If you’re familiar with the internet, you probably would have noticed that practically every website has their own blog nowadays.
If I lost you already, let me clarify what a blog is…
A blog is a collection of posts on a website that tends to be regularly updated. The style of writing found in a blog is usually informal and more conversational. The types of posts featured on a blog can really be whatever the creator wishes to express.
Surely there has to be some benefit for running a blog on your site if even all the big corporations are running them. While everyone and their mother are blogging, many businesses fail to maximize the benefits of having a blog.
Since everyone is doing it, I’ve seen a lot of small businesses start up one themselves, only to spam it with low quality posts, or leverage little to no benefit from the blog due to a lack of overall strategy. Like the rest of your business, if you want properly leverage your blog, you’ll have to come up with a content marketing strategy for it!
Don’t just blog for the sake of blogging!
What can a blog do for your business?
When used properly, a blog can help achieve these main goals:
- Increase traffic to your site which can be funneled to your main landing pages
- Engage and interact with your audience, strengthening your brand
- Acquire links and social shares, helping increase the authority of your business
Increasing Traffic and Leads
Writing a blog post should be no different from creating a landing page. Before beginning, you should have your topic clearly laid out and have your keyword research done. Scope out the competition and see what high volume, low competition keywords you can focus your writing around. Since you’ll have more flexibility with an expressive blog, you even target those long-tail keywords and directly address specific issues or concerns that people have.
If you’re writing on a currently trending topic, then your research process will likely involve checking out Google trends and social media for keyword ideas.
After you have your keywords picked out, all that’s left is to write a killer piece of content and tie it into your core business. For example, we all know that the latest Ashley Madison hack is a hot topic, but if you’re an IT security company, your main service pages wouldn’t specifically target that topic.
Instead, you write a blog post that is well researched and mention how your business could have prevented it or would prevent other cases similar to the hack from happening and toss a link back to your landing page.
User Engagement and Brand Management
A blog doesn’t have to be as professional as your main website. You don’t have to try and push to sell something within every post. In fact, you could even use it as a way to interact with your customers and potential clients.
The blog can be used to generate discussion among the latest news or any topic relating to your business. You could even pose a question to your audience in the form of a blog post and use it to gather feedback for business decisions!
On top of creating discussion, having an active blog can help strengthen your company’s brand image. A business that actively engages with their customers are likely well received. It’s not simply a one-way street where your business is just there to collect money from the customer, you’re treating them like an actual person by conversing on the blog.
Acquire Much Sought-After Backlinks
If those two reasons weren’t enough to convince you to pick up
a pen and start writing your keyboard and start typing, maybe this one will sway you!
We all know that the basis of SEO back in the day (and still is) was heavily influenced by the amount of quality backlinks that linked back to your domain. If business is something dull like insurance or poop scooping, you may find it difficult to get people to link back to your site.
Luckily, anything can be interesting if you’re a true wordsmith. You can type up a highly entertaining piece of content on your blog relating to your otherwise boring business. For example, a piece about the “Top 5 Biggest Home Insurance Scams” can be easily digestible for the majority of the population and can generate plenty of discussion.
By creating this piece of content, we can increase our audience from just home insurance seekers to just about every single homeowner and future homeowner! Who knows, maybe they’ll even share your article across their social media or link back to you across the web.
How Does Blogging Help Your SEO?
Okay great, we went over how a blog is great for your business, but let’s get into the technical aspect on how it affects your SEO.
So we mentioned link building to a blog piece is likely easier than building links for your business, but now all of these links point to a blog post. How do links pointing to your blog affect your other pages? Internal linking.
Improve Internal Link Structure
By having tons of external sites link back to your blog post, you can increase the overall authority of that post and the domain. By including a link within your post back to a landing page, you can pass along that acquired authority to your main pages which will help increase the authority of your priority pages and its overall ability to rank in SERPs (search engine results page)
Now obviously, you don’t want to just randomly throw your internal link within a blog post. What you’ll likely want to do is select relevant anchor text for your service page and use it to link back to the service pages. You also don’t want to go overboard with internal linking since you not only dilute the amount of authority being passed to all of the pages, but you also run the risk of negatively affecting user experience by having everything hyperlinked.
