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How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines

Effective blog homepage SEO can get your blog ranked on the first page of Google Search.

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and think big picture about your blog. Think of your blog in an ideal world, as it would stand with all your blogging hopes and dreams realized. Think of your blog as a future online destination for curious learners and hopeful searchers. Now that you’re in the right mindset, think about what you want your blog to be known for, in its most ideal state.

As inbound marketing experts, we know that good SEO begins with a good blog. Blogging frequently and consistently is one of the most powerful things you can do to rank your website on Google’s highly-coveted page 1 for your most relevant keywords. 

However, it’s easy to forget about optimizing your blog homepage and just think of it as a functional, catch-all page. Your blog homepage dynamically updates with fresh content on a regular basis, which many feel is an excuse to just leave it alone. As a matter of fact, that’s something the Human Marketing inbound marketing blog is guilty of, which is why we’re writing this article. This is first-hand advice that we’ve created for our internal team to act upon. There’s no better way to achieve inbound marketing mastery and expertise as an agency than for us to create and follow our own SEO best practices.

Top 6 Blog Homepage SEO Tips

Don’t let your blog get lost in Google SERP (search engine results page). This article will teach you 6 actionable blog homepage SEO tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

1. Pick a focus keyword for your main blog categories and your blog homepage.

The first step to having a successfully ranked blog homepage is to do your keyword research. Once you find the top keywords that are best for your company blog to target, you can narrow them down into choices for your blog homepage and blog categories.

HubSpot’s blog is a great example that we love to glean from. HubSpot ranks for the first search 2 results for the search term “marketing blog” and its blog homepage is ranked in the first position. HubSpot also has a separate sales blog, which is ranked 3 and 4 for “sales blog”. 

Keyword Research

Using Human Marketing as the example, here are some of the keyword options we have to choose from for our blog SEO efforts:

eCommerce Marketing Blog — 10 monthly searches, 60 difficulty

eCommerce Marketing Tips — 30 monthly searches, 65 difficulty

B2B Marketing Blog — 50 monthly searches, 48 difficulty

Inbound Marketing Blog — 70 monthly searches, 86 difficulty

Content Marketing Blog — 170 monthly searches, 76 difficulty

Email Marketing Blog — 170 monthly searches, 84 difficulty

Content Marketing Tips — 210 monthly searches, 91 difficulty

Digital Marketing Blog — 260 monthly searches, 77 difficulty

Marketing Blog — 560 monthly searches, 96 difficulty

Email Marketing Tips — 590 monthly searches, 95 difficulty

SEO Tips — 1,900 monthly searches, 84 difficulty

SEO Blog — 9,900 monthly searches, 95 difficulty

The keyword difficulties have been color-coded to distinguish between the keywords that are easier to rank for (green) and those that are more difficult to rank for (red).

Blog Homepage

The Human Marketing blog homepage is already ranking for “inbound marketing blog”, so it makes sense for us to continue building up our rank for this key term and make that the focus keyword for our blog homepage. However, the keyword “digital marketing blog” is easier to rank for with more than 3 times the search volume. It would require a more intensive re-optimization effort to adjust from “inbound marketing blog” to “digital marketing blog” because our blog domain gives away that we’re already deeply invested in being recognized as an inbound marketing force. That’s okay though. Remember when we were talking about envisioning that perfect-world scenario for your blog? Our perfect-world scenario is to be known as the #1 inbound marketing information destination, so focusing our blog homepage efforts on an “inbound marketing blog” is a good fit for our business.

Blog Categories

Now, let’s talk about blog categories. Based on the keyword research and the personas that we’re targeting, it would benefit us to become hyper-targeted and split our blog into a few main categories to capture more qualified search traffic. In simple terms, creating specific blog categories will help us be found easier by people searching for those specific topics, and those people are more likely to find what we have to say relevant and valuable.

