Coming up with a competitive SEO strategy is essential for any business that wants to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), but it can be difficult to know where to start.
As a business owner, you want to make sure you’re investing your time and resources in the right SEO tactics.
One common question I get when talking with business owners about Google rankings is whether blogging can help with their SEO.
Does Blogging Help with SEO?
The answer is yes — but it’s not as simple as publishing a blog post and watching your rankings improve. For the best results, each blog should target a specific set of keywords that you want that blog to rank for as well as support (internally link) to other relevant content on your website.
Note: The websites that we see at Mumarkt Co. that have the highest level of success with blogging are the sites that leverage a clear and tactical keyword strategy for each blog post.
This method means that each and every blog post is written with the goal of ranking for a specific keyword or phrase.
Why is Having a Blog Important for Your SEO Strategy?
A blog is an excellent way to add fresh content to your website on a regular basis.
As with most things in life, you are rewarded for continually showing up and adding value.
If you have decided to go the route of SEO for your business, then it is imperative that continual blogging is a big part of your overall SEO strategy. Just like Instagram & TikTok influencers release new content on a regular basis to grow their audience, you too will need to keep your website active with new content to show Google that you are an authoritative voice within your industry.
Websites that don’t take this into consideration rarely if at all rank for highly competitive keywords, let alone maintain their position if they do rank.
The bottom line is that search engines love websites that are constantly adding new, relevant content because it shows that the site is active and up-to-date.
But, why do Search engines love websites that add new content?
The answer is simple: content is still king when it comes to SEO.
A more complex answer would be: search engines, such as Google, are businesses. Their product is providing search results that are relevant and useful to their users. A vast majority of searches done each day, and there are around 8.5 billion searches made each day on Google alone, are from searchers who are looking to find information or solve a problem.
The more users, or organic traffic, you get to land on your website from a search engine result page (SERPs), the more likely search engines will value your site as a website worthy of being landed on.
When you have many different blog posts that “satisfy” a variety of searches, search engine reward you with higher rankings on SERPs.
Lastly, websites that continue to release new content get a higher “freshness” score. Simply put, people like content that is up to date, and so does Google.
I don’t want you to just believe me, let’s look at some data to back this claim up.
Below is the organic traffic of an unnamed client of ours. This client is on the first page of Google as well as consistently in the top 3 for their main keywords. Because they rank so well, they get a lot of organic traffic.
Below are two line graphs pulled directly from their Google Analytics showing all organic traffic from Jan 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021.
Note: In this specific example, 28% of the organic traffic this site generated where through blog posts that were informational in nature.
In addition: This data is from last year. Since the beginning of this year (2022) we’ve dramatically increased our efforts in content marketing through blog posts. As a result, in March 2022, we achieved our highest Organic Traffic month yet with 8,168 Organic Visits.
Not only do these blogs generate massive amounts of organic traffic they also:
- Improve the rankings for other posts/pages that they internally link to;
- Generate leads and sales directly from the blog post;
- Build trust and credibility with the site’s audience as well as Google.
If you’re not blogging as part of your SEO strategy in 2022, you’re missing out on a lot of potential organic traffic and customers for your business.
How Can You Create Successful SEO Blog Posts?
At this point, we can both agree SEO blogging is effective, but how can you make sure that each blog post you publish will actually improve your SEO?
When I’m developing a clients’ blog post’s content strategy, I break my blog posts into two two categories: Informational and Transactional Informational.
Each of these types of blog serve a very unique purpose in an SEO strategy.
What is the value behind informational blog posts?
Informational blog posts are the types of blog posts that answer a searcher’s question. For example, “What is SEO?” or “How to start a blog.”
Interestingly enough, these blog posts are not intended to generate leads or sales directly from the blog post.
The intent behind informational blog posts is to generate additional organic traffic and natural backlinks. Not to worry though, these blogs are still very valuable to your SEO strategy and can improve your bottom line.
You see, by passing along the organic traffic and backlink “juice” that these informational blog posts generate towards more valuable sales pages (via internal linking), we can improve our more valuable sales pages’ rankings on SERPs.
And, it doesn’t stop there! As these sales pages rank higher on Google, they too, in turn, improve the rankings of the other pages that they internally link to.
How does the old quote go?
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
For a more in-depth approach at understanding this topic (reverse outreach), please check out Backlinko’s blog: How I Built 5,660 Backlinks in 30 Days [New Strategy].
What is the value behind transactional informational blog posts?
