Businesses these days face a bewildering number of options when it comes to developing an effective content marketing strategy. With limited budget and limited time, deciding whether to invest your energies into social media, pay per click advertising, email marketing, SEO, or any other number of marketing techniques on offer, can be confusing to say the least.
One of the simplest and most effective ways you can start attracting visitors to your site is to start blogging. As well as acting as a centralised hub for all your content and news, a blog will also help your site’s SEO. While it won’t propel you to the top of Google’s search results overnight, it will start establishing your site’s authority and in more ways than one.
It’s worth mentioning here, that if you’re blogging just for the SEO benefit then you’re not taking full advantage of the medium. Blogging is a multi-faceted strategy that can and should involve a variety of platforms and marketing tactics, from social media promotion, commentary, brand advocacy, influencer networking, guest blogging and email marketing.
For now though, let’s focus purely on the SEO benefits of creating and maintaining a blog on your company website. Here are five benefits you can’t ignore.
1) You have ultimate control
One of the huge advantages of creating content on your own site, compared to something like social media, is that you own and control the platform. This allows you to optimise everything you put up on your site as much as you want. You can make sure each of your images has a proper keyword optimised alt tag with a descriptive filename for example.
You can also make sure the page’s meta title and met descriptions have been properly filled out. While meta tags might have negligible SEO benefits these days, your meta description does create the text that is found in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and this can have a dramatic effect on click through rates (CTR).
2) Spread site authority
When Google indexes your site it looks at the text on each page, as well as how those pages are linked to each other. This helps it build up a picture of what your site is about and what page, or pages, to rank for any given search.
Every time you post a new blog article you are creating a fresh page within your site that you can then internally link to other relevant pages within your site. Not only will this help Google understand your site a lot better but it enables you to pass the authority of pages around your site. So if one of your blog articles gets a lot of attention and earns a lot of backlinks, then it can pass this authority through to other pages it is linking to. This is the backbone of any guest blogging strategy (more of that in a bit).
3) Social media signals
It’s pointless creating amazing blog content if no one’s going to read it. Promoting your content should be almost as important as writing it and social media is a very powerful way of getting your articles in front of a lot of people.
Of course there is an indirect SEO benefit to creating content that is genuinely popular on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Although Google admitted in 2014 that social signals were not part of its ranking algorithm, the more shares you can get from your content on social media the more you can begin attracting links pointing to your content. In this way promoting your content on social media can act as an effective link earning tactic.
4) Search engines like fresh content
The modus operandi of search engines has always been to give users the most relevant search results based on what they are typing in. This will often mean serving up the most recent articles on a range of topical and news related searches. By creating a regular stream of fresh and engaging content on subjects that are trending in your industry sector, not only is there the possibility that your site’s blog pages will start ranking for specific searches, but your site’s SEO will get a boost.
Ultimately, the more attention you can get by becoming an authority in your field, then the more likely you are to earn authority links, further increasing your site’s SEO standing.
5) Guest blogging
Our final SEO benefit is guest blogging. Any good SEO strategy should include a targeted guest blogging strategy to reach out to industry influencers and potential customers. Suffice to say there is also a huge SEO boost if you are able to place editorial links in guest articles that point back to your site. This is a tactic that it’s fair to say has not been without its fair share of controversy in the past. Of course the hoopla surrounding Google’s Matt Cutt’s now infamous ‘stick a fork in it’ blog post, was misplaced. Cutts was clearly throwing the baby out with the bathwater with his choice of words and his rant, it transpired, was aimed at the spammy side of guest blogging and the volume of poor quality links this practice was helping to build.
By building a body of quality blog content on your own site you can legitimately link back to content in your guest articles that readers will find genuinely useful and publishers are only too happy to allow. Not only this, but by attracting quality guest bloggers to your own site you can discover new audiences and potentially a whole new source of quality backlinks and social shares.
Blogging is a time consuming task, make no mistake. Investing the time to do it properly and to do it well takes commitment. What’s more, the SEO payoff is far from immediate so patience is required. Keep at it though and you will soon have a strong and up to date content hub that, with the right marketing, will begin to attract links and social media shares. In time, this will not only help you build your reputation as a thought leader in your industry sector, but create the SEO signals you need to get your site climbing to the top of Google’s search results pages.