What is a blog? A blog (the shortened form of weB LOG) is an online series of entries rather like a journal, which can have content added to it very simply and quickly. They have a front end which allows the user to merely type in their content, no coding required. You click on the ‘publish’ button and instantly your article is available for all to read.
So in what ways does a good Blog help with Search Engine Optimisation of your website?
Good fresh content – everyone rewards great content that is new – users enjoy the result and return frequently to your blog as do search engines. It is so easy to add content using blogging platforms, there is no barrier to timing regular content updates, both users and search engine love fresh content.
More pages for your site – there appears to be a correlation between the total number of pages on your web site and how frequently search engines visit you and thus index new content. Because it so quick and easy to add a blog post, you can quickly increase the number of pages on your site with quality content.
More keywords – by completing your regular keyword tracking, you will know what keywords your audience is searching for. As this changes, you can quickly respond to the market by creating relevant blog posts including an optimal number of keywords in each post to satisfy both users and search engines. There are even some software plug-ins for blogging which works out the perfect keyword placement for you.
Take advantage quickly of long tailed keywords – there is evidence to show that users who query using 4 or more keywords in a phrase are those most likely to convert into a sale. The longer the keyword phrase the closer the user generally is to the purchase decision in the buying cycle. Thus it is sometimes helpful to garner a small number of highly qualified buyers using long tailed keywords, than to get a huge amount of traffic that are really only “carpet crushers” and not ready to buy. Blogs can help you take advantage of these long tailed keywords simply and quickly to meet changing market needs.
Helping users – why do you really exist? To inform, make sales, communicate, provide a service….. any number of reasons. Most importantly, to achieve any and all results, you need to help your user. As a blogger, you are in an exciting position to do exactly that – help your users – on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis by providing information that will help them. There is no other way in business you can have such an immediate relationship with so many people at the same time so simply.
Users want to come back – because you are so successful following tip #5, you will know (or hope) that many of your readers will want to read your wise words regularly. To do this, they will link to you or subscribe to your feeds. In doing so, you will gain followers and link popularity, all great fuel for good SEO.
Suggest your link to others – humans love to share. One of the three cornerstones of great SEO is links (the other two are awesome content and an architecturally sound site). To gain links you need good content as well as regular feeds. If you follow those principles within your blog, you are adding value and others will want to read your blog, share it and link to it. SEO is built on great links.
Blog software has clear URL structures – making it easy for search engine spiders to crawl and index, this comes under the great site architecture part of SEO. As part of this concept, you can build your blog on a blog company’s domain (e.g. www.blogspot.com) or you can have your blog on your own domain (e.g. www.yoursite.com/blog). To gain the most SEO benefit, it is better to use you own domain. I have seen some writers suggest hosting your blog completely separately, even on a different host company so that you can link from your blog to your business web site, garnering links. I disagree, whilst in the short term your rankings may improve due to increased links, your long term goal should be to gain links from other real sources because your blog is genuinely linkable, not because of dodgy administration.
Connecting with more people – Blogs are great at linking with other blogs and social media, they create an active community. There are even software plug-ins to help linking and improving the conversation. Good blogs encourage citations and contextually relevant links that are generally attractive to search engines and thus rewarded.
Doing it for the right reasons – Remember you are using a blog to communicate – not just to get SEO rankings. By genuinely targeting your blog to meet a need in your audience you will gain in SEO organically.