Blogging is one of the very few digital marketing activities that has the potential to generate leads, build your business’s brand and boost your SEO all at once. Pretty amazing, right? According to HubSpot, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. So there’s no doubt that it’s so essential to you have a strong blog on your advisor website.
So let’s talk about search results for a second. There are essentially two main types of searches that you’ll see: paid and organic. Paid searches are just that. They’re online advertisements that you pay for, so it is something that you are buying and spending money towards. Today we’re going to focus on organic rankings and how you can optimize your blog to boost your organic rankings.
So, what exactly does it mean to rank organically? They are the web listings that most closely match the user’s search query based on relevance and what the user is looking for. They come about “naturally,” and it is not something that you are paying for. When it comes to your firm’s online presence, this is obviously something that you want to do well in, because you ultimately want to drive more people to your site and convert them into clients.
We’re super excited to share these tips with you today because they are tactics that our team at Twenty Over Ten has personally tested and executed. We’ll be sharing blogging tips that have skyrocketed the traffic to our blog ten-fold since it launched. So read on for the essential tips that have helped us in our SEO organic-only strategy.
5 Key Blogging Tips to Help Your Advisor Business Rank Organically
You might not know exactly what keywords are, and we’re here to change that! Simply put, they are words scattered throughout your website that discuss and show what you are all about! They can really be placed anywhere throughout your website (header tags, metadata, etc.), but when they are used in your blog section magical things happen and they can really drive traffic to your thought-leadership essentially skyrocketing your SEO!
Tip #1: Historically Optimize Your Posts
This is a great way to get the most “bang for your buck” when it comes to the content that you have already spent time creating. So, what does it mean to “historically” optimize your blog posts then and why is it so important?
Let’s say you created a really killer blog several months ago … maybe even a couple of years ago. Your looking at your Google Analytics and see that it’s generated a lot of clicks but recently those numbers have plummeted. Uh oh! What if you could make some small tweaks here and there to revamp and revitalize that blog post so that you could begin to use it again and generate more traffic. That’s exactly what historical optimization intends to do. Now, we shouldn’t get all of the credit for this – historical optimization is a strategy and term that was coined by HubSpot.
How to historically optimize your blog posts:
step 1: Update your keywords
A keyword is found throughout your website, and it helps to define what your content is all about. Using a word frequently throughout your websites and particularly your blog says a lot about your firm.
What do they do? Well, they communicate to the top search engines what information is on your website. When a phrase is entered into the search box, search engines will pull the most relevant and useful websites to populate the search engine results page (SERP). The keywords help with this, so if you know that something is trending or being heavily googled, go back and see if you can put those keywords into your blog post.
Twenty Over Ten client, Blue Sky Wealth Advisors, maintains a strong and updated blog section, and they use keywords that will make it easy to crawl and will show up when people are googling certain topics. The article discusses taxes and investment income, and those keywords show up many times throughout the blog post.
This will help your SEO ranking and increase your chances of making it on the first page of SERPs.
step 2: optimize headings
Why are headings important? To break it down, a header tag is a fragment of code that communicates to the web browser how to display content. Heading tags are a huge factor in SEO ranking as search engines see them when they “crawl” on your webpage.
Be sure that you are using keywords in headers, as they play a big role in what search engines understand your website and webpages consist of when deciding what information to show in search results.
In the image below from Twenty Over Ten client, Eastern Planning Inc, they have a strong blog section. They keep it updated and include information that will definitely inform the readers so that they can leave this website having learned something important. Right away you know what the blog will be about, as it’s entitled, “5 Financial Goals for Spring.” They use keywords in the heading and are very straightforward.
They also bullet it out into lists which further breaks up the reading, making it easier to digest, and search engines can crawl this section effectively.
These are just a couple of tips when it comes to optimizing your blog posts. We will get into more detail in the blog below, but it’s a good idea to check back weekly and see what needs updating. Find out what keywords or topics are trending, and see how you can incorporate and change your blogs to include updated information.
step 3: Ensure content accuracy
Overall you want to be sure the updates your making to your blog post are noticeable improvements. In addition to infusing new keywords and headers, you should also be scrubbed for accuracy. For example, if you are sharing data points, links to other resources, etc. ensure that the information shared is still accurate and up-to-date and that all of the links work.
step 4: republish + Reshare
All of that hard work optimizing your blog does no good if no one sees it, right? Once you’ve made the above tweaks to your post be sure to lastly republish the blog as if it were a brand new blog post for that day (i.e. change the posting date). Why do we do this you ask? Well, we know that Google rewards freshness when it comes to content so by changing the publishing date once the updates are made Google will see it as new, fresh content. Score! Not only should you republish your post but you should also be re-sharing that particular blog across all of your social media accounts. Doing so will only generate additional traffic to your blog and website from sources other than organic search.
