working in the United States.