As an agency, we serve 2 core vertical marketing focuses: eCommerce and B2B IT. While it won’t be difficult for us to rank for “B2B marketing blog”, our longer-term strategic growth plans involve us shifting more of our focus away from B2B IT marketing and into eCommerce inbound marketing. For that reason, we could structure our blog categories around the following topics: eCommerce Marketing Blog, Content Marketing Blog, Email Marketing Blog, and SEO Blog.

While ranking for “SEO blog” will be incredibly difficult to rank for, creating content around that topic will work to further enforce our domain’s credibility in Google’s eyes as an inbound marketing powerhouse. After all, Google’s latent semantic indexing (LSI) allows it to be able to discern if we actually know what

we’re talking about. If Google relates “inbound marketing” with “SEO” because the big players are writing about both topics, and if Google sees us producing content on both topics, then it’ll see us as a more credible source alongside the others.

HubSpot’s blog homepage ranks specifically for “HubSpot Blog” and has Google Sitelinks in the search results for its key blog categories. Its main blog categories are “Marketing Blog” and “Sales Blog”.

2. Use a relevant H1 tag and URL.

Now that we’ve chosen the top blog categories, we’ll need to think of H1 tags for the main blog homepage and each blog category page. We could either be straightforward or use the H1s “Inbound Marketing Blog”, “Content Marketing Blog”, “eCommerce Blog”, etc. Or, we could go with a more creative H1 and just make sure we use some variation of “Inbound Marketing”, “Content Marketing”, “eCommerce”, etc. in the H1. Again, see blog.hubspot.com, blog.hubspot.com/marketing, and blog.hubspot.com/sales as examples.

3. Use a block of static text on each blog homepage.

It could only help to have a block of text that introduces the reader to the blog and its purpose, especially if there’s not much else on your blog homepage that’s static. Only use static content in your blog homepage that would be helpful to the user and avoid having this block appear globally on all blog pages. Google always favors good content over fluff and keyword stuffing. 

4. Limit the use of extraneous links.

These pages will be updated dynamically with a feed of the latest blog posts and their intro copy, which means there will already be a lot of links on the page. It won’t be necessary to have a global blog sidebar that links to all topics. See how HubSpot handles interlinking to blog topics: https://blog.hubspot.com/topics. They don’t flood every page with topic links.

5. Write blog articles related to your blog’s focus keyword.

We’re already doing a great job of writing about topics semantically related to the blog SEO keyword focus. But just picking the keywords for the blog homepage and writing about related topics may not be enough to rank for our target keywords. We should also actively find opportunities to blog about “Inbound Marketing” with topics such as, “The 50 Best Inbound Marketing Blogs to Read” or “40 Essential Content Marketing Tips”. If we decide to write articles like this, make sure that our numbered list exceeds whatever article is already ranked on the 1st page for the same topic. This is called the skyscraper technique. For example, if “30 Best Inbound Marketing Blogs” is ranked on page 1, then we need to write “50 Best Inbound Marketing Blogs”.

6. Get backlinks to your blog.

Remember that “50 Best Inbound Marketing Blogs” article that we were talking about? Once we write that, we’ll need to get backlinks to it. The easiest way to do that is to reach out to those 50 blogs that we featured and ask them to share our article that featured them on social media and link back to it in some way. There is less value in a backlink if both domains are linking to each other, but it’s still better than no backlinks.

Another tactic to get backlinks is to find the list of articles that already exist (i.e. the aforementioned “30 Best Inbound Marketing Blogs” that we’re competing against) and asking them to include our blog in their list.

 Did you learn something new from this article? I’d love to hear about it! Either leave a comment below with your feedback, ideas, and tips, or contact us at Brandia Digital Agency to talk.  

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5 Trends that can Shape Your Content Marketing in 2021


Your content is the foundation of all your digital marketing efforts. It can make or break a marketing campaign. Content acts as a connection between your customer and your brand. And connecting with your audience with authentic content will increase your results exponentially. Content Marketing is the creation and distribution of content to achieve your business or marketing goals. It can help build your brand, spread awareness about your brand, get website traffic, and drive sales.

