Blogging isn’t only for bloggers.
If you want your website to come up as the answer to people’s online searches – ie. appearing at or near the top of Google’s search engine pages (SERPs) – you need to be writing blogs on a regular basis. And it doesn’t matter what type of website you have – you could be in retail, hospitality, service, distribution, online sales, whatever – if your website is a key part of the growth and success of your business, you need to be adding fresh content to it regularly in the form of a blog.
Business owners need to write blogs. It’s as simple as that. And it’s because blogging is essential for SEO.
Google is placing more and more emphasis on delivering a quality user experience and recently rejigged their algorithm so that it satisfies the searcher’s intent and provides the most relevant, useful results possible.
Although blogging isn’t one of Google’s specified ranking factors, it does provide essential support for a whole range of things that dictate where your website shows up in the SERPs. But we’re not talking about churning out content just to fill some space. Blogs have to be well-written and easy to read, they have to offer up something to the reader such as answer a question, provide advice or information that is useful, give guidelines on how to do a task or improve a situation. There are endless possibilities for blog topics, but the emphasis has to be on quality and relevance.
Here’s a list of the main reasons why blogging is so important for SEO and we’ll go into each one in more detail a bit later.
- Blogs can improve dwell time
- Blogs ‘tell’ Google’s algorithm that there is fresh, original content on your website
- Blogs provide opportunities to use targeted keywords
- Blogs are an excellent vehicle for building links, both internal and external
- Blogs help satisfy part of Google’s new E-A-T metrics
- Blogs provide useful content for social media posts
- Blogs help your business engage with your audience
Blogs can improve dwell time. Dwell time is the amount of time that a searcher spends on a page that they’ve found through the search results before clicking back to the SERPs and although Google has not confirmed dwell time as a specific ranking factor, many SEO professionals consider it to be crucial. If a searcher finds information on one of your blogs that is helpful, informative, useful, interesting, engaging etc, they are likely to hang around for longer. This sends a signal to Google that your website is meeting the searcher’s needs.
Blogs ‘signal’ to Google’s algorithm that there is fresh, original content on your website. Because Google always wants to deliver the best possible results to searchers, it’s crucial that it doesn’t see your website as outdated. When a website is updated regularly, Google gets the message that it is dynamic and current. Because it isn’t always practical or possible to update pages such as your Home page, About Us page and Product page regularly, blogs are easy additions that can pack a powerful SEO punch.
Blogs provide opportunities to use long-tail keywords. Let’s say your business sells 4WD accessories. If you’re a smaller player in the market up against established competitors, it can be tough – if not impossible – to get to the top of the search engine pages for the keyword ‘4WD accessories’. A blog post gives you an opportunity to target long-tail keywords (phrases with four or more words in them) that are specific to your business. For example, you could write a blog using the phrase ‘essential 4WD accessories for your next camping trip’ or ‘what accessories do I need for my 4WD?’ SEO goes hand-in-hand with keywords and blogs are a key way of providing your audience with the information they’re looking for based on your targeted long-tail keywords.
Blogs are great for link-building. Building links is an essential aspect of successful SEO and blogs provide excellent opportunities for including internal links as well as earning external ones. Internal link building is one of the easiest – yet often overlooked – techniques for SEO and the more blogs you post which contain links between your website pages, the better. And if the content you are posting is seen by other websites as being valuable and useful, they may decide to have an external link from their website to yours as a service to their readers.
Blogs help satisfy part of Google’s new E-A-T concept. E-A-T is the acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, which is a key concept that Google uses to evaluate the overall quality of a web page and to ensure that only the best quality and most authoritative content rises to the top of its search rankings. E-A-T is crucial for SEO and the better your blog post’s E-A-T score, the higher it will rank in Google’s search results. Things to look out for include the length of your posts (longer is better), well-written content that is grammatically correct, links and establishing the author’s credentials as a leader in their field.
Blogs provide useful content for social media posts. Social media itself doesn’t directly contribute to your SEO ranking, but it really helps with brand-building and establishing relationships with your audience when you share links across your social platforms. Every time you post a new blog, you create an opportunity for a social media post with a link to that post. This helps to improve your online visibility and can build organic traffic – all of which are important for SEO.
Blogs help your business engage with your audience. A blog is an excellent vehicle for making connections with your target audience and building ongoing relationships. If your blog resonates with someone and they think it will be useful to others (or they want the kudos of being the first to share something awesome!), they may share it which could drive traffic to your website. You may even find that you get increased sign-ups to your direct marking email list (you’ve got that set up, right?) This is great from an SEO perspective because the increased traffic plus repeat visitors show Google that you mean business.
Karen Dauncey has been working in SEO since 2003. She specialises in helping businesses get found online through Google using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Karen has been running, Blue Cherry Online Marketing since 2008 and running her own SEO and Google Ads agency has brought her a wealth of SEO knowledge and practical digital marketing experience. Karen is also the founder and creator of The SEO School, an online SEO course to help teach business owners how to do their own SEO. She regularly delivers educational programs for both Local, State and Federal Government and is an advisor for the Digital Solutions Program. Karen’s passion and commitment to help small business owners get found online is the driving force behind her online school, making SEO advice accessible to all with free resources and online courses.
To keep up to date with the latest in SEO, join her Facebook group The SEO School Community or follow her on Facebook or LinkedIn.