Blogging has been around for quite some time now. What started to be just a personal homepage by a college student in 1994, become a massive network and strategy these days. While different trends arrive at the start of every year, and many folks think that these trends may overthrow blogging, it did not.
Blogs remained to do their job up to these days, which is to deliver favourable results to any website. Its capability to drive website traffic has been one of the many reasons why a lot of business owners and marketers leverage this. Many have used blogs as a marketing tactic to encourage readers to visit their sites and learn about their brand by offering valuable information.
The Relationship of Blogging and SEO
While it gives many favourable things in your SEO campaign, SEO is not purely blogging, nor it directly affects your SEO ranking. Owning and crafting your blog will not make you rank higher in search engines instantly.
What blogging does in your SEO is it give several vital factors that help you in your SEO campaign. These factors are essential in making sure that your website will climb high in search engines. Blogging can create a significant impact on how your site and improve its overall performance.
Four Reasons You Need To Blog For Your SEO Strategy
Helps You Crawl in Search Engines
Unless you have already established your name, considered a leader in your industry, and your company’s net worth is worth a multi-billion dollar, then you know people will be looking for you even just using a single keyword. But if not, you have to work on the use of proper keywords that will drive people to your site.
Blogging allows you to write posts that will give your site a better ranking when people do their searches on search engines. Using long-tail keywords in your blogs can help your online visibility. Long-tail keywords are keywords that are comprised of three to four keywords and are very specific. These type of keywords perform better when it comes ranking than the single generic keyword.
When used in your website, long-tail keywords seemed to be a bit off and out of place. Blogging provides you with an avenue to incorporate these keywords without sounding too pushy and sales – centred. With blogging, it comes off naturally while giving you a higher rank in search engines.
Makes People Stay Longer in Your Site
Everything that customers do on search engines from to moment they click on your link and when they leave right away after visiting your website, your article or even a specific product page and return to search page can send a signal to Google. Google interprets this that the site that has been click on does not offer any help and the article is not useful. It will be a factor to give your website a lower rank in search engines.
When a visitor clicked on your site and stayed for a short while, this sends a signal to Google that the website offers something helpful and provides valuable information to its visitors. It will be then a determiner to give you a higher in search engines as you give answers to people’s query.
When your website has a blog post that appears on search engines and provides the needs of the customers, they will most likely click on it and stays on while to read it. Though Google did not give a specific amount of time to be spent by customers on a website they are on before they determine it to be a decisive ranking factor, Google made it clear that is it something they value.
Builds Your Online Authority
One of the many goals you have in building a website and investing so much time and efforts in your online visibility is to establish your credibility and your authority. You want people to view you as a trustworthy leader in your industry that will make them trust you.
Writing a valuable blog on your site does not only give you the chance of obtaining higher ranking in search engines through your site’s visitor. What it also does to you is it also allows you to establish your online authority. When you have valuable content on your website, people will start quoting your blog as a reference and provides you with additional online visibility. As this happens, you become a figure of authority.
Though this is not an easy success and requires much effort from you by offering thorough, informative contents, results will be worth it. Google will take notice of this and will improve your search ranking results.
Makes Your Social Media Calendar Full
Social Media and SEO have always shared a special kind of relationship. Though they do not generally affect each other directly, they always compliment each other. What better ways can social media can promote and drive traffic to your site? It is by sharing valuable content from your website’s blog post.
Regular sharing of your blog posts can do gold in your social media platforms. Sharing of content will increase visibility and provide information that people do not know they need. When these people click on the link, your website activity will increase, and you will attract more site visitor.
Even with the emergence of many new activities that can boost your SEO strategy, one cannot undermine the importance of blogging in achieving your SEO goals. Blogs can do wonder in your website. It can establish your online reputation, promote the formation of the community surrounding your brand, share the latest updates in your company and help you give highlights to the things that you offer.
