SEO success is certainly a culmination of many coordinated efforts. To be successful, SEO requires a robust ecosystem around which your online presence may grow. Having a well engaged social media presence, strong listings, excellent meta titles and descriptions, and a beautiful website are all important facets of your business’s SERP favorability, however one particularly weighty piece of this puzzle is maintaining a strong blog.
Blogs Are Powerful
Every blog post on your site counts as a new page, and adding a new blog regularly increases your rankings. Blogs are powerful because they serve a few important functions:
1. Blasts. Blogs provide great short blasts of hyper-relevant (#trending) content that can be delineated across all social media platforms.
2. Long Tail Keywords. By the nature of their frequency, blogs eventually build up a breadth of posts spanning many topics. This means your blog has a higher chance of ranking for obscure search queries. Obscure search queries or long tail keywords are important because they have much less competition so your blog is more likely to rank.
3. Reinforce. Blogs are a great place to reiterate points, services, products, keywords, and service areas that are important to your business. Keyword stuffing is not what we’re advocating, you need strong content surrounding those keywords. The more content you serve related to your most important keywords, the more reinforced those keywords will become, and up the ladder you’ll go.
4. It’s Alive. Blogs show both Google and people that your site is active and alive, fastidiously maintained, and passionately providing in-depth quality content to users. People don’t want useless boring content, and Google knows that.
The Key Insights
Among the above list, you may have begun to extrapolate a few tips of maintaining a great blog. The real key is to create awesome content on a regular and reasonably frequent basis. Beyond that, there are a few more key tips to cultivating a highly effective blog. Through data analysis and A/B testing, a few more key insights have emerged:
1. Use Headings, bullets, lists, and block quotes. The more you partition and compartmentalize your content, the easier it is for readers to quickly navigate the information. A dense ominous block of text provokes avoidance, make your content concise and clearly structured. This technique increases time on site around 18%.
2. Keep your posts under 1,500 words. This relates back to the previous point; keep your blogs digestible. Too long and they’ll go unread, too short and you won’t provide enough content to make it worth their while. Find the Goldilocks sweet spot.
3. Don’t go overboard with pictures. Pictures are great for adding a pinch of visual spice to your posts, and they can help explain or exemplify points made in the text. However, more than three pictures becomes distracting and can lower readers time spent on your site.
4. Speak with your reader. Create a conversation by referring to your reader as “you” and speaking about yourself as “I”. This increases that ever so elusive human connection and conveys tone that promotes readability and understanding.
5. Conclude with purpose. Writing a proper conclusion actually increases reader’s time reading your blog. Many readers might scroll down to the conclusion right off the bat to get a synopsis of the main points. Sometimes, they’ll find it interesting enough to scroll back up and start from the beginning. If your conclusion isn’t there, they’ll just X-out and find something else.
If your site’s rankings matter to you, blogs have to matter to you. They are an integral piece of your sites rankings, and they provide benefits across the board. These tactics explained above will on average increase readership about 18%-20%, which is no small margin.