There are a number of reasons why any company should consider blogging. The social media opportunities, networking opportunities and ability to enhance brand reputation are all compelling reasons to participate in blogging. Often times however, these benefits are hard to quantify in a way that illustrates the ROI that is achieved through blogging. Fortunately, blogging is also one of the best available tools to improve your SEO campaign if leveraged properly. Therefore, it is much easier to justify the expense of blogging when one can show the direct SEO benefit to the Web site because search activity is much easier to tie to ROI than brand management or even social media in many cases. Here are the 3 of the top ways that you can use your blog to enhance your SEO campaign:
- Create new content
- Create new internal link opportunities
- Create new external links
While it may seem obvious, one of the biggest advantages that a blog gives you with respect to SEO, is a consistent source of new keyword focused content. Most Web sites do not update or add content very frequently. In many cases at the enterprise level, adding or changing content requires a lot of resources. Often times the content production team must agree to add or modify the content, the marketing and branding people might have something to say about it, and then you need to wait for the IT production schedule to allow you to publish. The end result is not much new content.
Blogging typically allows content producers to circumvent this entire process because most of the time, blog post topics are controlled by bloggers. Because the content lives outside the main information architecture of the site, the marketing team usually has less concern about the impact of the content to the overall site design, messaging and conversion funnel. This also allows for more flexibility in terms of what content can be produced for the blog and therefore, what keyword phrases can be targeted. And because the blog enables the author to publish directly to the Web site, the content production schedule is not dependent on the IT production schedule. For these reasons, effective blogging can give you a huge competitive advantage in your ability to produce keyword focused content.
Another benefit that all this additional content affords your SEO campaign is the ability to create additional internal links to relevant content from new blog posts. Those new internal links will enhance the ranking opportunity of the pages they link to. Having an ongoing strategy to create internal links from blog posts to relevant pages within your Web site should be a key element in your ongoing SEO campaign. If you’re on WordPress, you can make this process easier by using the following plugin:
Cross Linker WordPress Plugin
Blogging not only creates additional internal linking opportunities, it is also one of the best ways to acquire one way external links. There are three primary reasons that blogs are so effective for link building.
First, assuming you are creating compelling content that helps your users solve problems, you will naturally acquire links from Webmasters and bloggers who link to your content as a reference. This is especially true of bloggers, who tend to link to other blog posts as references or as talking points for their own blog posts, much more frequently than do traditional Web masters.
Second, blogs humanize your Web site and give you a more personal voice in the blogosphere which allows you to develop more personal relationships with other bloggers. These relationships often result in links as well as votes for your content in social bookmarking networks. And because a large percentage of the users who read social bookmarking sites like Digg and social news sites like Delicious are bloggers, favorable exposure on these types of sites can also produce a number of high quality, relevant, one way back links. Additionally, inclusion and subsequently links on some social media sites like Mixx.com, can also provide some direct SEO value.
Third, blogs publish their stories through RSS feeds. RSS stands for really simple syndication. An RSS feed is a data file that contains information and content from your blog in a standardized format that readers can understand. Some Webmasters include these feeds as a supplement to their own web site content through a feed aggregator that displays snippets of your blog posts on their site. The snippet will have a link back to your blog post for the complete blog post, thus establishing a link to your site. Again this assumes that you are creating thought leading content that Web masters and bloggers can use as a reference.
Blogging is a great tool for SEO. It allows you to create new keyword focused content easily, creates new internal linking opportunities and can be a huge catalyst for external links. By analyzing the search traffic that your blog brings in as well as the links that it attracts, you can begin to paint a more accurate picture of the ROI that your blogging efforts are having on your SEO campaign.