The Importance of Directory Submission for SEO

The Importance of Directory Submission for SEO

It can seem as though the best practice in SEO changes daily – and it almost does, as it’s estimated that Google makes tweaks to the algorithms behind their search systems up to 200 times a year!

There are many elements important to achieving the optimum search engine ranking through SEO practices, and Directory Submission is just one of them. A practice that many misinterpret and lots of people believe is now outdated, Directory Submission remains hugely beneficial for SEO and local SEO too if managed correctly. Here, the Woya Digital SEO team explain just how it can help and how best to make a start.

The SEO Basics

SEO is an acronym standing for Search Engine Optimisation, and refers to the practice of optimising a website to be easily read and understood by the algorithm programming that search engines operate on. When search engines are able to scan and comprehend the theme, quality and navigation of a website easily, they are more likely to rank them accurately and highly when a user enters a relevant search term or keyword.

Ranking as highly as possible in relevant search engine results organically gives businesses competitive advantage above others in their industry, and allows for the maximum value to be derived from free search rankings before any paid-for advertisements are invested in.

SEO comprises activities both on and off the website. On-site, this includes the publication of relevant, timely and shareable content as well as the optimisation of user experience factors. Off site, this includes links to the site from other high-authority sources and positive mentions of the brand. One valuable off-site element to SEO is Directory Submission, which falls under the category of links from appropriate, authoritarian sources.

Directory Submission and How It Works

Online directories are digital catalogues of websites and other online sources. These directories are searched by internet users looking for brands or businesses in certain sectors or industries to meet their needs, and so those browsing these sites are usually already interested in whatever it is the business is trying to sell.

Directory Submission is the provision of brand information to directories in order to request a listing on the site. This usually involves the filling out of relevant forms online.

Directory listings aren’t (and shouldn’t be) automatically granted but instead should be judged on their merit and individual contribution. However, historically, this hasn’t always been the case – which has earned Directory Submission a bad reputation. In the days of fledgling SEO when businesses primarily relied on practices such as keyword stuffing and spam backlinks. Today, this is considered bad practice SEO-wise and will result in Google and other search engines penalising and down-ranking their listings; so it is imperative that brands only submit to accurate, appropriate and decent-authority directories.

The Benefits of Directory Submission

When done correctly, Directory Submission can be hugely beneficial for SEO and local SEO. Gaining a listing on a relevant and high-authority directory site provides several elements to help improve a brand’s SEO ranking, including (but by no means limited to):

One-Way Backlinks

Backlinks to a website that are one-way rather than reciprocal are rated highly by search engines as they demonstrate valued and trusted content. Directories don’t ask for a reciprocal link as standard practice and so usually, landing a listing is a valuable and trusted one-way link opportunity that can help further SEO ranking. In addition, the link is further boosted in its value in being listed alongside fellow businesses in the same industry or niche, proving it is relevant. The older, more established and relevant a directory, the more impetus will be on the link.

Faster Initial Listing

Web crawlers – the automated programs that ‘crawl’ the internet looking for new websites and content – pick up on directory listings quickly. If a site hasn’t yet been indexed by search engines, it will be within just a couple of days of having a successful Directory Submission and receiving a listing, expediting its presence on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

NAP

NAP stands for name, address and phone number, basic elements that make up part of a directory listing. What is of importance in directory listings is that the NAP details are entered in exactly the same way across different directories, and exactly match how these details are displayed on the business website too, to gain maximum benefit.

Increased Keyword Relevance

When a Directory Submission is successful and a link appears alongside other related businesses and listings, this reinforces the theme of the site to search engine algorithms, further improving the machine learning comprehension of which keywords and phrases are best for the brand to organically rank within and alongside.

Brand Awareness

In many cases, those browsing a directory will not already be aware of the brand and so this puts the company name in front of a new audience, furthering their exposure. There may also be opportunity in the awareness of the brand gained by those working with and for the directory – in terms of strategic business relationships or advertising moving forward. When more people know about a brand, the more likely they are to post about it and mention it online; advancing organic SEO ranking even further.

