Blogging has changed.
A few years back, a majority of blogs out there were basically political commentaries and diaries of the minutiae of bloggers’ live and their overheated rumination of the said minutiae.
It was a platform for pouring the all-important trivialities of your daily life.
Today, blogging has grown to become a powerful marketing tool for entrepreneurs, small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between.
In fact, blogging is no longer an option (but a necessity) for anyone concerned about SEO.
Does Blogging Help SEO?
Of course, it does.
It’s the most efficient way to optimise your site for both users and search engine.
All you have to do is maintain a blog on your company’s website, where you’ll be sharing valuable insights, industry news, and informative content that benefits your visitors.
But before we dive into the details and practical tips for maintaining a blog and optimising it for SEO, let’s walk the uninitiated through the basics.
What’s a Blog?
A blog is short for “weblog.” It’s an online medium consisting of brief posts sharing informal or personal information about an individual, business, or group.
From a business standpoint, a blog can also be designed as an online channel specifically created to connect customers and share relevant information and news pertaining to your industry.
It’s different from other content marketing techniques in that the content shared is frequently updated, more concise, and written in a more casual, conversational-like style.
- Companies that run a blog section have 434% more indexed pages than those without blogs (source)
- 37% of marketers rate blogs as the most important part of their content marketing strategy (source)
- Companies with a blog section on their websites receive 97% more inbound links than those without a blog section (source)
- 81% of online consumers trust the information they read on blogs (source)
- Marketers who prioritise blogging are 13X more likely to get positive ROI (source).
- B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads than those without a blog (source).
- The lead growth rate of small businesses with blogs is 126% more than those without blogs (source).
What’s Blog SEO?
Blog SEO is the practice is the process of optimising your blog content, HTML code, and site architecture for search engines. It’s associated with tasks like on-page optimisation, improving page speed, internal linking, and the installation of SEO plugins.
Why is Blog SEO Important?
Search engines are one of the biggest sources of traffic to blogs and websites.
According to bloggers, SEO is the second biggest source of traffic, after social media.
13 Direct SEO Benefits of Blogging
Do people still read blogs?
Yes, they do.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a title agency or plumber. There’s always someone interested to read about your day-to-day menial industry tasks.
As the marketer or blogger, you can even play on current events and tie them back to your brand or business.
That being said, here are 13 reasons having a blog on your website could also help you out with SEO:
1# A Steady Flow of Fresh Content
Google likes their content fresh and updated. Or we could say, it loves everything the user likes.
By regularly publishing on your blog, you’ll be providing fresh content to Google and its users.
It’s not so often that you get to change your service or “about us” page. So, a blog is how you ensure that your website stays relevant and updated. And since search engines like to show the newest, updated content, this should see to it that you’re able to rank higher.
2# An Opportunity to Implement Longtail Keywords
It’s hard to drive much traffic by relying on short-tail keywords. They tend to be super-competitive.
Blogs allow you to use long-tail keywords that your competitors haven’t even thought of.
For example, it will be harder for you to rank for “hotel Singapore.” But what if you can narrow it down to a specific location, like “Singapore hotels in Yishun.”
You could write an article about, “How to Spend a Date Night in Yishun” and figure out how to tie it back to the long-tail keyword.
3# More Blog Posts, More Pages
The more posts you publish, the more pages your website will have. This means you have a better chance of ranking for related search terms.
That’s why it’s advisable to implement as many keywords as you can into blog posts.
With every new post you create, count it as one more opportunity to rank a new page in the SERPs.
After you publish a new blog post, the next thing you want to do is seek out relevant and high DA companies to link to the blog.
You also want to find other relevant sites and link back to them.
It’s a networking opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss.
The link building relationship you build with relevant companies raises your authority, which in turn gets search engines to rank you higher.
The point is to try and find relevant companies, and not just any random company. You have to make sure the companies you choose to link to, are somehow related to your industry. Otherwise, Google may sense something fishy and de-rank you.
5# Blog Posts Are Shareable
When a reader comes across a blog post they like, they’ll share it with their friends and families.
