There are lots of good reasons to blog, the main one being blogging earns traffic and links to your website. But why is that? How does blogging earn traffic and links? And why does it matter?

Blogging Earns Traffic

Think about how people search.

a group of photographers all searching for subjects to capture on film

Blogging earns traffic because it puts the words your audience searches for on your website. If you write about the people, places and things your audience cares about, you’ll put relevant language on your website. The more sought-after words you have on your website, the greater the chance you’ll be eligible to rank when one of your peers, prospects or customers is searching for them.

An Example

If I type “why blogging earns traffic and links” into Google, 27.4 million results are returned.

results of a Google search for "why blogging earns traffic and links".

That means approximately 27.4 million indexed pages and posts on the Internet contain the words “why blogging earns traffic and links” and are therefore eligible to rank. That doesn’t mean 27,400,000 people are searching for those words. I hear that a lot and it’s wrong.

It also means if you want to rank in the top 10 for that phrase, you’ll have to outrank 27,399,990 other pages.

But at least you’re over the first hurdle! Put those words on your site and you’ll show up as one of 27 million pages competing to rank for that term.

The next step is to earn your way to the top.

Web pages and posts that have lots of incoming links from respected and popular sources rank well on Google because it suggests your site is also popular and authoritative. It’s a sign that your site delivers quality content.

Google is in the business of organizing information and making it “universally accessible and useful“. If someone has willingly linked to your content, it’s a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. It boost’s your rankings.

That said, it’s hard to earn links, and that’s where blogging comes in.

earning links is hard work and this photo shows four exhausted people on a busy subway line
Image compliments of Wajun Kuwahara on Flikr

On average, you have about 10 to 20 seconds to convince a visitor to stay on your page. Some will bounce almost instantly. Others will linger. The key is knowing what’s important to them and then giving it to them.

The other thing to know is that very few people will decide to business with you on their very first visit to your website. The Moz SEO and inbound marketing company did a study earlier this year and discovered visitors came to their site six or seven times before deciding to take a free trial of their software. Most visitors will initially scan your site and continue browsing.

So don’t expect instant conversions. You have to built trust first.

One key to blogging success is giving people what they want and need. Give people what they want and need and they will be more likely to remember you, to know like and trust you. They’ll be more likely to come back and visit your site again or refer you to others.

Give People What They Want and Need

So how does one figure out what their audience wants and needs?

There are several ways to profile your audience to discover their information wants and needs. At a high level, most people are searching for entertainment, to be educated, to find answers to problems, or to gather the advice and opinions of others.

photo of a homeless man holding a cardboard sign that says "need rich woman"
Image compliments of Josh Swieringa on Flickr

A successful blogger figures out his or her audience’s information wants and needs and then provides it to them in a way that is entertaining, educational, helpful and opinionated.

If you are sincere, personable and help solve real-world problems for people, they will bookmark, link to and share your content. They will remember you and come back to your site when a similar situation arises. They will recommend you to others.

Why It Matters

Blogging earns traffic and links when it targets the right audience and gives them the information they want and need.

When your content contains the words people are searching for, you are eligible to rank. When it is helpful and memorable, people will bookmark, link to and share your content, earning your additional exposure and repeat visits. Links and repeat visits signal popularity and authority to search engines. The more popular and authoritative your content is perceived to be, the higher it ranks.

It’s a big circle.

What you do you think? Have you had visitors tell you they found your site because it contained the exact words they were searching for? Have you bookmarked helpful content only to return to it again later or recommend it to a friend or colleague? Let us know what’s worked for you in the comments below.

This article was originally published on the B-SeenOnTop blog as Why Blogging Earns Traffic and Links.