Blogging and SEO are both undoubtedly tactics that you should have firmly embedded within your wider marketing strategy. However, you may be wondering how the two can work together to generate great results and ultimately grow your business.
What is a Blog?
This may sound like a silly question when you take into account that 89% of marketers are now using blog posts in their wider content creation strategy. Originating as an online journal, blogs have come on leaps and bounds since then and are now being leveraged by businesses to attract and engage visitors. The main purpose of a blog is to provide relevant and valuable written content to an audience, boosting website traffic and sending quality leads to your site.
What is SEO?
SEO, search engine optimisation, is the practice or process of increasing a website’s organic visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). In a nutshell, your ranking will determine the position your website sits in search results for specific keywords or queries. The higher a website ranks in SERPs the higher the click-through rate will be, offering a better opportunity to increase conversions.
SEO is predominantly broken down into 3 different types – technical, on-page, and off-page, all of which contribute to building your website’s authority and trust in both the eyes of the search engine and of course, the users.
A basic understanding of SEO and the best practices is a must-have in your marketing tool belt but can sometimes be tricky to wrap your head around.
What is Blog SEO?
Search engines will likely be the key driver of traffic to your blog. Directing users to your content organically via key search terms or queries.
Blog SEO is the practice of optimising a blog’s content as well as the technical elements to ensure that the blog content can be understood and read by search engines as well as provide a good experience for visitors. We’ll go into more details about these elements in the ‘how to optimise your blog’ section.
Does Blogging Help SEO?
The simple answer is yes, blogging helps boost your website’s SEO quality by providing written content that is relevant and valuable to users seeking the answers you have available. It’s important to note that having a blog itself is not a ranking factor. However, blogs are crucial to ticking off some of the important ranking factors. A blog that is consistently updated with posts that are of high quality and provide value to the readers can make a big difference in your overall website’s performance.
Visitors browse your website for longer: If you provide long-form content that contains insights hard to come by elsewhere, your users are much more likely to stay on your webpage for longer. Offering valuable content builds trust with your audience, encouraging them to share content or return for more.
If your visitors are staying for longer your average session duration or dwell time will be extended, reducing bounce rates, increasing visits as well as the potential for growing your average pages per session. All are very good indicators to Google that you’re providing trusted and authoritative information to your users.
Keeping Your Website Fresh
By regularly updating your blog content on a weekly basis you’re not only providing more great content to your audience but you’re showing SEs (search engines) that you consistently update and maintain your website. While it hasn’t been confirmed that ‘content freshness’ can affect rankings, it goes without saying that Google will always provide content that is relevant and recent to searchers.
Targeting Long-Tail Keywords
Blogging offers a great opportunity for businesses to target long-tail keywords, search queries that are commonly constructed of four words or more. Some of these keywords may be difficult to embed in your usual product or service pages, your blogs enable you to do this naturally. More qualified traffic is likely to arrive on your site through long-tail keywords when users are conducting research or seeking answers to questions.
Google uses links to crawl the web, learning the entire time how websites and web pages link together. Editorial links are a great example of links that can be obtained naturally and gives a nod to search engines that your content is reliable. There is no right or wrong practice for this as it largely relies on other sites, there is no guarantee that you’ll attain them. However, by providing unique blog content or a new study you’ll have a much greater chance of gaining editorial links.
How To Optimise Your Blog Posts For SEO – Annotated Example
Title and Title Tag
Title and Title Tag: A recent study suggests there is a correlation between using keyword-rich titles and first-page rankings. Always try to include your core keyword within the page’s title tag.
H1, H2, and H3 Headings
Most CMS tools like WordPress will try to do this automatically for you but it can sometimes be confused. Your H1 heading should reflect the title of your blog, however, you should ensure this is a slightly different variation of the page’s title tag. H2s and H3s can be used to break up sections using subheadings, they help provide context to the content on the page.
Length Of Your Content
As a rule of thumb, it’s good to include keywords of terms that are relevant to the topic within the first 100 words. This assures SEs of the relationship between your titles and content. Though not considered to be a ranking factor, you should consider the length of your content too, long-form content tends to perform better in search results due to being more explorative and offering more insights.
Images and Alt-Text
SEs, unlike humans, do not have the wonders of sight. Use image alt-text to describe the images you include in your content. SEs will use this text as a relevancy signal, it will also improve the user experience for those who are visually impaired too.
Both external and internal links can help search engines understand the content within your blog. Internal links assist crawlers to identify the relationship between the blog and other related content, improving relevance. External links benefit both SEs and users as it enables them to explore sources of information whilst solidifying the SEs knowledge of what your content is about.
SEO and Content Marketing Solutions at Bright Design
At Bright Design we leverage the latest search optimisation techniques to ensure our client partners gain the recognition their businesses deserve. By combining our SEO expertise with our experienced and innovative delivery team we’ve cracked the formula for attaining growth through content. To get started on your journey get in touch with our team today to discuss your digital marketing strategy.