Some will post it on their social media pages and groups, and that’s how you grow popular.
On the off chance that the post goes viral, you’ll be exposed to an even bigger audience.
While virality can be attributed to luck, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of your posts going viral. First, you have to think about your target audience with every new post you write. Make sure you’re writing about the things that they’re interested in or care about.
The more the post gets shared, the more people will re-share, click, and check out other pages on your site.
6# Improved Internal Linking
Internal linking is important for site navigation, establishing hierarchy, and spreading link juice.
It’s however a lot harder to achieve effective internal linking without blogging.
In the first few incidences of working on your content strategy, you’ll find it hard to build internal links. But over time, as you publish more blog posts, it will be a lot easier to come up with a solid internal link building strategy for optimising your site for search engines.
7# Improved User Experience
Google is all about generating the best user experience.
They’re more concerned about generating a unique user experience, one that engages their visitors.
Companies should be reading from this same script. Through blogging, companies can also create engaging experiences through the content they create.
Not only that, blogging allows you to be creative with the content you create. One way to go about it is by creating infographic blog posts that appeal to your site visitors.
8# Helps Build Authority
With every new blog that you publish, you’re simply educating your target audience on that particular topic.
The more you publish more posts, the more their perception of you shifts. Instead of viewing you as another business person, they start looking at you as an industry expert, someone with all the answers to their problems.
This breeds familiarity. It also builds trust in the customers that interact with your content, which makes it easier for you to convince them to purchase any of your products or services.
9# Answer to Your Customers Questions
Search engines have evolved to become more of Q&A platforms.
That means, users have questions that bloggers have to respond to, and search engines are the media that connects the two.
Blogging comes as a great opportunity to respond to your customers’ concerns and questions.
Customers will always reach out to search engines whenever they have a problem or questions, and it’s your job as a blogger to try and answer as many of these questions as possible through blogging.
10# More Traffic
Every time a blog post drives a visitor to your site, that’s another point of interaction.
The visitor gets to learn about your brand, and the more they come across more of your posts, the curious they get.
Even better, blog posts have long stage lives. Meaning, they’ll continue to drive traffic to your site for several years before they’re rendered obsolete.
11# A Chance to Improve Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
You have to figure out how to align your blogging and social media marketing strategies.
In doing so, you’ll be making it easier for your followers to engage with your brand. You also get to build relationships with them.
The point is to try and get your followers more engaged. The more engaged they become, the more they’ll be motivated to interact with your brand.
12# Increased Visibility
The more blogs you publish, the more your brand circulates, and the more you’ll be able to reach an even wider audience.
When someone searches for something relating to your line of business, you want to make sure your blog is among the results that show up.
Your job as an SEO writer should be to try and crack the keywords that your prospective customers are using to search the internet and try to write as many articles around those keywords as you possibly can.
The more keyword you cover, the more visible you become.
13# Low Bounce Rate and High Dwell Time
Google’s number one priority is to connect users with the exact information that they came to search for online. They want users to trust their results, so they can keep coming back for more.
If someone clicks on a link and immediately leaves the site to go back to search engine result pages, that goes on to show that they didn’t find the page helpful.
On the other hand, if someone clicks on a link and stays on the page for quite a long while, the signal that Google gets is that the page is really helpful.
In other words, Google will be quick to rank a site with a high dwell time and double as quick to de-rank any site with a low dwell-time and high bounce rate.
The Difference Between Blogging in the Past and Blogging Today
Blogging has come a long way.
It’s widely believed that Links.net was the first blog to ever been created. The blog was created in 1994 by Justin hall, a then student at Swarthmore College.
At the time, it wasn’t referred to as a blog, but a personal homepage.
It wasn’t until three years later (1997) that Jorn Barger (one of the pioneers of blogging) coined the term “weblog.”
The term was coined to reflect the process of browsing or logging the web.
The name weblog would be shortened to blog in 1999 by a renowned programmer called Peter Merholz.
Blogging in the Past
Blogging has changed a great deal.
Around two decades ago, blogs became extremely popular. People were opening them left, right, and centre.