Tip #2: Implement a Link-Building Strategy
Links are a great way to optimize your SEO. There are two main ones that you need to have on in your blog posts and those are internal and external links. You need to put them throughout the posts as a part of your SEO strategy.
So, what is an internal link? Simply enough, an internal link is one that leads to another page on the same website. They are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. They are generally used in the main navigation on the website. You can include them in your blog pages and have them link back to older blogs on your website. It’s a great way to utilize older posts and provide bots with a smooth transition when they crawl your site and find other content.
Now that you understand how internal links work, it’s time to chat about external links. These types of links lead to any part of a domain that is not already a part of your site. For example, if another website links to you, then this is considered an external link to your site. Similarly, if you link out to another website, then this is also considered an external link.
When are building out these links on your blog, you obviously want to use ones that will benefit your firm and make your blog better. Before including any link, check out the site where you are linking to make sure it’s something that you would want to be associated with your site. Ensure that they are trustworthy and informative. Linking to a relevant, popular and informative source will increase your SEO rankings much more than if you linked to someone who does not display quality information or is not well-known.
Doing this type of external linking is also a great chance to form relationships with other companies because when you link to an outside source, they will know that you are linking to them. This will make them more likely to link back to your website and can improve your chance of being picked up by search engines on another site.
Tip #3: Use Proper Titles
One of the main parts of the page the search engines are crawling first is your titles. So it’s extremely important to consider what titles you want to use for your posts BEFORE publishing. This is a very simple way to show them what the blog will be about, so it’s important to make your titles strong. What are some ways you can make your titles stand out?
- Keep it short and sweet, but also use strong words.
- Tailor the title to target your niche audience.
- Use language that makes readers take action.
- Don’t forget about your strong keywords.
- Include numbers in your title.
- Ask a question.
In the Twenty Over Ten blog example below, you’ll see that this title checks the box – we’re using the number 7, strong keywords, and it’s short sweet and to the point. Seeing this title you’ll know exactly what you’ll get when you click in to read the post. By structuring our title this way we’re able to grab prospective clients attention right from the start and set the tone for what they will be reading.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget Alt Tags
Don’t forget about using your alt tags when you include images! An alt tag describes what is on the image and the function of it for the page.
We like to say that Google is really great at reading and understanding written content but they haven’t yet quite perfected how to read an image. Enter: Alt tags. Alt tags will help search engines like Google understand the image you’re sharing better so they are super important!
At Twenty Over Ten, we make adding alt tags to your website pages and blog posts as easy as pie. A simple click on the image and you’ll see a toolbar with options, one of which is to add your alt text. Voila!
But so why is it so important to include images in your blogs in the first place? Research shows that our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text! If that staggering stat isn’t enough to convince you how about the below reasons why visuals are so crucial:
- It helps to break up the text making it easier for your readers to scan, digest and understand.
- Screenshots provide real-life examples of what you are discussing to verify facts.
- Images can be used to further discuss your point.
- It helps the reader to recall information more easily if they see images in the content.
Tip #5: Don’t Forget the Metadata!
Your blog may not be performing as well as you like, and you may be forgetting something small but very important, and that is your meta description. This is basically an ad for what is in your blog or on your website, so be sure to include one. They are meant to give search engines and readers information about your blog post’s content, so it’s the generally the grey text that is underneath the website. Visitors can quickly read over it, and that helps them to decide if they want to click on your website or not!
How to Write a Compelling Meta Description
Read our beginner’s guide!
In the image below, Twenty Over Ten client, Dorsey Wealth Management, includes a meta description for a blog post they wrote on the 6 common pre-retirement mistakes that cost dearly. The meta description is listed underneath the website URL in the grey text. After reading this “teaser text” searchers can get a feel for what they will read before they even click on their website.
As you are trying to build a strong content marketing strategy, it takes a lot of patience and hard work. It’s also about trial and error and finding out what works best for your business, but creating awesome content is so important, as it’s one of the biggest factors when it comes to ranking organically. These tips should help, so be sure to incorporate them when it comes to optimizing and creating blog posts as a part of a strong marketing plan!
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