Running a business is extremely difficult and time consuming. Most business owners understand the importance of having a great website, maintaining that website, and having an active social media presence to direct people to their website. However, a lot of business owners don't dedicate time to another extremely important piece to having a successful digital presence: SEO aka search engine optimization.
Understanding SEO isn’t easy, and Google doesn’t help things much by changing the algorithms and policies on a regular basis. Seems like every time SEO practitioners get a handle on things, the rules change, and they’re all left wondering what they’re doing wrong and what they might still possibly be doing right.
Well, there’s one thing that will always benefit your SEO efforts: blogging. Blogging is beneficial to your business for millions of reasons including building trust with your clients and potential clients, positioning yourself as an industry expert, and simply sharing news with your company’s followers. Once you have the blog, there are a few things you need to do to help boost your SEO rankings even further. Blogging can only help you if you know how to blog properly. Here are 9 reasons blogging can boost your SEO:
1. Fresh Content
Search engines love fresh, original content. Your website most likely does not change very often. But, I'm sure you want to keep it on Google's radar? That’s why you must keep an active blog filled with new and relevant information. Ideally, you should be posting at least a 300-500 word blog each week.
When customers type in search phrases like "social media management for my business" search engines will pull the freshest and most relevant content each time a search is performed. If your site hasn’t been updated with new information in a while, you can bet someone else’s will rank higher than yours in the results. That is where a blog comes in handy.
By blogging, you build relationships with your readers, position yourself as an expert in the field, and perhaps most importantly, provide new content for Google to index.
Keywords have gone from being important for SEO to not mattering much at all. Their importance to search engine results is disputed amongst SEO experts. In fact, this is another aspect of SEO you can do really wrong and end up punished for. In the past, keyword spamming was a common practice in blogs. Blog posts would consist of the same keywords over and over again regardless of their relevance to the post itself. Now those keywords have to serve a purpose and have to be used sparingly. You really want to make sure you choose unique keywords that will lead searchers to your site but not so unique that no one thinks to use them. If you choose words that are used too often, you won’t get much benefit out of them. You may find the Google keyword tool to be helpful. Stay tuned for a blog post about how to use it!
Your best bet with keywords and search terms is to use the keywords and phrases that people may use when searching. Don't spend too much time on keyword placement and making sure you include the words a certain number of times. Concentrate on answering questions. If you know your customers would want to know about "why blogging would work for their business" :) just write a blog post answering the questions. The keywords will fall into place naturally!
Backlinking is part of the algorithm Google uses to determine the quality of your content. If other companies are linking to your content then it must be good right? Sort of. If you do this too much you will also be penalized. The backlinks need to come from reliable and relevant sources.
You can benefit from being linked and linking to others, but there are some things to keep in mind. First, doing things organically is always the best option If you pay to be linked on another website you could end up being penalized. Next, work with reputable, quality sites that fit your blog’s niche. If you sell sneakers, it would make sense for a fitness company to link to your content. When links to your blog appear on sites that have nothing to do with your company, you’ll get another flag from Google. Finally, follow these same rules for any links you use on your own site. As an added note, it is ok to link to your own previous content in your blog!
4. Images and Videos
Including images and/or videos in your blog gives you one more chance for search engines to find you. Any images or videos should be titled with relevant search terms or keywords. You should never be uploading a file titled IMG_1234 or MOV_1234 or something similar. Name them with keywords!! It is also important not to ignore alt-text. Alt-text is used describe what’s in an image for those who aren’t able to see images on their computer screens.
Just like your keywords, your photos and videos should be relevant to the content within your blog. If you are posting your video to YouTube and then linking to it, be sure to tag it properly so that it can be indexed on its own.
5. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging, has also gone from being important to unimportant for SEO. However, guest blogs, when done properly, can be beneficial to your SEO efforts. If you work with writers who are well-known experts in their industry, their popularity can only help you.
Follow Google’s quality guidelines, and your guest blog will boost your search engine rankings.
6. Social Media
You probably already know that search engines also pay attention to your social media efforts. If you post your blogs to your social media accounts, you give search engines one more way to find your company.
7. Share-Worthy Content
When your blogs are visited, commented on and shared, they move up in search rankings. If you’re providing quality content, your readers will pass it along. The only way to make sure your blog become popular is to create unique content, provide answers for visitors, and then share your blogs wherever you can.
8. Indexed Pages
Each blog post counts as a new page on your website. As I mentioned above, Google loves fresh content. Websites that include a blog will see up to 55% more traffic than companies who do not blog. The reason for this is the indexed pages. For Google to index your blog pages, you need to include at least 300 words.
Now that you understand why blogging is essential, you probably want to get started as soon as possible. Don’t let the thought of producing original content every week overwhelm you. You need a systematic and organized approach. Get started with a content calendar. Start with topics that answer questions your potential customers have.