You might not think of your blog's comment section as an integral part of your SEO strategy. But you should. "If you can get comments on your blog, you'll increase both your SEO benefits and your status as an industry leader," explains Diana Freedman at the HubSpot blog. "Each new comment adds more valuable content on that post, so yes, you can start ranking for different variations of keywords that are naturally mentioned in your comments."

Freedman suggests that, in addition to writing thought-provoking and sometimes-controversial posts, you can use ideas like these to encourage SEO-beneficial comments:

Ask a question at the end of your post. This might take the form of a general request for feedback, or you may ask for thoughts on a specific topic. Either way, it creates a welcoming dialogue-friendly atmosphere. Freedman recommends bolding the query for maximum visibility.

Reply to the reader comments you request. "Just like you don't want to blog out to an empty void," she notes, "people don't want to comment to an empty void either." Thank readers for taking the time to comment, and respond to their input, critiques or questions. This sort of dialogue draws other readers into the conversation and creates a community in which a lively comment section is the norm.

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