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(100 Hours Research) On Blog Tips for SMEs

As an SME, I always like the rule “one and done”.  

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the few things we can do (for free) as an SME, that is considered a one-time effort, for a long term result.  Blogging is still one of the best tools to develop quality SEO on your site.  This article is all about blog tips for SME’s.

 

Blogging will help you:

SME Blog

This simplified article is based on over 100 hours of personal research into the World leaders in using blogging for SEO.  To clarify, we are not the world experts in this space.  We  simply wanted to bundle this information up and make it easy to use.      

If this blog is helpful please comment and share it with other SME owners you know.

 

Overarching rules to maximize Blogging for SME’s

Long format blog content works! 

 

It is better to have few, but extremely long and engaging posts on your website.   As a current ‘rule of thumb’ blog posts should be over 1500 words long.   This doesn’t mean you are going to write blog that is a wall or words.  Rather, an engaging blog, with lots of images, how to lists and interactive tools, that are also long, will index very well in SEO.

 

If you already have many blogs on your site, you can do a traffic check and either delete or merge ‘zombie blogs’.  This is amazing for two reasons:

1.  You get to re-appropriate and tidy up content that is not ‘working for you’ in context of SEO

2.  Google and other search engines will like the fact that you have more engagement with fewer and better posts

The 3 key elements that make an SEO friendly blog

Finding Keywords

Step 1:  Finding keywords

 

The more targeted your keywords are to your site, the better it will affect the overall success of your article and also your long term traffic potential.

 

For example, here at Affilaitemepro.com we are all about Affiliate Marketing, however, our wider goal is to help SME’s develop their wider digital strategies, that Affiliate Marketing is a part of.     This blog, is in service to all SME owners and marketing managers who use our site.

 

To find keywords that will be SEO friendly in your blog, here are a few quick ideas:

 

 Use the FREE Key word tool provided by Google 

–  Looking for highly search, but low competition key words so you can index well

–  Searching for ‘long tail’ key words or sentences that are relevant to your product or service

–  Do a Reddit search on your topic

–  People will be asking specific questions around your topic.  If there are several people all asking a similar question, its highly likely you have found a potential STAR keyword or topic

 

Udemy search on courses on your topic 

–  Udemy is a platform that offers digital courses.   Given this, it provides a goldmine of potential keywords if you know where to look.  Simply look at the course description and the ‘chapters’ of the course will provide many potentially highly searched focused keywords

 

Amazon – top book in the niche, then look at the table of contents

–  Similar to using Udemy, it is highly likely that loads of books have already been written on your topic. 

–  Simply search those words on Amazon and you will hit a treasure trove of keywords that you could write on

–  Look at outbound links that are on Wikipedia. As this platform only lists highly relevant content that is maintained by knowledgeable audiences frequently, these links will show you word that people are clicking on

 

 

Step 2. Create titles that trigger.

 

Usually you don’t want to go around triggering people.  However, when it comes to titles of blog posts, creating an emotive reaction is perfect!

 

Here are 5 hot tips to get your titles working for you:

1.  You keyword should be in your title – helpful for SEO indexing. 

2.  Here are great lists of ‘most frequently clicked’ title descriptions Usually they use title tag modifiers such as; ‘the best’, ‘in review’ or a date

3.  Use a number in every title.  Statistically if you have a number in your title you will have a higher chance of clicks

4.  Brackets also outperform in titles, so work this in where you can

5.  Titles can be long, however its best to keep the URL slug short.  The URL for your blog should definitely also have your targeted keyword

 

 

Step 3.   Creating engaging and ‘low bounce’ copy

 

We mentioned at the start of this article that copy needs to be 1500+ words. However, the main body and copy of the article needs to be laid out correctly to index for SEO, as well as engaging if you want to keep readers on the page.

As a general rule, your keyword should be included within the first 100 words of the blog.   This will help the ‘spiders’ from search engines identify that you have good continuity, and the blog copy matches the title and URL.

To maximize this key word effect, you should use the ‘subheading tool’ that comes in your content management system in WordPress, Shopify, Wix etc.  You should have one paragraph of an article that also contains your key word.   By having this subtitle and keyword set as a ‘subheading 2’, it will once again build upon the great momentum you already have started for your blog.

Through the course of the article, you want to be referencing others.  Outbound links to authority websites, such as higher level learning, government, news and high traffic sites, will help with your SEO optimization of your blog.

Of course sentences should be short and to the point.

Finally, we want to stop the bounce rate on the blog page.  You want people to spend a lot of time reading, ideally being engaged by clicking links and taking action.  Given this, blogs need to be well designed. Design elements you could use are:

–  Pictures

–  Infographics

–  Polls

–  Checklists

–  Question breakout boxes

–  Videos

–  Gifs

 

To take a deeper dive into all things SEO check out this video

Checkpoint Task

If you have reached here, we are going to do a technique called the Window Cleaning Process (WCP).   

