Since the release of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates in 2011 and 2012, the internet has undergone a complete shift.
In the past, websites that featured spammy back-link profiles and thin content ruled the internet. Nowadays, the Google results page is dominated by websites that acquire relevant back-links, and place an emphasis on fresh and useful content.
From Google’s perspective, websites need to follow these best practices in order to gain favorable rankings.
How can businesses adjust? Let’s be honest, most business owners are short on time, and it’s difficult to update content regularly. Additionally, the majority of web pages deal with the same products, services, and contact information pages.
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So what’s a business to do?
It’s time to start blogging!
As an Account Manager at an Internet Marketing Company, blogging has become a topic of discussion in 70% of my client meetings. The other 30%? Well, my friend, they already have blogs!
In my role at TechWyse, I manage a roster of clients from a variety of different industries, and I see the measurable success of blogging every day.
Firstly, blogging increases website traffic, as well as overall rankings. This isn’t something that “might happen if you start blogging,” it’s pretty much guaranteed. However, it’s important to remember that blogging isn’t about immediate sales: it’s about building brand awareness, authority, and credibility.
Secondly, blogging is a great way to educate users that are in the early stages of the buying cycle. By writing a blog, you are positioning your brand as an authority. This builds trust with potential customers, and reinforces the purchasing decision of current customers. Simply put, sharing expertise with your community will build equity.
So now that we all agree blogging is important, it’s time to answer the million dollar question:
How do you start writing a blog for the first time?
It’s a valid question, and I have the answer. Below is a step by step guide that will unleash your inner blogger!
STEP #1 – Find a Great Topic
The key to writing a great blog is to answer a commonly asked question.
For example, if you’re a dentist, think about the questions that patients ask. Upon reflection, you will probably find that many patients ask the same thing, like, “Should I floss before or after brushing?” Well, if they are asking you that question, it’s highly likely that they’ve already asked that question to Google.
With this in mind, it’s time to start answering the questions that you receive from clients. Why not write a blog that provides value, and gives your website an opportunity to show up in search results?
STEP #2 – Make it Relevant
Most business owners use blogs to promote their business by announcing upcoming events, promotions, products, and services. Blogs are also used in an attempt to rank for particular keywords.
It’s time to stop the madness.
I’d like to introduce you to something called ‘Evergreen Content’. Evergreen content refers to content that was relevant 10 years ago, and will be relevant 10 years from now. Unlike breaking news, evergreen content covers topics that are consistently being searched online. This will drive new search-based traffic to your website.
“If done well, evergreen content becomes a link-generating machine for your website!” –Steve Toth
STEP #3 – Optimize Your Blog
From a search perspective, the key to having your blog rank in search engines is to focus on low-competition keywords and keyword phrases. After all, ranking for highly competitive keywords is much more complex, so the goal should be to write a blog that is focused on a service more niche to your industry.
Here’s another tip: Make sure to add a custom image to your blog. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can even go the extra mile and customize your image, or create a meme or infographic!
It’s also important to note that search engines can’t read images, so make sure to use your keyword in the Alt tag of all images.
Finally, SEO optimization is also a must. If you can optimize your blog on your own, that’s great! If not, be sure to speak to your internet marketing company and have them optimize all published blogs. This will allow your content to be indexed by search engines.
STEP #4 – Share Your Blog on Social Media
The final step is to syndicate your content!
Ensure that every published blog is shared on all of your social media channels. This will not only generate conversations within your social communities, but it will also raise your credibility – and generate more inbound links.
It’s also important to make your blogs “share-able.” In order to do so, make sure every page of your site has social share buttons. This will encourage others to promote content on your behalf!
STEP #5 – What Are You Waiting For?!
This step is pretty simple, it’s time to get started! Follow the four steps listed above, and you’ll be on the fast track to success.
Identify commonly asked questions, answer those questions in a timeless manner, optimize your content for search engines, and share this material through your social media channels.