Many businesses are finding value in writing blogs these days, and rightly so—it's certainly something we recommend to our clients. A blog is a way to keep your customers and stakeholders aware of new products, promotions, and industry-related news. It also serves as a PR tool to address your audience quickly in case of a crisis, and provides an additional platform to syndicate your company’s press.

So, for many, the question is not, Should I blog? but rather, What do I write about?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

One of your blog’s most valuable (and commonly overlooked) functions is its ability to impact SEO, since it gives your site a venue for fresh, keyword-rich content. Whereas homepages or product pages can be difficult to update with detailed copy, a blog allows you to tell a longer narrative that can positively impact your ability to rank for key terms.

We recently conducted a workshop for guests from Chicago's Neighborhood Parents Network that was dedicated to the importance of blogging for SEO. Here are some of the free tools we recommended that can help you get the most SEO lift from your blog:

  • Google Keyword Tool: The big daddy of search introduced this service to approximate search volume and supporting longtail keyword ideas. These words can be used to inform blog topics as well as refine your primary and secondary keyword sets. Once you’ve identified your keywords, make sure to include them in your H1 (headline), H2 (subtitle), and page title tags.
  • UberSuggest: This tool recommends keyword opportunities based on real user queries. You can use these keywords and phrases to get inspiration for your next blog post topic or to expand article ideas.
  • MyBlogGuest: Linkbuilding is important because it adds credibility to your post and can help drive traffic, but it’s often abused by people writing thin, irrelevant content. MyBlogGuest matches bloggers with quality guest posters and vice versa. The website provides a level of screening and management for guest blogging, and partners you with someone with whom there is a mutually beneficial SEO relationship. (For more on this, and to find other resources on linkbuilding, check out this recent article in Search Engine Watch.)

Keep It Fresh

In addition to helping SEO, blogs are an easy way to feed your website new content, which triggers search engines to crawl your site more frequently. If there were any doubt about the importance of updating your site, Google’s “Freshness” algorithm has drilled the concept home. This update factors recency into the search algorithm as an indicator of relevance. For example, if I’m looking for information about The Taste of Chicago, I want to see this year’s schedule of events, not information from last year. Google will try to display the most recently updated link first.

Granted, boosting your blog rank takes time: SEO is a nuanced practice involving research, testing, and data analysis. But if you’ve already got a blog, start making the most of it...starting now.

If you have more questions about optimizing your blog, drop us a line. We’d love to help!

How mobile usability testing and in-app analytics enable smarter growth