Blogging. What started as a way to electronically keep track of one’s daily trials and tribulations has quickly expanded into an online force all of its own. Here’s what we mean:
Blogging for your business presents a wide range of benefits like positioning yourself as an authority in your industry and establishing better customer relations and trust, but it also gives more concrete advantages, like website traffic. Modern blogging has not only evolved into the influencer profession most of us think of, but it’s also become one of the most effective tools in digital marketing because it can massively boost SEO results, which in turn, can help increase organic website traffic. SEO (search engine optimization) involves structuring your website and its content in a way that ensures the highest possible ranking in organic and relevant search results. Executed correctly, a regularly updated blog can increase your website’s traffic to over 50% more than websites that don’t blog.
How Does a Blog Help with SEO?
1. It Creates Fresh Content
Search engines like Google and Bing use complicated algorithms in order to index and rank every webpage on the Internet, but a huge factor in that ranking is your website’s content. New and unique content plays a huge role in increasing your search result rankings, but how often do you really update the content of your webpages? Chances are, not very often. Luckily, a blog offers an easy, cost-effective solution for any business having trouble constantly finding new ways to update its website. At the end of the day, Google will rank the websites with the freshest content highest, so you need to be updating your website’s information as frequently as possible.
Need help creating content? Check out our blog: “6 Tips for Creating Content When You’re Stuck.”
2. It Uses More Target Keywords
Another huge part of SEO includes ensuring your website ranks for keywords relative to your industry. If you’re a dentist, you don’t want to rank for search keywords like “truck driving” or “clothing boutique.” Instead, you’d want to aim for target keywords like “dental care” or “dentistry near me.” This seems obvious, but a surprising number of websites rank for keywords totally unrelated to their field. The easiest way to make sure your website ranks for its target keywords is to use them often but naturally. Don’t overuse keywords, though, as search engines are smart enough to know when you’re purposefully inundating every page with a desired keyword — plus it can look spammy to a site visitor. Rather than keyword stuffing your site — and to avoid hurting your search result rankings — try creating useful blog content that not only relates to your business and industry but uses your desired keywords throughout the posts. By naturally using keywords throughout your blog posts, you increase their abundance on your website and help your search engine rankings.
What Makes an Effective Blog?
1. It’s Unique
First and foremost, your blog should be regularly updated with unique content. Search engines recognize duplicate content and it can actually hurt your ranking, so avoid duplicating content found in published blog posts. Furthermore, if you ever need to copy text word-for-word, make sure it’s cited correctly: in quotes and with a link to the source.
2. It’s Useful or Answers a Question
Think of your ideal customer and what they could possibly be searching for. Going back to the dentist example: maybe your ideal customer is looking for dentures, what are his or her possible search queries?
“When to get dentures”
“Best types of dentures”
“Dentures near me”
“How do you know if you need dentures”
All of these possible search queries are great ideas for possible blog posts, and answering them correctly can help show you and your business as an industry leader (see backlinking below). Write a post on how you know when it’s time to get dentures, one on the best types of dentures for different lifestyles, and another post on your business’ denture services. Not only are all of these fresh content ideas relevant to dentistry, but they will also be naturally full of your desired keywords and will help with keyword rankings.
3. It’s Relevant & Engaging
Your blog’s content — written or otherwise — should always be relevant to your industry, but it should also be engaging! Take the time to figure out what your readers want to see, learn about, or know, and then go from there!
Another factor in creating an effective blog is including dynamic content like images and video. Not only do images and videos make your blog posts more enticing to users, they also give search engines another way to find your website. When adding video to your content, consider using original videos to avoid duplicating content from other sites on the web. Furthermore, don’t forget that readers are only interested in what’s truly useful to their needs, so more isn’t always better when it comes to video.
Pro tip: When using images, be sure you name them something relevant to the content of the image (bonus if it includes a relevant, desired keyword — but don’t keyword stuff!). This should be done because search engines don’t “see” images and videos the same way humans do, so you must give them a way to understand the content in order to correctly index it. Adding alt-text to your images is another excellent way to ensure search engines can fully understand the content on your pages. Be sure to also tag any videos with relevant keywords so users can easily find your videos through search engines.
How Do Search Engines Find My Blog?
1. Crawling and Indexing
Unfortunately, just because a page is published on the Internet doesn’t necessarily mean it will show up in a relevant Google search. In order for Google to index your blog and website content, it needs links from established and authoritative sources, in addition to quality content. Think of the Internet like a spiderweb: Google sends little robots (think: spiders) to crawl the web and read every page to create a giant index. If multiple sources link to an article, Google sees that part of the web as authoritative. If no one links to it and it remains isolated, the algorithm has no way of knowing whether the content is authoritative or accurate.
The process of building links to your website or blog — called “backlinks” or when another website links to your content from theirs — is an essential way search engines find and rank your blog or website. Receiving these links from other sites (especially highly reputable sources) is important for search engines and SEO because it shows Google that your site has authority, relevancy, and value for readers searching for your set of target keywords, and the result is a higher search engine ranking. Receiving legitimate, white-hat backlinks from other sources can take some time, but a great, first step in receiving them is creating high-quality content that is worth sharing. Learn more about backlinking in our blogs: “SEO: The Importance of Link Building” and “Backlinks: Best Practices and Blunders.”
Pro tip: While including links to others in your content does nothing for your own SEO, it can help theirs. Furthermore, too many links in your content can feel spammy, so use them with a purpose!
How Can I Easily Blog for My Business?
1. Create a Plan
When it comes down to it, this guide just scratches the surface of how blogging can benefit your business and how to blog effectively. Blogging for your business won’t return any results if executed poorly, so there really isn’t an “easy” blog fix; however, here are some tips:
- Create a Plan
- Create a Schedule
- Be Creative, Original, Engaging, Genuine & Honest
- Answer Questions & Consider Client’s FAQs
- Write About Industry-Relevant Topics
- Write Content or Share Images/Video That Your Readers Care About
- Link to Facts, Resources, Statistics, Sources, and Industry Leaders
- Stay On-Brand
2. Hire the Pros
From the coding on the back end of a website or blog to the visual content on the front end, every aspect of your blog should be intentional and thoroughly thought out. If you’re a business owner, chances are that fitting all of this into your schedule sounds nearly impossible — but don’t worry; Smarter Searches offers extensive blogging and SEO solutions for businesses of any size, in any industry. From disposable shoe covers to truck driving software to local boutiques, we have experience creating comprehensive, effective SEO strategies that take your business to the next level.
If your business is missing a blog, but effectively blogging on your own sounds overwhelming, contact us for a proposal. We can work with you to fully understand your brand and business in order to create a comprehensive SEO strategy that achieves your goals.