Seven must-have steps to ensure you appear on the first page on Google
Updated: Aug 10, 2020
Blogs used to be trendy and appealing and “blogging” was a buzzword. The buzz seems to have died down, so do blogs still matter? The short answer is yes. More so than ever, we still need blogs. Why? Because the amount of organic (unpaid) traffic our websites receive can be tremendously increased through blogging. The catch? The blogging needs to be done right. Without further ado, let’s dive into the top seven reasons why you should use blogs to drive SEO success.
1. Google’s algorithm loves blogs
The infamous algorithms that determine where your website or blog places in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can be manipulated to your advantage through blogging. First of all, the more pages your website has, the more Google has to index. The more it has to index, the more chances that results from your site will appear higher up in SERPs. Blogs are the ideal way to keep adding pages to your site. The added benefit here is that you’ll be upping your freshness factor since blogs mean that new content is constantly flowing into your site – another factor that Google’s algorithm rewards you for.
Blogs are perfect for sharing, which readers will do should the content be valuable enough to be shared. This means that you are generating more inbound links to your website, which is yet another factor – the “Authority Factor” - that Google’s algorithm loves.
2. Customers love blogs
People do research online before they make purchases. But did you know that 85% of consumers use Google to find out more about products? Besides that if your content is valuable to your customers, the do spend spend up to eight to twelve minutes reading your blog! The added benefit here is that the time spent in total on your site increases dramatically.
By using the right keywords and phrases in your content, your blog can attract people actively searching for your products and services. Blog articles are therefore critical for attracting people with the right purchase intent. The best part? You are not paying to advertise to these people: they are seeking you out, with statistics showing that more than 50% of web traffic comes from organic search results.
3. Blogs build brand credibility
Use your blog to demonstrate the value that you can provide for your customers. The principle here is that blogs should provide a personal solution to a universal problem. Your products or services should be helping or enabling your customers solve a pain point. See your blog as an extension of that problem solving. This will help position you as a thought-leader in your industry. Do this without name-dropping your brand too frequently in the content, since readers shy away from blogs that are too salesy.
Not sure where to start writing this type of content? Begin with your own manuals and tutorials as these can be turned into “How To Guides” and listicles. Next, think of the ways in which timely topics affect your customers in relation to your products and services. Finally, remember to check your competitors’ websites for inspiration.
4. Blog quality is rewarded
In 2020, Google’s bots can identify quality content just like humans. This means that quality content is king, rather than merely writing to pack in SEO keywords and phrases. The key to doing this is always to put yourself in your client’s shoes so that your writing is addressing their needs. Remember to avoid internal jargon and overly technical terms which might alienate some readers.
5. Keyword research is (still) king
The quality of writing for blogs is more important than ever, as we have just discussed, but keywords still matter. There are numerous tools to help you find the keywords and phrases that are actively being searched – most notably Google’s own free keyword planner tool.
Remember to stay creative as this will help you discover new keywords and phrases that may be less competitive. Again, think like (not about) your customer. For instance, if you are writing about yoga, you might include “food to eat before a yoga class” as a creative way to consider searches your customers are making.
Finally, double check what you think your keywords and phrases mean. Do they mean the same to your customers. Confirm this by entering the keyword or phrase into Google and analyse the results.
6. Blogs drive conversions
While you want to avoid having your blog sounding too salesy, you do want to use it to drive conversions. Ensure that there is a compelling Call-To-Action at the end of the article – the “Shop Now” or “Contact Us” button, for example.
You might be tempted to insert banners advertising your services throughout the content. Refrain from doing so as the point of the blog is to educate, not promote. Keep the banners to outside or alongside the content, but don’t break your readers flow.
7. Blogs have longevity
To ensure your blogs provide you with maximum ROI (Return on Investment by continuing to drive organic traffic to your site long after their publication, you must plan and monitor. To plan, you need to create a publication calendar so that you can publish blogs on a regular basis, since consistency is another factor Google’s algorithm will reward you for.