When was the last time you did a Google search for something? If the answer is “two minutes ago, when I typed ‘can blogging help with SEO’ into the search window,” then congratulations to both of us, because yes, it can.
The short answer to the question (apart from “yes, it can”) is that, regardless of what type of website you run, it needs to be easily found in order to be successful. For a level up in findability, starting an on-point blog can drastically improve your chances of showing up when someone does a Google search relevant to your interests.
It certainly isn’t easy to ensure that you show up on the first page of a Google search. But blogging can make a big difference in the likelihood.
Let’s take a look at how.
Blogging Helps With Keyword Targeting
SEO basically operates in bulk, and is incredibly competitive. If you have a target keyword that is used by a lot of websites (“art supplies,” for instance), the odds are that your website isn’t going to be the number one result when someone does a search for art supply experts. You’re probably going to get buried by the plethora of other sites out there, many of whom are likely to be larger and more prolific.
That’s when it’s a good tactic to turn to long-tail keywords, which are generally phrases longer than one or two words, with more specific details included. Do you have a specialty? “Waxwork art supplies for beginners” may not draw as much general traffic, but there will also be less competition for top spot in the Google search.
Long-tail keywords can help you to rank in the search engines, while still being relevant to your site. Half of all searches are actually for phrases or terms that are at least four, if not more, words long. The trouble is, sometimes these keywords can be a little more difficult or awkward to try and fit on your product pages.
That’s where a blog comes in.
Blogs are great for answering FAQs and addressing other issues, which very well may be the question of which brand of waxwork art supplies for beginners is the best. Using these targeted keywords in a blog can enrich your Google status, drive your readers to your site, and attract traffic that is already interested in what you have to offer. If you get a hundred motivated viewers based on a less-common long-tail keyword, it’s going to be a lot more profitable to you than hoping that the thousands of viewers searching the more-common terms hunt through eight pages of Google to find your site.
Blogging Keeps Your Website Up To Date
It isn’t always possible, or even always a good idea, to continually change the main page of your website. Stability and a familiar overall look can be helpful for recurrent visitors. On the other hand, if your website never gets updated, that can stall interest and trust — it might look as though your site isn’t maintained.
There could be a number of reasons behind that. How does your viewer know that your company hasn’t gone out of business? How do they know that you still offer what you claim to offer? What if the information on the site isn’t accurate? However you look at it, it’s kind of a dead zone.
Google pays attention to this, too. It doesn’t want to send its searchers to something that hasn’t been touched since the Dark Ages — for the most relevant results, it looks for websites that are regularly updated, altered, and which give evidence of maintenance. This ties in to the search engine algorithms, as well, causing your site to pop up more and more.
Without doing an overhaul of your website main page on a regular basis, blogging gives you a quick and easy way to add fresh content to your site, keeping your visitors interested and you on Google’s radar.
Blogging Provides Opportunities for Internal Linking
Internal links are a big boost for SEO. Since effective SEO involves links of all kinds, it makes sense to include the ones that you can create for yourself: links that send your reader to another section of your site, or another article, another blog post, etc.
Of course, you’re going to have internal links established within the main pages as it is. You want people to be able to navigate your site easily. But running a WordPress blog gives you even more opportunities to direct attention to other aspects of your site. If you’re writing blog articles or answering questions that are generally related to other, similar topics, it’s an organic process to add “You may be interested in…” and link to the sister article.
Specific anchor text, too, tells Google what you’re writing about, thus strengthening the connection to target keywords and making your Search Engine Optimization ever more Optimized.
Adding pictures and other images also effective SEO is built of a lot of puzzle pieces. Choosing and using images wisely within your content can help you level up.
Blogging Provides Others With Opportunities For Linking Back
Speaking of links, did you know that research done by HubSpot has shown that companies with an active blog on their site earn up to 55% more website visitors?
There’s a simple reason for this. If you write effective, informative articles that are helpful and interesting to the reader, everyone wants a piece of it. The more useful information you provide in your blog articles, the more that other websites are going to reference your blog, and direct their readers to you.
This is incredibly helpful for driving traffic, of course, and a huge benefit of running a blog. Inbound links from outside sources are more difficult to get than internal linking since you have so much less control over them. But inbound links are also a vital part of what convinces Google that you’re a trustworthy and respected site — other trustworthy and respected sites have to reference and link to yours.
Blogging Extends Visiting Time
Have you ever clicked on a link to check out a site that you thought would be helpful, only to find that the relevant phrase was really just a throwaway mention and the article you thought would help you is actually completely irrelevant?
Google doesn’t like that.
The goal of Google is to be helpful to its users, so that they will continue to use it. (Otherwise, Google would be called Bing.) If someone clicks on a link and then backtracks almost immediately, that tells Google that the result was not helpful. This, in turn, may affect how the site is ranked.
But if the viewer stays on that site for a while, it lets Google know that the site was, actually, as helpful as it had hoped.
Google has not specifically said that the amount of time that a user stays at a site changes the ranking, but other statements make it clear that the algorithms do track it, and take the visiting time into consideration.
Blogging gives you more of a chance to earn your SEO, to plug in your keywords and keep the interest of the reader engaged. This is especially true when it comes to long-form blogging, such as articles with a word count of 2000 or more. SEO researchers find that longer articles perform better than shorter ones, keeping the visitor on the site while they peruse the article.
Blogging Makes Closer Connections
In terms of direct effect on SEO and ranking numbers, this may not be as clear as some of the other topics we’ve discussed in this article. However, it can’t be ignored, either.
Blogging is like making friends. If you’re friendly and helpful to a stranger you want to build a friendship with, they’re more likely to engage with you in return. In blogging terms, being friendly and helpful means writing articles that mean something to the viewer — that offer tips, advice, encouragement, entertainment, tutorials, etc.
If you write blog posts that resonate with your audience, they’re going to remember it. And they’ll not only remember it, they’ll link back to it, reference it, tell others about it, and probably return more than once to take a look at it again. They’re also more likely to check out other parts of your website, putting your internal links into play, and a good blog article may even drive them to further invest in your budding friendship, such as signing up for your email updates.
All of this, again, drives traffic and influences your status in Google’s algorithms. It also means that you’ve successfully built an ongoing relationship with a new viewer — and all because of your blog.