Transactional informational blog posts are designed to generate leads or sales directly from the post. For example, “How SEO Can Help Grow Your Business” or “10 Reasons Why You Should Use an SEO Agency.”
The goal behind transactional informational blog posts is to generate leads and sales directly on the blog post.
In my experience, a vast majority of SEO content marketers and businesses forget the value of blog posts intended to generate leads. Instead a vast majority of SEO content marketers focus primarily on transactional pages such as “SEO Agency” or “SEO Packages.”
While these pages can and do drive leads, the organic traffic that they generate is only a small percentage of their potential audience size.
This type of approach severely limit their ability to improve their SEO, and also puts them at a disadvantage to companies who take a more holistic approach to content marketing.
It’s not about concentrating on a single SEO approach; it’s all about having numerous alternative ways to get customers to your website.
How Do I Pick the Right Keywords for My SEO Blog Posts?
Picking the right keywords is essential to the success of your SEO blog posts.
If you want to rank on SERPs and generate organic traffic, you need to make sure that your blog posts are targeting phrases and keywords that users are actually searching for.
Start by entering in a broad keyword related to your topic. For example, “SEO.”
From there, you’ll want to look at the search volume and difficulty of each keyword. The sweet spot is finding a keyword with a high search volume and low difficulty.
In my experience there is a simple equation you can use to determine if a keyword is worth targeting, meaning you can rank on the first page of Google without too much difficulty:
Your website’s Average Daily Organic Traffic must be equal to or greater than the Estimated Monthly Search Volume of the keyword you’d like to rank for.
For example, if you’re website receives, on average, 500 views per day from organic traffic, you could theoretically rank for a keyword with an Estimated Monthly Search Volume of 500 views without too much difficulty.
Of course, there are other factors that come into play such as the age of your website, the quality of your content, backlinks, etc. However, if you’re just starting out, this simple equation will give you a good idea of whether or not a keyword is worth targeting.
How to pick keywords if your website has very little to no organic traffic
There tends to be two reasons someone is looking to improve their blogging SEO: they have either hit a wall with their SEO knowledge and can’t seem to improve their organic traffic or their website has very little to no organic traffic.
If your website has very little to no organic traffic, chances are you’re either in a highly competitive niche or you have a brand new website.
Just like with everything at life, the hardest part is just getting started.
If you have a brand new website, it’s going to be extremely difficult to rank for highly competitive keywords.
The reason being is that there are already established websites with years of content and backlinks who have already taken the first-mover advantage.
It’s going to be very difficult to outrank them, but it’s not impossible.
In this situation, you have the advantage of maneuverability over the larger, more established websites, and you can use this to start winning small battles.
If I was in your position, this is what I would do. step-by-step:
1. Setup a clear menu hierarchy on your site. Each menu item should be a link to one of your main transactional keywords. Note: make sure each page should focus clearly on one of your main transactional keywords. ie. “SEO Agency” “Content Marketing” “Website Design” etc. Each of these main keywords are going to be your “Pillar” content.
2. Create a clear strategy sheet that denotes content (blogs) that you will write as well as future keywords you’d like to rank for. I’ve built an example spreadsheet that you can use as a template. Feel free to copy it and use it for your own strategy.
3. Start your keyword research (see above) and go after low-hanging fruit. These are going to be long-tail keywords with low difficulty that you can rank for relatively easily. Map each of these long-tail keywords to your “Pillar” content transactional page that we outlined in step 1.
4. Create compelling and well-written content that targets the long-tail keywords you’ve outlined in your strategy sheet. Each keyword should map to no more than two keywords, and in my experience, one is usually sufficient.
Note: Make sure to internally link the “Pillar” content pages we talked about in Step 1 on these blog posts. These internal links will help boost our rankings for our “Pillar” content pages which are targeting the more competitive transactional-based keywords.
5. Promote your content. This can be done either by posting on social media channels or by reaching out to other bloggers in your niche and asking them to share your content. This will help improve your domain authority and get more eyes on your content.
6. Rinse and repeat until you start to see positive results with rankings or traffic increases. Once you see that, it’s time to expand on this strategy by targeting bigger keywords that have a higher search volume as well as higher competition!
Lost? Consider Speaking with an SEO Consultant
SEO is not confusing. SEO is a dedication and a practice.
If this seems like a lot, or if you’re feeling lost, consider reaching out to an SEO consultant that can help guide you through the process.
Shameless plug: I offer SEO consulting services and would be happy to help! You can contact me here.
I wish you the best of luck in your SEO journey! And please share this post with anyone that’s struggling with their SEO; we are all in this together.