There are many great reasons for businesses to blog but one clearly stands out,
increasing your keyword rankings and growing your organic search traffic
The number of terms that a website can rank for is directly related to the size of the site. More indexed pages means more opportunities for keywords. For most small and medium sized businesses, there is a limit to the number of pages that can fit onto site before it becomes bloated and hard to navigate. Once you've reached you're limit for services, products, case studies, etc, it's time to start getting serious about creating blog content.
More often than not, the difference between a 50 page website and a 500+ page site is a blog. Because of this, blogging is an absolutely essential practice for SEO and traffic building.
The biggest objection I typically hear when I bring up the idea of blogging is, "what am I supposed to write about?" The answer, write about your keywords. Since you'll be using your blog to write about your industry and niche, it will be a natural place to create content around long tail keywords (view this article to learn more about long tail keywords ).
As an example, let's say you want to increase the amount of traffic coming to your site for searches related to the term "blog." Follow the steps below.
1) Identify keywords (be realistic)
Let's face it, unless you're Blogger (which is owned by Google), Wikipedia, or WordPress, you're not going to be taking the #1 search engine result for the term "blog" anytime soon. That's okay, you can still get crafty and take a sizable chuck of traffic by thinking about the way people search.
Most experienced Google users understand that using general terms isn't going to get them where they want to go. Instead, people typically search for keyword phrases, for example, " how to blog ," or " how to use a blog ." As you can see in the results form keyword grader (see images below), the difference in difficulty drops from 96 for "blog" to 62 for "how to use a blog."
In plain english, this means that there is actually a chance that I could rank for the keyword phrase "how to use a blog." Granted, it doesn't have a high search volume, but if you can rank for a dozen or more long tail keyword phrases related to the term "blog" you'll end up with a significant amount of traffic.
2) Optimize your post around your keyword (Page Title, URL, H1)
The most important places to included keywords on any page of your site is in the page title, the URL and the H1 tag. This means that if you're trying to rank for "how to use a blog" you need to make sure that phrase in that order in all three places.
You also need to make sure that this phrase appears up front. A common mistake is for a company to put it's name before it's keywords in page titles. For example "HubSpot | How to use a Blog." Instead you would want "How to use a Blog | HubSpot."
Depending on your blogging software there could be different ways of editing your page title, URL and H1. If your software doesn't allow you to make these changes, you need to think seriously about finding a new blogging platform.
3) Publish and watch the results
Finally, publish your post. Depending on how frequently Google and other search engines scan your site, it could take a few days or longer for your pages to be indexed and show up in Google. A simple tip to get your pages into search engines faster is to publish more often. When Google notices that a site is getting updated daily, it will scan the site more regularly.
Additionally, posting your RSS feed to FeedBurner , Twitter or Ping-o-Matic will also help your blog posts get indexed faster.
Finally, an experiment: If it's been more than a few hours since this post has gone live, open up a new browser tab and do a quick Google search for " how to use a blog to increase organic traffic. " Does this post show up on the front page? If so, do another search for "how to use a blog." Does it show up again?
Photo Credit: Lady Madonna
Join Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing at HubSpot for insights on how to generate leads with SEO and social search.
Date and time: Friday, May 7, 2010 at 2:00pm ET