If you run a business, I probably do not need to convince you how important it is to be visible when your customer is trying to find you online. While many people recognize the importance of showing up when your consumer looks for you in a search engine, not everyone knows how to actually do it. Most people who have a website for their business most likely have heard of search engine optimization (SEO) and they might even be familiar with some of the tactics, but what if I told you that creating a blog with high quality content is one of the most important things you can do to become visible online? It’s true. If you create a high quality blog with the objective of providing your readers with helpful information that will attract inbound links, you will rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is what I call “The Big Blog Theory”. If you read on, you will learn how you can implement this theory to benefit your company or brand.
Most people know by now that a search engine, like Google, is a website that you use to help you find information on the World Wide Web. While there are a few different search engines, Google is by far the largest, and for the purposes of this blog, I will focus on Google. When you type in what you are looking for in the “search” section in Google, you get a list of results based on the terms that you’ve input. These are your search engine results pages or simply organic search results and the higher that you are on this list, the easier it is for your target to find your company or brand. While you cannot pay to rank higher on this list, you can do various search engine optimization tactics to help you rank higher.
So you may be thinking, what does this all have to do with blogging? As mentioned in my previous blog called “About A Blog”, when you add content to your site through blog posts, you should think of it as a magnet. And the more quality information you put into your blog, the bigger the magnet gets to attract more traffic. The more people that see it, the more inbound links, or backlinks, you will earn, meaning those who want to link to your site to reference your content. When you have high quality links, Google perceives you to have more authority and in turn, rewards you with higher organic search results. Basically, Google sees these relevant links as a recommendation. It used to be the more inbound links that you had, the higher ranking you received, but over the years Google has changed their algorithm hundreds of times to combat people who were trying to manipulate the system and what is most important now (after the Google Penguin algorithm update) is the relevancy of the inbound link, meaning that the link is from a related website.
While there are a lot of things you can do to optimize your blog posts, the most important thing to keep in mind is your audience. Ask yourself what does my audience want to know? What value can I provide that will help them? Your objective is to make your content so good that your readers want to “share” it with their network and “attract” them to link to your blog.
Here is what you need to do in order to create a blog that is beneficial to your target and will improve your organic rankings.
SEO used to be about writing content that was rich in keywords, but Google’s new algorithm is smarter. Previously, you had to incorporate certain words in your body copy many times in order to rank higher, but the new algorithm uses latent semantic indexing, which means it identifies patterns in the relationship between terms and concepts. It now knows that the term “corporate” is similar to “business” so you no longer need to be robotic and repeat a word a 100 times. So instead of filling your blog full of keywords for the sake of upping your ranking, write about topics that the reader wants to learn about. If people are leaving quickly, or bouncing from your site, your ranking will be lowered accordingly. Please note that keywords are still important when it comes to on-page optimization, which is a topic that will be covered in my next blog.
Create a user experience like no one else can offer. Your goal is to create a blog with information that cannot be found on other blogs. How are you going to attract readers and inbound links if you provide the same information as everyone else? I know that it is sometimes challenging and certainly you may be writing about similar topics once in a while, but find a new spin on it to say it in a different way. In addition, Google does not like duplicate content and since the Panda update, they consider duplicated information (along with misspelling and factual errors) as “poor content”, which gets penalized from ranking well.
If Google’s algorithm is all about the reader, then it makes sense that if the user experience is better for the reader of your blog, then you will rank higher. Believe it or not, search engine algorithms take into consideration if the design is visually appealing and easy to use and understand. For instance is it easy to find the author, title and publish date? And are your previous posts curated by category? In addition, people are using their mobile devices more than ever to browse the Internet, so the blog on your site should be easy to read on your phone. By using a responsive design, your website “responds” and conforms to whatever device you are using. If it is not mobile-friendly and easy to read on your device, many users will bounce quickly, which will hurt your rankings. According to Google, 79% of users who don’t like what they find on a mobile site will actually look for the information they need on another site.
Your goal is to create content that is high quality and shareable, so make it easy for your readers to share your blog. On your blog page, you should include social media sharing buttons, such as for LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. The easier it is for the reader to share the information, the more likely they will do it. And a more sharable blog tells the search engines that it is a quality piece of content.
It is important to note that getting high organic search rankings requires time and it can take anywhere from several months to a year. The main takeaway is that if your blog provides helpful information to the reader, it is also good for Google. If you consistently update your blog with high quality content that attracts relevant inbound links, your organic search results will increase and you can make “The Big Blog Theory” work for you.
If you enjoyed this post, I encourage you to write a comment, like it, or share it with your network. You can also select one of these hyperlinks to follow me on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Want to learn more about how a blog can provide helpful information to its readers, attract inbound links, and increase your organic rankings? Check out the following resources, where I obtained some of the above information: Want to Dominate Organic Search? How Blogging Can Help, 7 Obsolete SEO Tactics You’re Wasting Your Time On, 5 Ways Google Is Changing SEO and the book SEO Made Easy by E. Bailyn.