While it offers you a vast opportunity that will be beneficial for your company and your brand like improving your SEO rankings, you have to take note that unhealthy blogging can hurt your SEO efforts. Thin contents, wrong grammars and poorly written articles can affect your ranking and give you negative results. So, it is vital to be on the lookout.
Blogging is more than just producing a 1000-word article. It should offer in-depth value to your readers. Make it good content that is on point and engaging. Though it seems like a simple process, it is not and would require your effort and time. However, if you do it right, you will enjoy its reward for a very long time.
How to Stay on Top of the Game by Staying on Top of Search Results
In the digital business space, getting to the top of search results is a make-or-break situation. After all, the higher your rank in search results, the more likely people will visit your site. It’s no joke: sites that appear on the second page of Google’s search results see 95% less users than websites on the first page.
So what can you do to get your website to the #1 spot on the first page of search results? Well, it’s not a question that has a clear-cut solution (heck, there’s an entire industry that revolves around doing just that), but there are a few ways that you can D.I.Y yourself onto the top.
Optimize Your Website
There’s something to be said about clean, easy-to-use websites that put them right at the top of search results, and there’s a good reason: an accessible website gets more traffic because people prefer using it, and it helps if Google can find it with SEO, and it helps even further when that website can be accessed anywhere at any time.
There are tons of techniques you can do to optimize your website so it’s more likely to appear on search engine results, and while it’s always best to rely on your professional digital services provider, you could work on it with your company’s web development team. If you’re going to work on optimizing your website on your own, here are some things to keep in mind:
Clean Up Your UI/UX
UI/UX refers to ‘user interface/user experience’ and it’s a concept in web design that forwards the idea that a digital tool’s user interface should be intuitive and easy-to-use so as to positively impact the overall user experience. Basically, if a website makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and easy to navigate, it makes their experience of your website positive and, ideally, enjoyable.
This means a few things: first, you need to make sure that your site’s sub-pages (e.g. your About Me, products and services pages, Contact Us, etc.) are neatly organized into easy-to-read tabs and categories. This goes a long way into creating a site map that’s easy to navigate and overall better for users and search engines.
Don’t Forget Mobile
One more thing: make sure your site is accessible both on desktop computers and smart devices like smartphones and tablet computers. Remember: more than 2 Billion people access the internet via their smartphone, which accounts for 51% of all internet users. That’s a pretty big customer base that you shouldn’t alienate by having a website that isn’t accessible via mobile.
Of course, if you want search engines to find you (and believe us, you want search engines to find you), you’re going to have do a little bit of SEO.
SEO is the Way to Go
SEO refers to “Search Engine Optimization” and it’s a series of practices that involve making your website more visible to search engines. SEO refers not just to a single discipline, but rather, a collection of elements that web developers need to think about in order for search engines to find your website better.
Here’s how search engines work: when a website is created, it’s logged into the registry of a particular search engine. When an internet user searches for something, the search engine uses a program to sift through the registry to find the most appropriate website. For the search engine to know what the “appropriate” website is, it matches certain words (called keywords) that are present in the website and compares it to the words that a user searched for.
Once the search engine finds websites that match the keywords used by the internet user, it then makes a list of these sites and, using a few other factors, determines which sites go to the top. It’s a complex discipline and it’s best you rely on a dependable SEO services provider to help with your SEO needs.
But what exactly are these ranking factors that Google and other search engines use to find websites? Well, the exact details of that are kept a secret (don’t believe any digital marketer that says they have the one-and-only way to rank!) from the general public, but there are certain factors that have been proven to work, both for ranking websites on Google search results and providing customers with a positive experience.
One of the most important aspects of keeping your website at the top of search results is activity; that is, the more active your website is, the more likely Google will place it as number 1. Active websites are websites that receive a high volume of internet traffic –whether it’s site visits, comments on your blog posts, or constantly updated products and services pages –on a regular basis.
Refresh Your Pages
Google loves seeing websites that get a lot of traffic because it tells them that people like your website, they like what they see, and they trust what you’re giving them. One of the best ways to do this is to refresh the pages of your website with fresh content as often as possible. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you have to change everything about your site on a daily basis; rather, make sure that your pages are constantly up-to-date with relevant information.
