Blog Your Way to the Top of Google

This week’s  log is an excellent SEO-angled blog from Shauna Doherty of Vitalhike.  Thanks, Shauna – over to you! 

SEO

I’m part of a team at Vital Hike, a creative digital agency that develop strategies and online solutions for businesses. A major part of what we do is creating websites. We love crafting great-looking websites with a purpose, so we have a real dual focus: technical performance, and user experience.

And it goes without saying that the creative half of the team always argue the benefits of a blog, because it’s more juicy content for people to read and enjoy!

But it may surprise you to know that the technical half of the team are always eager for our clients to have a blog too!

Why?

Blogs reap major technical benefits for your website.

To get more specific, having a blog on your website should help your website perform better on Google, getting you higher up the search results, which should result in more website visitors, and therefore more customers!

Did you know that 71% of Google Searches result in somebody clicking a result on page 1?

So only 29% of searches result in somebody going past page 1 to search subsequent pages for results… Now you can see why there’s a whole industry devoted to getting people on page 1 of Google!

Here are just a few ways your blog will help you get closer to page 1 of Google:

1. Each new blog article adds more content to your website. And the content of your blog article is treated with the same importance as content elsewhere on your website.This means you can add more juicy keywords to your website any time you like, just by adding a new blog article, and Google will start associating those keywords with your website and business. Over time, you should start to rank better on Google for your newer keywords as well as your older, more established ones.And ranking better means you are higher up the search results, and therefore users are more likely to click on your website over others.

More content on your website is like having more tickets for the raffle (with less chance involved!).

2. Each new blog article counts as a brand new page on your website. People can be dismissive of blog articles, thinking “it’s just a blog article” and must therefore count as less than a page of your website.However, technically speaking, a new article is the same as a new website page to Google.And new pages are great!The more pages you have on your website, the more chances you have to rank well for different keywords. Just imagine if Google sees you adding page after page about travelling around France; the search engine is going to start strongly associating your website with this topic and associated keywords, because it’s clearly important enough to warrant a page on your site!

As a result, when someone does a search on Google for information on travelling around France, your website has a greater chance of appearing in the results, and also, of appearing closer to the top of the list in the coveted number 1 spot.

3. Each time you add a new blog article, it counts as you ‘updating your website’.  What sort of message are your customers going to get if your website looks like it hasn’t been updated in the past 12 months? Is anything new happening with you, or have you been on holiday the past year?Search engines try to anticipate the needs of your customers. If your website hasn’t had anything new on it for years, and your competitor has brand new shiny pages from last week, which business looks more exciting? Which business is going to get more notice?When Google notices you updating your website in any way, you get a thumbs up and the potential to rank higher in search engines.Don’t assume you need to redesign your website in order to ‘update’ it; as long as there’s activity on your site (e.g. you adding a blog article), preferably regular activity (e.g. weekly blogs), then Google will decide you’re more likely to be a worthwhile website for people to look at, and rank you higher!

4. Blog articles act as new, highly-targeted landing pages for your website.  When you create a blog article which has a very clear topic, your words will naturally focus in on that topic and you’ll create a range of key words and phrases related to that topic. Such a highly focussed page stands a strong chance of ranking highly for related terms on Google.We call these ‘landing pages’ because it’s a page your new customers are likely to find on Google, and therefore it’s likely to be the first page of your site they visit or ‘land’ on.Landing pages are fantastic at getting people into your website, leading them to look around and get in touch.

5. Longer content with at least one image has been shown to correlate strongly with first page search engine rankings.  The message is clear: create long blog articles with at least one image. Result = potential to rank higher on Google.You just have to balance Google’s desire for a long blog, with the user’s expectation of something short and digestible, which is a constant balancing act for us.People read webpages differently compared to how they would read a book, i.e. word after word. Instead, people tend to skim webpages looking for stand-out words and phrases relevant to what they are interested in. So remember to structure your article into short paragraphs with clear headings.

A website is essential for all businesses in this age of smartphones, with 53% of searches on mobiles linked to local businesses, but once your website is up and running a blog is a fantastic starting point for your ongoing marketing strategy to gather more and more new customers over time.

Now get on your laptop and start typing up a good ’un!

 

Shauna Doherty
Project Manager at Vital Hike Vitalhike logo

shauna@vitalhike.co.uk

Bio: With my Psychology and English degree, I started working at the website company Vital Hike in 2014, and worked my way up from an intern to a project management position. Over the years I have tried my hand at a variety of work within the business including content writing, SEO, website analysis, website maintenance, blogging, managing websites on behalf of customers, creating guides for updating your website, and so much more… before finding my niche in managing our projects!

 

 

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