HubSpot is much more than just a marketing automation tool. It promises to be an all-in-one inbound marketing software, and a crucial part of that means providing businesses the opportunity to improve their on-page SEO. That’s where its blogging tools enter the equation. In today’s edition of HubSpot tips and tricks, we’ll tell you how to use the keyword, blogging, and analytics tools together to maximize your blogging and on-page SEO efforts.
The Need for Effective SEO
Experienced digital marketers in 2016 know: to be successful online, your website has to be optimized for search engine. A world in which Google is the world’s most used websiteand in which 93% of all internet experiences begin with a search engine necessitates effective SEO.
Of course, as frequent readers of this space know, SEO is a broad concept. To be found on search engines like Google, your site needs to have the right code, include plenty of external links to your individual pages, load quickly, be optimized for mobile, and more. But don’t forget about the value of on-page SEO.
Connecting Blogs to SEO
It’s true that as Google’s algorithms continue to increase in sophistication, simply optimizing your site for specific keywords is no longer enough to rank highly in search results. But long-tail keywords, or phrases that match up with what your audience is looking for, still matter in helping search engines determine your site’s relevance.
In addition, creating consistent, high-quality new content on your page both enables you to create keyword-specific content, and increases the chance that others will link to the content and increase your SEO. That’s why blogging continues to be a crucial part of your search engine optimization efforts.
HubSpot knows that fact, and has built out its blogging tool specifically to help you optimize your website for search engine. As a user of the software, you may have noticed some of the features we’ll explain below. By becoming an expert in using them, you’ll help your website increase its rankings for relevant searches.
Finding the Keyword
If you want to create a blog post with the express goal of helping your SEO, you need to know what keywords are actually effective. HubSpot’s keyword tool enables you to do just that: by entering a long-tail keyword or phrase, you can see how many users search for its monthly. In addition, the software provides a ‘difficulty’ ranking between 1 and 99, which tells you how competitive that specific keyword is.
Finding an effective keyword or phrase means finding a balance between search volume and difficulty. Generally, you avoid aiming for a keyword with a difficulty higher than 60; above that number you may be able to rank your website highly, but only after significant efforts. On the other hand, keywords without at least a few hundred monthly searches are less likely to be worth your efforts due to the low potential return.
HubSpot’s Blogging Tool
The software’s blogging tool is created specifically for users who may not be coding experts. Even the very first step, creating a new post, allows you to use a template, which structures the layout of the blog for you.
Once you’ve created your blog, the first thing you should do is type in the keyword for which you’re trying to rank in the ‘SEO Optimization box on the left of your editing screen. Doing so will enable you to see exact recommendation of how to incorporate your keyword in your post title, meta description, and body copy.
It also counts just how often your keyword appears within the blog post, enabling you to find the perfect balance: search engines need to ‘see’ it appear at least a couple of times for you to rank highly in search results, but including it too often is actually considered ‘keyword stuffing,’ which leads to penalties in the form of lower rankings. You can read more about the various optimization options you have for your post in this tutorial.
Measuring Success After the Fact
Using HubSpot’s SEO optimization tool, you can create a blog that, in theory, helps your page and website as a whole rank highly for a keyword you have determined to be relevant for your target audience. Now, all you have to do is publish the post and track its results, to see whether your theoretical success translates into reality.
HubSpot’s blogging dashboard, available under Content > Blog within the software, allow users to gain a quick overview of how individual posts are performing. On this screen, you can learn about the total views of a specific blog post, the percentage of users who clicked on the call to action you included at its bottom, and the amount of comments by your visitors.
But the internal analytics go beyond that. You can also remember how many keywords are incorporated within the blog post, and – crucially – how many inbound links point from other pages to yours. Because inbound links and keywords lead directly to improved SEO, using both of these data points as benchmarks enables you to draw clear conclusions about just how much an individual post helps your search engine optimization.
Once you’ve found a couple of posts that seem to perform exceptionally well in all metrics, it’s time to find their commonalities. Perhaps you will determine that news about your industry outperform news about your company, or that a list-based post works better than a straight narrative. Certain authors may have a knack for writing SEO-optimized content, which will be reflected in their posts’ performance.
Gathering this information, and finding these commonalities, is crucial to turning your blog into a long-term tool to help your website gain visibility. Now, you can gear your future keywords and content toward the benchmarks that seem to perform best, helping you increase your SEO and helping your website succeed.
Through its keyword, blogging, and analytics capabilities, HubSpot allows its users to create blog posts that are not just vanity projects, but actually help increase their website’s visibility through on-page SEO. To learn more about the software, and how it can help you optimize your inbound marketing, contact us today.