A good blogging strategy is one of the keys to SEO success. This shows you how to SEO a blog.
Why is blogging important for SEO?
I like to make a distinction between different kinds of pages on any website:
- Some pages are landing pages (also known as cornerstone content) for our SEO efforts. These are targeted in light of specific keywords and make a hard-sell to potential customers. Think of the services you offer- each should have a page with a clear focus.
- Some pages are informational in nature. They help inform potential customers about your company, your industry, or services they need. These aren’t hard selling pieces of content. They’re more educational and helpful.
Of these two kinds of content, the later is what I mean by a “blog post”. It doesn’t have to be called a “blog” for content to function like this. It could be an “article”, “news”, “library”, whatever. The point is, your website needs supplementary content that’s not just about the hard-sell.
But why do you need blog content like this?
- If we forget about SEO, for a moment, we have to remember: not every web visitor is ready to buy. Some are still doing research. Helpful (blog) content can help introduce these future customers to your company and your expertise.
- When it comes to our SEO efforts, blog content helps:
- Get long-tailed traffic from keywords we never thought might bring in customers.
- Give us an opportunity to build internal links to our key sales landing pages. These internal links will help them perform better in Google.
- Blog posts are better at attracting links to your website than sales-oriented landing pages. Good links are essential but hard to get. This makes this a little easier.
Some companies have a hard time finding what to write about in a blog. If you’ve done your keyword research, however, you’ll discover many ideas about which your customers want to learn.
What should you expect from this SEO blog checklist?
One of the SEO advantages of a blogging strategy is in the long-tail. The idea is that the number of possible phrases someone could search for to find your company and its services are really infinite. We’ll see this in an increased amount of organic traffic to our website as we “rank” for phrases we never thought people would search for.
Another advantage of the long-tail for our SEO efforts is that long-tailed traffic can convert at a very high rate. This is because we might be the only web page on the internet for some of these phrases- and, as such, only we can get that business from the customer who did that search. The problem is: although the conversion rate on very specific phrases is high, the number of people searching for very specific terms are extremely low. The good news here: you’ll find that long-tailed traffic can bring in as many new customers from the infinite number of possible, specific search queries as a very broad keyword might- and often times, more!
However, don’t be discouraged when you see that your blog has:
- A very high bounce rate. This is the nature of a blog post. A well-written blog post is helpful and not self-promotional. That means many people will visit a blog post and then leave, which is recorded as a bounce. In some ways, that means the blog successfully helped the user- which is part of the purpose.
- A low time on site. Again, if the blog is helpful people might not stick around- you’ve already answered their question.
- Low conversion rates on blog traffic. This might seem to contradict what I said about the long-tail (above) but it all depends on how you’re looking at the data. The long-tail says that traffic converts at a high rate for some specific search queries. However, if you combine all traffic for any blog post you might find a low conversion rate. This might be because blog posts can also generate a lot of irrelevant traffic that might not ever convert.
If you look at your blog’s data and see these trends, don’t think you’ve failed. In some ways, these metrics don’t matter. The blog benefits us even if our bounce rate is high (for example). There are ways to mitigate these problems, to get even more out of our blog, too.