Small and large businesses alike are looking for ways to grab their customers’ attention. One way to do that is through SEO, or search engine optimization. One major strategy in SEO is to create content on your website. Specifically, content called “linkable assets.” Today’s post will dive headfirst in everything you need to know about blogging for business and why blogging is important for your business.
What are Blogs?
What Makes a Good Blog?
What is the Best Blogging Platform?
What to Blog About?
Why Blogging is Important
Does Blogging Help with SEO?
SEO Blog Tips
How to Optimize Blog for SEO
If you’d like to skip ahead to a specific subject, click on one of the links above. If not, let’s discuss the need and important of a blog!
First things first, what are blogs? According to Wikipedia:
“A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page.”
According to dictionary.com:
“a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
dictionary.com’s definition mentions that a blog can be run by an individual or a small group. Blogs can also be run by large organizations. In fact, many large corporations have adopted blogging as a means to producing content marketing (in tandem with other channels like social media). There are many reasons why blogging is important for SEO which we will explore in detail further in this post.
Blogs allow you or your company an opportunity to write content that is unique to your topic or business. Blogs can be created for any purpose and can prove to be a major benefit to your business if done properly.
Now that we understand what blogs are, let’s explore what makes a good blog.
There are many variables that go into what makes a good blog. Below are our top 8 business blogging musts:
Let’s explore each of these aspects that make a good blog:
Everything business owners do should be done on purpose. Don’t just write to write. Think about who your customers are and what they want. Think about the reasons why a blog could help your business. Find what your customers are searching for and then deliver.
Writing a blog to target a niche is a great way to attract the right audience. While blogs can have many niches, it’s important to align each product or service your business offers with a niche.
Writing just to write helps no one. The best bloggers write content that is focused on their target audience. There are many ways to help out your audience, it’s important to learn what your audience wants from you. A good way to find this out is to post different types of content out on social media. Content that is liked more and shared more should be tested further. If you see trends forming, you may be able to deduct that your target audience likes the type of content you are putting in front of them.
It’s so important to create original content. Copying a is a big no-no unless you give proper credit. If you copy someone’s work and don’t give them credit, not only does it look poorly, but it can hurt your business’ credibility.
Every post you write should be well-researched. A major goal of writing blogs is to be an authority voice in your niche/industry. If you post without researching, your business’ reputation may suffer.
Blogging takes a tremendous amount of time! It’s important to understand your goals and match them with available resources. Many companies write blogs, however, many outsource them because of the tremendous time and energy blog writing entails.
Finding a unique voice in your blog falls under branding strategies for your business. There are a million ways to say something, try to find a voice that resonates with your target customers.
Creating organized content is another element that makes a good blog. It’s a good idea to create an outline before you start writing so that each section is carefully organized.
One of the most important factors for creating a great business blog is making sure that what you write targets one of your business goals. Your writing efforts should be monitored over time and optimized to better reach your business’ goals.
There are many great blog platforms out there. Let’s take a look at the best blogging platforms (our opinions):
Let’s analyze the best blogging platforms more in-depth:
WordPress is our number one choice, and for good reason. Almost 30% of all websites use WordPress. In addition, it’s free! You can add on a WordPress site to an existing site (in most cases) or you can create your website entirely on WordPress (like this one). WordPress also has a massive online community to help answer any questions you may have. One of the most important reasons is it’s robust SEO tools (like Yoast) that can assist your business in ranking on popular search engines. You can also easily transfer old posts to a new website if needed.
Blogger is our number two choice. It is a Google product, so it naturally integrates with Google’s other tools flawlessly. Blogger is a very simple tool to use, which is a double-edged sword. Advanced users may outgrow this platform. A blogger account can be added to many existing websites, which makes it a decent option. From a blog SEO perspective, it’s a great platform to rank for on Google.
Drupal, like WordPress.org, is much more than just a blogging site, it’s a complete content management system. Many larger websites and forum sites use Drupal for their CMS because of its robust features. Also like WordPress.org, Drupal does not offer hosting (Check out Siteground.com for hosting). We’d recommend this option for more experienced bloggers and those who need a robust CMS for their new website.