However, the blogs they were opening were nothing more than personal websites.
They were more of journals or diaries of single people (mostly celebrities) taking their readers through their day-to-day experiences, routines, and thoughts.
Now, if you still think blogging is about writing journals and diaries, then you’re two decades behind.
Don’t fret – let’s bring you up to speed on how blogging looks like today.
It didn’t take long before companies also hopped into blogging.
The more blogging became popular the more companies also jumped into it.
That way, enterprise blogging was born.
Today, blogging has become a staple among marketers.
But instead of blogging about weekend trips, companies are writing about their products or services. Some are using it to write how-to guides and provide all manner of informative articles that online reader might be interested in.
It didn’t take long before TV websites, magazines, and news organisations also jumped into the blogging bandwagon, eventually transforming blog posts into articles, news posts, and video content (or vlogs as they’re also referred to).
The Future of Blogging (2021 and Beyond)
Blogging today is about helping the reader find a solution to their problem. That means, the blog post you write must either entertain, provide valuable information, or solve a common problem your readers have.
Although blogging is a relatively new field, it’s become mainstream. If anything, any company engaging in any form of online marketing must have an active blog.
But for your blog to be successful, you must be committed to writing great blog posts.
The SEO Value of Blogging
A common question people ask us almost all the time is, “after you write a valuable piece of content to the reader, and without advertising your products or services, how do you get them to convert?”
“Why the hell should you spend hours writing a blog article when it’s not going to bring you business?”
Here’s the thing:
An effective blogging campaign centres on strategy, and not on the individual blog posts you create.
The point is to try and get as many people as possible to visit your site first. It’s about generating as much traffic to your website as you possibly can.
In most cases, these people will visit your website or blog, read your article, feel grateful, and then leave.
That might not translate to actual business, but there’s a lot you’re gaining in the process.
If you’re generating that much traffic to your site, it means search engines are beginning to trust you.
It gets even better when search engines start noticing that your blog posts are getting shared frequently and have high click-through rates. They’ll respond by moving your website up through the ranks.
Think of it as a popularity contest. The more people prefer your blog the more search engines are compelled to push it up through the ranks.
The signal that Google gets is that your website is providing valuable content and that it’s worth ranking it high in their result pages.
So, what’s next after the traffic gets to your site?
Well, after you’ve established trust, the next thing you need to work on is your sales strategy.
That’s where an online Sales Funnel comes in.
Your marketing funnel is built around content.
Also, once Google marks your website as a valuable resource, it will go ahead and rank your other pages as well (particularly your product and service pages).
What does this mean?
SEO Blog Strategy
A blog is a tool for getting search engines and users to trust your website, not just your blog.
However, what every SEO expert should be telling you is that your blog isn’t a conversion channel. Once in a while, one of your readers may be enticed enough to convert, but that’s not necessarily its work.
It bears mentioning that your blog should be part of your overall SEO strategy. It’s a critical part of getting your site ranked up high in the SERPs.
You also want to make sure your SEO strategy is solid. That means you have to combine the strategy with content optimisation, social media, and a landing page.
Here’s a Real-time Example of How This Works
Assuming you have a website with 3 product pages and more than 300 long valuable blog posts.
These 3 products are likely to rank much higher in the SERPs courtesy of the blog. The persuading content in your blog posts will make your website more resourceful to Google.
Also, by linking your blog posts to the product pages, you get to signal to Google how important these pages are. It’s a solid strategy for building link equity for those pages over time.
So, How Often Should You be Blogging?
You’ll be doing great if you can publish at least four blog posts every week.
One blog post per week is healthy growth, while one blog post per month would be, umm, better than nothing.
Once you’ve established that trust, the other pages will benefit from it and rank high as well – something you wouldn’t have achieved had you not created a blog in the first place.
Here’s the point: while operating the blog, you should forget about converting your site’s visitors into raving customers, and instead focus on offering value.
The more your blog posts perform better in the SERPs, the more your website also climbs up the search engine ladder.
So, in essence, your blog is there to help your website rank better in the SERPs.
