Oh, blogs. How I love you. Let me count the ways…
A blog is a powerful way to improve your credibility and share your knowledge with (i.e. give value to) your audience.
A well-written blog will also drive traffic to your business’s website. You can post links to your blogs on your social media channels. Done right, a blog also provides valuable content for other websites and blogs to link to, driving people from their sites to your own.
These are strong enough reasons to consider a blog for your business. But what some businesses still miss is that there is also huge SEO (search engine optimization) value in having a blog.
You can’t just slap any blog post out on your website and expect it to help your SEO. Even if your content is interesting, educational and/or entertaining, there are still specific techniques you (or your copywriter) should use to ensure maximum SEO value.
When you hire a copywriter, don’t be afraid to ask them directly, “What do you do in your writing to improve my SEO?” A pro will be able to tell you exactly what they do with each post to improve the post’s ranking in search engines.
For example, when I write a blog post for a client, I make sure to:
- Write a headline that’s interesting to both readers AND search engines. And if providing meta data is part of the agreement, I write a meta title and meta description that are even more keyword-focused
- Ensure there are strong keywords placed strategically and naturally throughout the text
- Lay out the text for the best reader usability – I keep paragraphs short, vary the length of sentences for better pacing, use sub-headlines to break up the sections, and use bulleted or numbered lists to break up the text and call attention to important details
- Use correct header fonts, and use bold and italic text where appropriate
- Place strategic contextual links throughout the post – some pointing to more of the client’s own content and some pointing to articles from third parties
These are just a few things I pay attention to as a Web-focused copywriter to make sure the content I’m writing gets read by my client’s audience and Google.
Of course, there are other on-page SEO elements that can help, too (and are not necessarily in the sphere of copywriting). This graphic from Speedway Interactive is a great illustration of the most important on-page SEO components:
Source: Speedway Interactive
What About PPC?
I often get questions about PPC (pay-per-click) advertising and if it has more SEO value than blogging. I am not a PPC expert, but in my experience it does have its value.
PPC is great when you have a specific offer you are trying to get in front of people. It’s good for a quick hit. It gets your business and your offer out there to a wider audience – as long as you do it right. You need to have a good offer, a well-written ad AND target the right audience.
Blogging is not a quick hit. However, improves and maintains your SEO over time. The longer you keep your blog going (regularly, frequently!), the more your library grows, and the more content is available for search engines to crawl and other websites to link to.
Blogging also drives organic traffic. Organic traffic results when people find your content because they searched on relevant keywords. In other words, they were looking for what you were offering.
PPC traffic is paid traffic. You pay for your ad to show up in search results for targeted keywords and audiences.
Frankly, organic traffic is more valuable. Think of it as “qualified leads.” More people click on organic search results than paid search results.
Source: Speedway Interactive
But, PPC traffic can get you in front of people that might not have seen you (or found you) otherwise. The leads are cold, but they are leads nonetheless.
My advice is usually this: If you’ve never tried PPC advertising before and you have a really good offer you want to get in front of the right people, try it out. See how it works for you. In the meantime, get blogging. A great blog will provide more and more SEO value over time.