But perhaps one of the best ways to have constant, high-volume internet traffic on your page is to maintain a blog. With a blog, you can create content that’s relevant to your customer’s needs and can link back to your main website. More on this later.
Engage Your Customers
Another ranking factor that Google appreciates is engagement; that is, Google likes it when a website interacts with its users, and vice-versa. The more users engage with a website, the more a search engine thinks that the website is relevant for a particular set of keywords and other ranking factors.
But how do you engage customers on your website? There are tons of ways to keep them engaged, and you are limited only by your creativity: start conversations on your blog by having a comments section, site surveys of what customers want to see on your website, heck, some websites even have mini-games. Whatever it is, however, just make sure it’s still relevant to what your customers want and it doesn’t interview with good UI/UX.
Keep People on Your Site Longer
One of the main goals of engaging content and fresh pages is to keep people on your website longer. The amount of time people spend on your time is measured by digital marketers in terms of ‘bounce rate’, and it refers to the number of people who leave (i.e. bounce) the site rather than staying. The lower a website’s bounce rate, the better, because it means people are staying on your website, and the longer they stay, the higher your chances of converting them into leads, and potentially, turning them into customers.
It also looks good on search engines: in particular, Google loves websites with low bounce rates because it lets their algorithms know that the site is relevant to a user’s needs and is engaging enough for people to stay, which ultimately means that the site is trustworthy.
Content is Always King
So now we know that your website needs to be optimized and it needs to be active, and that to do those things, you need content that is relevant. But what exactly does that mean? Well, to put simply: your website needs content that people actually care about. In the 21st century, marketing collaterals that exist solely to advertise a product or service simply don’t cut it anymore.
Rather, consumers in the digital age want more than just being told to buy something, which means your content needs to be able to address key issues and pain points they have about a particular topic. Having a blog in your website is one of the best ways to not only drive traffic to your site, but it also works to increase your website’s trustworthiness and overall value for your customers.
Of course, no one can accurately predict every single your customers will have about a particular issue that your company is involved in, but there are certain types of content that remain ‘evergreen’, which means it will be forever relevant to what your company does and the kinds of issues your customers face.
Take a good, hard look at your products and services and the most common pain points and issues people have about the industry you’re in and create content that addresses them. Remember, this is better than creating post after post about topical issues that would be irrelevant to users in the future.
Personal Value = Engagement
The more value your content offers your customers, the more likely that they’ll be engaged, which ideally leads to them being more likely to patronize your website. Again, the digital age has made marketing much more customer-centric, which means consumers are looking to buy products that add value to their lives; the age of ‘brand-centric’ marketing is over, and people want products that have use rather than prestige.
It’s one of the reasons why evergreen content is important: it’s the type of content that answers important questions and issues people have over a particular topic, and if you’re able to provide that in a concise, informational, and overall enjoyable manner, then you’ve already won half the battle of coming up at the top of search results.
Getting your website to the top requires a complex series of disciplines that professional digital marketing service providers can do for you, but if you want to do it on your own, just make sure you have the bandwidth to learn as much as you can about these ranking factors to, ideally, get your page at the top of search results
7 Ways You’re Wasting Your Time with Outdated SEO
If you’re reading SEO articles from 2013 and applying them to your content today, you’re doing it wrong. If it gets to 2025 and you’re still reading this article… you’re also doing it wrong!
There are some cornerstone principles in SEO and a lot of good advice from great sources. However, if you’re getting too much of your advice from older sources, you could inadvertently be practicing bad SEO. With this topic in particular, you can’t afford to take too much out-of-date advice.
When Does SEO Go “Out of Date”?
There’s a lot of good stuff that comes in old packages. You can learn some valuable lessons about how SEO works, and how it worked historically, from articles published by authority sites years ago. The catch is that you shouldn’t put tactics or specific strategies into action unless they’re targeted to Google’s latest algorithm updates (other search engines too, but mostly Google).
