Why You Need a Blog if You Want More Web Traffic
Blogging. All the cool businesses are doing it. Maybe you're starting to think you should get a blog too. Or maybe you think it's just a fad. Or maybe you just don't know what it's all about.
Here's what it's all about.
It's about positioning your brand as an authority, turning your customers into brand fanatics, and in measurable terms, attracting oodles of web traffic through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of building a website that naturally attracts traffic from search engines (like Google, Yahoo and Bing) with or without paid ads. Think of SEO as the online equivalent of having a great location – being as visible as possible to as many people as possible.
How is blogging great for SEO?
Keyword-rich content. One of the ways search engines rank websites is by the concentration of keywords, or search terms.
- The simplistic view: If somebody types a word into Google, Google will show them the web pages that use that word the most.
- The reality: Search engines look for content that's written for humans. They punish content that's not. So if you sell luggage, and you create a web page that says nothing but luggage luggage luggage 500 times, you may have a higher concentration of keywords, but the search engines will see it isn't real content, and will expel you from the results.
- The solution: Write a helpful blog post related to luggage – say 10 Luggage Packing Tips to Get You Through Airport Security Faster. Even if you only use the word luggage five times (as it would naturally appear in a conversation about the TSA), you're more likely to get good attention from the search engines.
New content. Search engines love regularly updated content. An article posted this morning will get more attention than one posted a month ago. And posting one new article every Monday is better than posting 10 new articles whenever you feel like it. Keep in mind: search engines punish duplicate content. You can't just write one good article and repost it every week – you'll get ignored.
Link bait. What do search engines love most of all? Popular content. The more websites that link to you, the higher you'll be on the results page. You attract these links by writing awesome content. Don't write a post listing product features: that belongs on a product page, not a blog. But a related post, offering useful information in entertaining, bite-size chunks (like the packing tips example above) will get shared.
See the pattern yet?
Ultimately, having a blog is about helping your customers. If you make that your first priority, the traffic will naturally follow.
But remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Building a blog that stands out from all the rest takes time, research, strategy and good writing. So before you get started, make sure you do your homework, or get help from somebody who's done theirs.