The word blog is just 25 years old and the acronym SEO only a little less so – but both are now used daily by millions around the world as part of regular vernacular. Optimising content to best appeal to the programming algorithms behind search engines is a full-time job, and the approaches taken vary widely between businesses of all shapes, sizes and types.
Investing time in creating relevant content for a blog is a popular method of demonstrating expertise, positioning a brand as a thought leader and producing content for marketing online but does blogging help SEO or is it an unnecessary time investment?
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Blogging: A Definition
The word blog is an abbreviation of the term ‘weblog’, which when launched back in the 1990s referred to a listing of text, images or other ‘objects’ arranged in a chronological order online and normally hosted on its own domain; not dissimilar to the social media feeds we’re all so au fait with nowadays.
Today, blogging refers to the creation of regular content – usually text and complemented with imagery, videos and other content. No longer just subject to a domain of its own, many blogs now sit within other websites. In the case of businesses, a blog is often used to produce and add content relevant to the brand’s product, service, industry or niche, to the brands website.
Why is Blogging Important?
Blogging has many benefits. And to answer the big question, YES – it does help SEO!
Blogs, when constructed properly with relevant content within, can help search engines identify the theme and intended/appropriate audience of the site and brand. This helps improve organic search engine ranking, but isn’t the only benefit to businesses blogging regularly. The opportunity for link building can reinforce authenticity to search engines; offering more potential for increasing traffic.
The algorithm behind Google and other search engines thrives on websites that produce regular fresh content as this indicates ongoing relevance, a willingness to work and a reinforcement of the purpose, theme and status of an online presence. As search engines ‘crawl’ and index websites, they work through internal link structures to further their understanding of the domain.
The creation of appropriate content through a blog allows brands to position themselves as experts in their field and to act as a thought leader, even where they’re a new or emerging business. This demonstration of expertise will appeal to potential and existing customers as well as other interested parties. The more opportunities that search engines have to understand what a website is about, who it’s for and how it operates, the more likely it is to rank more highly on SERPs (search engine results pages), the entire purpose of SEO activity.
Structuring and Optimising Blogs
One of the first cues that search engines use to comprehend relevance and theme is the written text on a site; from which the algorithm selects and analyses the language used. This means that the usage of language appropriate to the blog is critical for SEO. The inclusion of relevant keywords and key phrases are the most popular way for blog creators to demonstrate the topic of their site to a search engine – but there is a degree of science behind it.
Blog creators should carry out keyword research before they begin to write their blog content, and should structure their blogs according to search engine preferences, with relevant keyword usage in headers and body text. However – and perhaps most essential of all – keywords should only be used in an organic and appropriate manner. If the use of keywords or related phrases simply mean that the text within doesn’t make sense, the search engines will pick up on this and penalise the blog’s SERP rating as a result. Professional blog writers and content creators will be able to work just about any keyword or phrase into their written copy; but this is very much an art and is not a skill held by everyone.
SEO considerations do not just refer to the text on a page, however. Sites must load quickly, be as accessible as possible, be built with responsive design to adapt to whichever browser they’re being viewed on and sit on a secure domain. While these factors may not necessarily sit under the responsibility of a blog creator per se, they should remain under the control of the brand and prioritised as part of their ongoing SEO work.
The Onward Promotion of Blogs
Blogs present the opportunity for marketing across a variety of channels, to reinforce a brand industry leader perception and, they direct users back to a business’ domain.
Links from social media networks, other relevant websites and news sites to blogs all help further demonstrate their use and authenticity to search engines – as well as providing some much needed (and often evergreen) content that can be used as a marketing tool or even lead magnet time and time again.
Regular blogging under a consistent strategy is hugely beneficial to businesses looking to improve their SEO and should not be underestimated in importance of building relationships with customers; both potential and existing. While blogging may seem to some a bit of a wishy-washy practice bound to age, it has lasted the test of time in the virtual world – and will remain a digital priority for anyone serious about ranking well for their audience whenever a relevant query is made through a search engine.
For more information on how our expert blogging team could nurture your brand, contact Woya Digital to discuss service packages and options.