The following is a post from Brian Fitzgerald, VP of Web Strategy at TIG Global.
Today’s post is going to get back to basics a little bit by talking about blogging. Blogging has been around for many years now but I’m still confused and disappointed that more people aren’t using it to their advantage. Blogging is an extremely low cost effort that only requires some dedication of time on a regular basis and passion about a topic. There are so many benefits and opportunities with blogging, including but not limited to differentiation from competitors, extending marketing and PR messages, building communities, demonstrating expertise and improving search engine optimization (SEO). Each one of these benefits and opportunities could have its own blog post, so today I’m going to focus on the SEO benefit that blogging creates.
- Fresh Content
Search engines love fresh content. It gives them a reason to come back and crawl your site on a more frequent basis. It shows them that you are making updates that they should probably be aware of, in case your content is relevant for searchers. Just as important is that people like fresh content too! It gives them a reason to want to come back and visit your site on a more regular basis.
- The Long Tail
We’ve talked about The Long Tail on the TIG Global blog in the past. Blogging is one of the more effective ways of capturing those lower volume, but highly targeted search terms that make up The Long Tail. Addressing the long tail of search is a way to boost your sites overall visibility in natural search results and drive more traffic from natural search.
- Inbound Links
Various factors surrounding inbound links (quality, quantity, anchor text, etc.) make up the most important factor for successful SEO. Just to be clear, inbound links are links from other third party sites to your site. Blogging, often by default, creates timely, relevant and interesting content and this is the type of content that people naturally like to share and link to. Therefore blogging is a tactic that can have a positive effect on inbound links.
- Integration with Social Networks
In recent months the top two search engines have publicly discussed how they are now looking at “social signals” to help determine natural search rankings. What this means is that they are looking at links shared on Facebook, links shared on Twitter, who you are on Twitter and more. Blogs should have a heavy integration with social networks and should help with “social signals” as blog visitors share your posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.
Really Simple Syndication or RSS is a common technology on the web that is inherent with all blogs. RSS allows users to subscribe to your blog/content and get notified when there are updates. RSS is also beneficial because it allows other websites to easily syndicate your content on their websites. The initial reaction to this might be that other sites are “stealing” your content for their own benefit. While this is always a concern, the positives outweigh the negatives here because when your blog/content is syndicated it helps create inbound links (see #3 above).
I would really love to see business start to truly take advantage of the benefits that blogging can create. There is actually data from a Hubspot study that showed that businesses that blog get more organic search traffic than businesses that don’t blog. Again, this really helps emphasis the enormous benefits that blogging can have on SEO.
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