Use Blogs to Boost Search Engine Rankings
If you’re reading this blog, you already know how important search engine rankings are to the success of your business. Ranking on page one of any search engine significantly boosts your business's awareness, credibility, and likelihood of winning over a new customer. Although numbers vary a bit depending on who you ask, it’s generally accepted that about 70% of search engine users click on listings on page one. Some research reports that as many as a third of clicks go to the first organic listing.*
If your business is ranking on pages 2 or 3, that means 70% of searchers won't see you. Worse yet, if your existing customers are actively looking for your site, and can’t find it quickly, they may switch to a competitor they came across while trying to find your information. You may actually be losing customers.
Search engine rankings are important to all kinds of businesses. But they may actually be the "make or break" factor for local businesses. If you’re a local business or a retailer, search engine rankings become even more important. Did you know that 72% of consumers who did a local search then visited a physical location within five miles? When you are dealing with mobile searchers, the stats become even more astounding. 30% of all mobile searches are related to a location.
Search engine rankings are super duper important to businesses that depend on local customers. For those of you who have tried to increase your search engine rankings, you know there’s no quick fix. But there is one long-term strategy that search engine marketing experts recommend again and again and again: blogging.
Blogging is an effective way to increase your organic search listing, but before we go on, let’s clear up a few blogging myths. Blogs are not magic beans. They don’t work no matter what. More blogs aren’t necessarily better than fewer blogs. Funny blogs don’t work better than serious blogs. Clever headlines won’t increase your organic rankings. However, there are some guidelines to follow when blogging that can help increase your search engine rankings:
1. Populate Your Blog With Keywords
Keywords are the terms people type in when they're looking for businesses like yours. If you’ve ever done an online search, you know that you have to be specific to find what you want. If you searched “dentist,” for example, you’d get listings from all over the world. If you searched “dentist,” in conjunction with your location, your search results would change to get more specific, and if you added “crown moldings,” the search results would get even more focused.
Using a combination of words on search engines is called using "long-tailed keywords." Long-tailed keywords help searchers find sites that rank against a variety of parameters. Search engines like long-tailed keywords because they help them produce more useful search results. Users like long-tailed keywords because they ensure a narrower, more relevant set of results. Maybe that's why 50% of search engine queries are four words or longer.
So, if you know the 10 or 100, or 1,000 words people are most likely to use when searching for you, you can create blogs that contain these words again and again. Of course, you don’t want to use keywords so much that it reduces readability. Use them just enough to let search engines know what you’re talking about, so they can rank your website accordingly. BTW: Cup O Content can also help you define keywords.
2. Provide a Steady Stream of Content
Search engines don’t like sites that never change. They favor sites with a steady stream of new content and continual use of keywords. Blogs are an easy way for businesses to continually update their websites without constantly redesigning sitemaps or rewriting copy.
3. Use Images in Your Blogs
Make sure each of your blogs has a few images and tag those pictures in ways that make them searchable. After all, search engines can’t see images, only code. By adding relevant tags and terms to images, you make it easier for the search images to find and rank your site.
4. Make Sure People Like to Read Your Blogs
According to senior strategists at Google, high-quality content is one of the most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search. That means it's not enough to just plug in any old content. Your blog has to provide meaning and interest for your intended audiences. Google knows who is visiting your site and how long they are staying on each page. If your blogs aren’t getting read, they won't improve Google's rank for your search listing.
*Note to non-techies: ads and paid listings are called paid search. Everything that comes up in search engine results that is not paid for is considered an organic listing.
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Blogging is easy. Creating blogs that boost SEO and promote your business credibly isn't easy. Luckily, the folks at Cup O Content have years of experience creating compelling stories and posts while still employing all the latest tools and techniques for optimizing search engine rankings. Contact us to talk about blogging strategies, or to hire a blogger that can help take your website to the next level.
Want to read more blogs about SEO? Check out these Cup O Content articles.