How To Turn Your Website Blog Into An Asset For Your SEO
Blogging has come a long way since the days of web-savvy individuals writing their daily online diaries, and SEO has come a long way since the days of keyword stuffing and hidden text to demonstrate relevance. Today, the two combine beautifully to create effective content marketing for businesses with a digital presence; educating, informing and engaging both existing and potential customers as well as boosting exposure on search engines to gain competitive advantage.
But how can blogs be used successfully by organisations to curate a cohesive content marketing asset that attracts and delights users online? Read on to learn more…
Blogging: The Origins
The term ‘blog’ is actually a shortened version of the word ‘weblog’, which referred to the discussion threads posted across the digital communities and newsgroups of the 1980s and 90s. Today’s blogs have evolved from the concept of online diary entries which were kept by individuals looking to journal their lives somewhere other than a physical notebook. The earliest recognised bloggers started their writing in the mid 1990s, and their practice has gone on to develop into the blogs we see today – albeit with considerably broader media types and more varied publishers behind them.
SEO: The Origins
It’s believed that the term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) was coined in the late 1990s, but the exact origin of it is debated. Popularised by the early 2000s, it became the focus of online marketing agencies who sought to help their clients rank highly in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in order to gain competitive advantage. Initially, when the algorithms behind search engines were somewhat more basic, webmasters could see their site soar to the top of rankings simply by increasing their usage of relevant keywords and ensuring that all of their pages worked and linked together. Today, most SEO effort focuses around Google (but also other search engines in some territories) and its success relies upon a huge variety of factors – including website optimisation, integration with other channels strategies, competitive analysis, UX, applying best practices, and of course the creation and management of a good blog.
Why Bother With A Business Blog For SEO?
There are now very few businesses without some kind of digital presence and so SERPs for relevant brands, products and services are more crowded than ever. As a result, it’s imperative that organisations use all of the SEO tools at their disposal to rank highly and appear relevant, trustworthy and current alongside – or hopefully ahead – of their competitors.
Statistics back up the value in a business blog that consumers find useful. Industry experts surveying internet users found that 56% of consumers have made a purchase from a company after reading the blog on their website, and that up to 10%of digital marketers find that blogging generates the biggest ROI on their budgets. Given that blogging tends to represent a lower investment compared to more traditional advertising channels, with the bonus of SEO boosts on top, it’s clear that the benefits can be vast; particularly when you consider the effort, resource and cost involved.
The Top 6 Elements Required To Boost A Business Blog’s Success
It is not enough for businesses to simply write sporadic updates on what they’re up to as a company and hit publish onto a Wordpress blog whenever they have the time to. Instead, there are many elements to consider in the careful content curation required to create a successful business blog; and these six main elements can make all the difference.
1. Ensure Content Is Useful To The Audience
Search Engine Journal has found that on average, internet users spend around 50% of their waking hours consuming content in one form or another; so it’s important that businesses are able to cut through the noise and make theirs worth paying attention to. Tailoring content so that it’s informative or useful to the target audience will increase engagement rates; in turn both boosting SEO credentials and cementing the brand as a thought leader. I always start by trying to understand the audience's pain points, problems or needs. If you can create content providing solutions to their pain points, engagement will follow.
2. Make Content Shareable, Simply
If your content is considered useful by users, they may be spurred on to share it with others. Widely shared content demonstrates authenticity and relevancy to search engines, so it’s imperative that companies make their blog entries as simple to share onwards as possible. Not only this will boost your content visibility, but you might also gain quality backlinks in the process, which will help with your SEO.
3. Mix Up Content Types
Blogs have always traditionally been comprised of written text, but there’s no reason why now they needn’t include more than just words. Infographics, images, videos and audio files can all be embedded into business blogs to appeal to more people and to reinforce messaging – but again, ensure that these can be shared, downloaded or embedded easily.
4. Keep It Quick
Even if additional media forms are included in your business blog, it’s important that this doesn’t slow the loading speed of the page. Google and other search engines rank usability highly and so in order to rank well, you need everything to load as quickly as it can on all devices – or you’ll lose the attention of users and search engines alike.
5. Stay Relatable
The days of keyword stuffing in blog text are long gone, and with advanced algorithms at work behind the scenes of search engines, conventional keyword inclusion is no longer sufficient. Instead, make an effort to include relevant terms and phrases but don’t forget to stay relatable to your audience. Consider their needs and why they use search engines to find solutions, help or advice. Use Google's keyword tool or Google Trends to check popular search phrases or keywords that they are using right now. If you can understand your audience’s intent and create content on your blog that relates to it, your traffic and engagement will increase, which is beneficial to your SEO.
6. Check Mobile Responsiveness
The numbers of internet users now accessing content through mobile devices as opposed to laptops and desktop PCs is at an all-time high. As a result, it is now critical that business’ websites, including their blogs, are built with mobile responsiveness in mind: loading and formatting well on screens of all sizes. Device responsiveness is now a critical ranking factor for Google and other search engines, and is considered a real ‘turn-off’ for consumers if not done right – so give everything a quick check before it’s promoted out to the world.
The Last Word
Business blogs can be hugely beneficial for brand exposure, consumer engagement, customer recruitment and public perception. Taking an all-round approach to create interesting, useful and targeted content will ensure your company soars in its positive presence online… and that the bottom line is boosted, too.
I am a digital marketing professional with over 25 years’ experience in the sector and a passion for the internet industry. I build and implement online marketing strategies and campaigns to achieve my clients’ goals across a wide variety of sectors. As a marketing leader, I use my expertise in search, content, social and lead generation strategies to consistently improve and shape commercial success that drive growth, engagement and business development.