When working on client SEO campaigns, we are often collaborating and overlapping with their wider marketing activity. This includes the usual blogging activity on their website.
We often get asked how blogging and SEO work together and whether their own non-SEO team blogging “normally” can actually harm SEO, so we’ve created a quick, handy guide to answer some frequently asked questions!
In the broadest sense, yes. When we talk about blogging and SEO, we can place blogs into two basic categories - optimised and unoptimised.
Optimised blogs - These blogs have been written with SEO in mind, backed by keyword research, with the purpose of driving traffic from search results by targeting specific keywords searched for by the users you want to attract to your site.
Unoptimised blogs - These are blogs written with no keyword research and not for the purposes of SEO. This includes general updates, news, or blogs that talk about a topic relevant to wider marketing activity or to your audience - but not for the purposes of targeting particular keywords and driving traffic from organic search.
Optimised blogs are of course going to benefit SEO as they will be driving traffic from search engines. Unoptimised blogs, however, can also be beneficial to a site’s wider SEO efforts as they provide opportunities to add optimised internal links to more important “SEO pages” on your site or to provide a jumping off point for a reworked optimised blog on a similar subject.
If you work with an SEO agency already and you are looking to write optimised blog content, you should make sure that you are clear with them about what you want to write. They will then be able to advise you as to whether:
Attempting to write SEO-focused blog posts without the input of an SEO can cause pages to compete with each other or simply waste time by writing content which will not rank or drive relevant traffic to the site. You should make sure you are aware of the SEO implications of a piece of optimised content before posting on your website.
No, you should feel completely free to post “normal” or unoptimised content to your blog. Whether you are posting a newsletter, a company update or anything else not likely searchable by your audience, this is completely fine.
In fact, these unoptimised blog posts can still be a good source of internal linking opportunities to other pages on your site that you want to drive organic traffic to.
A common misconception is that the more blogs you post, or the more regularly you post, the better this will be for your SEO. This is not true.
If you are writing unoptimised, general blog posts about company news, team updates and general goings on, users aren’t likely to find these from search engines. As such, you should post as often as you want to.
You may find that posting at a certain time works well with your wider marketing efforts, but from an SEO perspective, this has no impact on your website’s SEO.
If you are looking to have your blog posts found by search engines you should think less about when to post and focus more on the quality of the content and ensuring it is optimised for search engines.
Yes, this is perfectly fine. Your website architecture should work for you and your users and if it makes sense to categorise your different blog and article content in a particular way, then you are fine to do this.
Here is a simplified process for writing SEO blog posts:
1. Think about the keyword topics you would like to write about
Consider the kind of information that would be beneficial to your users, and whether they are likely to search for this content via search engines.
2. Make sure these align with your broader website objectives
Will writing these blogs help your overall objectives (e.g. increase awareness, authority, enquiries, leads or sales)? What do you want users to do after they read the blog? Make sure it is in line with your broader marketing and business objectives.
3. Conduct keyword research
Using tools like Google Keyword Planner, Answer The Public and Keywords Everywhere can provide you with lots of information about how many searches are made per month for your target keywords and what keywords are worth targeting.
4. Group your keyword research into topics/related keywords
You can then group this data according to keyword subjects and topics so you can plan what keywords to target as part of a given topic.
5. Analyse the search results for your chosen keywords/topics
What do the search results actually look like? Gone are the days of Google being 10 blue links. Search engine result pages (SERPs) today are more varied than ever. Looking at what the SERP looks like for a given keyword can let you know the kind of content Google favours for this particular search.
6. Analyse the top performing pages for your keywords and topics
Looking at the top ranking pages for a particular keyword can give you a good sense of the content Google thinks meets the needs of the user’s search.
Your content should not try to copy this content, but using these top performing pages as inspiration for your own content (which will aim to be better) is a great way of making sure you are in-step with the content Google is rewarding.
7. Write your content, format correctly and upload
Once you have written your content, make sure you format it correctly using clear HTML, appropriate header tags and using keywords naturally in your content.
Once uploaded, make sure the content looks how you intend it to across devices - check desktop, tablet and mobile.
8. Build internal links to your blog
You can reinforce the keywords you would like to rank for to Google by linking to it from other pages on your site.
Optimising the “anchor text” of the link (that is the text that is highlighted when you create a hyperlink) reinforces what the page content is about when search engine bots crawl your site.
For example, if you wrote a blog on best dog leashes, you could link to this naturally on other pages on your website and link to it using the target keyword/s. You could write:
If you’re looking for more information on fun dog accessories, make sure you read our guide to the best dog leashes!
This is something that often causes confusion amongst those new to SEO.
Writing optimised content about a particular subject is fine as long as you break that subject down and make each piece of content unique from the other.
For example, if you offered local SEO services and wanted to write content on the subject of “Local SEO” you could have your main service landing page targeting the keyword “local seo services” and write blogs on the following:
You may even want to combine a few of these into one blog post if it makes sense to cover more than one topic and you feel it is possible to still rank well for these terms.
However, if you wanted to rank for “local seo services” as a keyword, it would not be beneficial to create multiple pages or blogs targeting this keyword. This creates duplicate content issues on your site, diluting and weakening—not strengthening—the ability for you to rank for this keyword.
This is due to keyword cannibalisation, where more than one page competes for a particular keyword.
Instead, you should have one page targeting one keyword topic. It is sometimes thought that the more content you produce around a particular keyword, the better you will rank. In fact, this is just likely to confuse Google about what page to rank.
We hope that clears up any confusion about blogging and SEO! If you are looking for an ROI-driven SEO agency to help develop the content on your website and fuel your business growth, contact our team today!
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