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As SEO specialists, our strategies thrive off the creation of content. Whether it be meta descriptions or long form discussions on current topics, our ability to fuse the power of the written word with effective SEO strategies is what allows us to help clients find their footing online.
With that said, one highly-effective area of content marketing that is often overlooked is on-site blogging. The benefits of blog content may not be obvious at first glance, given that it doesn’t directly lead to sales. However, it can lead to a plethora of fantastic outcomes for businesses that are willing to take the plunge.
For the most part, search engine algorithms don’t have an objective sense of how good your business’ services are. So, when determining whether you should be on the first page of search results for a certain keyword or phrase, they have to look elsewhere. At that point, the question becomes less “how well does your service fulfill the needs of customers?” and more “how well does your website answer the queries of curious searchers?”.
By creating engaging, well-written content that answers questions relevant to your audience, you are giving search engines a reason to see you as an authority. However, more importantly, you are giving potential customers that may stumble across your site a reason to engage with it.
When customers are looking to spend their hard-earned money on a specific product or service, they want validation that the company they’re working with is an authority. On-site blogging is a powerful tool for showing that you know what you’re talking about within your industry. It also allows you the unique chance to connect with your audience in a way that is more human than the usual sales-driven marketing channels.
With all of this in mind, while on-site blogging can mean excellent things for your business, the benefits of blog content can only be reaped if you’re doing it right.
So, we’ve already talked about why you should utilise the benefits of blog content. Now, let’s have a look at how you can do it well. The main thing to keep in mind when creating on-site blog content, as with any content you’re looking to rank with on search engines, is the balance between readability and SEO optimisation.
You want to avoid a thick wall of keywords that does little for the reader. However, you also want to ensure that potential customers can find and access your blog easily. With that said, let’s take a look at factors to consider when creating on-site blog content.
Whilst you may have a vast wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics, that’s not necessarily what people (or search engines) are going to want from your business. If people are clicking through to the blog of a mechanic’s website, they are expecting to find information pertaining to that particular niche. Similarly, search engines are going to rank content more favourably if the topics discussed relate back to the focus of your website as a whole.
We’re not saying that branching out every once in a while is always a bad thing as such. However, pieces that aren’t directly relevant to your industry are going to have less of an impact compared to those that do. People that are looking on search engines are generally doing so because they have specific questions to be answered. So, the better you are at answering questions relating to your industry, the better. That leads to our next point…
Although you may find a topic extremely interesting to write about, that won’t mean all that much if it’s an answer to a question nobody asked. Finding out what your target audience is interested in is a pivotal part of any good SEO blogging strategy. This will give your blog the highest chance of gaining traction, especially for questions that few people have adequately acknowledged.
Not sure how to work out what your audience is looking for? Luckily for you, there are a few ways to work around this issue. If you have access to Google Keyword Planner, simply looking up various keywords and phrases will usually provide you with an array of potential topics to tackle, coupled with their average monthly searches.
If you don’t have access to this service, don’t fret, as Answer the Public has you covered. This website provides you with questions that are being asked by search engine users that contain certain keywords dictated by you. Once you have your topics in mind, let’s look at choosing keywords.
Similar to the previous point; if you’re looking to utilise the benefits of blog content as an SEO tool, it’s important that you’re targeting keywords people are searching for. Often, the responses you find from performing research on Answer the Public or Keyword Planner should be perfect fits as relevant keywords. However, if you’re starting from scratch, there are a few things that go into choosing the ideal keyword(s).
Firstly, will you be able to write a blog that references this keyword naturally? Google, for example, has a relatively strict keyword density “score”; the ideal of which tends to sit around 0.5-2.5% density. This means that your content should include your keyword (or a synonym, in some cases) a certain number of times based on the length of your piece. This will give you the best chance at being picked up as relevant for that specific keyword.
Secondly, are people actually searching that keyword? To be frank, there are innumerable keywords and phrases to choose from, but that doesn’t mean anyone is actually searching for them. For the best results, choose keywords that have a search volume high enough that people are interested, but low enough that you have a chance to compete. “Shoes” may be an oversaturated search term, but you may have more luck competing for “Black Shoes in Australia”. It’s all about picking your battles wisely.
While there are dozens of other things to keep in mind when choosing keywords for your content, that’s a blog for another day. So, let’s move on.
In the mid-2000s, SEO optimised content was an absolute mess. This is because search engines had much simpler algorithms and the benefits of blog content could be found through stuffing as many keywords into your content as possible. This all changed as search engines began to favour readability as a major ranking factor; a change that also led to many SEO soothsayers heralding the “death of content marketing”, for one reason or another.
To the surprise of few, content marketing did not die out, and is now considered to be a more powerful ranking factor than ever before. Instead, it led to higher quality standards for those looking to profit from the benefits of blog content. So, while keyword density is still an important factor (notice that I’ve said “the benefits of blog content” quite a few times in this piece), it’s equally, if not more important that your content reads well.
There is an expansive array of factors that go into crafting the perfect piece of on-site blog content. Whilst we will certainly cover more ways that you can optimise your blogs in future posts, hopefully, we’ve given you a solid foundation to start from.
At Digital Next, we are dedicated to providing our clients with exceptionally written, SEO optimised content that is catered to both readers and search engines alike. To learn more about how Digital Next could benefit your business in the digital landscape, contact us today!