A prospective client recently told me that she thought SEO was more important to her company’s marketing efforts than blogging. After all, she reasoned, it was more important that people be able to find her site easily than for the site to have a lot of blog content. Besides, the company that recently pitched her on creating blog content wanted to charge an outrageous amount (that’s another story).
The truth is, one of the best things you can do to improve your chances of showing up in searches is to blog. Here’s why:
and Current Content
- Google and the other search engines don’t want to send users to sites with outdated information. Stated another way, search engines reward sites with current, updated, relevant information by ranking them higher than sites that do not have such information. Regular blog posts indicate to your site visitors that you are active and engaged in your business. They allow you to provide context and timely value around your offerings.
- Interesting, relevant and current blog content gives site visitors a reason to stay on your site longer. If your search for, say, “property management Conroe Texas” takes you to a site that is difficult to navigate, confusing, and has no fresh content on it, you are likely click back to the search results quickly. Maybe you were there for 5 seconds. You click on another search result. There, you find an article entitled “5 Risk Management Strategies Property Owners Should Know for 2020” which you spend more than 6 minutes reading every word. That’s called Dwell Time. Dwell Time signals value to the search engine. Value is rewarded in rankings. And — perhaps surprisingly — longer posts generally perform better than shorter posts. In fact, the average first page results on Google have at least 2,000 words.
a Long-tail (but somebody should tell it)
- Longer, more specific keywords are an important contributor to search results. This makes sense because the competition for more common and generic category keywords is fierce. Using our previous example, the keyword “property management” is not likely to land you a top spot in the category on its own because there are many companies in the category and that keyword turns up frequently on their sites as well. But what about “property management for multi-family dwellings”, or “property management for affluent single-family homes”? These are the kind of keywords that can drive this company’s search results, and the blog is the perfect place to embed them.
- Google doesn’t reveal much about its search algorithm, for obvious reasons. They don’t want you to know how the sausage is made. But SEO experts have done a pretty good job reverse-engineering the process, and they know that internal links are helpful. These are links that point site visitors from one area or page on your site to another. Ample blog content on your site provides a wealth of opportunities to link to anchor text on your home page or other areas. And this helps drive engagement, too! Of course, external (or inbound) links are SEO’s holy grail. These are links from other sites to your content. These links indicate very high value to Google and are rewarded accordingly. It makes sense that more quality content (blogs) increase your chances of earning inbound links from reputable sources. And this is backed up by the evidence. Companies that have blog content on their site earn up to 97% more inbound links, according the HubSpot.
- Your site visitors are more likely to share content that they value. Common sense, right? And when they share it, they drive more traffic to it, the audience for it expands. Maybe they sign up for your email newsletter. Maybe they come back to your site again. More traffic. Repeat traffic. All of this tells Google that your authority and value in your category is increasing. And this helps drive search ranking.
- While not directly related to SEO, an accumulation of blog posts over time provides a rich library of information that enables site visitors to dive deeper on topics of specific interest. It allows them to answer some of their own questions related to your offerings. It may help better qualify your leads and prospects. And it provides a way for you to quickly answer questions by referring a prospect or customer to a specific post on your site in response to her inquiry.
There are lots of ways of Blogging and SEO go together. SEO just tastes better when you combine it with Blogging. But SEO is certainly not the only reason you should blog on your site. That’s the topic for a whole new blog post in itself, but here’s a tease: Even as far back as 2014, B2B marketers who blogged received 67% more leads than those who did not.