As SEOs I think we can all agree that one of the most important things to do within our industry is to keep abreast of the latest developments and to modify our behaviour accordingly. We can learn from each other and a good SEO must accept that, on occasions, people might do something that he/she had never thought of or implemented before. This is why I like to read blog posts from other industry professionals and why, if you’re reading this, you probably do the same.
Now you may have certain sites that you frequent often – I don’t know an SEO who doesn’t read the SEOmoz blog for example – but you might also have Google Alerts set up for “SEO”, or read posts that you find on Twitter or elsewhere on the web. I do all of these things but with so many posts out there it is increasingly difficult to get your blog post noticed. I find myself ignoring the large majority of posts I come across and I’ve no doubt that many of you do the same.
Imagine all the people… writing boring blog posts
So many SEO blog posts are formulaic and unimaginative. Many will simply be reimagined versions of existing posts on other sites, offering little in the way of new, useful or interesting content. Even the titles of most articles are standardised, and ever since the aforementioned SEOmoz documented their research that stated that articles containing numbers – as in “The 5 best linkbuilding techniques” – were the most popular, they seem to be everywhere!
My advice is to be original and to stamp your personality on an article. Not everyone has the research facilities to be able to perform complex SEO experiments and report their results to the world but everyone has a unique personality, perspective or writing style. Some key points that I think help to make a blog post stand out from the crowd are:
- Write something unique – even if the topic is standardised, present your own perspective or opinion
- Choose a snappy title – don’t be afraid to be different – this could be the difference between someone reading your post and not
- Use humour – you don’t have to tell jokes, but don’t be afraid to show a little personality
- Use images creatively – where possible avoid stock images
- Engage your audience – think about who might read your post and try and write for them, not at them (I’m thinking about you right now – yes, you)
Always try and start a discussion
When I write a blog post, I want people to comment. This should always be the aim. Firstly it shows me that people have read it, secondly that it had an impact on them and thirdly the world doesn’t revolve around me and I’m sure some of you lovely folk have probably got something quite interesting to say!
You may have found this blog post ironically boring, you may relate to my experiences, or maybe, just maybe you laughed at some of my quite frankly hilarious witty comments – whatever emotion or feeling it brought about, if it makes you comment, like, tweet, +1, etc. then I have done my job (obviously try not to offend anyone or say anything too stupid).
So, the next time you write an SEO blog post try to imagine me and people like me (there are at least 3 of us) hovering over the link and debating about whether or not to click on it – and do your best to persuade us that we should!
Dan Almond is as an SEO Specialist at Piranha Internet – a digital marketing agency in Preston, UK. He has a background in English Language study and regularly blogs about all things SEO and Social Media on the Piranha blog.