An important task for a business that wants its website to remain search engine optimized, is to effectively meet the web ranking criteria used by web crawlers.   Search engine web crawlers look for the most current and unique material to offer internet users.  A continually updated website is more likely to get noticed by the crawlers and be ranked higher in search results. 

In order to gain and keep your website optimized, you might want to add a blog to your website.  Blogging is a great way to keep updated material flowing through your website.  You can also choose a standalone blog with its own URL, if you prefer.  A standalone blog is one more way to create a web presence, and becomes a tool for pointing readers to your website.  Yes, customers can find you through your blog in the same way they can through your website. 

In order to build a great blog that both attracts new customers and helps improve your search engine rank, consider including a few of the following tips:

Introduce Yourself

Blogging is a terrific way of introducing yourself to your market in a more personalized way.  How you write and what you share will show a reader a bit about your personal style and knowledge.

Choose a blog template, font style and layout that reflects the image you want projected.  Decide on what voice you’ll write in and try to remain fairly consistent throughout ongoing blogs in order to brand yourself.

State Your Purpose

The purpose of your blog can be captured in your title, sub-title or in a stand alone box.  A reader should be able to quickly identify your blog’s purpose and know why they should read it or subscribe to it. 

If your blog is serving its intended purpose, it will do its job in drawing and maintaining readership.

Consider Your Layout

The blog’s layout includes information boxes on the sides, top or bottom that surround the posts.  Updating these boxes also serves to improve your SEO.  Use layout boxes for important information such as your contact information, links to your website, product recommendations, and so forth.  Frequently asked questions (FAQs), with accompanying answers, can also be featured in your layout. 

Include Analytics

Free or purchased analytic tools make blogging exciting.  The goal of these tools is to tally the visitors you’ve had, identify where they’ve come from, and sometimes spell out the exact words visitors have entered into their search boxes. 

Analytics will help you to identify whether your blog is reaching its intended audience or not, and tip you off to new markets to be pursued. 

Write Great Posts 

Your posts will be the meat of your blog.  It may help to think of a post as a mini version of a book. Each post should be effective in drawing a reader into the story being discussed.  A blog post should inform, inspire or educate a reader.

To get yourself into writing mode, try putting yourself into the shoes of your target audience.  Ask what they might want to read about or find a solution for.  Give your readers a reason to investigate who you are further. 

Write your blog in the tone you’ve chosen as your personal brand.  It might be witty or sarcastic, professional or coffee-break conversational.  Keeping your posts fairly consistent in style will brand you better in your reader’s mind.    

Invite Dialogue

Write and build your blog in such a way that it invites dialogue and has the potential to go viral.  Adding an email widget will allow readers to sign up and receive new blog posts by email.  Share buttons can be added to entice readers to share posts on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. 

It’s always a good idea to invite readers into the conversation by asking them to leave a comment, pose questions or offer input.  Don’t forget to acknowledge their comments for maximum payback.

Investigate Other Blogs

A goal of any blogger is to make their blog the go-to place for readers.  This requires staying in touch with what their customers are doing, reading about and  searching for.  A good way to find out, is to participate in other social media sites where you can eavesdrop on conversations. 

Being a reader of other blogs is essential too, after all, how will a person know if their blog is the go-to place if they don’t know what’s going on at other places?

Try blogging.  Keep your blog current with valuable information, maintain a healthy pace of postings, and then let your analytics reveal the magic.  After blogging for a few weeks, enter your business or product name into a search bar and see for yourself just how effective this tool has been in raising your ranking.