Why Should My Website Have a Blog?

08/01/2013 by David Caffey

While blogging may be mistakenly seen by some as a passing fad, Vanick recognizes the value of giving your website a blog. What is the value, what should you blog about, and how do you even get started?

An On-Going Blog Strategy Can Yield Big Results If Executed Correctly

While many factors for SEO and online marketing differ based on your industry, geographic targeting, and campaign objectives, there are a few requirements that remain the same for everyone. One of those requirements is an active blog. The bottom line: if you want your website to compete for keyword rankings in search engines, you need an active blog strategy. 

Blogging can be work-heavy and time-intensive, but it can pay off big time in the long run. Here are just a few benefits you can expect to see over the course of your content creation campaign:

What Exactly Do I Get Out of It?

  • More Links -- If you regularly put out fresh, valuable posts on your website, other websites are far more likely to link to you -- especially if you're creating the right content. Despite the recent, content-centric changes to Google's algorithm, external links are still extremely valuable for SEO.
  • More Long-Tail Search Traffic -- Blog content attracts a different type of search traffic. It's difficult (if not impossible) to optimize your main site's page content for these highly-specific phrases. For example: if your home page attracts visitors looking for "red shoes," your blog will snag the folks who type "red shoes for runners who are starting out and training for races" in Google or Bing.
  • More Value for Your Visitors -- Each time you add a blog post, you're adding another page of useful content for your visitors. It's that simple. When you increase the depth of your site content, you're increasing the likelihood of a visitor finding something valuable on your site. When your visitors are consistently finding valuable, new content on your site, you've likely gained a highly targeted source of repeat traffic.  

Now that you're on the blogging bandwagon, the next step is picking the right type of content to post. Many sites have active blogs, but they can often go overboard with self-promotional content that doesn't catch on. The best type of content comes from your customers' most-asked questions or readers' demands, but here are a few options to get you started:

What Should I Post?

  • Actionable Guides or "How-To's" -- Your blog should focus on delivering valuable information to your readers. Typically, both web users and search engines respond to well-thought-out guides and advice on a topic. Plus, they help easily identify problems nagging your customers, and put the solution in your next post. 
  • News and Trends in Your Industry -- While not as powerful as actionable information, posting about trends in your space is a great option for shaking things up. If you're in B2B, these are often a must-have for generating traffic. 
  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions -- F.A.Q. posts are super-easy to generate (just get with your sales or customer services teams) and they are naturally search friendly. Searchers are asking a question whenever they type a query into Google -- this gives them an answer.  
Once your blogging strategy is in place, you're ready to go. If you are starting from scratch or just need a refresher, here's how to take the next step towards blogging perfection:

How Do I Get Started?

  1. Set It Up -- Of the several methods for configuring your blog, we recommended placing posts in a sub-directory (That is, example.com/blog). This ensures that any authority (aka Link Juice) generated from blog content goes directly to your root domain. Depending on your needs and requirements, other options include sub domains (blog.example.com) or completely separate domains (exampleblog.com --not recommend).
  2. Link Up Google+ -- Among many other benefits, associating your G+ profile with your blog content increases your click-through rate. Make sure you mark posts with the "rel=author" tag.
  3. Pick Some Topics -- This part is important. Blogging is significantly easier when your content team has a running list of topics to choose from. Use the Google Keyword Planner to research your top keywords and create some related topics based on what your users are searching for. 
  4. Create a Content Calendar -- Now that you have the tools and the topics ready, pick a schedule and stick with it. A sustainable blog strategy will stress consistency over quantity. A weekly, content-rich post is far more valuable than a daily, 100-word article. 
  5. Spread the Word -- The blogging process doesn't end once you hit submit. Share your new and old content through social media or send it out to your email list. 

Need some help developing your blogging or SEO strategy? Remember, we can help. Contact us to get started.

David Caffey
SEO/SEM Analyst