Did you know that 55% of businesses say blogging is their top inbound marketing objective? Did you also know that these companies are 13x more likely to see a positive ROI (return on investment) than those who don’t invest in blogging? That’s a pretty good reason to look into blogging for your business!
Having a frequently updated blog can improve your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. You need an effective SEO and content strategy so that you can be found by the search engines. When readers find you, you want them to stay on your webpage longer and refer back to it.
This means you need a way to share valuable, quality information with your target audience. There is a solution, a way that you can easily do this – start a blog (and provide useful, consistent, and frequently updated content).
Keeping your blog up to date is crucial for your blog’s survival. Freshness means doing regular updates of your content to indicate to Google and other search engines that you are providing new information; Since Google wants to satisfy its users with relevant and accurate information, you should only write quality content. Don’t write to just fill the page.
What is blogging?
What is a blog? The word blog is a combination of the words web & log. It can be part of a website or be the website in itself. A blog is usually updated regularly by one or more members of an organization. Blogging is when you add new material or update the content on a blog.
There are many benefits to your business by having a blog. One of the best results of blogs is that they can increase your business and help you maintain your existing customer base. This article will go over how blogging can make a difference for you and why you need a blog for your business.
What are the benefits of effective blogging?
Did you know that only 1% of Internet users actively create new content, while the other 99% simply view blogs? By blogging, you separate yourself away from the 99% of people who do not blog.
Therefore, blogging is an essential part of making yourself stand out in this competitive economy (Fishbein, 2014). That is proof that consistent blogging is necessary.
Top reasons you should blog:
- Helps you build your professional network, meet new people, and become popular
- Educates people about you and your business and connects you with your audience and improves brand awareness
- Increases your authority and/or credibility which builds your business’s reputation as an industry leader/expert; validates your expertise in the industry
- Leads to increased revenue by helping you reach your target audience
- Provide you with an easy way to market your business
- Allows you to explain who you are and how your business can help the readers.
- Brings you more clients/customers by giving you more organic traffic
- Develops your relationships with existing clients, creating customer loyalty
- Creates opportunities for people to ask you to guest post on their blogs, participate in speaking engagements, etc.
- Provides you with an outlet to organize your thoughts and ideas
- Gives you content to share on social media sites
- Allows you to beef up your social media content
How do I create a blog strategy?
Building and growing an influential blog in your niche is a surefire way to nurture your potential customers. By creating regular content that solves readers’ problems, you’ll build trust, and this will inevitably contribute to the overall success of your business (Baker, 2019).
Baker has a simple checklist on how to create a blog; she covers everything from how to start a blog to how to track and monitor your finished blog.
A few questions you may want to ask yourself before creating a blog are:
- What is the purpose of my blog? What will I write about?
- What is your business trying to sell?
- Who is in your target audience and what are their needs?
- What is the strategy of your competition?
- What keywords are you wanting to rank with?
- How will you promote or market your blog?
A basic outline of the steps you need to take when creating a blog strategy:
- Research your target audience. What do they write about? Once you understand that, you will know what to write about.
- Research to see what your competition is doing. What’s working for them? What type of content do they have? The key is to write about stuff that your competition hasn’t covered. What is something unique that you can add to your blog about your business or industry?
- Do proper keyword research.
- Implement your SEO strategy.
- Promote/market your blog or new/updated blog post.
What is SEO?
You’ve maybe heard of SEO and SERP; blogging affects them, and those little acronyms can improve your business. Do you know what they mean or is it still all Greek to you? This article will explain it all in plain English.
You may be thinking: Why does it matter? How can understanding SEO and SERP help your business? Well, it all flows together like a finely tuned orchestra playing in perfect harmony.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s basically the process of giving yourself natural search results rather than paying a search engine to place ads for your company/website. Organic traffic occurs when people type something into a search engine like Google and find the top results. The goal for you should be to increase the chances of users finding your website, something you can achieve by doing good SEO.
I love how Jason Barnard from SEMRush defines SEO. He says that SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem (Barnard, 2020). That means you need a strategy for getting search engines to like your content so that they can recommend (move you up in the search results pages) you to their users.
