By Hannah Corbett

As a small business owner, you probably understand the importance of having a business blog. But not only does your blog need to exist, it needs to be optimised to perform. Blog optimisation can be for a number of different purposes – SEO, traffic, conversions, etc – and there are plenty of ways that you can achieve all of these things. Here are some of the top tips to follow to optimise your business blog.

1. Post Regularly

This is possibly the most important thing that you can do for your blog – it’s absolutely essential that you keep your blog up to date and post new content regularly. There’s not much point having a perfect blog if it looks like it’s not updated regularly. It might help to come up with a blog content calendar to plan in advance what pieces you’re going to write. Think about events relevant to your industry, or holidays that you can create content around.

2. Quality

It’s absolutely imperative that your blog content is of a high quality. Blog posts must be relevant, informative, interesting and well written. There are a number of serious consequences for posting low quality content: people don’t like to read it, and search engines don’t like to include in their results pages. Poor quality includes spelling and grammar – so make your content is perfect before you post it.

3. User Engagement

Getting your readers to leave comments and feedback on your blog really helps to show that your blog is active and current. Ask for comments, spark discussions, and be sure to reply to any questions or comments that are left for you. With a lot of engagement, you may have enough interest to offer a subscription option to readers – which can have a world of benefits in itself.

4. Keywords

Keywords are not just for your landing pages or product pages – they’re important on your blog, too. Remember to include them in URLs, headings, title tags, and meta descriptions.

5. Content Variety

Use content other than text in your blog posts. Be sure to include plenty of pictures, videos and interactive content (and don’t forget to keyword-optimise these, too). A range of content will not only make your blog more interesting to readers, but will suggest to Google that your blog is of a high quality.

6. Linking

Make sure that your blog posts include plenty of links. Linking to useful, relevant and high quality articles on other sites ensures that you’re providing the best information that you can for your readers – which will only build trust and authority. Other sites may begin to link back to you, too, which can seriously boost your site’s SEO. Interlinking to other relevant articles of yours can help to drive traffic to other parts of your site, and keep users with you for longer.

7. Social Media

Don’t forget to share your blog content through all your social media channels. It will take some time for you to experiment and learn which social platforms are best for certain types of content, as well as which times of day get the most engagement. Sharing also helps to build your community and reach people that you may not have previously been able to.

8. Categorise and Tag

Tagging your blog posts and sorting them into categories not only helps you to utilise keywords and tell search engines what your site is about, but it helps readers to navigate your blog and find the content that they want.

9. Guest Posts

Accept guest posts. Now, this is a bit of slippery subject, and you will hear a lot of people telling you to steer clear for fear of Google penalty. But, if you’re picky about the guest content your post – making sure it’s high quality and written by people who are authorities on the topic they’re writing about – then there is no reason you should incur any penalty. Remember the aim is to provide good quality, interesting content for your readers, and sometimes a different author can liven things up a bit, and provide invaluable knowledge for your readers. You also get the benefit of the post being shared through all the guest author’s channels, exposing your blog to new potential readers.

10. XML Sitemap

An XML sitemap might sound complicated, but it’s not. Basically, it’s a navigational guide through your blog for search engines (people don’t actually see it). By adding all new pages and blog posts to an XML sitemap, you’re making sure that search engines know that it’s there, can crawl it, and include it in their indexes. It’s not a lot of work to set an XML sitemap up, and it helps to make sure that your posts aren’t missed from search engine result pages.

You may have come across some of these tips before, and you may even already implement a lot of them on your business blog. Whilst, of course, there is no absolute guarantee that any of these tips will definitely improve your blog’s SEO, or increase traffic and conversions, there’s a good chance that they will help – and it certainly can’t hurt to do them all anyway.

A successful blog is a high quality blog, and it takes time to build up your authority and online reputation. If you bear all of the above tips in mind when building your business blog, you are sure to see positive results, and reap the benefits of having an interesting, informative and high quality blog in place.