You have probably heard mention of the importance of blogging; maybe from a sales email from an SEO company or perhaps your SEO savy friend recommended it. However, you are still wondering if it is worth it. The default answer is yes, a blog is a good addition to your website, however, there are caveats to this statement. Let’s first begin by talking about the benefits of having a blog, and then consider why you might not want a blog.

SEO bloggingBenefits of a Blog

First Impressions

When a visitor comes to your site they are expecting an answer to their question. Does your blog answer that question and does it do so fully? The articles on your blog are a great opportunity to display your expertise on a subject and hopefully turn the curious reader into a potential customer. This means great blog articles can lead to revenues.

 

If you do manage to create a great piece of content hopefully readers will link to it from other sites increasing the authority of the blog as well as the domain. The greater number of links from quality sites the more likely Google will be to display your blog article on the first few pages of its search engine. This means even more potential traffic in a beneficial cycle.

SEO

Blog articles are meant to be read by users but they also are beneficial from a search engine standpoint. Google and other search engines favor sites with updated content. A steady creation of blog articles lets Google know that the site is being updated regularly and Google will crawl the site more often to index the new content.

The greater number of articles you post also means the greater number of pages Google has indexed for your site. The greater number of page on topics related to your service/product increases the relevancy of your site helping boost your search engine ranking.

Let’s assume you wrote a quality piece of content on your site, something that leaders consider to be a good answer to their question. These readers may provide links referencing your site. The greater number of quality links to your post the better your rankings in Google as the page authority of the post increases and the domain authority of your site follow suit. Can you see the beneficial cycle of great blog posts?

Google also gives preference to fresher content when displaying search results. This is because an article on a topic posted yesterday is probably more accurate than one written last year. I needed information on a WordPress plugin for a site last week. Obviously I wanted new articles that discussed the newest version of wordpress. This principle applies to the content you place on your blog. You gain advantage over your competitors by having fresh content on the site.

Personal Authority

Authoring content on the web has a direct impact builds your personal web presence. If you have not setup Google Authorship make sure to do so. Google Authorship provides the ability for individuals to link pieces of online content they have written to their Google+ account. As you continue to write your authorship score will increase as individuals link to your articles helping prove your authority on the subject. You can see an example of a past post I wrote below.

This authority on a subject you build over time is a valuable asset. Say you wanted to guest blog on a highly regarded site (yes guestblogging can still be effective)? Your personal brand you have developed as an authority can be the foot in the door you need as these bigger sites have many hopeful guest bloggers sending them emails all day. You have made yourself an effective ambassador for you company.
google-authorship

Making Your Blog Work for You

Now that you understand the benefits of having a blog you may decide it is something that you want to pursue. Unfortunately, many webmasters invest time in blogs only to receive minimal results. Why is this? More than likely the webmaster is not making the most of their blog.

If I write a great piece of content and I know it will benefit readers I need to get it in front of them. Here are some things you can do to maximize the benefit of your blog.

  1. Optimize Your Blog

    • When writing the blog include header tags correctly (make use of keywords and don’t skip from H1 to H4)
    • Break up the content with different sections, bulleted lists, images, etc. to make it more user-friendly. Make sure to add alt tags and links to your images (don’t stuff keywords but don’t leave them blank either).
    • Add internal links to other related pages on your site. Link to external high-authority sites that would be helpful for your readers.
    • Edit the piece to avoid grammatical mistakes as this can erode trust in your site quickly.
    • Make sure the content is 500+ words.
    • In your CMS add in categories and tags to your post. Write up a title tag and meta description for your piece.
    • Make sure your blog is on your main domain and not its own.
    • Add a good call to action to your piece.
    • Of course, make sure the content is unique!
  2. Share the Piece

    • Hop on Social sites you have a presence on and share the content in your posts. Provide a catchy phrase or reason why someone should read it.
    • If you have other websites provide links to the piece of content. Companies that own a number of locations under different brand names often have separate sites for the different locations. Make sure you have links between your different sites.
    • Do you run an email campaign or have a newsletter? Provide a link and short description as part of your letter.
    • Does the piece have a good call to action, can it convert readers to customers? Consider running PPC for users who have the question your blog answers. Make the landing page in your PPC the blog page. Since the search is probably long tail there is a good chance you will have a very low cost per click.
    • Build links to your piece. Of course don’t go blackhat but if you reference the topic while guest blogging on sites or even when writing content on your own site provide a link.
    • If you have added some pages to your site update the sitemap.
    • Make sure there are no issues with search engines crawling the post.
  3. Update Your Post

    • Did something in your industry change since you wrote the article? Go back to the article and make adjustments to it so it is relevant again. It is much easier to update an article than write a whole new one. Blogs do not have to be of one-time benefit.

These are some things that you can do to optimize your blog but I am sure you can think of more. The idea I am driving at is to not simply write a piece of content and let it sit. Consider how many books sit untouched in a library even though they might be exactly the kind of book someone is looking for! You need people talking about your site and pointing to it as a reference for others.

When Not to Have a BlogWhen to Blog

Now that we have discussed why you should have a blog and how to make the most of your blog let’s consider why you may not want one. There are two reasons I can think of.

Priorities

The most obvious answer to this question is priorities. There are many things you can do to improve your site. Some questions to ask yourself:

What if I don’t have a sitemap for the site?

What if there are issues with crawlers indexing my site?

Do you need to update your PPC campaign?

All these different tasks need to be prioritized and there may be tasks that are more important than creating a blog.

 

 

Industry Specific

The second reason I can think of for not having a blog is that your industry is not blog friendly.  Let’s say you are a large manufacturer of plastic sheets which you sell to other companies who use the plastic in their products. This industry may sell primarily through personal selling and relationships. In this situation maybe no one would read a blog even if you did create one. Sure, you could still reap SEO benefits of having a blog but I would argue those assets could be used more efficiently in other SEO tactics.

 

Should you have a blog on your site? Hopefully this article helped you make your decision. If you did decide a blog is something for you Big Leap can help you get started and can take care of whatever you need done from blog setup to content writing.

Photo Credit: Mike Licht, Mike Litcht, infocux

Jamie Bates