Similarly to Drupal, Joomla is a full content management system. Many experienced bloggers note that Joomla has a much steeper learning curve than WordPress, which is why many large corporations and businesses choose Joomla as their choice (however, many large companies also use Drupal and even WordPress!) This is a more expensive option than some of the other choices out there.
Ghost is a less known option than the above choices. However, bloggers mention that they choose it for it’s ease of use and clean interface. It also provides a live preview of your posts so that you can correct any issues with your coding before posting. However, Ghost does not have nearly the large community that a WordPress.org has.
You can’t go wrong with choosing a blog platform from the above list. However, depending on your needs, each offers an advantage. We personally like WordPress and build most client websites/blogs on WordPress for many of the reasons above.
So now you understand what a blog is, what makes a good blog, and what the best blogging platforms are, let’s cover what to write about in a blog. It’s a smart first step to think about your customers and what they want.
Many times, customers search for our core products. In the case of an acupuncturist, someone may search for “acupuncture near me.” However, blogging about this keyword would be a little ridiculous. Let’s explore some options for what to blog about:
Let’s take a look at these ideas on what to blog about:
As mentioned above, blogging on topics directly related to your key services can be an effective strategy. However, many of these broad keywords like “acupuncture” (in the case of an acupuncture business) are very difficult to rank, which brings us to our second option:
Blogging for symptoms of your key services can be a great way to expand the breadth of your knowledge in your blogging. An example of this is “acupuncture for back pain.” This topic is highly searched and will help people who have an immediate need (back pain). Think about the endless possibility of topics an acupuncturist could write on with symptoms.
Even more blog topics can be created from what people search that does not include your key services. For example, with the acupuncture business, someone might search for “how to fix my back pain” or “How to fix runners knee”. These topics are great ways to introduce your products or services to a person who doesn’t know anything about them.
Everybody loves a good ranking list. Our acupuncture business could create a blog like this: “The top 10 most common injuries for runners.” This is not directly related to a specific problem, but can be broken up to target 10 different sub blogs. This kind of blog post also makes great social media content.
Themes in marketing are great because they help the writer/marketer organize many thoughts (and many blogs) well into the future. Tying in with ranking lists, an acupuncturist could write about “The top 10 marathon races in the United States.” Each blog post could further break down each marathon. This could be a sneaky way to get in front of many runners who participate in each of these races. Why might runners be important for an acupuncturist? Because runners knee may be one of the top reasons someone goes to an acupuncturist (we don’t actually know this, just an example)?
The final option for what to write in a blog is a pretty simple idea: Answer questions your customers ask. You can easily find questions they ask by going to a site like Quora.com. These are easy ways to answer the question “what to blog about?” It’s important to make sure that your blog posts answer these questions thoroughly. In fact, type these questions in google and see the types of posts or pages that appear. Analyze the depth of answers that are presented. Prepare to “out-do” these results.
When asking yourself “what should I blog about”, it’s important to find out what people want to know. It’s also important to not push your products or services too hard. The goal is to help, educate, and/or inform. It’s perfectly okay for you to push people to your products naturally at the end of your post, or perhaps have some strategic lead form on the sidebars of your blog. Be creative and test a few of the above out!
Many business owners we speak with ask us “what is the purpose of a blog?”, “Why start a blog?”, “what is a blog used for?” There is no correct one answer to these questions. However, from our perspective, blogging and SEO go hand-in-hand. In addition to blogs positioning your business as subject experts, blog SEO targets valuable key phrases (also known as keywords) your target customers search every day for in Google and other search engines.
Here are some great reasons why blogging is important for your business:
Let’s drive deeper into why blogging is important:
Blogging builds trust. Along with social media, your blog is the human angle of your business. Blogging builds trust by also showcasing your business’ knowledge.
Blogging educates your audience. Internet users search far and wide to find answers to their questions. Blogs can help your customers find answers to their problems. This ties right in with building trust with your customers.
Blogging brings in quality visitors. If the blog SEO is done correctly (we’ll get into how to do that a little later), internet users will find your content in search engines. The visitors who come to your blog pages from search engines are specifically looking for information about your blog topic, so we know the quality is there!
