Do blogs help SEO? If this is a question you have been mulling over, then odds are you want to generate traffic and boost ranking. To answer the question: yes, blogging is a crucial part of generating SEO traffic, but how exactly does it help, and how can we maximize the impact our blog has on SEO? Let’s look at the former here:
5 ultimate ways blogs help SEO and sales
Blogging helps you target more keywords
Blogging allows you to target keywords that you wouldn’t be able to target with landing pages. Landing pages generally focus on a broad topic or product category. Keywords that come from these pages are likely already being targeted by hundreds of websites. Creating blog posts allows you to target more specific, long-tail keywords.
When searching for blog topics, it is important to find the best combination of high traffic, yet low competition keywords. Any keyword tool can help you find questions that a lot of people ask, and not a lot of websites have answered.
You can use a variety of techniques to achieve high ranks depending on the SEO keywords you choose.
Blogging increases your brand mentions
Incoming links aren’t the only approach to impress Google and show that your website is deserving of excellent search results. Brand mentions are one of the most underutilized off-page SEO strategies.
Google loves brands, and blogging can help you get your brand in front of more people, resulting in superior social media engagement and brand mentions in areas where it wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Illustrate your Knowledge (EAT)
Expertise – Authority – Trust are key elements that Google considers when determining the value of a website.
If you keep a blog active, you can illustrate to your readers (and the rest of the world) that you are an expert (E) on your selected topics.
If you have a lot of incoming links and brand mentions, you’ll also get the authority (A) which leads to trust (T) from Google.
Your SEO will be strengthened once you’ve secured all of the EAT elements, and blogging is the best way to do so.
Boost opportunities for organic link building
High-quality backlinks are so vital for a website to rank well on Google. Blogging is a terrific approach to earn those links and boost the authority of your domain.
Many bloggers will link to an excellent blog post rather than a product or service page. These connections may not link directly to your ideal landing pages, but they strengthen your domain, which helps every page on your site.
According to Survey Monster, companies that routinely post articles receive 97% more links to their websites.
There is no doubt that Blogging can help SEO but only when it is done correctly. It will be of no use if you write a blog and start publishing random blog posts. We will discuss this later in the article.
Engage users at every point of the purchasing process
The advantage of having a blog is that you can use it to engage users at various phases of the purchasing process.
If you run a website that sells diving trips, for example, you could blog about snorkeling and expand your reach to attract visitors looking for relevant things to do in the area where your business is located.
If you live in California, you can use keywords like “fun activities to do in California” in your blog posts and list snorkeling as one of the options.
Not only could this potentially lead to a sale, but it also increases brand awareness and engagement.
How to get the most out of your blog posts:
Now that we have seen how blogging can help SEO, how do we get there? We will now discuss the best practices to follow in order to write the most effective content, and make that content rank.
It is important to understand that pages rank, not whole websites. It is actually counter-productive to use keywords on one page that you are ranking for or trying to rank for on another. It will mislead Google as to which page is more beneficial for you if you target the same exact keywords.
Therefore, when it comes to writing blog posts, it is important to do some keyword research in order to find new keywords that will be beneficial to rank for. There are many paid and free keyword research tools out there. These new keywords can be similar to ones on other pages of your site, just make sure you are not using the same exact words.
Note: It is okay to use keywords from other pages sparingly in your blog posts, just make sure to avoid overusing them since Google might think you are trying to rank for them.
Choose a title
Spend some time picking a title for your article because it is crucial. Google is going to use your title to determine what the whole post is about. You want to include the most important keyword and convey exactly what is going to be written. Keep it simple and straightforward.
Put yourself in the shoes of the user. Think of a title that you would click on if you were searching up a particular query.
Write an outline
Now, this outline does not have to be too in-depth. But writing an outline for your blog posts allows you to do three things:
- Have an idea of where you will write your content: I don’t know about you, but when I am writing articles, I tend to ramble. Having an outline helps me stay on track and organize my information in the most logical way.
- Keyword stuff your headers: By this point you should already have a list of keywords you want to use in your blog post. You will want to stuff as many of these into your headings as possible, as Google looks to headers first to provide information about the webpage. However, it is very important for your headings to make sense. Don’t just stuff keywords into headings to the point where they are difficult to read.
- Gives you an idea of how long your article will be: The point of writing your blog posts should be to provide the most in-depth information, or most engaging content possible. You want to completely cover a given topic and do it better than any website that is currently on the first page of Google. An outline is a good way to estimate whether or not your article will be as long or longer than similar articles on competing websites. If you find that it is not going to measure up, add some headings where you can provide more detail.
Write your article
Whatever your writing style is, just let it all flow. Sprinkle some keywords in every now and then, but never over-optimize. Focus on having your main keyword in the first few sentences of your article, and frontloading: putting your keywords at or near the beginning of a given paragraph.
A good rule of thumb is to never go over 5 key phrases in a blog post. If you feel you need to use it more, try to use similar words or variations of your keyword.
But remember, organizing keywords is not everything. The main goal of your blog post is to engage the reader. So before you get too caught up on the SEO aspect of the article, make sure it is logical, well written, informative and/or entertaining. Once you are sure you have an article people will read, you can take steps to make sure the SEO fundamentals are sound.
Add Images and Videos
Not only are images and videos necessary to keep readers engaged, but Google loves them. You can either use content you own or get it through free or paid stock photo websites.
Once you have your videos and/or images picked out, follow these steps to optimize them:
Step 1: Run them through an online image compressor. These are free and allows your website to load as quickly as possible.
Step 2: Make sure you save them to your computer with a title that includes keywords. Do not upload them to your article with default titles.
Step 3: Once they are placed into your article, give each of them simple alt tags with important keywords.
Write a meta description
Meta descriptions are short (about 160 characters) but these descriptions are going to be a huge factor in determining whether or not a reader clicks on your website.
Neil Patel has a great article on meta descriptions, but here are the main points:
- Implement a call to action E.g. “click here to learn more about…..”
- Include your keyword once or twice.
- Keep it straightforward and informative.
Submit your post to Google Search Console
This will help your blog post get indexed faster. Simply log into your Google Search Console and paste the URL of your new post into the bar at the top of the page. You will likely get an error message that says, “URL is not on Google”. Hit “request indexing” and you are good to go!
Share on social media
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Promote your blog on all social media channels that you are active on. Google loves to see clicks from other domains.
Link from old blog posts
Internal linking is often forgotten, but so important for SEO. Creating a solid internal link structure is one of the first steps we take when making technical adjustments to a client’s website. Try to find multiple places in your old articles where you can link to your new one.
Additionally, if you already have strong readership, this will create immediate traffic for your new blog post.
Get some high-quality backlinks
If you want to rank on the SERP, you are going to have to help Google find you first. This is done with backlinking.
All backlinks are not created equal, however. The most beneficial ones are going to be from high quality, well-established domains. This shows Google that your post is high quality, and worthy of ranking well.
Backlinking can sometimes be tedious and frustrating, but here is a great guide to get you started: Smart ways to get quality backlinks
Blogging is an excellent SEO tool if it is done right.
If you want to boost your rankings, avoid publishing blogs without an objective. While writing content just for the sake of content used to be an effective SEO strategy, Google has since updated its algorithms. Unless the point of your blog post is to attract and entertain/help your reader, it is unlikely there will be any benefit in terms of SEO.
A good blog article that follows the steps outlined above will engage readers, keep your information fresh, expand your keyword list, and get you on the first page of Google.
What is your experience with blogging and its impact on SEO? Please let us know in the comments section below.