blogs can boost your SEO

Blogging for SEO has become firmly embedded in the digital world. That’s because publishing blog posts regularly enables you to keep visitors to  your website for longer, target a large number of long-tail keywords and, in an ideal world, means other websites will be willing to link back to yours.

Blogging does boost SEO but a blog in itself isn’t a ranking factor. More importantly, a high-quality blog with topics that are relevant to your audience and which is updated regularly can make a great difference to how your website performs in the arcane world of search engines.

  • Blogging keeps your website up-to-date

One that hasn’t been updated in a long time could mean that the company has gone out of business or that the information provided is obsolete or has changed since the last update.

Because Google doesn’t want to deliver out-of-date information to its visitors, a regularly updated website indicates to them that it is current and offers new content. Also, the search engine algorithms have greater reason to index your website more often and keep it in their sights for longer.

Rather than constantly updating your homepage, a blog is a more flexible way of adding new content regularly to your website.

  • A blog attracts people to your website for longer

Google’s prime aim is to provide searchers with the information they seek, so they’ll continue to use Google time and again.

A punter clicking on the first link, finding it unhelpful and returning straight away to the search page, tells Google that the number one ranked website isn’t as helpful as they thought. Conversely, when someone clicks on a result and remains on the website for some time, it indicates to Google that the site is indeed very useful.

Google has so far failed to confirm or deny the importance of ‘dwell time’, the length of time people spend on a website, as a ranking factor. However, from statements they’ve made, it appears to be something they regard as important and relevant.

Not only that, but a visitor who travels from a blog that appears in search results to your website is more likely to read the post in its entirety than someone who lands on a page with less information.

Interestingly, recent research has found that longer posts tend to perform better than shorter ones. The average first-page result is almost 2,000 words long! Perhaps readers appreciate depth and complexity in writing, which can be hard to achieve when limited to 500-600 words.

  • A blog enables you to target long-tail keywords

The fewer keywords you use, the greater the competition you face, especially if you’re a small business (the big boys tend to get the top spots). Do you know that half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer?

While it may be difficult to fit this many into product pages, a blog post presents the perfect opportunity to insert these longer phrases. For instance, if your brand sells baby clothes, you could provide information on terms such as ‘baby clothes for a hot climate’ or ‘baby clothes from birth to 12 months’.

Such searches won’t attract as much traffic as ‘baby clothes’ would, but they come from people in your target audience, and if you can make it onto the first page, you’ll get far more visitors from these topics than you would on page five or six for less specific terms.

  • A blog enables you to benefit from internal linking

Internal links are easy to create, and as you add more pages on various related topics, you’ll add more opportunities to link these pages to each other in a natural unforced way. Each time you do so, you are using the anchor text to better inform Google as to the contents of the page you’re linking to, strengthening the algorithm’s connection to your target keywords.

  • A quality blog can result in sites linking back to yours

Regarded as the holy grail by many marketers, the most difficult aspect of SEO is earning external links. For your site to link back to others, Google has to consider yours to be trustworthy and authoritative. If and when a website decides to guide its viewers to your site, it will be because yours provides information in the form of great blog posts. HubSpot has found that companies featuring a blog on their website earn up to an astounding 97% more links.

  • A blog helps you connect with your audience

When your audience reads a post they like, they’re more likely to share it. If you get a lot of traffic and repeat visitors, it shows Google that your website is popular and that increases your level of authority in their algorithm. And being popular, having people visit your website, connecting with it and becoming regular followers is more valuable than any number one spot on Google.

For all these reasons, a blog is a great way to make those connections and begin a fruitful relationship with the people you want to reach.