Blogging connects people to your brand. While many people may not know your brand name, they are able to find it based on the content that you produce. As internet searchers scour the web for answers or information they seek, your brand can introduce itself via the awesome power of SEO and content marketing!
Blogging helps you be transparent. Long gone are the days that companies hide all of their information. Being transparent builds trust, and blogs help you be transparent by “speaking” to your consumers. Company blogs can educate, inform, guide, and entertain their customers. Teaching someone how to fix their problem on their own can certainly bring awareness to a whole host of items they never thought they needed.
Blogging encourages inbound links. Inbound links are crucial to showing Google that your website is important, or authoritative. While getting links to your content can be difficult, it’s not impossible. It’s important to write great, robust content that ranks highly. If you write with an intention that your blog will serve as a resource for other bloggers, you may start getting links. You can also share your blog on your social media channels and ask influencers to share your content.
Blogging and social media work hand-in-hand. Many companies don’t utilize their social media to help their SEO. These two are joined at the hip. Blogging can assist you with writing your social media content by providing you with quality written content that is original. One robust blog post (like this one) can generate months of social media posts.
Blogging brings fresh, new content for the search engines to love. Google and other search engines can see when you add new blog posts to your site. They see this because they have robots running around the internet searching for new content, and then by indexing (finding and placing) your new blog content to their search engine. Fresh content about your subject matter tells Google that you’re an authority voice in the niche, which can help your website rise up rankings over time.
Blogging targets short and long-tail search queries. Let’s take a quick look at what each one of these are:
Short tail keywords are keywords that are 3 words or less. By this definition, “Short tail keywords” is a short tail keyword.
Long tail keywords are keywords that are more than 3 words. By this definition, “What are short tail keywords” is a long tail keyword.
The beauty of blogging is that you can write content about any subject that your customers search for.
When answering why blogging is important, the ultimate answer is that blogging increases business leads. By building a blog SEO strategy, your right customers searching for answers to questions in your niche find you. Instead of advertising, blogging for SEO keywords can bring in quality traffic to your business, which in turn gives your business more leads.
Does blogging help with SEO? 1 word: Absolutely! A common blog SEO strategy is create a piece of content that targets at least 1 keyword. As you continue producing content and gaining more site authority from search engines, your business will start ranking for more keywords. The more keywords you rank for, the more traffic you get. The more traffic you get, the more leads you get.
Hubspot.com analyzed the question “how many blog posts should you publish every month?” They analyzed more than 13,500 of their customers and the results were staggering:
Their results in words:
As expected, we found that the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.
While this study did not analyze blog quality, it is important to state that quality is more important than quantity. However, if your company can produce quality and quantity, you’re in for reaping maximum benefits!
While getting more traffic is great, it may not be motivation enough for your business to invest all the time and energy needed to blog regularly. However, in that same Hubspot study, they also analyzed the number of leads vs. the number of blogs written:
These results in their words:
For our customer base, we found that an increased blog post publishing frequency correlated with more leads generated. Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5X more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.
This Hubspot study data shows some startling results for businesses that create more than 16 blog posts each month. While 16+ blog posts per month is nearly impossible for any small business, larger businesses have the resources to hire writers and reap the results. Having said that, writing some blogs is better than writing no blogs! Blogging for SEO purposes can slowly create a self-generating stream of visitors and leads to your business, it is well worth the investment if done properly. So next time someone asks you “does blogging help with SEO” You can show them the data to veritably say YES!
Pertaining to your blog SEO strategy overall (not necessarily as an individual blog post), follow these SEO blog tips:
Let’s review each of these SEO blog tips:
The first SEO blog tip is to perform keyword research. Performing keyword research, or finding what your customers search for, is the most vital step in blogging for SEO. All too often we see businesses writing TONS of content but haven’t performed keyword research, thus, did not rank for many keywords. There are so many ways you can find keywords for nearly any topic or niche.
