Many brands are hesitant to jump onto the blogging bandwagon. Maybe you’re not sure yourself. Perhaps you’ve been contemplating starting a blog to bolster your SEO strategy but aren’t sure if it’s worth the time, effort, and resources.
If you’re wondering whether starting a blog will really help with your search engine rankings, then read on as we dig for the answer.
Understanding SEO and Why a Good SEO Strategy Matters
To fully understand the impact that starting a blog will have on your SEO strategy, let’s take a step back and look at what SEO is.
Search engine optimization, or SEO as it is commonly known, is the discipline of implementing practices on your website that result in search engines ranking your website (or web pages) high. This means whenever users search for a term search engines associate with your website, your website will show up high on the search engine results pages (SERPs.) Besides helping to increase your brand’s visibility, a good SEO strategy also helps your business in many ways, some of which include:
Drives Organic Traffic to Your Website
A good SEO strategy helps drive organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic means visitors who land on your website without the use of paid strategies. Organic traffic is more valuable because it’s free and is mostly made up of people actively looking for what you offer. In short, a good SEO strategy, coupled with great content, is one of the best ways to drive qualified leads to your business.
Gives You a Competitive Edge
Studies show that 71.33% of all clicks happen on the first page of Google. Users barely go beyond the first page of Google’s search results. This means if you can get yourself on the first page of Google, you automatically have a huge advantage over your competitors.
Helps Provide a Good User Experience
Unlike the days of old when SEO was more about gaming the system, today’s ranking factors are more about giving users a great experience. A good SEO strategy, therefore, will help you provide users with a good experience on your website. And with the competition being stiff in today’s cutthroat business environment, a positive experience can make the difference between converting a visitor or losing them to your competitor.
So yes, SEO is necessary for every business. And no, SEO is not a dirty word. It’s a necessary discipline needed to ensure your online presence contributes to your business goals.
5 Reasons Starting a Blog is Crucial to Your SEO
Now that you know what SEO is and why it’s important to have an SEO strategy, let’s get to the main issue at hand today – starting a blog and its place in your SEO strategy.
Is blogging really necessary to power your SEO strategy?
The short answer – yes. But let’s dive deeper and see why starting a blog should be part of your SEO strategy.
Gives You An opportunity to Answer User’s Search Queries
One of the best reasons to start a blog is that it gives you the perfect platform to thoroughly answer your target audience’s questions. When people search the internet, they’re mainly looking for answers. If you can answer their questions, not only will you drive relevant traffic to your website, but it will also help you rank well on the SERPs.
Helps You Rank for Relevant Keywords
Starting and diligently running a blog gives you a great opportunity to naturally incorporate your target keywords into your website. By creating useful content around the keywords associated with your product/service, you make it easier for search engines and, ultimately, users to find your website. Search engines are constantly indexing pages, so the more frequently you post quality content, the better you’ll fare. It’s more than setting and forgetting, it’s about actively posting and updating content.
Instrumental in Content Marketing
Content marketing has become an instrumental marketing strategy for attracting and retaining customers. Unlike ads that can be blocked, creating valuable content for your customers allows you to promote your brand without being too “salesy.” And a blog is the best channel to implement your content marketing. Executed well, your content marketing strategy can also help boost your SEO. It’s all about providing content to your customers and prospective customers that helps them at a number of different stages of the sales cycle.
Makes it Easier to Build Backlinks
Ask any SEO expert and they’ll tell you that one of the most important ranking factors your website will need are backlinks. In simple terms, backlinks are created when other websites link to a page on your website. This becomes easier when you have a blog on which you publish link-worthy content. You can also explore companies that let you pay for quality backlinks, and while valuable, they can also be risky. Make sure to thoroughly research any potential places you’d get a backlink on. Look at domain authority, spam score, and monthly visitors to gauge if a certain website would be a good backlink.
Helps You Establish Your Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (E.A.T)
When it comes to ranking well in search engines, particularly on Google, search engines promote content that is beneficial to users. In most cases, that means content that follows Google’s search quality evaluator guidelines. This means creating content that’s:
- Expertly written
That’s exactly where your blog comes to play. It gives you an opportunity to establish your expertise and authority in your industry as well as gain your followers’ trust. All 3 are signals that Google uses to rank websites.
