Google’s freshness update has created a surge in business website blogging. The update has affected a large percentage of search results, giving companies a real reason to integrate their blog page into their main website. The update has meant that the first few pages of search results are usually populated with blogs and articles that relate to that specific term; more so than business websites (not including long-tail keyword or local searches).
As an example, if you were interested in buying an iPhone and searched for an exact term ‘iPhone’ (short-term keyword), the first page of results will be filled with blogs, reviews, news articles and message forum posts relating to that topic. Conversely, if a search is made for ‘buying an iPhone’ (long-tail keyword) or ‘mobile phone shops in London’ (local keyword), the result pages will be populated with business websites.
This article will cover two related topics: how to improve your website’s SEO with blogging and how to improve your blog’s SEO.
Your business website’s SEO can be improved by a blog in the following ways:
A blog page will provide your site with fresh content. When search engines crawl your website they will notice the frequent updates and new URLs and recognise that this is updated content. The freshness update mentioned earlier will be taken in to consideration when ranking is determined.
New Keywords Targeted
Blogs are a great way of adding additional keywords to your website. When another website links to your blog using these keywords, link juice is passed along with it. This helps your site rank for these keywords and adds to the list of keywords you were already targeting.
Enhancing Niche Authority
Blogging about your particular niche builds authority. A blog that gives useful tips and instructions to visitors helps acquire expert status. If a potential customer has a choice between two businesses, they are more likely to choose the one that demonstrates in-depth knowledge through their blog than the one that doesn’t.
Blog posts are easily shared on social media. This brings in social signals that assist your website’s search engine rankings. Sharing your own content on social networking platforms increases interaction with users and enhances word-of-mouth marketing.
Blogs allow you to build internal links into your main website and this passes link authority to your homepage and inner pages. Links can be made from your products/services pages to any relevant blog post and posts can be linked to one another if the subject matter is related. If you have downloadable PDFs or a subscription form on your site, a call-to-action on a blog post that links to these landing pages will not only encourage interaction and increase conversions, but also pass on link juice. Your blog posts could also receive links from other authoritative pages, which would pass authority with them. Internal linking also allows you to use anchor text associated with your chosen keywords. External websites are likely to link to your page with generic anchor text such as ‘click here’ or ‘read more’, but having internal anchor text that you control allows you to use targeted anchor text when linking your pages.
SEO and Images
It is important to SEO any images on your blog. This can be done by the use of the image alt text attribute and correct file naming conventions. The images will then be found via the Google image search and can drive an increased volume of traffic to your website.
Well written and informative blog posts will generate links naturally. Asking other websites to link to your blog might seem a little pushy, but if people, groups or businesses find your blogs insightful and helpful they are likely to create links under their own steam.
Some visitors to your website will know exactly what they want and will immediately engage with your services or products. This means you will require a website that is simple to navigate and quick to convert. Most visitors, on the other hand, may be a little sceptical about your expertise and will want to be convinced before they do business with you. Having a blog on your website is an excellent way to build up trust. By sharing professional experiences or case studies and offering information on your niche topics you can become more personal and instil a degree of confidence. As the content on your blog grows, trust will be established with your visitors, which will increase traffic, popularity and enhance your websites SEO.
Below I have listed some points that should be considered in order to ensure that your blog is targeting the right users on the web:
Blog Hosted as a Sub Domain
By hosting your blog as a sub domain of your main site and not as a separate domain or subdirectory ensures you will reap the best SEO benefits. It is best practise to host your blog with a web address similar to ‘blog.yourwebsite.com’. This will mean that you have only one site to maintain and the link juice that your blog attracts will benefit the main website as well.
Research trending keywords with Google Trends or any other keyword research tool available on the internet and write a blog about the latest trending subjects in your particular niche.
Insert keywords into your blog article in a manner that makes sense and reads correctly. Ensure that you have used correct spelling and grammar. Search engines are very clever determining user-experience and reward blogs that are written with the human user in mind rather than for search engine ranking.
Blog titles should contain the target keyword and be no longer than 70 characters. The title is usually incorporated into the blogs URL and is good for the blog’s SEO.
Integrating Social Media
Visitors to your blog are more likely to share your post if social share buttons are clearly visible. Providing social share buttons not only improves usability, but also helps to strengthen the social signals from your site. This in turn, as mentioned earlier, improves your blog’s SEO and result page rankings.
Interaction on your Blog
Interaction on your blog can be enhanced by asking questions and inviting opinion at the end. Examples of this could include; What do you think? or Have you experienced this? If your blog is comparing two different items or strategies, ask your visitors which one they prefer. When you are sharing your post on a social media site, ask a question that is related to your blog. Answer any comments that left on your blog and encourage debate. Seek out blogs and forums in your niche and post comments saying that you have blogged on similar subjects. All this will encourage interaction with visitors to your site and signal frequent use to the search engine crawlers.
Driving traffic to your website by using a blog is the most natural form of search engine optimisation. All major search engines will reward a website that has an informative and interactive blog page and you’ll soon see your website rise up through the rankings. Schedule a little time each week to write good quality blog pages and post frequently, about two or three times a week if time allows. Make the blog consistent and relevant to your niche market and watch your fan base and rankings grow.