We’ve talked at length about why we think blogging should be the heartbeat of your content marketing strategy. It can help establish your industry expertise, for example, and allow you to add value for your audience. But today we’re focusing on one benefit in particular: SEO.
Search engine optimisation can feel like something of a dark art but in a way it’s really simple. Google’s corporate mission is to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” So SEO is just a way of making sure that your website is set up to help them to do just that.
Here’s how a blog can improve your website’s SEO in three very straight forward ways.
Increasing search term mentions
We all know that Google uses keywords to help decide whether a particular website is relevant to an individual’s search enquiries. That’s why it’s important that you do your keyword research and then ensure your website copy includes them, especially in headers and subheads (H1 and H2 text).
But stuffing those keywords all over your website is really not the best way to get your audience’s attention – in fact, it’s likely to put them off. Instead, you need to be focusing on is evoking an emotional reaction, for example, or making navigation as smooth as possible. Our recent post on what your clients want from your website copy has more about this.
So how do you get the balance between a website that works for your visitors and one that makes Google happy from a keyword point of view?
Blogging give you ample space in which to use numerous key words and phrases in a way that is much more natural and organic. For example if you work in an accountancy practice then your blog posts are likely to include terms like tax efficiency or accounting software or profit and loss report, which will all count towards your SEO ranking.
EXAMPLE: Look at the first paragraph in the next section. See how we managed to talk about “copywriters in Bristol”*? That’s a phrase we want to rank for but it’s not easy to use frequently within the main copy of our website. It’s much more natural and relevant in the context of this blog post.
(*Oh look, we did it twice!)
Reducing bounce rates with internal links
Imagine an internet user is searching for “copywriters in Bristol”. Google gives them a number of options. They click on the first one and very quickly realise it’s not what they were after, clicking away within a few seconds.
The user then tries a second site. It’s much more relevant. They stick around for a little while reading the content, clicking through from one page to another. Google will now rate the second website as being more relevant to that search term than the first.
In other words a website with a high bounce rate – where people leave quickly after clicking through to the site – will rank lower on a search engine.
A blog encourages people to stay on your site and read for as long as possible. By creating internal links – for example, from one blog post into another or from a bog post to one of your services – you can increase the amount of time people stay on your site and thereby improve your SEO.
EXAMPLE: Look back at the first paragraph. See how we linked to another blog post? And then again in paragraph 5? The more people who click through and read a second (or third or fourth) post, the more convinced Google will be that this is a useful and valuable website.
Regularly adding valuable content
We sometimes think about serving search engines and serving our website visitors as two separate things. But in actual fact the two should really be the same. After all, the goal of a search engine is to lead internet users to the most relevant and useful content for their needs. Which is what the users themselves want.
So if you are regularly producing this kind of content, you’re satisfying both your audience and Google.
But it’s about more than that. Just the fact that you are adding to your website regularly via your blog means that search engine bots are constantly being able to index more of your pages, building up your authority.
Essentially you’re telling Google, “Hey, this is an active site – send people here because we’re constantly adding more value for our readers.”
EXAMPLE: Over 60% of our website visitors arrive on a blog post. Regularly adding valuable content is the single biggest driver of traffic to the site. Enough said, right?
We’re big believers in creating content with our clients and potential clients in mind and will never prioritise SEO above the user experience. But if we can do both then why wouldn’t we? Blogging is a great way to improve your SEO while also serving your audience with valuable content that builds brand recognition, loyalty and ultimately sales.
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