TIP: If you’re finding it difficult to naturally include your keyword within the blog post, you can always write a small blurb at the end of the post indicating users to contact your business to learn more about the topic being discussed.
Increase Crawl Frequency of Your Site
If you have a small store front, you might be finding it difficult to constantly come up with new content for your site. You can’t exactly just create a bunch of new service pages for services that you don’t even handle! So how can you grow your site, and keep it fresh in Google’s eyes?
Once again, a blog can help with that. Posting regular blog posts will not only show customers that your business is still alive and kicking, but it’ll also signal to Google that your site hasn’t been abandoned. By creating new blog posts and submitting them to Google via sitemap or submitting it directly to Google’s index, Google will crawl your site more frequently.
This is useful in cases where you make updates to your service pages. Depending on your site size and crawl budget available, Google may only crawl your pages once in a blue moon. By having a frequently updated site, Google is more likely to revisit your site and all of the linked pages within the new content that was just posted to your blog!
Types of Blog Content
So now that we’ve covered how a blog not only helps increase your leads, improve branding and the technical SEO benefits, you’re probably wondering “what should I blog about then?”.
Newsjacking – When a huge news story breaks, you can bet your bottom that people will be searching for more information on it. Newsjacking blog posts are incredibly time sensitive where businesses need to within a short time frame once a story breaks.
Writing about the trending issue could involve you weighing in with your expert opinion and providing additional commentary like how it happened or how it could have been prevented.
Informative Posts – Basically people have a question and you answer it directly. Writing informative posts are one of the best ways to target long-tail keywords. It also shows your readers and customers that you’re an expert in the field by being able to address their questions or concerns.
The actual format of these informative posts can vary based on your preference. Whether you decide to create a long encyclopedia article style of post, or a simple how-to guide will depend on your audience and niche.
TIP: To find long-tail keywords for your niche, you can start by using Google’s autocomplete. Start typing in your targeted keyword and get suggestions based on what real people are out there searching for. Even if these terms don’t have recorded volume in Keyword Planner, these terms are only added to autocomplete after other users have searched for them in the past.
Click-Baiting Posts – If you’ve ever heard of Buzzfeed, this is basically the type of writing for link-baiting blog posts. The titles are often sensationalized and content tends to be thin. These articles are great for generating social shares and discussion since they’re comprehensible for just about any audience. If delivered well, there’s a good shot that your audience will spread it across their social media platforms and help it go viral. A common example would be a list style of post where the author lists out usually at least 5 items. For example, “Top 5 SEO Tips for Hitting Rank 1 on Google”.
Infographics – Similar to the link-baiting posts but only in image format. Since Google can’t crawl the content found within your image though, it’s considered best practice to post your infographic within a blog post that gives a general overview or summary of the content within the infograph. By creating an infographic, you create a highly shareable, visual piece that can help generate more brand awareness as the visual is shared. Brian Dean of Backlinko has an amazing case study on the power of infographics.
Press Release – This is more for larger and enterprise types of business. A blog can be a great way for you to handle your press releases. Whether it’s corporate updates, new releases or other big news within the company, a simple blog post can help your customers stay up to date. Once again, by releasing a press release on your blog, you increase the likelihood of other sources linking back to your site, especially big news agencies.
Summary: How Blogging Can Help SEO and Business Growth
If you tuned out while reading this post, like I did while writing, you’re in luck, I summarized the main reasons why you should blog in this convenient list!
Benefits of Having a Blog on Your Site:
- More content to bring in additional traffic which can be funneled into leads
- Build a community and get to know your customers while establishing authority within the industry
- Have content that is more likely to be shared across the web, making outreach simpler
- Increase backlinks to your domain
- Funnel internal link value to main landing pages
- Frequently updated website, increased crawl frequency from search engines
Different Types of Blog Posts:
- Newsjacking, hop on the latest news hype train and ride it to profits
- Informative, be the expert and address audience concern
- Click-baiting, the type of articles you find on your newsfeed
- Press Release, become the news source and make everyone quote you
- Infographic, make a pretty picture that everyone will want to use
That wraps up this blog about blogging. Hopefully you were able to take away some new ideas or better understand how to leverage your blog on your site. If you have any additional questions about blogging or search engine optimization in general, feel free to shoot me a message.