The Difference Between Blog SEO and Website SEO
A blog is very different from other types of websites, such as business websites and e-commerce websites.
It, therefore, employs different SEO strategies than the ones you use on your website.
Here’s the difference between the two SEO strategies:
On your website, all the content will be published at once. After which, you’re to continue working on link building and your social media strategy to gain traffic and boost its ranking.
However, in the case of a blog, you have to keep on publishing new content (whether daily, weekly, or monthly). You must be regularly updating your content to continue being on the good side of Google.
Number of Pages
Whereas a normal website will have between 10 to 15 pages, a blog has no limit.
Also, a normal website could do with a one-time on-page SEO, followed by thorough link building and social marketing.
However, for a blog, you must keep on publishing new pages and updating old ones to remain relevant.
Worth mentioning is that the number of pages your blog has increases with every new post you publish.
Your blog needs continuous on-page SEO and link building, whereas your website only needs continuous link building and one-time SEO.
Suffice it to say, since your blog is different from your website, the SEO strategy you use to market it should be different as well.
How to Use Blogging to Improve SEO
Blogging can only benefit SEO if it’s done right. Just creating a blog and publishing random posts isn’t enough to improve your SEO score.
Here’s what you should do instead:
Avoid Targeting the Same Keywords as with Your Landing Pages
The first mistake bloggers make when setting up their blogs is to target the same keywords that they’re also targeting with their landing pages.
When you start to blog, you should try and do a little bit of keyword research to come up with a list of keywords that relate to your main keywords – but make sure they’re not the same as the keywords you’re also targeting with your landing page.
Try to Capture Users at Different Stages of the Buying Cycle
The beauty of blogging lies in its ability to capture users at different stages of the buying cycle.
For example, if your business is about snorkelling, you’re not restricted to only blogging about snorkelling. Instead, you can expand your audience by also blogging about other things someone may be interested to do in your locality.
For example, you can talk about the fun things to do in your region, and mention snorkelling as one of the funs things someone can do.
Don’t Ask Questions in Your Blog Titles, Provide Answers Instead
A common mistake that bloggers make almost all the time when writing blog posts is asking questions for titles.
A better approach, poised to attract more clicks, is reframing the question into an answer.
For example, instead of using “Does Blogging help with SEO?” as a title, try rephrasing the question into something like “Blogging Helps SEO, and Here’s the Proof.”
Given the option to click between the two titles, readers are more likely to go with the second option. And that’s because they know what to expect when they click on the link. You can also tell that a lot of effort was placed into coming up with the title.
So, there’s a fair chance the title will stand out from the titles in the SERPs.
Develop an SEO Action Plan
Don’t just come up with random blog posts.
Every single post you publish must play to a bigger purpose.
That means you have to prepare in advance and come up with a series of blog posts you’ll be publishing for a specified period.
You also have to research the keywords that you’ll be targeting through the posts.
But what’s even more important is how you’re planning to promote the posts and measure their performance.
All these items should be included in your SEO action plan. Planning is important because it makes the whole process more efficient and easier.
Don’t Publish Any Post Without First Optimising it for Search Engines
Don’t be quick to publish any post before optimising it for search engines.
You can start by investing some time in learning how to write SEO-friendly posts. You also have to learn how to use SEO tools search as Yoast and Rank math.
The point is to try and make sure every post is written according to the standard SEO rules laid by Google and other search engines.
These rules are meant to help search engines understand your post better while crawling and indexing it.
Promote Your Posts After Publishing
Don’t just write and wait for readers to discover your posts on their own. You have to figure out how to reach out to them and make them read it.
Take time to promote it and get some backlinks. The more the article gets backlinked, the higher it will rank – it’s just how SEO works.
In reality, not so many people bother to promote their posts. Once they hit the publish button, that’s it. They forget all about it and move to the next post.
If you don’t promote your post, you’ll be minimising your chances of getting any returns from it.
And by promoting we’re not in any way implying sharing the post on social media a couple of times and calling it quits. A better approach would be to use Facebook ads to promote the post and encourage people to share.