Let’s use the keyword “acupuncture” as an example. Go to Google, type in “acupuncture a”. You’ll see suggestions from Google. These are keywords that people are searching for! Continue until you find some valuable keywords, like when you type in “acupuncture f” and get the following:
Ah ha! Here are some potentially useful keywords: Keywords that imply intent of research to solve a specific problem related to our keyword. Want a quicker way to do keyword research for all letters like this plus questions people may have that include the keyword? Head over to answerthepublic.com. Type in your keyword (“acupuncture for”) and watch the magic unfold.
519 total results alphabetized! These are results above are only for the letter “A”! You can easily export all keywords into a spreadsheet with 1 click of a button. Pretty easy huh?
So let’s say you’ve narrowed down your topic to “acupuncture for back pain.” You can further input this into answer the public or type it in in Google. Let’s type it in in Google. Now scroll down to the bottom of the search results. You’ll see a header that reads “searches related to acupuncture for back pain.”
Some of these are golden keywords you’ll want to include in your blog post! For example, your main topic could be “acupuncture for back pain” and subtopics of “acupuncture for upper back pain” and “acupuncture for lower back pain”, as well as a few more from the above.
Google also offers a free research tool called “keyword planner.” This is a fantastic tool that you can get by signing up for Google AdWords, which is also free.
Let’s suppose you have a seasonal business selling Halloween costumes. Your keywords will most likely also be seasonal. Google has a pretty nifty tool to check out search trends based on time called “Google Trends.”
While this is an incredibly obvious example of a seasonal product, it easily illustrates the point! You can find what time of year (and where geographically) keywords are most relevant! Pretty cool huh? It’s important note that if you’re targeting a time specific trend to have your content produced at least 2 months before the spike occurs. This is because it can take several months or longer to rank for keywords.
The next SEO blog tip is to properly incorporate your keywords throughout your blog’s copy. While choosing your keywords is extremely important, inputting them in properly may be just as important! In the next section, we’ll review some best practices to follow for your individual posts.
The more in-depth your content is on a subject, the more you look like an expert! Don’t be afraid to give away knowledge secrets. Your customers don’t know you until they know you (if that makes sense). Be an expert, and write thoroughly on niche topics within your niche.
Quality in most cases trumps quantity. The same can be said about blogging for SEO. If it takes your business a week to write a post, that’s perfectly okay! It’s better to have one great post than ten mediocre / bad posts. You will have a much better chance to rank that one great post than the ten mediocre ones.
Another SEO blog tip to follow is making sure you link internally to your other pages, and link externally to great resources that you reference. We’ll go more in depth on this subject in the next section.
When we write blogs for our clients or when we advise our clients what to write, we typically advise them to use topic clusters. Topic clusters start with a main theme, or topic. In the case of an eating disorder psychologist, an example could be: “Types of eating disorders.” This main theme would list out all the eating disorder types with few paragraphs of information about each. The next step would be to write an in-depth piece on each eating disorder. You could further write in-depth topics on each eating disorders. The idea is that a cluster of posts point back to the main pillar post.
Not only does this organize your blog SEO efforts, but it makes it so much easier to come up with ideas on what to write about.
Site speed is often overlooked when thinking about your website SEO or your blog SEO. It’s very important that your site loads quickly not only from the user’s perspective but from Google’s perspective as well. Site speed is one of the only factors Google has confirmed as a factor for SEO. Here are a few ways to speed up your site:
Our final blog SEO tip is to write original content. Never steal someone else’s content word for word. You can summarize it, or mention it with a link pointed at the original. Just like in grade school, don’t copy someone else’s work!
In tandem with the SEO blog tips above, let’s review how to blog for SEO for individual posts:
Let’s drill down how to optimize your blog for SEO in each of these 10 areas:
In the section above, we covered some cool tools and methods to discover keywords. We did not cover which keywords to choose based on the data. Using some free tools like Google’s keyword planner or paid tools like semrush.com, you can formulate a massive list of potential keywords to target. Below is an example of how we organized our keywords for this blog post:
The above spreadsheet is a refined list of all of the hundreds of potential keywords we reviewed. As you can see, the document is broken down by important categories such as: keyword, search traffic, CPC (cost per click), competition, and volume (search results). We also added “topic order” to segment and order the natural flowing document you’re reading now. We chose many of these keywords with lower search traffic volume, also known as “long-tail keywords,” because they will be easier to rank for in general than more broad keywords (you know, the ones everyone tries to rank for).