A Quick, Easy and Usually Free SEO Tactic

SEO activities take time, technical know-how and can be expensive. Directory Submission however, can be quick and is often free – although where a cost is incurred it is not usually excessive. Gaining a listing on an appropriate directory is one of the most economically reasonable ways to obtain backlinks, boost brand awareness and reinforce keyword targeting. It is, however, imperative that the quality of the directories is high. If this is not the case, the listing may have the opposite effect on SEO to the desired.

Why is Directory Submission Important?

Directory Submission is considered a good ‘all-rounder’ when it comes to SEO practices – it is off-site, it provides exposure and back-links, and provides brands details to a relevant and already-interested audience. It makes up a crucial part of the SEO puzzle and positively reinforces the work into other areas.

Directory Submission needs to be done well and appropriately as if pitched inaccurately, will negate SEO efforts rather than improve them.

How to Know Which Directories are Appropriate for Your Brand

Unfortunately, there remain a great deal of online directories that were set up in the heyday of what is now known as ‘Black Hat SEO techniques’, the now outdated practice of setting up as many backlinks as possible, no matter how relevant they were.

Google and other search engines have vastly improved their algorithms’ machine learning of what is an appropriate listing and what isn’t, and so if a Directory Submission is made to one of these sites, they are now more likely to penalise the brand through its SERP rankings than they are to improve them. This does mean that it is critical for businesses to only provide Directory Submissions for genuine, trustworthy, high-authority listings sites. But how best to judge if a directory is worth the risk for submission? There are some basic steps you can take.

Only Make Directory Submissions to Sites that DON’T Accept Every Submission

If a directory accepts and publishes every listing submitted to it, then it’s not undergoing any proper checks for accuracy or appropriateness.

While all directory sites may give an indication of an SLA for listing publication once a submission has been received, it should not guarantee to list everything as this will simply reflect a lack of relevant censorship. The more exclusive the directory, the better – even if it does mean the brand isn’t accepted in right away or the first time they submit a listing request.

Check the DA and Quality of Directories Before Submission

There are several DA-checking websites that can provide you with the quality data behind a web presence simply through the typing in of a URL, with a basic analysis scan run in the background. If a directory’s DA is low, its quality score isn’t positive or if it is marked as spam, it should be avoided and no Directory Submission made to it as it is likely to hinder rather than help SEO efforts.

Make Sure Your Business is Listed on the Important Directories

There are core directories that you should ensure your business is listed on which include but are not limited to directories such as: Yell, Yelp, Four Square, Bing Local, Google Business Profile.

 Work with SEO Directory Submission Experts

Here at Woya Digital we’ve been working with reputable and trusted directories for many years and have built up wonderful strategic working relationships with several.

Working with our team of SEO experts ensures you’re able to unlock the expertise of a specialist team who don’t just take the time to complete Directory Submission forms, but also ensure that submissions are being made to high-authority, relevant and worthwhile sites.

We manage Directory Submissions alongside other on- and off-site SEO activity to get our clients the best possible organic rankings in appropriate SERPS, no matter how tough their competition. Get in touch with our team today to discuss how we could manage your Directory Submissions and other SEO to boost your performance.

 

The Benefit of an SEO Competitor Analysis

The Benefit of an SEO Competitor Analysis

Here at Woya Digital, we’re passionate about helping businesses do better digitally and our SEO services form just one part of our commitment.

Our SEO packages include the completion of a full website audit and also an SEO competitor analysis too. A competitor analysis is an important step in any business SEO strategy, below we explain why.

An SEO Overview

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation; the practice of optimising web content in order for it to rank as high as possible amongst relevant search terms and keywords when a search engine user looks up something relevant to a business.

Although there are a variety of search engines used worldwide, most guidance and information relating to SEO is primarily focused on Google, as they hold an over 92% market share. Generally speaking, actions taken to improve visibility on Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) will usually also improve visibility on other search engines too. The higher a business ranks for appropriate keywords and terms, the more exposure it gains to its target audience; which in turn will lead to competitive advantage, increased awareness and climbing sales.

