How Do Blogs Help SEO? - 1Digital® Agency
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How do blogs help SEO

In a word, blogging is one of the most important ways to boost a website’s SEO value, when it is done properly. 

I will break down all the details in this blog, starting from the bottom up.

What Is SEO?

Let’s start with the basics. I can’t imagine you’ve gotten to this post without having at least a baseline knowledge of what SEO is, but if that is the case, here: 

  • SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and is a collection of practices that, together, make a website more favorable to search engines, for specific terms. Well-optimized websites are the ones that show up at the tops of the search engine results pages when you search something. 

SEO is also, all things considered, one of the most important digital marketing channels, and even in this era of influencer marketing, probably the best in terms of ROI. 

The one drawback to SEO is that it is exceptionally resource and effort intensive, and does not work quickly. Most websites that have what marketers might call “good SEO” have been working at it for many years. 

Moreover, SEO is organized into four main pillars:

  • On-page SEO: This consists of concrete adjustments you can make to ranking signals on your website, such as title tags, headers, URL slugs, metadata, internal links, and image alt text. 
  • Off-page SEO: This basically consists of reputation management and link building. Where social media management is involved in SEO, it can also be considered off-page. 
  • Technical SEO: Technical SEO consists of page speed, site security, site structure, and other technical facets of a website that impact the user experience, such as the usability of the sitemap, whether or not integrations have been made properly, and so on and so forth.
  • And content, which is the focus of this article

 

All content on your website, including product and category page content, meta descriptions, CMS and FAQ page content, and other evergreen content like “About Us” page content, can all be used by search engines for the purposes of indexation and assigning rankings (unless a page is expressly barred to web crawlers by the site admin).

This, of course, includes blogs, and since blogs generally constitute the most valuable content on a given website, they represent the best opportunity to make improvements for optimization. 

How to Optimize a Blog for SEO?

Now let’s talk about how you can optimize a blog for SEO.

The first and most important thing – the only thing that really matters, at the end of the day – is if the blog answers a question that people are searching for. 

For instance, you probably got here by searching for something that has to do with how to optimize a blog for SEO, right? 

Let me tell you a secret: I did little to no keyword research before writing this post. All I did was look up (in the search results) what sorts of questions people were asking Google about blogging and SEO and answered as many as I could. 

That’s the most important thing. 

It does help, however, to go after keywords that have high search volumes and low difficulty scores. This helps your blog post get to the tops of the search results sooner. 

These are the two main things you can do to give a blog a lot of value for SEO.

Here are a few insider tips:

  • Enter your target keywords in Google and see what comes up in the top 3 to 5 spots, organically (skip the ads). Take what information is in those posts and use it to augment your own.
  • Look at the People Also Ask section of Google for more content ideas. 
  • Reflect on what customers have asked you about your products, compile some of these and publish the answers in a blog.
  • Publish information about your products, experiences, or their maintenance or upkeep that doesn’t exist elsewhere on the web. There may not be a lot of search volume in the form of queries regarding this information, but publishing information that doesn’t appear elsewhere is basically a sure-fire bet that your post will be the only one that shows up for it in the results. 

These are four solid tidbits of advice for how to construct a blog for SEO. Now let’s talk about how to optimize at the post level, in the most granular level possible. 

What Tips or Tricks Can Boost a Blog’s Value?

To be as curt as possible, I’ve already told you everything you need to know about how to get a blog to work for SEO. 

But, if we’re talking about just the actual optimizations to ranking factors themselves, here are some other things you can do: 

  • Include the target keyword in the post title.
  • Include the target keyword in headers and subheaders throughout the post.
  • Keep keyword density to about one instance per 500 words (not necessarily including headers).
  • Include the keyword in the target URL.
  • Before uploading any images, compress the files (there are lots of free image file compression tools on the internet).
  • Use original imagery or something user-generated. Do not take images from the manufacturer or distributor.
  • Draft copy that includes the target keyword in the alt text field of the image file
  • Write informative captions for any images you include in the post.
  • Include internal links in your copy to claims you want to back up, or to specific products.
  • Adding external links to support a claim is not a bad thing. Actually, in my experience, it can actually help a post perform. Just try to keep external links to a minimum. You can also make them no-follow links if that makes you feel better. 
  • Write your own meta descriptions and use them as an opportunity to advertise the post with a hook to draw attention. 

 

There are other optimizations you can make, but this is by and large the bulk of them, and by a long shot. If you do everything I said to do, there’s a good chance you can generate a post that’s done to a proverbial “T” for SEO.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You can make every single one of the optimizations I recommend in this section for SEO, but if you don’t make sure to target a lucrative keyword (that has search volume and reasonable difficulty) and if you don’t answer questions, there’s no chance that your post will do well. I know this from experience.

Answer the question first, optimize with keywords and other adjustments second. 

So How Do Blogs Help SEO?

In a nutshell, if you do everything I mentioned here, your blogs will probably rank effectively in the organic search results. People will see the listings, see that the page answers questions they have, and when all goes swimmingly, they will click and read. 

Some of them may even be intrigued by your products and services and convert into paying customers. 

The more organic leads you generate, the less you need to rely on paid search marketing like PPC services, or on social media marketing, email marketing, and even influencer marketing. 

So, in a way, blogging, when done effectively, can do more for your marketing efforts than any other single initiative. 

But it’s not just that blogging helps SEO. Good copy on your website can also substantially boost the user experience (UX).

Beyond SEO, Why Is Blogging Important?

Now that you know how blogs help SEO, it’s worth expounding on how blogging is not just about bringing in organic leads. 

Blogging – if the copy is well-written, accurate, and helpful in some way or other – is central to the user experience. Remember, not everyone that lands on your website is going to become a paying customer. Some of them just want answers. 

