According to research, there were around 47 billion web pages in Google index by May this year. For a business trying to stand out from 47-billion page crown to find new business, this is not good news.
Online marketing is all about creating and nurturing meaningful engagement, especially for businesses with longer sales cycles. This means you build meaningful relationships with your page visitors so that they come to rely on you as an industry expert in your field and trust your message. This engagement also attracts search engines to your business.
Having a blog provides an effective platform not only for SEO, but also to enable every brand to build its brand image, increase traffic as well as raise awareness and brand reputation. A blog gives the space on which to regularly provide high-value, high-quality and fresh content for your users. This ensures you always have your visitors coming back, increasing engagement and consequently ranking.
Below are some reasons blogging is critical for any content marketing strategy:
Recent/fresh contentSearch engines are about providing users with the best UX. Therefore, they look for sites and pages with up-to-date and fresh content – the algorithmic term for this factor is Query Deserves Freshness (QDF). Search engines give more weight for fresh content on current topics. They interpret recent updates as being more relevant and current than those of pages that haven’t seen updates in weeks or months. Search engines believe the former provide better user experience overall.
Keyword coverage and targetingKeywords are still important currency in terms of SEO. These present simple phrases/words most commonly associated with a certain field/brand. Until now, keywords have been improperly used, a technique known as keyword stuffing, in an effort to manipulate search engines and outrank competition in search results.
The result of keyword stuffing is incoherent, undeveloped content which turns away users from your brand, and which can attract penalties from search engines. The following are characteristics of properly used keywords within content:
- Are phrases a few words long which embody the vocabulary their users/customers most usually use in search within their field
- Are only present a handful of times within a piece of content
- Are only present where they would fit according to natural language
Blogs are an ideal platform to generate and promote content in the right context around your targeted keywords. This can be through blogging on various topics and addressing key questions within your industry in each post. In the process, you can naturally incorporate your keywords and their variations without sounding artificial/forced.
You can also create pages centered on various keywords to improve your page reporting strategy. Traffic driven to such pages from search engines will have used your targeted terms in their search queries. This way, you can understand how best to use queries and keywords for your content strategy.
Plumping up your siteIn the absence of a blog, a page can only have so many sites. While Google’s Matt Cutts has been on recording saying that having more indexed pages in search results doesn’t mean higher rankings, larger sites are still more valuable in that you have more pages that could possibly be ranked for a certain query than smaller sites.
Running a blog on your site allows you to increase your web pages easily. Every new page is another page that can possibly rank for a certain keyword, and another opportunity to provide value and engagement for users. You will have a better internal linking structure and provide more information to reduce your bounce rates and keep users on your site.
More pages mean more pages for backlinks, which can elevate your pages on search results. However, every new page must fulfill the criteria for top ranking – have high quality, relevant content with design elements appropriately applied to give the best user experience.
Improving your back link profileEach time you create high-quality, high-value content, you can actively promote your chances of securing backlinks. Readers and followers of your blog and content series will likely reference the content in other places. You can also find other resource centers that your audience frequent and asked to be included there.
Having multiple pages that provide useful information on different subjects and keywords in your niche provides linkable pages for those topics. This is the best way to secure/earn non-spammy, high-quality backlinks from your peers and other authoritative sites in related industries.
Backlinks, despite the negative SEO, are still quite valuable, since they are endorsements for a given brand/webpage regarding its authority on the matter under discussion. What Google and other search engines want to see is high quality backlinks devoid of any manipulation. Blogs make this easy and possible, enabling you to build authority for your site through your back link profile.
8 important tips for running successful blogsMaintaining your brand’s blog requires significant investment of time, financial resources and committed effort. Management of the blog will likely be through a content marketing/corporate marketing team, in collaboration with the PR team. This, of course refers to larger, more structured organizations. For them, here are 8 tips to remember:
- Research on and identify valuable keywords which have minimal competition and high query volumes
- Always have a schedule drawn out for at least two months
- Create a small team of editors and content writers who are always available
- Ensure that every page is optimally written according to SEO best practices
- Cross reference related blog content to fortify your internal linking structure
- Ensure there are social sharing buttons to make sharing easy for users
- Cross-promote related content within blog posts
- Use social media and email marketing to promote new content as it is published
Blogging offers useful tools through which you can provide high quality, valuable content that page visitors and hence search engines will like and reward. The additional pages just contribute to plumping up your site; they provide more space to improve SEO, drive meaningful engagement and traffic conversions as well as provide more value for clients/visitors.
Jack Dawson is a web developer and UI/UX specialist at BigDropInc.com. He works at a design, branding and marketing firm, having founded the same firm 9 years ago. He likes to share knowledge and points of view with other developers and consumers on platforms.