Actions businesses can take to improve their SEO include technical intervention such as coding changes, the creation of relevant and educational content and the proper structure and navigation of web pages within a site.

Where a website appears in search engine listings without a paid-for placement, this is known as organic SERP ranking. Lots can be achieved organically but it is not uncommon for businesses to combine their SEO efforts with paid advertising such as PPC (Pay-Per-Click, where every clickthrough incurs a small cost), CPM (Cost Per Mille, where every 1000 impressions of a listing incurs a cost) or CPC (Cost Per Conversion, where a fee is paid upon completion of a desired action). Before any paid advertising activity is purchased, it is always advised that a full SEO website audit is carried out in order to first maximise the impact of whatever can be achieved organically; to avoid unnecessary spend.

When Should an SEO Competitor Analysis be Carried Out?

Before any SEO plan or strategy is drawn up, the initial state of affairs for the business website in question should be understood.

An SEO website audit allows for businesses to best assert:

    • Priorities for areas of urgent improvement or update in order to boost SEO
    • The best possible path for an easy user journey and experience based on existing user behaviours
    • Whether the current performance of the site is sufficient for a positive user experience
    • If accessibility standards on the site meet the current requirements held by search engines
    • How best to approach an SEO plan that will be productive and efficient in advancing organic search reach and exposure.

At this stage of the SEO planning process, an SEO competitor analysis can also be impactful. The results of this analysis should feed into the overall SEO strategy formulation as the existing website audit does and so should be completed before any plans are drawn up.

What is an SEO Competitor Analysis?

A competitor analysis is a smaller piece of work than the SEO website audit that will be carried out for the customer audit but should not be underestimated in its power. This is an audit in which information on a competitor’s web presence is studied.

This will provide details on which SEO tactics the competitor is deploying and benefitting from, which keywords and terms are relevant to them, and general information on their website’s performance. All of this can be used to help tailor the business’ own SEO plans – picking up where the competitors are falling short in order to gain competitive advantage, and rank above them organically on SERPs.

Why is Competitor Analysis Important in SEO?

Undertaking an SEO competitor analysis is important as it provides not just information on how the business is performing digitally, but also the standards which it should meet in order to rank with others in their relevant field or industry.

Businesses can work as much as they like on their own SEO strategy and operations but doing so without an idea of the bigger picture will lessen the efficiency of their work and could even render it entirely unnecessary. In some circumstances, SEO competitor analysis may even uncover competitors that business’ didn’t understand were a threat to them. Competitors online often vary from those offline and the market within which they operate differs too.

The Benefits of Competitor Analysis

It is often the case that those working in digital marketing or specific SEO practices must justify their planned resource workload with a business case to others in the business; especially where perhaps not all senior management understand the ins and outs of the work.

It is understandable that not everyone comprehends the need for SEO competitor analysis – and indeed it is not proposed that it happens as a standalone project without a complete SEO website audit as it is externally focused, but there are many benefits to carrying one out. Such advantages include:

Clarity on Keywords and Terms – Keyword Gap Analysis

Where many businesses operate in a single sector or space, it is likely that they will all target similar (if not the same) keywords in order to appeal to their target audience. Understanding how others in the field target such phrases and where they achieve success will help other brands build a picture of how and where they should target them, as well as to achieve the maximum possible results from keyword targeting through organic means before any paid-for advertising is invested in.

Content Focus

Businesses seeking to create and publish relevant, useful, educational and shareable content to their websites and other digital presences understand the need for such content to be well curated in order for it to be optimised. An SEO competitor analysis allows for an understanding of what other brands in the space are doing and to identify areas for improvement, gaps for customers where content could be produced to meet needs, and to find what has rendered success that could be replicated.

Gain Competitive Link Data

Backlink profiles for competitors’ websites can be hugely helpful. Accessing data on what authoritative links direct to competitors’ websites as well as what they link to themselves allows for opportunities for strategic link building and relationship building to be identified.

