I think it’s just easy to forget how authoritative blog home pages can be and how much traffic they can garner on their own. So what should you be doing differently?
Too many people are giving their blog something like “Company X Blog” for a title tag. In slightly more effective ways, many blogs pick an ultra-competitive title tag like “SEO Blog,” thinking that this is the key to success. It’s not easy to outrank big, bad, established SEO blogs.
Keep in mind, that your blog has other ways of being defined beyond the word blog. Get creative with a thesaurus. Among other less-competitive, more attainable words you may consider incorporating as you research:
What page attributes would you normally optimize to get a page to rank? Title tag? H1 tag? Body content? Internal links pointing to the page?
Blog home pages should be treated like ordinary pages, and this often requires some code tweaks, because most blogs I’ve seen aren’t set up to optimize the blog home page like a normal page.
You can easily incorporate keywords into your title tag and meta description. You’ll probably need to code an H1 tag above the posts. See how this has been done on the SEO.com blog, for example.
Normally you’d have a few hundred words of static content to work with and optimize as a best practice. Many blogs have no static content. Many choose to put their primary static content on an “About” page. The problem with this is that your posts won’t be seen on this page and most people won’t link to it when they’re referring to your blog, generally speaking, so your efforts are divided.
One way to incorporate static content is in the sidebar, like HubSpot has done.
While I’ve used sidebar static content in the past, I have some reservations about its effectiveness. Putting content in the sidebar ends up duplicating it across all of your pages, and often your blog home page doesn’t end up getting the authority credit for it. Once again, it tends to divide your optimization in an inefficient way.
The most efficient way to incorporate static content is to add a block of static text to either precede or follow the listing of recent blog posts. Very few bloggers are doing this (here’s an example of one that’s a bit unpolished), but it enhances the SEO in a way that an optimized title tag alone can’t. Just be sure to code the page so that the static content only appears on the blog home page, for maximum effectiveness.
Image credit: kalexanderson