This works as follows:

1.  Take a random blog post on your site (your current window to the world)

2.  Analyse the cleanliness of the blog (such as how dirty is the window). A full checklist is below

3.  Start at the top and start ‘cleaning’ your blog, systematically through this process until you hit full points “a clean window”.

Finished The Blog?

You may have spent many hours crafting a well written blog.  All of your keywords are in place, you love the way it looks and you can see that it is extremely useful to your readers.

 

Unfortunately your job has only just begun.  Backlinks are KEY!

 

Backlinks are when other sites, put in your blog URL because it is:

–  Relevant

–  Entertaining

–  & / or Educating

 

This is where SME’s fall down.  

 

There is a lot of work to be done in creating powerful backlinks.  Outreach programs is the way your backlinks get built – here is a list of techniques:

–  Broken Link Building. After finding 10 high ranking blogs on the topic of your keyword, you can run a search on their pages others pages to find broken links. You can then send that site an email to notify them of the broken link and at the same time, see if they want to link out of your relevant blog post instead. This is a very helpful strategy and creates a win-win

 

–  Link roundups. There are blogs that are set up to go out on a scheduled basis, covering specific topics. These are ideal blogs to backlink to your post.  The blog needs to be industry specific, however you can use search tools such as “keyword”+”link roundup”, “keyword” + roundup, “keyword” + best of, “keyword” + this week

 

–  Build links from guest appearances on podcasts. By creating great content it is highly likely you will also be invited as a guest onto podcasts/ YouTube channels and more. These are all amazing ways for you to double down on your authority and create meaningful backlinks to your site

 

– ‘Brand your techniques’. By creating a micro brand for a technique ‘it will generate way more backlinks and sharing. Once again referencing Backlinko – he used the term ‘skyscraper blog’ and that has been picked up by SEO experts around the world!

 

–  Being an official ‘quote source’ for your niche. Using sites like https://www.helpareporter.com you can build your backlinks by offering quotes in your specific area of expertise

 

–  Pre outreach. This is similar to Pre marketing for a brand launch. In a short one liner let people know your working on a blog. Then if they express interest reconnect after it’s done to see if they will link you

 

–  .edu resource pages.We know educational pages are some of the most important for quality backlinks! Search for these in google by using “site:edu:your keyword”. You can also do iterations of this search as per the example above

 

–  The ‘moving man method’. Find pages online that have outdated content. Then you run a search tool that will show you all the sites that backlinks to that content. Finally, you one by one reach out to those sites saying the backlink is broken for this blogpost – how about you use mine instead

 

–  ‘Guestographics’. For sites that are predominately sales sites, then you need to create a piece of content that is a ‘best of guide’. By providing a complete guide into a very focused market, you will likely get picked up as there is a lot of value for the websites to link this content for their readers.

 

Once again, if you want to watch the video which we used as the primary reference for backlinks in this article, check that out here

 

Taking control and incentivising backlink creation, with Affiliate Marketing

Having your own Affiliate Platform on your website will also help you build backlinks.  

When affiliates sign up to your site, they are given a hyperlink that they can use on their blogs, social media and sites.   This creates a strong partnership, as your Affiliates also have upside to gain when products sell.   You can read all about Affiliate marketing on this article as well as view our FREE workshop.

 

Time Hacking Tips for Blog Writing

(a step by step process)

To conclude we wanted to provide a practical summary of tools and resources you can use to quickly create a high ranking blog post, or do a ‘Window Cleaning Process’.

Of course, you could do all of the above tasks on your own, however we often use outsourcing services such as:

 

Fiverr – Jobs can cost between $5 up to $1000’s of dollars on a set fee basis.  We generally one-time jobs such as:

–  Generating quality keyword lists

–  Writing a blog

–  Editing blogs

–  Creating pictures, infographics and other engaging visuals

 

UpWork – Ideal for retainer work that is used again and again, either on a per hour basis or a set fee for a specific job. This may be ideal for:

–  Long term blogger on staff

–  Copywriting/ Editorial service

–  Backlinking outreach expert

–  Designer

–  Marketing Manager who will manage the process for you

 

 

It’s unlikely that a standard WordPress or Shopify site, has enough in-built design tools to make blogs design amazing.  Given this you may want to add in an extension product so you have more flexibility and design elements for blogs.  Here are some suggested APPs to use

–  WordPress. Eliminator Pro

–  Shopify. Blog Studio App (or similar)

 

Quality management over time:

–  Find broken links easily. Use the ‘excellent check my links’ chrome extension

We hope this blog was helpful. 

Please drop a comment below and share this with other friends who are SME’s who may want to improve their website and blogs with quality organic traffic!

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