I think by now we all know the benefits of blogging. Even the most SEO illiterate of us tell our web developer ‘I must have a blog section on my website’. But must you?
For sure blogging is about adding content to your site. Google likes content. The more content you have, the more traffic you will get, the more domain ‘authority’ you will build. It will get you search engine page rankings. But not necessarily.
Blogging can hurt your SEO
Ok even if you are posting on a regular basis, because everybody got a blog ‘because it was good for SEO’, that is precisely the reason why it is not good for SEO now. Google changed. In fact, in 2019 blogging can actually hurt your SEO (IMHO).
Get this: even if your content is well-written and grammatically correct (thought both the latter two, done poorly, will also contribute to your low rankings) it will hinder rather than support your page rankings. This is because content that is of low quality (for example, rather light, sales copy type content or simply a little vacuous), completely off topic of your site (which should have a clear purpose), or if the topics repeat or are spread too thinly throughout your site, blogging will damage your SEO! Imagine spending all that money on adwords to supplement your SEO and your blog takes it all away!
It’s all about the content
A blog is all about the content. You have probably heard that before, but do you truly understand it? In order to blog well, you need to have a strong desire to create something of value. Two important words here: creation and value. Creating something takes effort, understanding, experience, talent. But creating something of value is another thing. To offer value to your target audience – the individuals whom you hope will read your blog- you first and foremost need to understand, on a deep level, those individuals. What makes them tick? What makes them get out of bed in a morning? What do they share or talk about with their friends? What gets their attention? What will make their lives better?
If you have no desire or talent to create something of value, I propose that you should not be blogging in 2019. You will probably just end up creating weak pages with thin content on your site for Google to RANK YOU DOWN for!
How to blog well
However, if you want to do it well. Here are some simple tips to follow that might help for starters:
- Have a clear purpose to your blog. Are you trying to entertain, educate, raise awareness, own a particular area of thinking? Ensure this fits with your overall content marketing strategy.
- Be honest with yourself about what you are expert at. Or pay someone else, who can become that expert (someone with a talent for communicating and a passion for your topics). Tip: if your product or service is fairly technical, get a technical person (who can write) to do your blogging.
- Think about using research to support great content. Market(ing) research has fallen out of favour lately, possibly because there is an expense involved with no (immediate) payback. But these days there are many ways to conduct insightful primary or secondary research, which will pay you back in terms of content strategy, for months if not years.
- Think laterally when it comes to content. Psychologically we remember that which with we can get emotionally engaged, memory and emotion are implicitly linked. And if you can learn simple psychology to ensure that you engage as much as your audience as possible by tapping into different motivational styles (see my article on the Six Step Motivator). And if you can do this, with diverse, engaging content that taps into visual, kinaesthetic and auditory styles; you will be dearly loved by your audience, and therefore Google. So use words, images, infographics, graphs and graphics, video, podcasts, music to your content.
- EVERY time you blog, have a simple aim in mind. Is it to enlighten? Attract links or backlinks? Generate traffic or about conversation? Some posts might be about your company (not many!) or your products (even fewer please!), but better if it is about giving back, or developing your reputation (don’t witter on about your company or products if you want to do this, most people do not give a damn, even those loyal to your brand).
- Measure the metrics. You will hate me for this but forget traffic, and search engine positions. Measure subscribers. Have you heard of RSS? Do you use Flipbook, for instance? This is the true measure of a blog’s worth (in Google, and hence SEO, terms). Google loves what your subscribers love, as that is surely the very definition of the Google algorithm these days.
- Engage with other bloggers. Link to their (expert) sites. Write for them. Have them write for you. If your only links are to your own internal pages, you are making it very hard for yourself. And you are being narrow minded.
- Make blogging central to your social media strategy. Own your own blogging platform and make sure you can easily update it (I love WordPress and Joomla – the latter the most) with attractive content. Then use this to drive your other social media by driving all traffic back to your blog – then you own the value and drive up your organic search results.
Still with me? What is your decision then? To blog or not to blog in 2019? Call me if you want any help doing it well!