Blogging. The art of adding new material to your website. Increasingly looked at in the context of ‘content marketing’, it is worth remembering that writing a blog is a great way to improve your website’s SEO.
Which came first, the blog or the bot?
Blogging. SEO. Before we look at the relationship between the two, let’s define our terms.
Search Engines and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have been around long before blogging so we’ll start there. As we reported in our Online Marketing Jargon Buster post, a ‘search engine’ is a tool which provides internet users with relevant indexed content in response to the keywords they typed in. Namely Google, Bing and Yahoo in Europe and the Americas. Of course, Google is the one everybody thinks of. When you type the words or phrase you’re looking for into the search area and hit ‘return’, the search engine you are engaging with will return a list of content, indexed in order of relevance. This list has been produced by a particular type of internet ‘bot’ known as a ‘spider’ or ‘web crawler’ which are tasked with searching the internet for content. Search Engine Optimisation is the art of getting your content to the top of that list (or as close as possible).
Blogs began as a distinct type of website. A ‘web log’ was an internet diary, home to the musings of distracted parents, food lovers and back room philosophers. However, the phenomenon that is blogging has swept the internet world and while there are still plenty of people who keep a blog for its own purpose, a blog is now more widely understood as an updateable area of your website where you can (and should) regularly add new content.
Keeping the spiders happy…
So how do the two interact? Remember why people use search engines? Why do you use a search engine? They are looking for answers, quickly. There is such a huge volume of material posted on the internet that the search engines, through the ‘spiders’, have to have a way of producing results pretty much instantaneously. Keeping the spiders happy is crucial and a never ending task because the indicators they are looking for often change, or the emphasis changes, all aimed at ensuring that the search results we are served up are the most relevant to the search terms we entered. However, regularly updating content on your website is a great place to start – which is why blogging is such a great activity to engage in.
Now we’ve cleared that up, here are those 5 reasons we promised you, explaining why blogging will improve your Search Engine Optimisation:
- New content
Adding fresh content regularly to your website gives the ‘spiders’ new material to index to your website. You put stuff up and it’s the equivalent of standing in the middle of the internet and shouting ‘Fresh meat!’. The spiders see that your website is regularly updated – tick! Each post is a new page on your website – tick!
- Answers to questions
Are you giving readers the content they want? Remember why people use Google? To find answers to questions. If you put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they want to know about, then blog about it, you are on the right track.
- Backlinks, baby
Getting a little bit technical here, but if you rock at blogging – and it’s not so difficult – you will find that people start to link back to your website (or blog) from their own. Carve out your niche and your position as an expert in that niche and you will reap the SEO rewards too – because although it’s great that people simply recognise your expertise, if they link back to you they provide you with search engine credibility through a ‘backlink’ which the spiders look for and rank.
Adding fresh, regular content to your website through blogging is a great way to incorporate keywords. However, beware: we’ll look at some tips for blogging in a future blog, but for now remember, the age of cramming a blog post with keywords without offering something more is long gone. What you’re actually saying matters (remember: answers to questions) – it’s not just about the words on the page.
- Images increase indexing
It’s a rare thing to find a blog post without an image these days, and rightly so – the spiders love images – video is even better – and including this kind of fresh, visual content on your website is another way to improve your SEO. Just remember to name them according to search terms and keywords, and to do the same for the ‘ALT Text’.
The results are pretty impressive. Some recent statistics indicate that 95% of businesses with a blog report higher search rankings, and small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than those that don’t blog. Compelling stuff.
So how do you join the party? If you haven’t blogged before or don’t even know if your website has a blog area or could be adapted to include one, don’t worry. Here at Web Adept we can help you with the technical setup of your blog (we use WordPress which is incredibly easy to use) and get you started. If you’re really struggling, we can even create blogs and content for you. Why not give us a call and see how we can help?