Therefore, keeping yourself up to date on Content Marketing trends and designing your content strategy with these trends in mind is always a good idea. So, let us have a look at some key Content Marketing trends that can help you shape your content strategy – 

Authenticity and Transparency:

Content Marketing is all about providing value to your audience by educating them. In doing so, you communicate a sense of authenticity and transparency through your content, building trust towards your brand. Hence, authenticity and transparency are the two most important factors that help add value to your content.

The best way to provide value through Content Marketing initiatives is to create content that:

Aligns with your overall message and mission.

Helps your target audience accomplish their goals.

Makes your audience comfortable engaging with your brand in the future.

Now, let us go ahead and understand “Why do readers respond to transparency?”

There are two key elements that transparency affects – Value and Trust

People value content mainly for its usefulness and transparency helps make the content more useful. By providing high transparency like personal examples and experiences in detail, you help the reader see your advice in action. When your content is backed by personal stories and experiences, it adds value to what you are trying to convey. It moves you from an advice-giver to a credible source of information and real solutions.

And then there’s trust…

When people read a product review or case study, their skepticism radar is at high alert. Hence, earning a reader’s trust is not an easy task. But transparency goes a long way when it comes to building trust with your audience.

Create Visual Content


People do not like reading anymore. Videos, on the other hand, is the #1 way people like to see content these days. Most people prefer visual content rather than text because it is easier to consume and understand. To make the best of this favoritism, brands are continually thriving to

incorporate videos into Content Marketing. Include more visual content in your content strategy, be it info graphics, photos, videos or memes, take your pick and start creating. 

When it comes to visual content, videos will continue to dominate. According to a study by Cisco, videos will constitute 82% of online traffic by the year 2021. This indicates the increasing importance of videos for Content Marketing. What makes video content so popular among brands is their ability to deliver varied content in a captivating form. Videos can be used to drive awareness about your brand or feature inspirational journeys of your customers. Video content makes the audience connect with your brand even more. The important factors to remember while creating visual content are – 

Be engaging and unique

Be relevant, and 

Make sure your content is mobile-friendly. 

So, if you haven’t already started using video content in your Content Marketing strategy, this is the right time for you to start. The secret to success is experimenting with new things without becoming immediately addicted. Try and test new formats and mediums, but also be willing to ditch them soon enough, in case they do not work for you. The only thing that really matters is that your content has to provide value to your audience.

If you have already been working with long-form content, it could be beneficial to test out shorter, bite-sized formats, like Instagram and Facebook stories. Or if you have been focusing on shorter video content, try testing longer-form content that can rank well in search, increase traffic, and offer SEO benefits.

Take time to plan out a solid content strategy that attracts your ideal customers, serves your current audience, and works towards your broader goals. 

Brand Storytelling


We all know the power of stories. They add color, humanity, life, and meaning to our communications. Now, imagine blending a beautiful story into a Content Marketing campaign. The undeniable power of stories gives your marketing an ability to attract an audience. Storytelling gives your content life and makes it relatable, understandable, and personal. It is a big topic for marketers. Stories engage people, and people tend to remember them more than almost anything else.

Brand storytelling Content Marketing is an art of developing a narrative about your company which makes it easier for your audience to relate to who you are and what you do. It engages customers on an emotional level, so they see dealing with you is the right choice for them. Brand storytelling is about sharing your experiences and how you engage with your customers. It goes much deeper into who you are, and why you’re doing what you’re doing. It involves:

Defining who you are: This is about letting your audience know the person behind your business. Why and how did you start your business? What challenges did you face? How bumpy roads create amazing experiences for your clients, and why? Your story helps people understand what drives you to do what you do and therefore helps them

understand why they should support you.

Defining what you do: It is important to spread awareness about your brand and you can do this by including your work in the story.

Defining core values: Your core values define why you do what you do. They explain how your business operates and what your business goals are.

Brand storytelling combines all of these elements and creates a compelling narrative which makes it easier for potential customers to remember who you are and what you do, and also understand why your company is suitable for them. 

How to create your brand story?

