The Importance of Blogging for SEO: 5 Ways Blogging Fuels Your Website Traffic
Many business owners cringe over the idea of blogging. “Do we really need to have a blog?” is a question we at Pam Ann Marketing get asked all the time. The answer is “Yes if you care about SEO, you really do need to have a blog.” In this article, I will aim to convince you of the importance of blogging for SEO by explaining in detail exactly how it makes your site more favorable for Google to rank.
5 Ways Blogging is Important for SEO
Here are five ways that blogging and SEO go hand-in-hand.
1. Blogging puts “gas in your car”
Google tends to favor large sites that have a LOT of content. Blogging provides a way to consistently increase the number of URLs (pages or articles) on your site with high-quality content.
Side note: Quality of content is of utmost importance! Quantity of pages alone means nothing if all of the content is of low quality. So don’t go creating low-quality pages or articles just for the sake of increasing your quantity of URLs. That won’t help you, and could even hurt you.
Instead, focus on creating a routine of writing high-quality blog articles on a regular basis, and ensure that you’re optimizing each article for different keywords. It doesn’t really help much to write multiple articles about the same keyword, as that just makes them compete against each other and limits the number of keyword ranking opportunities you’re creating (more on that later.)
A HubSpot study showed that the more often a company writes blog articles on their site, the more organic search traffic that site gets.
Therefore, blogging is like putting gas in your car. The more gas you put in, the further you’ll go!
2) Google is Now a “Topical Match Engine”
Beyond favoring sites with a large quantity of URLs, Google likes sites that are essentially whole encyclopedias on their topic. They have changed their algorithms so that they try to understand the context of whole topics and be more of a topical match engine, as opposed to being just a simplistic keyword match engine. This is evidenced by Google’s “Topical Search System” patent, which indicates that their search engine “…can perform a search based on topics appearing in a query, rather than simply keywords included in the query.”
So what does this mean? It means that it’s no longer sufficient to have a single page or article with a single keyword about a topic on your site. In order to come up in Google’s search results, your site needs to represent your topic more holistically.
Blogging provides an excellent way to not only demonstrate thought leadership about your topic to human readers but also show Google that your site represents your topic comprehensively. Writing multiple articles about the various aspects of your subject can show Google that you have a whole “chapter in your book” about that topic, and therefore your site is worthy of coming up as a search result for that subject.
3) Blogging Can Help “Boost” Important Site Pages
To take the “topical match engine” concept even further, blogging can help you not only represent an entire topic comprehensively, but it can also help you boost the rankings of more competitive content on your site.
Let’s say you have an e-book about cooking tips that you really want people to download or buy. “Cooking tips” is a pretty broad, and therefore competitive, topic. Getting that main e-book page to rank for the broad topic “cooking tips” would be very difficult without that page having a lot of supporting content linking to it. That’s where blogging can come in, and provide that support.
Google looks at pages that have a lot of other pages linking to them as more important, and therefore more worthy of being ranked.
Additionally, subtopics, which tend to have key phrases that are longer (more words in the phrase, a.k.a. “long tail”) are easier to rank for than high-level main topics.
Therefore, you can use blogging to create articles about subtopics, with longer and easier-to-rank-for keyphrases, and link all of those blog articles back to the main topic page that you want to promote the most. This essentially “boosts” the main topic page, and makes that main topic page more likely to rank than it would without the support of those blog articles linking to it.
The following image demonstrates this concept:
For really broad topics, you can even take this hub-and-spoke type approach further, and create multiple mini hubs, as shown in this image:
4) Blogging Increases Your Quantity of Keywords
As you can see from the example above, creating blog articles about all of those subtopics not only grows the site size and creates that supportive hub-and-spoke structure but it also simply allows the site to rank for SO many more keywords! Even the simplistic example above provides SIXTEEN different keyword ranking opportunities.
In reality, that example could be taken much further, providing exponentially more ranking opportunities than if blogging was not occurring. The traffic opportunity created by blogging is simply unmatched by any approach that doesn’t include consistently adding to the site’s keyword profile in this manner.
5) Blogging Increases Inbound Links
Last, but certainly not least, blogging increases your opportunity to earn inbound links from other websites, which is very impactful for SEO.
Simply having a large quantity of high-quality articles on your site greatly increases the likelihood that other people will discover your content. Some of those people will be compelled to link to it if they found it helpful to them.
It’s essential to note that the process of gaining inbound links (getting other websites to link to your website) MUST be done naturally. Any attempt to manipulate the number of websites that are linking to yours violates Google’s terms of service and can lead to a nightmare penalty situation.
Instead, create a routine of producing high-quality blog articles as often as you can, and that will eventually result in your site earning natural inbound links.
To accelerate that process, build a strong following on social media and share each new article as it comes out. Consider also boosting (paid sponsorship for) certain pieces of particularly high-quality content, to get more people to discover (and therefore link) to it.
Conclusion: The Importance of Blogging For SEO Cannot Be Emphasized Enough
Here at Pam Ann Marketing, we tell prospective clients that if they do not want to create a consistent blogging routine, then SEO isn’t worth doing at all. That’s how important we believe blogging to be as part of a successful SEO strategy.
Blogging and SEO go hand-in-hand. Without blogging, it is difficult or impossible to consistently increase the size of the site, increase counts of keywords and inbound links, and create those essential “chapters in your book.”
About the Author
Pam Ann Aungst, M.B.A., President of Pam Ann Marketing, LLC and founder of Stealth™ Search and Analytics, is widely recognized as an expert in search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), and digital analytics.
A self-proclaimed “geek,” Pam began studying computer programming at 6 years old, started creating websites in 1997 and has been working professionally in the field of e-commerce since 2005. Referred to by Sprout Social as a “Twitter Success Story,” she harnessed the power of social media to launch her own agency in 2011.
Pam has been interviewed by publications such as Internet Retailer magazine and CBS Small Business Pulse. She guest-lectures at prestigious universities such as NYU and frequently travels around the country giving talks at industry conferences. Pam has been honored with several awards for her small business leadership and non-profit advocacy work, including being named one of “Jersey’s Best Marcom Professionals Under 40.”
Pam holds an M.B.A. in Marketing from Regis University, where she learned the cornerstones of traditional marketing strategy. She now combines that with her more than 12 years of professional experience to help established companies and “household name” brands take their traffic-driving and analytics strategies to the next level.
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