The Roaring PJ Blog
How Blogging Helps Your Site Rank
We often encourage clients to add blogging to their marketing mix. This sometimes seems a daunting suggestion to an ever-growing to-do list with time and resource constraints. Blogging, however, provides tremendous business benefits, more than just what appears at face value.
A multitude of compelling answers to the “why blog?” question exist. Among others, a few key reasons to blog include the ability to:
- Demonstrate thought leadership and expertise
- Showcase personality and a specific point-of-view
- Indicate currency and relevance in the market
- Create additional fodder for social media efforts
- Improve purchase and conversion rates
- Help improve site rank in search engine results
This final point, that blogging helps improve site rank in search engine results, requires some explanation. Logically, if a site comes up higher on a search engine results page (SERP), it will be noticed more often. But, understanding how a blog enhances search rankings requires some decoding.
Here’s a quick primer on three ways in which blogging can contribute to improvements in site ranking.
Keywords and SEO: I often tell clients that, from an SEO perspective, one will always run out of pages before they run out of keywords to optimize. Keywords indicate to a search engine the purpose of a page. Blogging provides a relatively easy way to build pages with different keywords and terms that are relevant to a business and help drive interested, specific traffic to a site.
Head terms are the most frequently searched keywords by users. They are short, simple words such as “pajamas”. Long tail terms are much longer and more specific, sometimes forming a question. An example of a long tail term is “men’s pajamas in San Carlos”. Head terms tend to drive greater volume while long tail terms drive less volume but more interested prospects; if one optimizes for a specific long tail item, then the tendency to convert is much higher.
A blog allows a site to optimize against both of these strategies across different pages, thus drawing interest to many facets of a business.
Inbound Links: Timely and relevant content makes people take notice. Use a blog to express interesting and useful information that others will pay attention to and then share or cite with their followers. When others share and cite content, it creates inbound links - hyperlinks back to your site from another website. Inbound links indicate to a search engine that others find the content germane to their interests. As a result, a site with both high quality and a high quantity of inbound links typically ranks higher on SERPs.
Web Crawlers: Finally, an up-to-date and ongoing blog attracts web crawlers. Crawlers browse the web in a methodical, automated manner to gather data on different sites. The most common crawler is a “Googlebot”, which brings data back to Google’s servers. These crawlers check site accessibility, then investigate and index any new pages and content.
Increasingly, crawlers behave like people and evaluate site content from the perspective of a user. The crawler evaluates the user experience based on content age, the nature of the links coming to the site and the freshness of the site. Traditional business websites typically don’t add many new pages or new content over time. Without new content and updated inbound links, a site becomes stale and less important to crawlers.
Continually create content - via articles, white papers and blogging - to entice web crawlers to visit your site often and index the new content. A greater number of indexed pages increases opportunities for a site to show up in search and drive traffic, and a great user experience enhances where on the SERP the site appears.
I encourage you to consider incorporating a blog into your marketing mix. Blogging allows a business to not only demonstrate thought leadership and highlight a point of view, but it also gives search engines a reason to regularly evaluate and rank a site based on the site’s purpose, relevance, freshness and usability.
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