As a business owner, you already know how important search engine optimization, or SEO, is for the success of your business. Boosting your online presence is integral to standing out from your competitors, but there’s no single way to do this. An effective SEO strategy requires using multiple SEO tools, one of which is a content strategy. You’ve probably heard that posting blog posts is part of many businesses’ digital marketing strategy, but if you’ve ever thought, “how much does blogging help SEO?”, you’re not alone.
As a leading home service SEO company, we’re here to tell you that there are numerous benefits of blogging to your SEO strategy. The short answer to the question, “how does blogging help with SEO?”, is that it makes a big impact on your on-site, or on-page SEO.
To learn about how it makes this impact, and how to get the most out of your site’s blog, keep reading.
When we talk about on-page, or on-site optimization, we’re referring to the SEO work that is done on your business’ website to make it easier for Google search engine algorithms to recognize your site as reputable and valuable, and subsequently rank it higher up on the search engine results page (SERP). The main components on on-site SEO include:
In contrast, off-site, or off-page SEO refers to optimization that does not occur on your website. For the most part, this refers to other websites—preferably sites that are recognized by Google as having authority—including external links that lead back to your site. Some off-page SEO strategies include:
This last point illustrates that, while blogging is an on-site SEO strategy, it has off-site SEO benefits as well. Regularly posting interesting, engaging, and relevant blog posts directly on your site gives you significantly more opportunities to integrate short- and long-tail keywords into your site’s content, and also increases the chance that you’ll receive more backlinks. In fact, a recent study found that businesses that use blogging as part of their on-site SEO strategy earn up to 97% more links back to their website.
Today, there are an estimated 1.6 to 1.9 billion websites on the internet. While not all these websites are relevant to your business, you can bet that the number of hits for a search query of “your industry + your location” will return hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of hits. For fun, give it a try right now.
Here’s the good news and the bad news—not all of these websites are equal competitors. In fact, most of them aren’t really even in the fight at all. However, according to a recent study, the first result on the SERP has a 28.5% click through rate, but by the time you get down to the tenth result, the click-rate drops down to a measly 2.5%. This means that your site doesn’t just need to be within the top 1,000 of the search engine rankings. To be truly competitive, you want your site to at least show up in the top ten results, but preferably in the top five.
Posting fresh content on a regular basis and consistently integrating keywords with opportunities within your site are both ranking factors for Google, as it demonstrates to the algorithm that your site is up to date. The easiest way to do both of these things is by blogging.
If you know anything about SEO, you know that keyword integration, when done correctly, has a very measurable effect on your visibility and traffic. But does blogging help SEO in less direct ways?
The answer is yes! You can write about how knowledgeable and experienced you and your team are until the cows come home, but that old adage of “show, don’t tell” rings true. Asking a prospective customer to just take your word that your products or services are going to benefit them is a lot to ask. How would you feel in their shoes? You’d want some proof, right?
Producing high-quality content through individual blog posts is just the way to do this. When you write and post valuable content that isn’t overtly commercialized, you come across as having authority within your industry and on the topic you’re writing about. This signals to potential customers—and Google—that you know what you’re doing. In other words, it demonstrates your high level of expertise.
A commonly used acronym within the SEO world is EAT. EAT stands for expertise, authority, trustworthiness. These three qualities are built directly into Google’s algorithm, and your website is assessed against them. Active blogs demonstrate expertise, and when you get lots of inbound links, Google also recognizes your site as having authority. Together, these tell Google that you are a trustworthy source.
To signal to Google that you are an authority within your niche, you need reputable external sites to link back to your site. These links are called backlinks, or incoming links and inbound links. If you don’t currently have a lot of backlinks, you may have to start out by doing outreach. Outreach involves contacting authoritative sites in, and sometimes outside of your niche, and asking them to include a backlink to your site.
With a successful SEO strategy, you won’t have to solicit backlinking as much, if at all, but in the beginning you can expect to receive lots of rejections. Most also won’t agree to link to any commercial content, such as service pages or home pages. You’re much more likely to get a yes if you ask for a backlink to non-commercial content, such as a highly informative blog post, that will actually be of benefit to the site’s readers.
The cool thing about this is that once you’ve got a potential client’s interest with your blog post, you can encourage them to continue exploring your site using internal link building. Though you don’t want to bombard them with links that lead to other pages on your site, a few relevant links can keep readers on your site even after they’ve finished reading the post.
The time a viewer spends on a page on your website is a good Google analytics indicator. Valuable relevant content that is relevant to what the visitor is searching for not only increases the time they spend on your website, but also decreases your website's bounce rate. The longer someone spends on your site, the better. If you have a high bounce rate, meaning that users don’t spend long on a page, this is an indication that your products, services, and content aren’t interesting or relevant enough to keep them on your site.
One of the most effective ways to decrease the bounce rate is by producing long-form content, such as blog posts. Once you capture their attention with your blog title and opening paragraph, readers are likely to continue to read the entire article. The longer the article, the longer they’ll stay on your page. However, keep in mind that the article has to be interesting enough to keep them reading. In other words, the long-form content that you produce has to be valuable to your audience.
Before becoming a paying client, most potential clients go through a journey throughout which they assess whether or not your business is right for them. Before propspects are aware of who you are and how you can help, they must be able to find you online. An integral part of this journey is your website content.
Perhaps one of the most important takeaways from the answer for the question, “how does blogging help SEO?” is that blog content that is created with the target audience in mind has value for the client. When producing writing, ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer to both is yes, you can feel relatively confident that your blog posts are valuable to prospective and current clients. Providing valuable content without asking for anything in return (other than your call-to-action, or CTA) helps build relationships with your clients.
Rather than you simply asking them to spend their hard-earned money on your services without getting anything in return, you signal to customers that you’re not just interested in a transaction, but a relationship of mutual trust and respect. Not only does this help convert prospective clients into buyers, but it also helps instill customer loyalty, ensuring that your customers choose you for products and services in the future as well.
Content not only help you become discoverable in search engines, it also helps you build elationships with prospective clients by demonstrating your expertise.
While the question “does blogging help SEO” may not be straightforward for all, when answering “does keyword research help SEO,” you can expect a unanimous “yes” without hesitation.
Unless you do your own SEO, you may not know that keyword research isn’t as simple as finding the relevant keywords with the highest search volume, scattering these through the pages on your website, and calling it a day. There are a couple problems with this approach:
To be effective, you want to sprinkle lots of lower volume long-tail focus keywords throughout your site. Long-tail keywords are phrases that are generally composed of 3 to 5 words. Finding the sweet spot between competitiveness and value of long-tail keywords is what SEO experts aim to do. These types of keywords are harder to fit into things like service pages and main pages, but very easy to fit into blog posts.
At the end of the day, if someone asks you, “how does blogging help SEO?”, you can encompass most of the above benefits by stating that it helps generate more organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to website traffic that you receive for free. This is in contrast to getting more traffic through means such as paid ads and other forms of paid marketing.
Blogging helps SEO by increasing the number of backlinks that you have, boosting click-through rates, decreasing cost per lead, increasing call volume, and increasing website traffic. If you’re not running an active blog for your business, you’re missing out on major organic traffic opportunities.
At this point in the article, you’ve hopefully realized that blogging in and of itself doesn’t help SEO. Blog posts need to contain a few different elements in order to contribute in any real way to your SEO strategy:
As a business owner, your time is valuable. Spend more time on other areas of your business and leave the blogging, content writing, and SEO keyword research to the talented team at Digital Shift.
For a free consultation and a no-obligation quote, give our digital marketing experts a call today.