There are many reasons why SEO consultants recommend that their clients create a blog for search engine rankings. However, if you are one of those clients (or have read this recommendation online) and are only blogging because of the potential SEO benefit then you really should reconsider this strategy.
Why SEO’s recommend blogging
From purely a search engine optimization perspective, some of the reasons SEO consultants like blogs are because:
- Blog content is easily syndicated via RSS.
- Blogs provide an additional opportunity to be found in search results, specifically through blended search and vertical search results (a la Google Blog Search or Technorati)
- Blog writing style and objectives are such that it’s easier to persuade business owners to link out to other sources (particularly other blogs) which can make it easier to gain recognition and catch attention from those likely to also “link out”.
- At the least there are dozens (if not hundreds) of locations online to submit blog information for indexing and traditional link building opportunities.
Beyond SEO, there are broader online marketing benefits as well, such as being able to create a human voice for your business and providing the opportunity to connect to a more “media savvy” crowd. Bloggers are usually more in-tune with online channels designed to bring links and traffic and well received content will offer a greater chance that they will “move it forward” for you.
Blogging is more than installing WordPress and writing “Hello World!”
Remember that just having a blog on your website doesn’t guarantee success. You must work at writing good content (subject matter and presentation), getting into conversations, within and around your industry and expertise and share your experiences with others in the blogging environment.
Too often I see business owners who start a blog for SEO purposes and it just turns into a place for company announcements, keyword stuffed blog posts or links to other resources with no thought or consideration on why the link is even important. There are a lot of ways to kill your blog strategy before and after it’s up and running.
It is true that some people can succeed at blogging regardless of their passion for it but far more people cannot. If you are just blogging because you believe it’s the secret SEO ingredient most of your potential blog readers will be able to tell.
The title of this post DOES NOT INFER the following statement
If you are not getting results from blogging…stop blogging
I am not telling people – who want to blog but are just not getting results – to quit blogging because of that. If you are not getting the results that you want out blogging – RSS subscribers, links, search referrals etc – you most likely need to revisit your content and quite possibly your writing style.
There are many quality resources online for improving your blog writing and identifying more effective content for your blog. One of the first steps is simply to get honest reviews from people you respect and trust. When you’re first starting out, don’t wait for people to find you. Criticism, critique and honest evaluation, while sometimes hard to swallow, are critical to the development of a successful blogging strategy.
Cape Cod SEO only blogs 2 or 3 times a month – is that productive?
While I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, your expectations have to be on a similar level to the effort you are willing to put in. In other words, I don’t expect to be the next ProBlogger or Lifehacker writing a couple posts a month but am (honestly) satisfied with the results that I have gotten.
That means that if I did want to become more recognizable or gain more readers, links etc, I would have to invest more effective time and energy into this blog. The same can be said for any other business owner’s blog as well.
Pick your SEO-centric content/link building strategy wisely
A blog is just one of many ways that a business can create content and generate inbound links as part of their SEO strategy but blogging is not the only way and it is certainly not a requirement.
What’s important for business owners looking to build content and links for search engine rankings is to create strategies that they (or someone on their team) will be most effective with.
If you truly want to leverage blogging for SEO and building your online marketing presence, it can be a great asset. But if you’re only blogging because an SEO consultant told you to – and not getting the results you want – you may want to think about what other options you have for achieving successful search engine rankings.
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