What are the benefits of SEO?
There are endless advantages of doing SEO, but here’s a list of a few of the benefits:
- Provides you with more traffic
- Gives you more exposure
- Helps you become more popular
- Increases guest blogging opportunities
- Improves your ranking on search engines like Google
- Expands your business leads and professional networks
What is SERP?
SERP stands for search engine results page; it’s the search results people see when they “google” the phrase they are looking for. To get users to find your blog, you need to have a solid SEO strategy.
You should try to be ranked high on the search engine results page (SERP). People don’t usually continue searching after page 10, so it’s important to rank at or near the top of the SERP. If you want people to find you, your blog needs to show up on the pages they are looking at.
How do you do proper SEO?
To have an effective SEO strategy you should first ensure that search engines know who you are and what you can offer their users. Next, you need to convince search engines that you are the most credible option for their users. Finally, you must make sure your content delivers what it’s supposed to. These things are important to search engines because they want the best fit for their users (Barnard, 2020).
So how can you show search engines that you are the best? Well, there are several ways to effectively do SEO, which is the key to making search engines happy. A proper SEO strategy includes:
- Creating and maintaining awesome content and keeping it up to date
- Getting backlinks for reputable websites or blogs
- Improving blog posts by adding links or hyperlinks that lead to your other content or to the content of reputable websites
- Finding and correctly using keywords
- Guest blogging or having someone be a guest blogger for you
- Regularly updating your social media accounts with links to your newest blog posts
How can blogging help with SEO?
So now that you understand what SEO is, let’s look at how blogging can improve your SEO strategy.
1– Consistent blogging improves your ranking on search engines.
Search engines LOVE fresh or updated content. They eat it up and the more you add, the higher search engines like Google will place you on the SERP, making you more visible. This is because people want to read fresh and new content.
This will give you new readers. However, you can’t just throw material out there on a blog and expect to get and keep readers. You need to provide valuable content so that new people will stay on your blog longer as they read it. The longer people stay on your blog, the higher you will be and stay on the SERP.
High-quality, valuable content makes readers want to come back for more. If you write junk, Google will know it, and while initially, you may have a good ranking, over time the search engines will rank you lower and lower. And don’t forget to keep your valuable content up to date.
Call to Action: Write valuable content that your target audience will want to read.
2 – Blogging improves your chances of getting backlinks.
Blogging improves your page ranking, and the higher you are in the search results, the more credible you look. The better you look, the more people are going to want to link to your valuable content. With a quality blog, more sites will want to link back to your content. This is called backlinking.
Reminder: You don’t just want to look credible, you need to have valuable content so users will come back for more! You need to BE credible! Be a trustworthy source.
Backlinking gives you greater exposure online because the person who backlinked to you will have his own audience going to your website and reading your content. The result is more traffic.
Essentially, when an influential source links back to your content, they are vouching for you. That peer approval from a trusted, authoritative figure within your industry will help improve the credibility of your brand, your author, and your content in Google’s eyes (Barnard, 2020). And remember when Google is happy, you go up on the SERP, which is what you want – visibility.
Call to Action: Reach out to influential sources and link to them so that they might link back to you.
3 – A blog gives you more options for internal linking.
The more blog posts you have, the more opportunities you have to link back to your own content. If someone loves your blog post, they’ll want to read more of your material. Having a convenient link already on the webpage they are reading gives them easy access to other pages on your website.
Internal linking needs to be clear, logical, and simple. Google relies on internal linking to identify which content on your site is most important; it also relies on internal linking to find all the pages on your site (Barnard, 2020).
Readers especially love to click on hyperlinks or on links to related material you have written but don’t overdo it or they will leave before they’ve even finished reading your blog post.
Call to Action: Have a consistent blog schedule where you post regularly so that you can link back to your own content.
4 – Awesome blogging gives you a better shot at your targeted keywords.
You need to target the right keywords by doing effective keyword research. Keywords are what people type in to search engines; in essence, keywords are search queries. Doing proper keyword placement means using the right words in the right places for the right number of times. This involves keyword density and avoiding keyword stuffing.