Web Design and UX Analysis

Gaining insight into how competitors design and manage their branding and online presence as well as what they deliver in terms of digital user experience can help identify opportunities for improvement.

If a competitors’ website is slow to load or non-responsive to devices, it could be that the business is able to gain further advantage in offering a better UX but if the state of play is the other way around, they can look to incorporate improvements. In industries or sectors where the target audience may have specific accessibility needs, it may be that ideas can be taken from others in order to help offer up a better service.

Geographic Locality Targeting

For businesses that operate in a certain geographic location, local SEO targeting should be not underestimated. While general SEO competitor analysis is useful, a spotlight should also be shone on the optimisation of local listings through Google Business Profile.

Google Business Profile allows for geographic targeting through some basic information provision. If competitors haven’t filed their local listings, any business who have will almost definitely have an advantage SEO wise. It is also worth understanding how good competitors are at encouraging review content on Google Business Profile and how/if they respond to such testimonials – as these can be hugely impactful on organic ranking.

Real Customer Reviews

Authentic customer testimonials make for a fantastic marketing tool and there are several independent third-party websites that host such reviews and offer behind-the-scenes analysis tools for them.

Customer reviews provide a great insight into competitors’ customer service approach and business direction but also can be helpful in demonstrating how they are being talked about and linked to online – all of which contribute to SEO rankings indirectly. If a business isn’t giving consumers a space digitally for reviews, they should consider doing so; and if not on the brand’s own website, somewhere high-authority with helpful audit tools and dashboards.

Starting out with SEO Competitor Analysis and Other SEO Services

Woya Digital includes an SEO competitor analysis as part of our standard SEO service; maximising the value of our services to our clients, and ensuring you rank where you should, when you should, for who you should.

Want to learn more on how we can support your business growth? Get in touch!

Why We Start an SEO Campaign with a Website Audit

Why We Start an SEO Campaign with a Website Audit

With the prevalence and reliance on the internet that society now holds, SEO is very much a critical business practice in order to gain competitive advantage as well as the necessary visibility and exposure required to gain brand awareness and positive brand perception.

At Woya Digital, we plan and operate SEO campaigns for businesses of all types, shapes and sizes – and one of the first steps in doing this is to carry out a full website audit. But what is a website audit and how does it contribute to a brand’s SEO? Let us explain…

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation; the practice in which a business aims to improve their organic (not paid-for) ranking on search engines. This is done through the improvement of sources from which search engine algorithms judge the relevancy, accuracy and quality of the data on any website and therefore determines when and where it is appropriate to position it in search engine results.

For the most part, SEO guidance and practice focuses on appealing to Google’s algorithm but there are slightly different approaches to be taken in order to meet the needs of smaller search engines too.

In order to improve organic search ranking on search engines, there are several practices businesses can undertake. This includes:

    • ‘On-Page SEO’ – the creation and publication of relevant and shareable content that helps demonstrate to search engines what the brand is about and who its appropriate for
    • ‘Off-Page SEO’ – mentions of and links from high-authority websites or channels to reiterate the authenticity and reliability of the brand to search engines
    • Technical SEO – the user experience and safety of a website to ensure that’s easy to access and safe for users
    • Local SEO – the marking of a physical business with a geographical location so that it ranks higher in results to those looking for a brand/product/service in that area or in the language used in that area
    • App Store Optimisation – the practice of ensuring that the brand is ranked highly in the results pages of app stores when a potential user searches for a related term.

An SEO strategy is a plan of ongoing effort to boost the rankings of a business’ digital presence above that of its competitors and to keep it as high as possible. It is not a ‘one-and-done’ job but rather something a brand must work at continuously to meet the ever-developing needs of consumers and of changing algorithms.

It is not known exactly how often search engines update their algorithms and programming but it’s estimated that Google do so almost daily; and so it is not enough for businesses to update everything and then sit on their laurels as the ranking will only deteriorate over time.

