Search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t just about developing content and keyword stuffing anymore. It’s about developing connections, and search engines like Google have updated their algorithms to favor topic clusters.
Blogging is a vital part of any inbound marketing strategy because it offers multiple advantages for a business. Blogging provides opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership and authority within your industry, improve your site’s chances of showing up in your potential customers’ search engine results, build relationships with site visitors, and convert those visitors into leads for your business. Blog articles are also great for sharing on social media, allowing your current followers to share your expertise and insight with a wider audience.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz, defines the term as “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic results in search engines.”
Blogging is an integral part of a successful inbound marketing strategy. It provides an effective platform for enticing new visitors to your website, demonstrating your thought leadership and authority in your industry, and generating leads for your business. To perform at its best, your blog should showcase the breadth and depth of your organization’s capabilities and expertise, connecting with visitors at all stages of the buyer’s journey and giving them information they need to move forward in their decision making process.
In my last article, SEO Basics: How Long Should My Blog Articles Be?, I discussed how longer articles are often showing up closer to the top in search results and getting more engagement. I also talked about how quality content always comes first, and you need to write for your audience and give them what they’re looking for to resonate with as many of your target readers as possible.
Today’s article goes hand in hand with this philosophy. We’ll discuss the relevance of keywords and how our keyword strategy needs to be different today than it has been in the past. As search engines continue to better understand how a user thinks and searches for answers, writers and content marketers need to alter the way they create new content so it can perform as powerfully as possible and work toward reaching long-term goals.
If you want to draw potential customers to your website with inbound marketing, your blog is an important part of building an effective strategy. Your blog is a place where you can continually add relevant, up-to-date content while keeping your website’s navigation clean and easy to use—both of which will help your site gain visibility in search engine results. More important that the existence of your blog, however, is what it contains. If you want to engage your potential customers and inspire them to become actual customers and promoters of your brand, then you’ll have to be sure you’re providing quality content that they want to read.
Getting a website to appear on the first page of Google search results takes time, effort, and an understanding of how Google finds and selects content to deliver to its users. The process of refining your website to become more visible and attractive to search engines like Google is called search engine optimization (SEO). Whether you’ve recently built a new website for your business or your old site just isn’t showing up in the searches that are most relevant to your business, following these five SEO tips can help you to improve your site’s search engine ranking over time.
If you want your website to be more than a virtual pamphlet about your business that’s easily lost in the practically endless pile of online content already out there, you need to provide enough substantial content for search engines to identify your site as one that provides valuable answers to questions users are asking. If your website isn’t showing up in search engine results for queries related to your business, then it’s not going to draw new potential customers who aren’t already aware of your products or services. A blog provides an easy way to regularly add fresh, relevant content to your website that addresses questions your potential customers are asking now.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has come to organic search, and it’s changing the way marketers approach search engine optimization (SEO). Google began rolling out its AI-based search called RankBrain in early 2015. Since then, this new application of machine learning has proven to be an effective way of bringing users the kinds of results they’re looking for. So, how do you optimize your online content for AI? The simplest—and best—answer is essentially the same as it always has been: Give your audience what they’re looking for.
The answer to this question is probably more complex than you think (or want to believe). Over the past few years, many bloggers have pushed for 500–800-word (on average) blog articles, thinking that was the sweet spot. They weren’t necessarily wrong, but if we don’t keep learning and evolving with the latest SEO advancements and effective tactics, we’ll quickly lose touch, and our strategies will lose their value.