Search engines regularly update their algorithms in a constant effort to keep providing users with the best results possible. Every time a new, significant update is released, it’s time to re-evaluate your SEO strategy to make sure you’re still doing all the right stuff.
Everything can change in an instant. One minute, it’s all about exact match keywords, and the next day people are talking about LSIs and long-tail keywords to promote their SaaS products.
The point is that SEO is an ever-changing practice. Search engines may know we’re doing it, but whenever we get too good at it, they just change up the rules again. For that reason, there’s no time limit or specific expiration date for good SEO practices. But, with every update, you need to learn what’s in and what’s out so you can use your time and effort wisely.
If you’ve been taking advice from older content, even if it’s from authority sites, or if you haven’t updated your SEO strategy in a while, it’s time for a quick check-up. Make sure you’re not falling into any of these time-wasting SEO traps!
7 Ways to Waste Your Time with SEO
#1 Stuffing Keywords Everywhere
Image source: Freepik.com
We can all agree that keywords and key phrases are important. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, they might be your competitors trying to sabotage your efforts. However important keywords are, it’s time to stop pretending they are the end-all-be-all of SEO. Stop throwing awkward keywords all over your content and expecting that to help you rank. Stuffing is just plain bad SEO today.
Hopefully, you’ve heard this advice before. But, considering how easy it is to find content online that’s full to the brim with awkward phrases, out of place keywords, and obvious stuffing, it doesn’t seem to be common knowledge yet. You can still find people pushing the idea that a 1-3% keyword ratio is ideal, using exact match keywords only. This is a great way to get penalized as a spammer!
People hate reading stuffed content, so search engines updated algorithms to detect awkward repetitions and keywords or phrases that are overused or out of place. If your site is overflowing with keywords, you’re unlikely to get the first page or earn a high ranking at all.
What to do instead: Focus on making content that’s valuable and beneficial in some way to your site visitors. Use keywords, but make sure they blend into the content seamlessly, rather than trying to fit awkward exact match phrases into an article. Spend more time perfecting keyword placement rather than keyword ratio.
#2 Having a One-Track Mind
Repetitive keywords and phrases are never a good idea. If you’re putting the same optimized phrases in every SEO title, tag, meta description, alt tag, captions, etc., it’s time to switch it up. Often, when a search engine detects repetition like this, it will consider it spam and won’t count any of these things towards your ranking.
You need to focus on creating unique content that’s relevant to what you’re posting or the pages of your website. No two pages should have the same meta descriptions, titles, or otherwise. Stop cutting and pasting keywords and key phrases to fill in the blanks.
What to do instead: Write unique everything whenever possible. If you have a lot of content, focus on a few keywords, and remote them out into otherwise unique and useful content. For pages that have numerous image alt tags, opt to have a few images with unique alt tags (even if some are blank) rather than all page images having the same alt tags.
One of the ways you can write unique content that caters to the various kinds of your audience is creating user personas. This way you can get really granular with what every kind of user wants and deliver targeted content to them that solves their specific pain points.
#3 Stressing Over Exact Match Domains
Clever things to do back before 2012 or so was to get an extra keyword associated with your business by putting it directly into the domain name itself. Although it sounds logical, it makes somewhere between minuscule to absolutely no difference today. A 2012 Google algorithm update made exact-match keywords in domains far less important and the usefulness compared to the quality of the site overall.
The biggest problems with exact match domains are that they look spammy, they limit your business activities, and there’s no solid data showing they’re worth the sacrifice. It’s not essential to get an exact match domain.
What to do instead: Choose a flexible domain name that can grow with you and that doesn’t make people cringe at the thought of clicking on your links. Example: Acmecameres.com versus Bestpolaroidcameras.net
#4 Focusing on the Wrong Devices
Image source: Freepik.com
As of November 2019, just over 52% of internet users worldwide connected via mobile, compared to a little over 45% on computers. If you narrow it down to Europe alone, that changes to 53% mobile and 43% of computers. Who are you targeting with your SEO?