Most people want to be found online using specific words. For example, if you want someone to find you online, you may want to be on the first SERP that pops up when your audience enters something like “How to Cook a Turkey.” You have a greater chance of ranking high on the SERP if you can rank using the right keywords.
The more blog posts you have about “How to Cook a Turkey,” the better chances you have of ranking high on the SERP. Plus, SEO rules explain how to properly use keywords to get your audience enticed to read your content.
Call to Action: Discover what keywords you want and learn how to do proper keyword research.
5 – Guest blogging can move you up the food chain.
Guest blogging is when you write content on someone else’s blog or vice versa. Either way, it can provide you with more traffic. How? Well, if you write on someone else’s blog, your name gets out there and a new audience is reading your content.
People will want to know who you are, and they may search online for your content. Usually, the owner of the website, where you wrote your guest blog, will let you add links to your content so people can easily find you. This gives you greater exposure which leads to more traffic.
When you let someone guest post on your blog, you give them greater exposure which can give you a new audience on your blog (the guest blogger’s readers may follow where he writes). The guest blogger may also share a link of what he wrote on his website, giving you further exposure.
And the new readers may click on links to other blog posts you have which may turn them into loyal readers thus expanding your audience. If your guest blogger uses your internal links, it will be easy for readers to find your original blog content.
Call to Action: Ask credible bloggers if you can guest post on their blog and/or invite influential guest bloggers to write on your website.
6 – Blogging lets you update your social media accounts which increases your page views.
The more blog posts you have, the more chances you have of updating your social media account. Plus, by connecting with your fans, they can do marketing for you by just sharing your content.
When you write a blog post, you can add a link to your social media accounts. It’s like saying, “Hey! Check out this new blog post I wrote!”
Each time you write a social media update, you increase your traffic; more people want to see what it is you wrote. If they are your followers on social media, especially if they’re your connections based on the niche you are writing about, they will probably want to see what’s new in your world or what’s new in the industry they are interested in.
Looking at it from Google’s point of view, Barnard says, “Sharing on social platforms, and the general social buzz around your content is a signal to Google that the content is useful and appreciated. And when recommending content as a solution to its user, useful and appreciated are high on the list of priorities (Barnard, 2020),” so share that content to all your followers! General buzz!
Call to Action: Share a link to your blog content on your social media outlets consistently and ask them to please share your content with their fans.
Quick Look at How it All Flows Together
Effective blogging improves your SERP because fresh content moves you up. That increases your chances of getting backlinks because as you move up, more people want to link to your awesome, fresh content! Backlinking increases your traffic by bringing you new readers that came from the source who linked back to your content.
Internal linking makes readers stay on your website longer, and new blog posts give you more opportunities to link to your own content. Plus the more blog posts your have, the greater chance you have of being found through the use of target keywords. In other words, you can rank for the keywords you want because you’ve written more about the subject/keyword which will help you reach your target audience.
Guest blogging gets your name and website out there, bringing you more traffic; if someone else does it for you, their fans will come, you’ll pique new interest from new readers, and it’ll give you more posts. All of this gives you more traffic because you will have earned the respect of new customers and/or gained more loyalty and trust from your existing customers.
Key Terms to Know:
- Blogging – the act of adding new material or regularly updating content on a blog.
- SEO – Search engine optimization; the process of increasing the quality of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a blog to users of a web search engine.
- SERP – search engine results page generated in response to a user’s query.
- Keywords – Words or phrases that are used to search.
- Keyword Density – The number of times a keyword appears in your content.
- Keyword Stuffing – The act of including too many mentions of a keyword than is natural in a blog post or website in hopes of ranking higher; a spamming technique.
- Backlinks – A link back to your site from another site that can be followed by search engines.
- Guest Blogging – the act of writing content for someone else.
- Traffic – Visitors to your blog.
So now you should have a better understanding of how blogging can affect SEO. Good SEO leads to a higher ranking on the SERP. A higher ranking on the search engine results page leads to more readers! See? It’s like a well-oiled machine, working together smoothly.
Jay Bilunas is a graphic designer and marketing consultant. He loves helping small businesses succeed with great marketing and design. He also teaches and tries to help up and coming designers.