Why You Need to Care About SEO on Your Blog
When Google announced the Google Freshness update back in 2011, a whole new trend of blogging for business websites surged in. At the time, the update affected 35 percent of searches, giving reason for companies to integrate a blog page onto their main website.
In general, when viewing the first few pages of search results, blogs and articles relating to the search topic appear more frequently than related business websites do (except for long-tail keyword or local searches). So for instance, if you want to buy an iPhone 6 and search for the exact term iPhone 6, apart from the obvious apple.com, the first page will be filled with blogs, news articles, review sites and forum content on the topic.
On the other hand, you may get business websites on the first page of the search results if you use keywords such as buy iPhone 6 (long-tail keyword) or mobile phone stores in New York (local keyword). Shown below is a screenshot of a Google search for the keyword _iPhone 6s_. You can see that the first-page results are all of the recently updated content:
In this post we will cover two different but interrelated topics: How to improve your site's SEO with a blog and how to improve your blog's SEO.
Including a blog on your business website can improve your site's SEO in the following ways:
1. Fresh Content:
A frequently updated blog is great for building regular fresh content on your site. Search engine crawlers will see that new content is being added often, so will be more likely to keep visiting your site to crawl the new pages. The freshness update discussed above is taken into consideration when ranking your website.
2. Targeting New Keywords:
A blog can help you to target new keywords, increasing relevant traffic to your website. If your blog posts do a great job of answering a question that your potential customers are asking, you can optimize them to appear in related search results.
3. Building Niche Authority:
A blog can help you to build authority in your niche. You can acquire expert status by showing readers that you're knowledgeable in your industry, so publishing blog posts full of useful tips and instructions to your readers will help you to achieve this. If a customer has to choose between two businesses, they are likely to choose the one with an informative blog, as it demonstrates expertise of their products or services.
4. Quality Internal Linking:
Internal linking is important as links pass value - known as link juice, so they allow you to spread authority to your other pages. Blogs are naturally great for internal linking, linking new blog posts to previous ones when relevant. Your blog posts may also earn links from other authoritative pages when people cite them as a resource, which passes authority to your blog and through to your other linked pages.
5. Optimize Images:
Images on your blogs must be optimized for SEO with the use of the image alt attribute. Alt attributes should contain not more than seven to ten words and should ideally use at least one of your target keyword for the page it appears on. This ensures that your images are found via Google image search, but also helps to reinforce relevancy for your target keywords. Images have immense potential to drive traffic to your site and increase exposure.
6. Create Natural Links:
Blogs bring links to your website naturally. You cannot encourage site visitors to link to your product page or contact form page as this would seem pushy and sales-oriented, however, you can encourage people, groups or companies to link to your blogs by delivering useful and unique content.
WooRank allows you to check the quality of your backlink profile against that of your competitors, so you can monitor your progress and make sure your links are helping your SEO.
7. Build Trust:
Some site visitors know what they want and engage with your products/services immediately. This means your website must be simple and easy to navigate to allow immediate conversion. Most visitors, however, will want to know a bit about how well you know the industry before they do business with you. A blog is the perfect platform to build trust among skeptical buyers. To do this, share your own business experiences or case studies to make it personal as well as sharing informational content on niche topics. As time goes on, with a growing, content-rich blog, you will build trust among your site visitors thus increasing web traffic, the popularity of your blog and website, and enriching your site's SEO.
Here are a few SEO factors for your blog that are important to consider in order to push your blog to its target audience on the web:
8. Host the Blog On Your Domain:
To get the most SEO benefits from your blog you should host it on your main domain as a sub directory, rather than a subdomain or separate domain. For example, _yoursite.com/blog_. This way you will help the authority of your main domain, rather than pushing your efforts to a subdomain or separate domain.
9. Optimize Keywords:
Look for trending keywords with Google Trends or the many other keyword research tools and write on the latest trending topics and technologies in your niche.
Use of Keywords:
Target keywords by including them in your content naturally. Search engines take user-experience into consideration when ranking websites, so you must ensure you create your blog content for users and not search engines. Ranking well for a keyword that isn't relevant to the ranking content is likely to cause your visitors to bounce, sending a negative signal to the search engines.
Ensure that your title tags, meta descriptions and blog titles are all unique and naturally contain your target keywords - they must read well and not be stuffed with keywords. Keep title tags between 60 - 70 characters and meta descriptions around 150 characters (including spaces).
You can track all of your target keywords in a WooRank Advanced Review, using the Keyword Tool. This allows you to check the volumes associated with each of your keywords, as well as tracking the changes over time. You can also monitor your competitors side-by-side.
10. Make It Social Media Friendly:
Social Media Integration
Site visitors are more likely to share your content when they have easy access to social share buttons on your blog. Read more about this in one of our previous posts on Integrating Social Media into your Website. Providing social share buttons not only enriches user experience on your blog page but also helps to improve the social signals of your site. Take a look at our own social share buttons on the left hand side of our blog.
Share Posts on Social Media Profiles
As soon as you post your blogs, do not forget to share them on all your social media profiles, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Post the blog with any relevant images or videos, as these have the potential to grab more attention among readers in social media circles.
11. Improve Interaction on Your Blog:
You can improve interaction on your blog by asking questions and inviting opinions at the end. Examples could be, Did I forget anything? or What are your thoughts on the topic? If it is a blog about two different concepts, ask your audience which one they prefer. When you share your blog content on your social media brand pages, add a question related to the blogs. Answer any comments on your blog.
12. Reduce Bounce Rates:
Reducing bounce rates on a blog can not only increase conversions, but also enhance your search rankings. If somebody makes a search and chooses your search result, Google notices if they stay, or if they return to its results, which is a good sign that your page isn't the best result and therefore should rank as well as it does. In order to reduce blog bounce rates, ensure the typography and styling of the blog is in an easy-to-read format. Avoid including ads on your blog and link out to other great sources to keep users flowing through your site rather than back to Google. Re-size images to prevent slow loading pages and avoid any other heavy files that might increase load time.
Increasing web traffic to your site with the help of a blog is the most natural form of SEO available. Google and other search engines reward this more than other unnatural link building strategies. Invest time in creating a good quality blog and post frequently. Plan your blog topics before you start your posts and always carry out keyword research in order to target the right users.