Starting a Blog that will Fuel Your SEO Strategy in 8 Simple Steps
I’m sure you can see it clearly now – a blog is essential to your SEO strategy. But the question now is – how do you start a blog? And more especially, how can you go about starting a blog that will fuel your SEO strategy?
Let’s briefly look at the steps involved in starting a blog that will rank well on the SERPs.
1. Get Reliable Web Hosting
Web hosting is a service that allows your website to be accessible on the internet. While you’ll find a gazillion web hosting services around, not all are the same. Therefore you must do your homework and find one that is reliable – especially in terms of:
Apart from that, web hosting companies offer different levels of hosting services to cater to different website needs. So you must carefully select a web hosting service that will suit your website and business needs perfectly.
2. Pick a Good Domain Name
A domain name is your website’s address. A great one is one that is easy to remember and aligns with your business. Other tips for choosing a domain name include:
- Use niche keywords (if possible)
- Keep it short and memorable
- Make sure it’s easy to pronounce
Your domain name also impacts on your SEO, so pick yours wisely. Note, some web hosting plans come with free domain registration. However, be sure to check how much their renewal price for domain registration is. You might find that it’s cheaper in the long run to register your own domain name.
3. Install Your CMS of Choice (or Develop a Custom Website)
With web hosting and domain out of the way, the next step to starting your blog is to install your content management system (CMS) of choice. A CMS is a software that allows you to create a website without having to write a single piece of code. It allows you to easily create, edit, and manage content on your website.
While the CMS route can be cheaper, it has its limitations. That’s why, budget permitting, building a custom website is often the better option. It also gives you more flexibility when it comes to customizing your website and updating it’s code, which means less of a headache later on.
4. Design Your Blog
Now for the fun (or not so fun, depending on how you look at it) part – designing your website. Giving your website a custom look and feel involves selecting a theme and modifying it to your taste. You can also include a plugin to further enhance the looks and performance of your website.
5. Get Your Technical SEO Right
One element of SEO many small businesses neglect is the technical SEO aspect. Don’t worry, while it may sound technical, it’s not all that complicated – to a point. A few basic elements of technical SEO you can implement on your own include:
Nailing these 3 simple factors will go a long way in setting you apart from the competition and ensuring Google can properly index your site.
6. Create a Content Calendar
Now that your blog is up, it’s time to publish your first post, right?
Not so fast.
Before creating your first piece of content, it’s important that you create a content calendar first – a schedule of what you want to publish and when. This will help you publish content consistently and logically.
7. Publish Quality Content
Gone are the days when all you needed to do to get the Google god’s approval was to create thin content stuffed with keywords. Today, you must publish quality content if you’re to stand a chance of ranking well in the search engines. Oh, and giving your readers a great user experience and valuable information as well. Think about when you are searching for something on your own.. you don’t want posts that are full of fluff, you want something that answers the question right away. Often, when we’re searching, we are asking very specific questions, so definitely do that on your blog. Not everything needs to be a high level overview, some things can be really niche.
8. Promote Your Blog
Hitting publish isn’t the last step in the content marketing game. It’s just the end of one stage and the beginning of another – content promotion. You’ve invested time and resources in creating an epic piece of content and it deserves a decent number of eyeballs on it. The only way you can get people to read your content is if you promote it.
How do you do that?
Here are several ways you can promote your content:
- Email new posts to your subscribers
- Share it on social media (using both organic and paid)
- Syndicate your content
- Share it on relevant forums
- Take out paid ads
Content promotion can be laborious but it is worth it as it will help drive traffic to your content. And increased traffic is an indicator to search engines that your content is worth ranking higher. That makes content promotion an important aspect of an effective SEO strategy.
Starting a Blog – It’s No Longer an Option
We are living in a digital age. And with people interacting more with their devices, businesses have no choice but to leverage digital marketing channels if they’re to get noticed. One important digital marketing tool you can’t afford to ignore anymore is a blog.
Starting a blog is no longer an option. It’s crucial to your SEO strategy and overall marketing strategy. And if it seems like a daunting task, give us a shout. We’d be happy to help you get yours up and running.