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Blog & News

How Your Blogging Strategy Can Help or Hinder Your SEO

By Bethany Yocum | Content Coordinator

Whether you have a new website or are looking for ways to revamp an older one, blogging strategy is an often-overlooked way to keep your content refreshed, even if your design isn’t very modern. Many people launch a new website and treat that as a finished project, but your website’s blog is an unmined resource if you don’t post regularly.

Creating and publishing regular blog posts for your website provides more expert content for your visitors and strengthens your website’s authority with Google in a number of ways. Blogging regularly can boost your website’s SEO by opening up opportunities for new backlink relationships, internal links, keywords relevant to your business, and more. A blogging strategy (or lack thereof) can make a difference in your website’s relevancy in search rankings over time. If your website provides the option to post blogs, read these tips about how to start using your blog as an SEO-improvement tool and a resource for your customers.

What Should I Blog About?

In order to use your blog as a tool to offer added value for your users, you should post about things going on at your business, useful tips for your customers, and timely, relevant industry news that affects you or your customers. A good blogging strategy simultaneously provides added value for your users and additional content for Google to crawl and use to more accurately index your website according to the products and services you offer.

via GIPHY

If your website doesn’t have a separate page for events, your blog is a great place to post about upcoming events at your business or events in the community that your business is a part of. If your business sponsors any organizations or is active in the community, this is the place to brag about it! In addition to making customers aware of your support of the community, this also offers a great opportunity for quality backlinks from other websites. If you post a blog and link the website of the organization or event you’re active with, chances are that they may do the same for you. Links to your website will be available to a wider audience and you’ll build up authority with search engines over time by accumulating backlinks from trustworthy sources that come up in a natural way.

Establish Your Authority as an Industry Expert

Your blog is also a great place to show off your industry knowledge. Again, this serves the dual purpose of letting your customers and potential customers know you’re an expert in your field and making Google aware of more areas where your business has expertise. You can write posts aimed at providing your customers with tips related to your industry that will help them out, posts about new standards or guidelines in the industry that may affect your customers, or a combination of the two.

If new industry guidelines or news comes up that a different site creates a blog post about before you get the chance to post about it, keep in mind that posting syndicated content is an option. This will help Google connect your business with other noteworthy brands in your industry while also ensuring the content you post to your website doesn’t get penalized by Googlebot for containing duplicate content. If you want to occasionally post a blog that’s already been generated somewhere else, read more about using syndicated content to see if that’s a good option for your business.

Try a Question and Answer Format

If you’re not sure where to start in writing blogs or choosing topics, answering some common questions your customers ask you is a great place to start. Answering simple how-to questions or questions about your services is a great way to establish yourself as the expert and assure them they’ll be in good hands when they come to you for the product or service you provide.

Aside from being a great way to engage with your visitors, headings that use the question format along with an industry keyword are more likely to get your answer into a “featured snippet” on Google. Featured snippets are the responses Google selects for some queries to provide a fast answer to the question within the search engine results page:

 

blogging for seo google featured snippets

Not every query on Google has a featured snippet, but if you’re answering relevant industry questions that your customers are likely to ask, there’s a chance your answer could be pulled out for a featured snippet. Even if you’re not chosen as a featured snippet, it’s proven that answering questions leads to increased web traffic, so you’re doing yourself and your customers a service!

Post Blogs Regularly

An important key to success with blogging is posting with regularity. You should be working on a long-term blogging strategy, not a one-off post, because Google accounts for how recently a site has been updated in their ranking factors. If you last posted a blog a year ago and haven’t published or changed any of the other pages on your website during that time, your website is losing relevancy with Google. Make sure you have someone who is dedicated to posting a blog about once a month (or more, if you like); if you don’t have the staff available for this, we have a professional team of SEO and Digital Marketing experts that can take care of this for you. Contact us if you’re interested!

Another reason to post blogs to your website regularly is that more quality content typically equates to better SEO. Google doesn’t respond well to keyword stuffing (a strategy where you pick a few relevant words/phrases and overuse them as much as possible in a page), which is why blogs provide an opportunity to capitalize on topic-focused SEO. This is more important all the time, since Google announced last year that they no longer consider meta keywords entered into websites in their indexing process. The best way to make Google aware of your expertise in an area of business is to write quality content about the topic, and related keywords and phrases will come up in your writing naturally. For example, in a blog about HVAC troubleshooting, you’ll likely also mention things like thermostats, pilot lights, air ducts, etc., which helps Google build a picture of the areas of business you’re an expert in and how those topics relate to each other, which in turn, helps you rank for industry keywords that your customers are searching.

Common Blogging Mistakes to Avoid

Lastly, if you’re getting started with your blogging strategy, here are some commonly seen blogging practices you can avoid to make sure you’re getting the most out of your posts:

Keyword Stuffing

We touched on this above, but when you’re writing blogs, you will want to take extra care to ensure you’re writing in a way that sounds natural to read. Google’s algorithm is improving all the time, and what performs best in recent years is content that is human-readable and easy for people to understand. If you muddle up your blogs with awkward phrases designed to jam in as many keywords as possible, Google is likely to catch on, and your hard work won’t pay off. If you’re struggling to naturally incorporate keywords and phrases, follow the tip above about writing question-and-answer-focused content, which should start you off on the right track.

Reposting Blogs From Other Sources Incorrectly

As mentioned earlier, sometimes blogs from other trusted industry sources can be a great way to keep your content fresh, but if you don’t follow the proper steps to syndicate your content, your blog will be penalized in ranking or may even be removed from search engine results. Google identifies anything that’s identical to content on another website as duplicate content unless you take the proper steps to notify search engines that you got this information from a different website. There are a few different ways to do this, which are outlined in detail in our post about syndicated content.

Writing Off-Topic Posts

This one isn’t as likely to harm your SEO, but it won’t improve it, either. Make sure that when you write a blog post you are writing something that either is relevant to your industry, shows off your business’s community involvement, or is helpful to your users. When in doubt, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Would the blog you’re writing help educate them about something in your industry? Will it lead them to contact you? Will it help them solve a problem? If not, the content may still be useful in some area of your website, but it likely doesn’t have a place on your blog.

Work with SEO Experts

Curating a blog that helps you improve your SEO takes time, practice, and patience. If you have any questions about how our SEO team can help you build a digital marketing strategy that helps drive more traffic to your website and gets you more leads, contact us! We’d be happy to talk with you and make a plan or answer any questions you have.

Bethany Yocum

A native of the small town of Knoxville, Iowa, Bethany began her education at Indian Hills Community College. After getting her AA degree, she further developed her love for reading and writing at the University of Northern Iowa, where she studied English and Professional and Creative Writing. After several years working in web writing and editing in Cedar Rapids, she made a move back to central Iowa to join the Webspec team. One of her favorite parts of working with web content is exploring what makes each client unique so that she can give them the perfect voice in their web copy.

Outside of work, you might find Bethany scoping out a new restaurant with friends, collecting useless knowledge about celebrities, singing along with the alt rock station in the car, drinking tea while reading a good book, or catching up on a new favorite Netflix show.