If your blogs are good and people read them, they will spend more time on your website. This metric is important for Google to analyze the user experience. Moreover, the more you blog and the better your copy is, the more users will trust what they find on your website. 

This will position your organization as an authority in your industry, a leader with experience and expertise, not just a company that sells something. That’s huge. People buy from brands they trust. 

Moreover, developing greater brand awareness will solidify your position in your market as a competitor and make it more difficult for others to vie for your business, even with effective social media campaigns and through other paid channels. 

All in all, blogging, when done right, will improve customer engagement, and that is never a bad thing.

What Else Can You Do to Optimize Content for Organic Visibility 

As important as blogging is for SEO, it is far from the only thing you can do to improve your overall SEO performance. 

Other things you can do include: 

  • Scrubbing Google Search Console for broken links and removing them.
  • Make sure your category and product pages use original imagery and copy, never take from a distributor or manufacturer.
  • Integrate your homepage with your social channels.
  • Work with an eCommerce web developer or use a plug-in to display your reviews on your homepage as well as on your product pages.
  • Include target keywords in page titles, headers, and URLs, as well as elsewhere in metadata.
  • Make sure your sitemap is updated regularly and submitted.
  • Install and configure an SSL.
  • Make sure your website’s pages load quickly (you can check performance on PageSpeed Insights or work with a developer to correct some of these issues).
  • Include internal links on your website for cross-selling and upselling opportunities. 

 

This is, however, just a short list of items you can knock out to help boost your website’s overall performance for SEO. I’m not going to get too far into the weeds because I want to keep on the topic of blogging and SEO specifically. 

How Long Does a Blog Need to Be for SEO Purposes?

This is actually something I’ve personally addressed before, and at length. For the full breakdown, please see my previous post, “SEO Content Strategy: Is Longer Always Better?

To keep things short and respectful of your time, the answer is no. Forget what you’ve read elsewhere. Longer is not always better. 

Here’s the truth: a post only needs to be as long as it has to in order to fully answer all aspects of the question it seeks to answer. That could be 250 words or it could be 10,000, and that is not an exaggeration. 

It’s also the case that a blog could be very high quality with only a few hundred words, and also very high quality with several thousand. The thing you need to keep in mind – the only thing – is search intent. 

A few years ago, prominent marketers all started to realize that one way to differentiate their content marketing in the face of increasingly stiff competition was to make it longer, since anyone with patience can do that.

Unfortunately, this flooded the front page of Google with content that was long just for the hell of it. As Google’s updates got more refined, they started to weed out the fluff that was on page one in favor of more concise, brief and accurate posts. 

Do not take this the wrong way: most topics warrant a post that will cover between 2000 and 3000 words. Scan this one, for instance, and you will see it is right in that range. 

I have not written this post to meet that criterion because it, itself, is a criterion, but because if I wanted to answer all aspects of the question “how do blogs help SEO?” I would have to flesh them all out. 

It’s just how the cookie crumbled. I could easily draw this post out to 5000 words but there would be no point. Similarly, if I tried to cram it all into 600 words, it wouldn’t answer any one question contained herein adequately, and would suffer for it. 

So let that be a lesson to you. When you sit down to write a blog, put length out of your mind. Draft your outline, and start writing. Once you’ve finished thoroughly examining the subject, you’re done. Doesn’t matter if the post is 500 words or 15,000. 

How Often Do You Need to Post to Get Traffic 

How do blogs help SEO

This is another question that I’ve addressed at length. For more detailed information, please see my previous post, “How Many Blog Posts Does It Take to Get Traffic?

Unfortunately, in this case, there is no simple answer. A single blog can generate tens of thousands of views in a year, or none. Or, you could have 20 to 30 blogs that each bring in a few hundred per month, accounting for a total much higher. 

Consistency is good, but there is no hard or fast answer. Ideally, if you can, you should post one to two pieces per week, but that’s a hard pace to sustain, as it can account for more than 100 posts per year, and moreover, the more you post, the more burned out you will get. 

It’s better to not post than to put up something that you know is both fluffy and thin. However, it’s also important to be routine. Google doesn’t like to see websites that put up a ton of posts in a short period of time and then go radio silent for weeks or months. 

So, as long as you can be consistent – even once per month is better than nothing as long as you keep at it – and what you publish is quality, you’re doing everything right. 

The most important thing I can tell you here from experience is to be patient. Sometimes you will publish a post that you have perfectly optimized and which answers 15 high-value questions, and it goes nowhere. Sometimes you publish something and think “there’s no way this will perform” and it generates hundreds, thousands, sometimes even tens of thousands of views. There’s really no way to tell for sure without trying.

The other reason you have to be patient is that this will take several years. That I promise, personally. Nothing worth having comes easily, and you should expect to work hard at SEO blogging for about two years until you actually start to see appreciable results. 

Just keep working. The views, and sales (if applicable) will come in time.

Why Is SEO Important for Lead Generation?

The last question I want to attempt to answer is why SEO is important for lead generation. The reason is that blogs you write solely to answer questions will bring in viewers that might never have a need to convert. You’ll just have to be OK with that – it is the price of publishing free information. 

On the other hand, you will definitely attract some readers that might, under other circumstances, become paying customers. And, while you’re educating and engrossing, you’ll be passively building brand equity in their minds, whether they know it or not. 

Therefore, SEO blogging performs best when you pair it with other lead-capturing initiatives. Give readers an option to subscribe to the blog, ask for email or other contact information, or invite users to follow you on social media. You can then use those captured leads for remarketing purposes – and some of them, if all goes well, will end up loyal customers.

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Michael Esposito

Mike Esposito is a professional SEO copywriter spurned by a love of language and creativity. When he's not at the keyboard, you may be able to catch a rare glimpse of him enjoying the outdoors or sipping fine literature.

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