Why is a Website Audit carried out?

Carrying out a website audit is the first stage in any SEO strategy planning. This audit analyses the existing site for any initial areas for concern or improvement, providing a baseline foundation from which SEO work can be planned and implemented. Should there be any areas on the website that are believed to be hindering SEO efforts, these can be tackled as a priority before further work begins.

If a business website has been created professionally and in line with best practice SEO standards, it may be that the work to be done may not be too comprehensive or complex.

Regardless of the status of the website, an SEO website audit allows for a picture to be built up of what work needs to be done; avoiding any unnecessary work or duplication of work carried out.

A content audit may be carried out as part of a wider website audit and this looks to analyse the types of content on the site and how well it performs for and is received by its audience. This is enacted in order to influence the future direction of relevant content to improve its chances of success.

What is a Website Audit?

A website audit is a general analysis of a business website to review its performance, areas for concern and/or improvement, and user experience. All businesses should have a website audit in order to continuously improve their online presence. Every page is analysed alongside the full navigation and overall experience the site delivers.

There are several software programs and online services offering automated website audits, we even have a free instant audit on our home page, check it out.

But for in depth analysis we would recommend that an audit is done manually by a professional with expertise in both user experience and SEO. At Woya Digital, our staff carry out comprehensive website audits routinely and regularly on sites of all types, sizes and functionality.

What is analysed as part of a Website Audit?

An extensive and complete website audit should begin with a general overview of first-hand site experience, before the following areas are analysed:

    • Website Performance Assessment – a brief navigation assessment of the function users experience as they attempt to navigate the website. How fast do pages load? Do all internal links work? Is it easy to find what you’re looking for? Does navigation appear intuitive; are things where you’d expect them to be? Is the site up when you try to access it?

This will identify areas that could be laid out more easily and increase the navigation of the site in order to increase conversion rates.

    • Content Assessment – an analysis of the content that’s on the site to judge its relevancy and appropriateness for the target audience.

Is the content relevant to the brand’s niche or theme? Is it easily shareable? Is it easy to consume with relevant headings and sub-headings? Does it load fast enough? What are the bounce rates from the site on content pages – and where do users go to afterward? Is the content tailored to the buyer personas/target audience? Does it contain call to actions related to the brand? Is the keyword performance as expected?

This will help focus the types and direction of future content published by the brand to ensure its maximum efficiency and optimisation.

    • Conversion Rate Assessment – websites should function not just to inform and educate customers on the brand and its product/s and service/s but also to drive users to complete a desired action – be that make a purchase, give details or get in contact with a business representative.

Does every page have easy-to-find contact details or direction for where to find further information? Where specific calls to action exist are they being used? Is the language used on calls to action clear and concise? Is there a variety of calls to action available to appeal to different buyer personas?

This will help improve conversion rates and ideally, overall sales volumes.

    • Technical Assessment – a developer, IT expert or SEO consultant should undertake a technical assessment. This does overlap with some previously analysed areas – performance, SEO and conversion rates – but takes into account the technical input and performance of these elements to assess where they can be improved from a development angle.

Has the site been built with responsive design to allow for it to adapt to the device on which it’s been viewed? Is the site free of error messages? Do additional accessibility tools work on the site where they may be needed? Are URLs optimised? Is there unnecessary code? Is the route for web page crawling and indexing well defined? Are public and XML sitemaps in place? Has the canonicalisation of content been defined?

This will identify technical improvements that can be made to better raise the site’s visibility in search engines that may go unnoticed by those without specific technical knowhow.

The Benefits of Competitor Analysis

It is prudent for businesses to undertake a basic SEO website audit of their competitors sites as well as their own. There are various benefits to this, including:

    • Understanding where and how competitors may rank above the business in order to optimise their site to feature alongside, if not above, them.
    • To understand key words and phrases which may be relevant for the business that they too could produce content to cater for.
    • To understand how competitive key words and phrases may be better utilised to gain competitive advantage organically – and reduce the need for spending on key word targeting.
    • To understand what kind of content the target audience is sharing, engaging with and benefiting from – and replicating such an approach.

