Will Writing a Blog Really Boost Your Search Rank?
What's the most important objective of any search engine? To give its customers exactly what they're looking for. If you can satisfy your audience you will satisfy Google and rise through the rankings.
Most of the traffic on my website arrives via the blog. I know blogging works and I've learned a few things along the way...
As a small business owner or consultant, can you really move your site up the rankings through blogging alone?
I used to answer yes to this question because other people told me it was possible. Now I answer YES because I've watched my site and my clients' sites rise through the rankings over time with zero advertising spend.
Blogging for SEO absolutely works. And the more you promote your posts on social media and via email, the quicker you'll find success.
I started blogging in 2016. Life at the time meant I was happy to let my business grow organically, so I stood back and watched how it went. I blogged weekly at first then slowed down, but kept existing posts up to date and linked older posts to newer ones. That's it: very little social media, no email marketing and no paid search marketing.
My site got a few measly hits a day until, somewhere halfway through 2017, it seemed to reach a tipping point. Traffic jumped, and continues to rise steadily without additional marketing. These days I post once a month at the very most and traffic continues to climb.
How does blogging boost SEO?
Google, Weibo, Ask Jeeves (kidding) and all the rest exist to deliver the websites people want when they type in a search term. They work by constantly finding new ways to work out which website is most relevant to a specific term, or "keyword".
In fact, a keyword is usually a phrase or a question.
The most relevant website isn't the one that contains the keyword the most number of times, it's the site most likely to solve whatever query brought the person to Google in the first place.
Getting a single post to the top of search results is a three-step process:
- Get noticed by Google (use relevant keywords in a nice, long, meaty post).
- Write an enticing title and page description so people click on your post in search results.
- Write quality content that encourages people to stay on the page, click links, like and share)
But it depends on your competition...
Put simply, if you blog about a very popular subject, you'll find it much harder to make an impact. I blog about blogging and digital marketing to an internet saturated with blogs about blogging and digital marketing. Like putting your hand up in a crowd, it's very hard to get noticed.
If you blog in a field like carpentry or plumbing you'll have much more of an edge over your competition because most of your colleagues don't blog.
In a popular field, it is vital to narrow your niche. I also blog about specific aspects of my preferred platform, Squarespace. I'm talking to a far smaller audience, but it's an audience more likely to use my services. Specialise as much as possible and you'll produce detailed, informative posts on subjects guaranteed to please your potential customers.
Another way to make your mark in a saturated field is to BE THE BEST. I blog about blogging because I enjoy blogging about blogging and it shows Google that I am the digital marketer I say I am. I also review the content others publish, tweak and improve my posts whenever I can, and keep them up to date.
Without paying for other traffic-driving strategies it's harder for me to compete with large digital agencies and industry thought leaders, but my blogging articles regularly get found and read, which is a win in itself.
Conclusion: Write relevant, detailed, good-quality content that people want to read
Pleasing search engines is all about pleasing your target audience. As long as you know your audience and you are a genuine expert in your field, boosting your search rank through blogging is completely within your capabilities.
Now read my definitive guide to writing quality content that search engines (and your customers!) will love, and prepare for a long and exciting journey to page 1.