HOW DOES A BLOG BOOST SEO?
Have you ever heard a digital marketing whiz mention the importance of SEO and keywords? Or, how about the great Google crawl? Understanding these concepts is an essential step to developing a successful digital marketing strategy. And when you optimize your website — including your blog posts — you’ll see tangible results, from increased traffic to greater conversions.
WHAT IS SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of directing more customers to your website from their online searches. How do you do that? Well, first, you have to start thinking like a search engine.
The Google Crawl
Search engines, like Google, have the challenging task of crawling through the internet to find the most important and relevant content to provide when a user makes a search. Google’s web crawlers are kind of like spiders, traveling from page to page through links and trying to discover additional web pages.
It’s important to note that Google does not crawl every website. Because search engines choose which websites to crawl, how many pages to crawl, and how often to crawl them, you need to know how to get onto Google’s radar. Beginning its crawl with the most trusted and established websites, Google may not even reach your website if it doesn’t consider your web content valuable enough.
The Google crawl is usually not a quick process, either. Each crawl can take several days to several weeks. That means you may not see immediate results from SEO improvements; instead, you will see significant results down the road. Like saving up for a new car or home, SEO is a long-term investment!
SEO Indexing & Ranking
While Google crawls the web, it keeps track of all the data it finds and ranks each web page in order of importance and relevance. The ranking that Google comes up with displays web pages in the same order a user will see on their Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when they type something into the search bar.
To rank web pages, Google looks at the user’s search intent, or what they are trying to achieve with their search. There are a few different kinds of search intent:
- Informational: The user wants to learn more about a topic, product, or industry. Informational queries are often phrased as questions. For example, a user may be interested in the idea of a sustainable swimming pool, so they may search “sustainable swimming pool” or “shipping container pool.”
- Navigational: The user already knows what product, brand, or website they are looking for, so their search may be a little more specific. For example, a user may have heard of the shipping container pool company, Steelwater Pools, so they might enter “steelwater pools” into the search bar.
- Commercial: The user is looking to buy something! They already have in mind the type of product or service (and sometimes the specific product or service) they want to purchase. For example, a user may know they want to buy a shipping container pool, so they might search “buy shipping container pool” or “buy steelwater pool.”
When a user types a query into the search bar, Google provides the most relevant websites and web pages — the ones that most clearly match the user’s search intent — on the SERP. Most blog posts match up with informational searches, as the content of a blog post is meant to give readers valuable knowledge or insight.
Another thing Google considers is a web page’s importance. Google designates a website or web page as more important, or credible, the more it is cited elsewhere. This is why it is so important to share links to your blog posts on social media or on other pages of your website.
What’s Google Looking For?
To create it’s SERP ranking, search engines like Google consider a wide range of factors. Here are few of the big ones:
- Keywords that reflect common search intent.
- Organized content and pages.
- Keyword-infused metadata tags.
- Pages with interesting visuals.
- Web pages with lots of links to other pages.
CREATING A BLOG WITH EXCELLENT SEO
Now that you know how search engines like Google determine SEO ranking, how can you use a blog to ensure your website pops up in the top of users’ search results?
Find & implement the right keywords.
Keywords are the heart and soul of SEO. These are the search terms users type into search engines when seeking an answer or information on the web. Simply put, discovering the best keywords is a matter of getting into the mind of your potential customers.
- What questions might potential customers have relating to your product, service, or industry?
- What sort of content could you provide to answer those questions or fill those needs?
- What content might your target audience find interesting, helpful, or entertaining?
Marketing experts have the tools and understanding necessary to determine the most effective and relevant keywords for your company’s website. After conducting thorough keyword research, experts will determine what specific blog content will work best for you and infuse your blog posts with the keywords they found. When you add the new blog content to your website, Google will notice those keywords, determine that your company is providing valuable information, and rank you higher in your prospects’ search results.
Get to know your target audience.
Hand-in-hand with keyword research and optimization, target audience research is an essential part of determining the right sort of content to share with your blog. Ask yourself: What sort of information might my prospective customers or clients need or want?
- Are you targeting your services to medical patients? Base your content on questions your patients frequently ask when they come for a medical visit.
- Are you selling products or services to brides? Provide them with tips, guides, and resources that will help with the wedding-planning process.
Incorporate photos & videos.
Google knows visual elements are some of the most engaging and valuable content for readers, so its algorithms are set to rank web pages with original videos, graphics, and photos higher than pages without them. However, keep in mind that Google can’t technically “see” the visual content. That’s why it’s so important to include alt text with each visual item.
Add external & internal links.
Google loves links! The more links on the web that take a user to your blog post — whether from another page on your site or another website entirely — the more credibility and importance Google will assign to that blog page, and thus, your entire website. As you continue to put quality content on your website, Google will be more likely to notice and boost your ranking on the SERP.
Where can you add these links? By sharing links to your blog posts externally on social media and internally on other pages of your website, you’ll not only establish more credibility with Google, but you’ll also give users a way to find your blog from various different online locations. You can even make agreements with other relevant companies to share links to each other's webpages on your websites.
Keep user experience in mind.
Ultimately, creating a search-engine-optimized blog is all about giving readers content they find valuable. Google’s goal is to present users with the exact answers and content they are looking for, so its search engine is set to give high rankings to only the most helpful and interesting content. So, when you focus on user experience — factors like readability, page speed, and formatting — you’ll not only be doing your prospective customers a service, but you’ll also earn higher SEO rankings.
Ready to boost your SEO ranking with a company blog? Our SEO content experts work with clients in all different industries — from the medical field to real estate — to create engaging, SEO-friendly blog content. Learn more about our blog-writing services, or reach out to us today.