The answer is yes, blogging does help with search engine optimization. Blogging can help your business get noticed by potential customers, and ultimately convert them into actual customers. Curious how one non-sales related part of your website can do all of those things by giving your SEO efforts a boost? You’ve come to the right place. First I’ll discuss the benefits of blogging for search engine optimization, then I’ll tell you how to optimize your blogs to reap the SEO benefits.
To understand how blogs benefit SEO, let’s quickly review how search engine optimization works. An SEO specialist’s goal is to make sure that people who’re scouring Google for products and services find your products and services first. To do this, they choose industry-related keywords, optimize your site for those keywords, and ultimately drive organic traffic from Google to your site. Not only is your site getting more traffic, but that traffic already wants what you’re offering. Now, it’s your job to convince them that your product or service is the best in the business. Here’s where blogging comes in handy.
3 Benefits of Blogging for SEO
1. Establish yourself as an industry leader
Whether consumers are purchasing a couch or undergoing a medical procedure, they want to know that they’re getting the best of the best. Through blogging, you have an opportunity to show potential customers that you’re an expert in your field, whatever field that may be. For plastic surgery practices, that may mean producing detailed informational content about procedures. For a furniture store, that could mean producing content about how to position your new couch in your living room. Creating informational content illustrates that you are knowledgeable about all the nuances of your industry, and you’re willing to share that information to educate potential customers. If potential customers find this information valuable, they may share it with their network and so on.
One important ranking factor for Google is inbound links (people linking to your site). Producing authoritative blog content is a great way to gain inbound links to your site, ultimately boosting your organic rankings. This benefits SEO in two ways. One way is through social sharing signals. When your content is liked or shared on social media, Google sees this as a word-of-mouth endorsement and your site gains authority. Another way is through backlinks. When other sites link back to your blog content, Google also views that as a word-of-mouth referral and your site receives a boost. Sites with higher authority (more social signals and backlinks) rank higher on Google search engine results.
2. Increased site visibility
When you post blogs, you add pages to your site. More pages on your website means you have the ability to rank for more industry-related terms. Ranking for more keywords means that your site will show up in more Google searches which ultimately means your website will get more traffic. More website traffic means a higher number of possible conversions.
With blog posts, you can target informational keywords that you don’t have room to target on your site. To do this, you can target long-tail keywords that many of your potential customers are typing into Google, and create long-form, quality content to address their questions. By answering searcher’s questions with a detailed blog post, you’re reaching them in their information gathering phase and raising awareness of your brand.
Just remember, Google also prioritizes quality over quantity. The authoritative content that ranks on Google search engine results takes time to craft. Simply producing a mass quantity of short, uninformative content will not help with search engine optimization.
3. Get a leg up with search engines
Blogging regularly helps give you a leg up with Google. As part of Google’s recent algorithm updates, sites with updated, helpful content are prioritized above other sites. Updating your site with blog posts weekly, or even monthly, tells Google that your site is active and that it’s a good place to send searchers for fresh content. More pages related to your services and products also helps Google understand what your site is about and rank it for related keywords.
One important ranking factor for Google is the average time on page for your site. If you produce long blog content that is engaging, it can increase the average time on page for your site and consequently give your organic ranking a boost.
How to optimize your blog for SEO
So now that you know how blogging can benefit your SEO and ultimately your business, let’s go over how to optimize your blogs. From finding the perfect keyword to strategically placing it in your blog, there are a few things you can do to make sure your post shows up in the organic search results.
This step is crucial because the keyword you pick determines what people will find your site for. To target searchers who are at the top of the marketing funnel searching for information, you can pick long-tail keywords that answer general questions about services or products you offer.
With this type of keyword, you can create content that makes potential customers aware of a problem and the existence of a solution. Since they’re on your blog, it’s likely that they will see your products or services as a possible solution. To help convert potential customers into leads, you should include internal links to other blogs and service pages. Resist the urge to focus on sales. Providing the user with information establishes you as an authority in your field, and the inclusion of a major sales pitch takes away from this credibility.
When Google ranks content, it prioritizes content that is most useful for the searcher. This means that Google wants to pick the most relevant, informational piece available. To determine this, Google scans your content for related keywords. For this reason, it’s important to produce lengthier content that answers questions related to your selected keyword. Avoid using your selected keyword too many times. This practice is known as keyword stuffing and your site could be penalized for it. To make your content more informative and engaging, try incorporating videos, infographics, and images. This helps break up lengthy content and increases the time on page for your blog content when done correctly.
To ensure that both Google and search engine users know your blog piece is relevant to your selected keyword, it’s important to place that keyword in a few strategic locations.
Including the primary keyword in the URL signals to Google that the content on the page is relevant to the selected keyword.
Using the primary keyword in the H1 tag signals to users that your content is relevant to their search query so they’re more likely to stay on the page. It also tells search engines what the content on the page is about.
3. Within the content
It’s important to use the primary keyword once in the first paragraph of the blog, then again naturally throughout the content. Make sure not to use it too often to avoid being penalized for keyword stuffing. Incorporate related keywords instead.
4. Title Tag
The title tag is one of the most important tools you have at your disposal to show both search engines and searchers that your content is relevant to the keyword you’re trying to rank for. To do this, it’s important to include the primary keyword. The maximum title tag length is 60 characters or 500-600 pixels, so make sure that you address the topic briefly in that length of copy.
5. Meta Description
Crafting a good meta description is important to encourage people to click on your content. The meta description should entice people to click on your content by providing a brief overview or teaser for your content. It’s important to include the primary keyword because the searcher’s query is bolded in the meta description. This shows searchers that your content is relevant to their question and they’re more likely to click on your site.
6. Image Alt Text
Optimizing the alt text for your images helps search engines develop a complete understanding of what your content is about. Search engines are machines, after all, so they’re not capable of seeing and understanding images and how they contribute to your blog. Including the primary keyword in the alt text is your opportunity to tell Google exactly what the image shows and how it’s relevant to the content.
Additionally, you should include internal links in your content to keep people on your site longer. This positively impacts your site by lowering the bounce rate (the number of people who only view one page then leave your site). It also helps establish content relevance, and it helps your readers find out more information about their query.
Another important thing to consider when blogging is the mobile-friendliness of your site. According to a Search Engine Land report, 57% of searches were performed on a mobile device while only 43% of searches were performed on a desktop computer. If your blog site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on over half of your potential traffic.
Getting traffic to your Blog
Now that you’ve written the perfect blog, you need to get traffic to it. If your blog doesn’t receive any traffic, it won’t pass on any benefit to your SEO efforts. Here are a few ways to make sure all of your potential customers see your blog and share it with their network.
- Share it on social bookmarking sites and tag it appropriately.
- Share your blogs on social media channels.
- Use video creation software like Rocketium or Lumen5 to build videos to accompany your blogs. For many social media sites, the algorithms prioritize videos, giving them a larger organic reach. Doing this also makes your content more shareable and gives potential customers more options for consuming the information you’re sharing.
One helpful tool to analyze the success of your blog is Google Search Console. It allows you to analyze what keywords users are typing in to find your site or more specifically, your blog posts. If your selected keywords show up in the queries list, you know your SEO blogging strategy is successful. You can also use these results to find new keywords to target.
Now you know: blogging does help with search engine optimization. By creating blog content that is optimized, you’re bringing more visibility to your site and ultimately giving your site’s ranking a boost.