If you’re building your entire site around desktop view and optimizing everything for computer users, it’s time to update your strategy. User experience is a major ranking factor, meaning your site needs to be attractive and easy to use for all people. Sites that focus exclusively on desktop users are notoriously difficult to navigate on a mobile device or tablet.
What to do instead: Optimise your website for a seamless experience on any size or type of device. You should have a useful mobile site that works on small and large phones as well as tablets of varying sizes. The desktop version should still exist, but you shouldn’t be so invested in making that the best version of your website. There’s a good chance of more than 50% of your site traffic is coming from mobile users.
Also, look into having dynamic content that gives recommendations to users. This can be adjusted to give more mobile-specific or desktop-specific recommendations based on usage. It’s a great strategy to keep people moving around your site.
#5 PBNs and Bad Links
Are people still using PBNs (Private Blog Networks)? This has always been considered a semi-black hat SEO trick, meaning it could get you in big trouble if you were discovered. Some site owners would take the risk because of the fast results. In case you’re considering it for yourself: It’s not a thing anymore.
The cost and time needed to set up an effective PBN today could be better spent doing actual SEO work. To rank for a competitive keyword, you could waste thousands of dollars (not an exaggeration) and tens to hundreds of hours setting up dummy blogs. With that amount of capital and time, do something worthwhile, such as a legit link building strategy.
What to do instead: Launch a guest posting campaign to get your links from legit, existing sources. Guest posts on authority domains can give you the link juice you need without risking a penalization from Google.
#6 Pretending That Voice Search Doesn’t Exist
Image source: Pixabay.com
You can put your head in the sand, but voice search is already here and is only set to increase in use from now onwards. Here are a few interesting snippets about voice search:
- 20% of searches on mobile are done through voice search
- 40% of adults use voice search regularly
- Almost 50% of people use voice search for product research
- From 2008 to 2016, the number of voice searches increased 35x
- 16% of Americans own smart speakers at home
There’s a lot going on with voice search. It may never fully replace text search, but it’s a convenient search method in certain situations. We can expect voice search to keep growing. It’s not just a short-lived trend.
What to do instead: It’s time to accept that voice search is a common thing and begin optimizing content for it. Product-related searches and answers to questions are the perfect place to start. Increase your page load speed, structure your content in a favorable way, optimize for casual/natural speed keywords, and shoot for local SEO.
#7 Writing Super Short Content
You may have read an article or two a few years ago talking about how long-form content is dead. These predictions did not come true. In fact, the opposite has turned out to be the case.
Short-form content is often seen as cheap or unhelpful. Some people may just want a short answer, but a majority of users place higher trust on websites with long-form content. They assign automatic authority to the site. We just don’t see this happening with short-form content.
For reference’s sake, long-form content is anything above 1,200 words, with short-form being anything below that. True long-form content is likely to be 1,500+ words.
The problematic assumption is that no one wants to scroll through such a long piece of content on your site. However, content consumption and customer experience metrics show that’s not true. People do enjoy long-form content, and many people seek it out as opposed to shorter pieces of content on the same subject. A thorough, well-thought-out piece of content that answers every question is better received than a short piece in many industries.
What to do instead: Add long-form content as a regular part of your content marketing strategy. You can gradually begin writing and posting more long-form pieces to build up the attractive links on your site.
A quick disclaimer: Long-form content is only good when you format it properly. No one wants to read a 5,000-word article without paragraph breaks or a 3,000-word blog post that’s not spaced out with subheadings, shortlists, appropriate screenshots, etc.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad information out there. With so many sources writing about SEO all the time, there’s also outdated information that’s not relevant today. It’s tricky to wade through the sea of information to find something that’s both useful and still relevant, but it’s worth trying!
If you’re still practicing any of these bad SEO strategies, it’s time to throw out the old and bring in the new to get your site back on track towards page 1.
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