Measure Your Blog Performance and Its Impact on SEO
One of the reasons someone may fail to see the impact of blogging on SEO is because they have not been measuring its effectiveness correctly.
You’ve perhaps come across a post claiming that the internet is saturated with posts and that adding a new post isn’t going to get you any traffic.
Well, they’re wrong.
Blogging helps to improve SEO.
The problem with these people is that they tend to focus on the overall traffic growth instead of tracking individual posts.
Your traffic may fluctuate with time, especially with algorithmic changes. But that’s not to say your blog posts aren’t generating any traffic.
Find a way to track the performance of every single post you publish, and see how they improve with time.
Google Analytics can help you out with this – or better, use Google studio.
7 Important Writing Tips for SEO-friendly Blog Posts
At the centre of any successful blogging, strategy is good writing. A common mistake that bloggers do when setting up a new blog is straight-up writing whatever idea they have in their heads.
While this may yield results for people with natural writing ability, many could do with some little bit of help.
At Media One, here are some of the rules we follow whenever we sit down to write a new blog post:
1# Think About What You’re Going to Write About
Don’t just be quick to type. Instead, take a few minutes to think about what you’re going to write.
What do you wish to tell readers? What central question will you be answering?
What’s the purpose of writing this article? Or what do you wish to achieve by publishing it?
Is there a course of action that you’d wish to see your readers undertake after reading your article?
You have to write down the answer to each of these questions before you embark on writing. While at it, you want to think about the search intent the reader has. An easy way to go about it is to try and run a quick search and see what type of articles are performing better. That’s the direction to take with this new blog post.
2# Device a Suitable Structure Your Posts
Your posts should follow one definite structure.
In the structure, we expect to see:
- Some form of introduction: It should be catchy, attention-grabbing, and clear enough to tell what your post is all about
- A body: This is where the meat is or your main content will be featured. It carries the gist of your blog message.
- Conclusion: This summarises your main idea. It draws the reader to a conclusion or the key pickings in an article.
We suggest you begin by writing a summary of what you want to talk about. An alternative would be to list down your key points before you can go ahead and start writing.
3# Use Headings and Short Paragraphs
Headings will help the reader understand specific sections of your post in case they want to skim through or scan your page.
They not only make the article more readable but also help search engines understand what your article is all about. That’s why we suggest you try incorporating some of the keywords you’re targeting in your heading.
4# Use Transition Words
There should be some sort of flow between your sentences and paragraphs. Everything must feel connected.
Transition words help to create this flow and connection.
For example, when you have three points to state, you can use first of all to highlight the first point, and secondly to go to the third point, and finally to talk about the third and final point.
Other transition words you can use include similarly, however, or in contrast.
For native English speaker, this should come naturally. But for an ESL, the use of transition words to create some flow in your writing is a skill you perfect with time.
5# Optimise the Length of Your Articles
Google likes their content long – 2000+ word long.
But that’s beside the point. What you want to do is make sure your articles are balanced.
So, if you decide to write a 1000-word article, you want to make sure all the articles you write fall within that world-length range.
Another point is if you really want to start writing lengthy articles, you have to make sure your writing skills are top-notch. Otherwise, you’re risky boring your readers with lengthy pieces of poorly written, bland articles.
6# Link to Your Earlier Article (to One or Two of Your Previously Published Articles)
If whatever you’re writing is related to one of your already published articles, you want to make sure you’re linking back to it.
It’s recommended because it makes your new post more authoritative. It’s also part of your internal link building strategy, which goes on to help with so many things, including navigation and link juice distribution.
Plus, some of the readers may be interested to dig more into the subject, and that’s without mentioning that it helps to extend the time that readers spend on your site.
7# Have Someone Read the Post Before You Can Go Ahead and Publish It
You need an extra set of eyes to go through your articles and help you polish them before you can go ahead and publish them.
While at it, you want to ask them whether they understand the key pickings. You also want to invite them to point out the grammatical errors and typos in your article.
Just having an extra set of eyes is enough to provide an objective view of your article’s readability and effectiveness.