Most people turn to Google for the quick answers they seek to common questions. That means if you want users to land on your web pages after conducting a search query, you need content that’s optimized for the search experience. But exactly how does blogging help SEO?
In this blog, we help explain why adding a blog element to your website can improve your chances of ranking high on the leading search engines. We’ll cover:
- What is search engine optimization?
- How does a blog help SEO?
- Things to remember when optimizing blog posts
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Put simply, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing content for search engines. Google and other search engines rely on several ranking factors to determine whether a web page is relevant to a given search query. By optimizing web content to account for these ranking factors, you increase your chances of appearing higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
It’s important to note that SEO is different from search engine marketing (SEM). SEO focuses on increasing your website’s visibility organically in the SERPs. By contrast, paid search advertising uses a pay-per-click (PPC) method to pay search engines like Google to show your website on the search results page.
How Does a Blog Help SEO?
While having a blog element on your website is not a ranking factor on its own, writing a blog post can help with several things that are important ranking factors. Having a regularly updated blog with high quality content relevant to your target audience can make a huge impact on how your site performs in the search results. Here’s how:
1. Fresh Content
Fresh content is a ranking factor for Google when determining which results to provide in a search query. Websites that are updated regularly signal to the search engine that they are operational and offering up-to-date information.
Publishing fresh content also gives search engine algorithms a reason to index pages on your site more frequently. Since it’s not a good idea to regularly make updates to your homepage, having a blog is a more practical solution to staying relevant in Google’s eyes.
2. Long-tail Keywords
While the ultimate goal for any SEO campaign is to rank in the number-one spot for a given keyword, this can be difficult to accomplish. SEO can be highly competitive, which is why it’s a best practice to target more specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business. These are known as long-tail keywords.
Half of all searches are for phrases containing four or more words. Inserting these keywords into your product or service pages can be clumsy, which is why a blog is the perfect place to host them. While long-tail keywords don’t attract as much traffic, the traffic gained is more valuable since it’s more likely to come from people within your target audience.
3. Internal Linking
Much of your page’s SEO success depends on its internal and external links. Failure to include internal links is a common SEO mistake, and one that blogging can help fix. While you can likely find opportunities to link internally from one service page to another, blogs offer more linking real estate on a continuous basis.
Not only that, but by internally linking through your blog posts, you have the chance to strategically use the anchor text in your links to inform Google about your pages. This helps strengthen the page’s connection to your target keywords as Google’s algorithm interprets the relationship between each page.
4. Link Building
Internal links are great but external links coming back to your site from website’s with high domain authority are even more valuable. This is how Google determines a site’s trustworthiness and authority. Writing a blog post can help you in your efforts to secure valuable backlinks.
When you write a blog post, you fill your website with valuable information for your target audience. If another website thinks the information is worth sharing with their readers, they can use your blog post to link back to your site.
Important Things to Remember When Optimizing Blog Posts
Now that you understand how blogging helps with SEO, it’s important to know how to optimize your blog posts. There are several things to consider when creating SEO optimized blogs, including:
1. Target Keywords
As we mentioned earlier, be selective about the target keywords you choose to build out your blog posts. For example, if you’re a pet store looking to rank for “pet food,” it might not be a great blogging strategy to use “pet food” as the target keyword. Instead, consider using long-tail keywords to answer questions that your target audience may have. Phrases like “what type of dog food is best” or “which pet food is right for you” might be a better place to start.
2. Meta Description
After you’ve written your blog post, it’s important to create unique metadata that communicates what the post is about to Google. Don’t simply copy and paste meta descriptions across multiple pages as this can result in duplicate content issues. Be sure to include a meta description that provides a brief overview of what readers will find on the page. Keep in mind that a good meta description should include your target keywords and be between 140 – 160 characters in length.
3. Alt Text
Part of optimizing your blog post means optimizing the accompanying imagery. All images on your website should have alt text attached to them. Alt text (alternative text) is used to describe the appearance or function of an image on your website.
Those who are visually impaired will use screen readers that read these descriptions aloud as they browse your pages. Including alt text in all of the images on your blog post is a great way to strengthen the relationship between your content and your target keywords.
4. Anchor Text
Anchor text is the text that is displayed when hyperlinked to another webpage. According to Google’s updated guidance on links, long anchor text should be avoided, instead using clear, concise, people-first language. Additionally, Google advises bloggers against chaining links (adding links close together so each linked word provides little context about the final URL destination).
Need help optimizing your blog posts? Word Nerd’s writing experts are here to help supercharge your organic SEO with powerful blogs that have been thoroughly optimized fo the search experience. Request a complimentary site audit from our team to get started today!