Although not all aspects of a competitor’s website can be easily analysed, it is worth gaining an overview to best position the brand against them and learn from them.

Where to Begin with a Website Audit

Woya Digital offer a full SEO website audit as the very first element of all our SEO packages, with expert SEO consultants carrying out work to the highest possible standard before making recommendations for tangible improvement.

Sounds like something your business would benefit from? Get in touch!

 

The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses

The Importance of SEO for Small Businesses

Search Engine Optimisation can seem like a daunting task for brands of all shapes, sizes and types. Big numbers and stupendous statistics often make a topic’s natural association reside with large, multinational corporations, but for SEO this is certainly not the case – it is important for even the smallest of business.

SEO is not just for Big Businesses

While the factors that impact how a business ranks on search engine results pages remain the same no matter the type of organisation or its size (in any terms), how it is practiced and its benefits can vary. SEO is by no means something that only large businesses should focus on, but something for any organisation that may have someone searching for it, or for a relevant product or service.

Of course, it is unlikely that many small businesses will have the same level of investment and resource to pour into their SEO management, but this doesn’t mean it should be any less effective. SEO for small businesses has unique benefits also in terms of location targeting, and can support higher ranking for relevant local users rather than larger companies who are unable to demonstrate the same localised focus.

Combined with a Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) account, correct (and current) SEO improvement activity can gain easy organic ranking for geographically-appropriate users as well as a map entry, full business profile and even above-the-fold contact information and details. Local rankings are extremely effective as the map prominence really stands out amongst the usual text-only formatting. This can be hugely beneficial for those small businesses with bricks-and-mortar locations.

Although larger corporates are likely to have more budget, this isn’t to say that SEO for small businesses should just be a ‘DIY-when-we-have-time’ job. Instead, it should be delegated to a specialist agency for thorough and effective management.

Affordable SEO for Small Business

SEO for smaller businesses tends to be more finely focused and so can easily be managed on a budget that doesn’t impede on other marketing operations. Woya Digital offer pay monthly SEO packages designed to provide great value SEO for small businesses..

Any agency that insists SEO requires vast amounts of money to be invested into it are chasing revenue and not results.

What does SEO ROI look like?

As with everything, what you get out is a reflection of what you put in – so it’s always worth working with specialists and heeding their advice in order to reap the most benefits.

The ROI of SEO for small businesses will translate into an improved bottom line and business growth over time, but further measures can be more easily identified over the short term. These include:

– higher levels of organic traffic to the brand’s website and any other online presence
– higher levels of visibility through more prominent rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) for related queries (key words or terms)
– higher levels of brand awareness
– more contact queries directed to the business.

SEO efforts should have a discernible impact that can be demonstrated in measured reports within months of their input. SEO is a marketing activity that happens within constantly moving goalposts, so although the journey may not be wholly fluid, it should be always in an upward curve and positive trend. Long term, good SEO will result in higher profits and business growth as well as competitive advantage above others.

Investing in SEO for Small Businesses

The power of SEO for small businesses is often underestimated, because it can seem daunting and complex, as well as considerably time-consuming for organisations who don’t have lots of marketing staff or tech experts to spare. However, as consumer behaviour shifts permanently to increasing online search on mobile devices, SEO cannot be ignored by any business looking to maintain a customer base and gain competitive advantage.

Working with a supportive specialist partner will allow small companies to continue with business-as-usual and rest assured that their online visibility is increasing and exposing their brand, products and services to new relevant audiences.

We take an entirely bespoke approach to every business, managing their SEO in line with their goals and requirements. Monthly reports feed back results achieved and help demonstrate the ‘bang for your buck’, entirely transparently to present value obtained and the ROI gained. Contact the Woya Digital team to discuss how tailored SEO for your small business could help grow your organisation.

 

Does Blogging Help SEO?

Does Blogging Help SEO?

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?

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.