Blogging has tremendous SEO value, especially if your content is regularly updated and aligned with what your target audience is interested in and is searching for online. Obviously, you want Google to like your blog and rank it highly, but the most important thing is for your audience to like it, read it, and to keep coming back.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. SPECIFIC FOCUS: Have a specific topic (a set of keywords) you’d like to own on your blog. It should be aligned with your interests and those of your target audience. Post about this specific topic as often as possible. Posts that may be slightly off topic can add depth and value to your blog; but try to make a connection to your overall topic of interest, wherever possible.
2. POST REGULARLY: Post as often as possible. Once every work day is ideal.
3. BE INTERESTING & INFORMATIVE: Post about news, current events, research findings, etc., related to your topic. A lot of blogs are focused mainly on personal observations or self promotion, but readers often don’t care about that stuff. These days, more and more people are turning to blogs as a source for news. One goal should be to make your blog a news resource about your topic for your target audiences. Even for a corporate blog, don’t just plug your company — think about what your target audience wants to read about — then integrate how that may align with your product/service/offering, but don’t force it.
4. CONSISTENT KEYWORDS: Have a consistent set of keywords you’d like to own. Weave them into your posts, wherever possible. Use them as categories, titles, and throughout the content of your posts. If you can, place them in, subtitle, section headers, and the URL slug of your blog. Integrate keywords fluidly and in a manner that doesn’t jeopardize readability, and never overdo it with keywords.
5. MONITOR: SEO is not just about where your blog places in a standard Google Web search. It’s valuable to track and monitor how your blog compares specifically to other blogs on similar topics. I use Google Alerts and Google Blog Search a lot. These two search tools focus more on how current and precise your content is in relation to a search term. Google Web search often prioritizes sites that have been around for a while, which is not the case with many blogs.
The reason I like blogging so much as a tool for SEO is that, to do it effectively, you must realize that it’s not just about the technical, behind-the-scenes tricks that search engine spiders notice. It’s about providing solid, meaningful content, and connecting and sharing that content with real people.
As Chris Brogan — one of the most influential bloggers in the world — explains: when it comes to blogging, “above all else, be human.”
David Reich is co-founder and CEO of SixEstate, blending a background in traditional marketing and public relations with over 5 years of experience managing hundreds of online marketing campaigns for all kinds of organizations -- from small businesses and nonprofits to public companies. David is responsible for keeping SixEstate and its clients at the forefront of the rapidly evolving search and content marketing landscape. Connect with David on Twitter, Google+ or via email.