Quick results in Search Marketing are only possible with Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, right? Wrong. The advent of blogging, as well as recent advances to search engine algorithms, has narrowed the gap between PPC and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to mere hours. With PPC, there is instant gratification as your advertisement will appear in search results almost immediately after your campaign is activated. However, this same advantage can now be seen in SEO.
First, let’s take a look at some common reasons why SEO projects have not been carried out in the past.
- Companies don’t want to abandon tech investments (e.g. content management systems and web publishing tools)
- Lack of budget dedicated to SEO
- May take a while to demonstrate ROI
Blogging addresses each of these problems.
- SEO best practices are already in place
Blogging software by default includes a few basic but important SEO practices by using proper Titles, headlines, URLs, and internal linking structure. Search engines also like sites that have fresh content, which can give blogs great influence over search results.
- Recent search engine algorithm changes boost the visibility of blogs
This recent experiment by Ryan Durk took advantage of temporary changes in Google’s logo linking to the search results page for “January 1 TCP/IP”. It shows two things: the speed by which a new blog is indexed and the short time between your blog getting indexed and it appearing high in search results.
- Blogs are inexpensive and easy to setup
A new blog can be created in a matter of minutes with little technical knowledge. Blog creation is free in many cases, often with a nominal monthly fee for additional features.
Blogging is great for companies that are not ready to make the larger SEO investment or are worried about abandoning a CMS in which they have already invested. Blogging can be used as a proof of concept that shows that SEO can deliver results. Use of blogging software delays the larger discussion of SEO projects that are potentially more time-consuming and require a larger investment that reap longer term benefits. Setting up a blog is inexpensive and doesn’t force you to abandon or modify your existing IT investments.
Then get people to notice your blog.
- Conduct Keyword Research
Creating a blog is just the first step. Keyword research can be the difference between a highly popular, authoritative blog and a blog that no one knows exists.
Since everyone competes on the most popular words, try blogging about slightly less competitive topics so your site has the ability to rank for those terms. HitTail can facilitate this process of identifying writing topics that other sites aren’t necessarily targeting, yet will drive traffic.
If you’re just getting started with blogging, write about a subject where you have expertise that you feel will interest your audience. Once you reach a critical mass of blog posts, take a step back and analyze how people are finding your blog and use that information to guide your editorial calendar.
- Utilize Social Media and Pinging
In addition to keyword research, it is important to promote the blog using social media tools that increase the visibility of your blog and generate inbound links to your domain. Be sure to utilize pinging services to notify aggregation services of new content on your blog.
- Customize the blog template
It is also important to link to your new blog from the Homepage of your main website to make it easier for search engine spiders to discover it. Often times, the default template needs to be tweaked slightly for maximum SEO benefit. For instance, make sure your blog Permalink uses meaningful anchor text and not “www.yourdomain.com/blog/?p=456”
Blogging may not be the long-term solution for fixing a broken site, but it will get your foot in the door for SEO, deliver results in the short term, and facilitate the process of getting buy-in for full-scale, long-term SEO projects for the rest of your website.