In summary of keyword research on your individual posts, try to target “long-tail keywords” that will bring valuable visitors to your business’ website.
Another way how to blog for SEO is to optimize your keywords. To help with your blog SEO, it’s important that the keywords you choose are optimized throughout your blog’s copy. Here are some quick hitters:
Optimizing your blog for SEO would not be complete without metatag and metadescription optimization. Metatags and metadescriptions are a very important part of SEO for blog posts. This is what people will see when they search on Google or other search engines. For example, here is what this post looks like on Google:
As you can see above, “blogging for business” and “why blogging is important” are in the metatitle and in the metadescription. It also seems naturally written. Remember, robots aren’t the only ones reading your blog!
It’s important to remember that image sections on search engines are in fact search engines. We’d recommend using your main keyword or title of your blog in the image(s) on your way. If you have a very long blog like this one, you can also use the h2 (subtitles) tag verbiage. In WordPress, it’s easy to add the alt tag. Go to your media library, click on your image and you’ll see this:
Type in your alt text. You can make it the same as your title. Make sure before you upload the image that the file name of the image includes the correct keywords.
Many people ask us what is the optimal blog post length for SEO? You’ll hear a lot of different opinions on the number of words you should write on your website pages and blog posts. Our blogs are rarely, if never under 500 words. According to serpIQ, the average page on the first 10 rankings of Google search results each contain over 2000 words, with the top spot containing over 2450 words:
Writing takes time! If you’ve made it this far, you’ve read over 4,500 words! Google and other search engines love robust, quality content that best match the search queries being performed. Do your posts deserve a number 1 spot? It’s tough, but you can do it!
Cleaning up your URLs is an “easy win” for your website and blog SEO.
If your blog post looks like this: /234kj34js9skjflsaf82349-jsalkdjl-ksajlaksjflsak-als-jf23-u423jslakf/ – change it! Include your main keyword in the permalink. An easy practice to follow is to use your blog title as your permalink. Make sure it’s not too long. The shorter the better typically.
Another way how to blog for SEO is to do internal linking. This is a big, easy win for your blog SEO. we have seen my search engine rankings jump 40-50 spots by following this SEO tactic. According to Wikipedia:
“An internal link is a type of hyperlink on a webpage to another page or resource, such as an image or document, on the same website or domain. Hyperlinks are considered either “external” or “internal” depending on their target or destination.”
It’s important to link internally to your top blog posts and website pages on all your other pages and posts. For example, if I were to mention benefits of local SEO for your business, we would highlight the relevant words, click on the chain link in the editor, and add the applicable link on our website. It’s as easy as that! Another tip: don’t use the same contextual link copy every time, switch it up.
Many bloggers are hesitant to link out to other websites. Here are a few reasons why you should link externally:
This is another blog SEO strategy that can benefit you greatly. Ordered and unordered lists are not as scary as they sound. They are bullets and numbered lists! Here’s an example of how using these strategically can benefit you in the search rankings:
As you can see above, our post on “How to build local SEO for small business” is ranked 3rd, yet we have an entire massive section highlighting our post above the other 2 search results! This is because we have captured what Google calls the “featured snippet.” Answering questions is a great blog post type to do to get featured snippets. Not only do you get clicks on your search engine ranking, but even more clicks on your featured snippet!
The final way how to optimize your blog for SEO is to share it like crazy. It’s important once you publish your blog to share it on all your social media channels, send an email to your subscribers, inform influencers, and distribute on content distribution tools, such as mix.com. We also recommend writing multiple posts on your social media over time to “slow drip” all those good social signals to your website.
Thank you for reading our post on Why Blogging is Important: Blogging for Business. As you’ve read above, The benefits of blogging for business are many.
Need some help on your internet marketing strategy? Contact us for a free consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!
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