Understand Your Customer: Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and understand the challenges they face. Remember to make your story customer-centric and advertise your product as a product that helps them change it for themselves.

Be More Than What You Do: It’s important to give your potential customers a compelling reason to buy from you. You need to give them a value-based reason why they should turn to you.

Be Honest: Your story needs to be authentic even if it sometimes means talking about your failures. An underdog story is more appreciated than a fake successful one.

Ads as a Part of Content Marketing Strategy – Content Advertising


Content advertising means creating content with the intention of promoting it through paid distribution channels. Depending on the purpose of your content and the potential audiences, you can use a variety of paid channels to get your content out there. This can include paid social, PPC campaigns, sponsored placements, and any other type of paid promotional opportunities. The idea here is to combine digital marketing and Content Marketing under one umbrella in order to drive sales.

When it comes to ads, the takeaway is to brainstorm what makes a person click on your ad? What does a customer expect from your brand? Once you have a clear picture of this, you’ll be able to device the ad copies that your brand needs.

Here are the key points to keep in mind for Content Advertising-

Know your audience.

Set your business goals precisely.

Always invest in quality content.

Repurpose concepts from top-performing organic content.

Experiment with new ad formats.

Conduct A/B testing for results.

Any content format can be created as part of a content advertising campaign. For instance, you could create a whitepaper focusing on common problems in the industry and promote this through paid social ads.

Moving forward, let us have a look at some of the advantages of content advertising.

The biggest advantage of content advertising has over organic Content Marketing is that it doesn’t rely on search or discoverability. That means if you’re paying to promote your content, you don’t have to worry about appealing to a wider audience, or trying to appease the SEO gods to make an impact. You just need to find your audience and use whichever distribution channel suits your requirements.

Another advantage of content advertising is that it enables you to zero in on laser-focused topics that may be considered too niche to succeed organically. It means you can find specific points and tailor your content to meet the needs of your customers. 

Remember, leveraging user intent and understanding the pain points of consumers in your conversion funnel is crucial to the success of any content advertising campaign. Make sure that your content is going to the right people, with the right offer, at the right time. 

Aligning Social Media with Content Marketing

Content marketing and social media complement each other. Here are a few elements that apply both to Content Marketing and social media marketing. To succeed in your content and social media marketing strategy, you must address them in both- 

Objectives

Buyer personas

Product 

Editorial plan

What are the Aligning Objectives in Content and Social Media?

Help your audience understand the subject matter specialization.

Entertain your audience with fun and relevant content.

Educate your audience on new best practices.

Convince your audience to buy your product with strong content.

To turn your business goals into social media goals, you first need to convert them into the marketing equivalent, then the Content Marketing equivalent, and finally into social media marketing. 

Social media is the prime vehicle on the Internet that drives your content in the right direction. It has many reliable platforms that you can use, which means you are not driving your Content Marketing vehicle on just one street. Social media can engage your targeted audience, give you a global publishing platform and reach out to a broad audience to establish brand awareness.

It is crucial for you to align with social media to make your Content Marketing campaigns a roaring success. This alignment needs some planning and strategy. 

Companies need to get creative and enthusiastic about spreading their content to the right people. Don’t let your investment in content marketing go to waste by sitting on

some of your most valuable marketing assets.

With the advancements in technology, the content has become easily accessible and even more important. Content is no more just king, it is the kingdom; and as content marketing trends evolve, they will shape the future of marketing.

The way content is planned and created keeps changing which makes content creation more challenging for brands. As brands keep on refining their strategies, lukewarm content approaches will no longer be sufficient. Hence, companies must adopt the way marketers see and respond to trends as they could determine the fate of their organizations.

The coming years would be exciting and full of learning for brands and marketers. So, keep yourself updated with these trends and see how your brands can leverage them as they will prove to be key differentiators for you in this cluttered marketing world.

I hope this blog on “Content Marketing” was helpful to you. To get an in-depth understanding of marketing and content strategy, check out our interactive Brandia Digital Agency, which comes with 24×7 support to guide you throughout your business period.