November 1, 2014

Blogs as SEO Tools

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 01/23/07

Can blogs be optimized for search marketing? Absolutely! Blogs are basically content management systems with additional functionality such as comments, trackbacks and RSS. In many ways, blogs are no different than web sites.

If a document can be optimized and that document gets indexed, categorized and ranked by any kind of search engine, it’s an opportunity for search marketing. As such, marketers should be aware of how document optimization within various channels can be used within the overall online marketing mix. Blogs are one of many platforms that benefit from optimization.

At a minimum, using blog software to manage certain kinds of content on a web site such as an online media room, to archive newsletters, post frequently asked questions and to provide product updates can make a site that is otherwise very search engine un-friendly, become a viable source of great rankings. This applies to both regular search engines as well as blog search engines. These are applications for a blog besides the common use as a platform to increase credibility and communicate a more personalized voice for a company.

Blogs are no silver bullet though and require working hard and smart – especially smart. However the payoff can be significant. To prove the point that blogs are effective tools for improving search engine visibility, I can offer that my own blog (Online Marketing Blog) receives the majority of it’s traffic from search engines.

Here are a few Google ranking examples of the top referring search phrases in the past month for Online Marketing Blog:

Even more niche phrases bring in quality search traffic such as:

which are all services our search marketing agency provides. Of course the rules can change slightly over time, but here are a set of benefits I often find myself explaining to people wondering about the search engine optimization benefits of having a blog.

  1. Structured content – Blog software with category features allows the aggregation of content according to themes. This makes it easier to algorithmically categorize content. If you can make it easier for search engines to understand your content, you have a much better chance of ranking well on those topics.
  2. Crawlable URLs – Most blog software offers uncomplicated URL structure, making it fairly easy for search engine spiders to find and crawl blog content.
  3. Internal links – Blogs that post product or service related information can deep link anchor text to product information or purchase pages deep within the web site. This is very beneficial for ranking on long tail phrases.
  4. Inbound link magnet – One of the biggest benefits, blogs link freely to each other – much more than web sites do. Blogs are also a significant source of many posts to social news and social media web sites. Text, audio and video are all easily supported for syndication by blogs. The more media available, the more likely it will attract incoming links. Additionally, there are many widgets and plugins that make it easy to share blog content, thus encouraging links and traffic.
  5. RSS – Links to RSS feed urls that use the blog domain name will assist in building link popularity and when RSS content is syndicated or cited by other blogs, any embedded links will also assist in sending traffic.
  6. Fresh content – Both readers and search engines reward fresh content with repeat visits. From a search engine perspective, that means your site can be crawled more frequently, allowing your new content to become searchable more quickly. Fresh content is also indicative of a more authoritative web site.
  7. Active community – Comments and trackback features in blog software encourage interaction. An active blog community creates the kinds of citations or signals from other sites (annotated and contextually relevant links) that search engines tend to reward in the rankings. Loyal blog readers can boost a site’s visibility through advocacy on other blogs, in forums offline at conferences as well as on their own blogs and within the comments of your blog.
  8. Non-Search traffic – I think the greatest benefit of having an active blog has little to do with improving your search engine rankings though. The best thing about blogs is that they allow you to generate substantial amounts of traffic via RSS and links that have NOTHING to do with search engines. My recommendation to marketers in 2007 is to pursue traffic alternatives to search engines as aggresively as their budgets and marketing programs will allow. The result will be incremental increases in site traffic with search engine referred traffic an added bonus, if not correspondingly enhanced.
  9. Blog & RSS Directories – With a blog and corresponding RSS feed(s), your site can now benefit from visibility within blog and RSS search engines. Web sites without feeds (your competition maybe?) are not included in these kinds of directories and search engines.

Felllow BBC’er Stephan Spencer has also written extensively about optimizing blogs and using blogs as SEO tools.

So there you go. A basic list of practical reasons a blog can be beneficial as a site optimization tool and for improved web site traffic along with practical examples. What SEO benefits have you found from having and promoted a blog?

12 comments for Blogs as SEO Tools »

  1. Great article Lee and a good showing of how powerful a blog can be as an SEO tool. Can you expand on when these results can be expected. Your site has been operating for a long period of time and the results you give are a result of long hard work. When does the business blogger begin to see the blog start its magic?

    Comment by Jim Turner — January 23, 2007 @ 2:19 pm


  2. That’s a great point Jim. I’ve been blogging with our current domain name, toprankblog.com for about 1 1/2 years. However, we’ve had great rankings withing a few months on some phrases that were particularly effective at attracting links.

    Here’s a recent example. We published a list of 250 search marketing blogs recently that attracted a very large number of links from other blogs. At the time we did not rank anywhere on Google for “search marketing blogs”, but within a week or so ranked #1.

    Comment by Lee Odden — January 23, 2007 @ 2:32 pm


  3. [...] While people in the SEO or SEM business might understand that blogs can help attract search engine generated online traffic, my experience – admittedly with the small business sector, things may be different at the big end of town – is that many business owners don’t get the connection between blogs and SEO and are missing out on a potentially valuable source of traffic. In presentations to business people for whom, typically, business blogging is a bit of a mystery, or perhaps seen by them as some techie fad, I provide a quick, layman’s explanation of how blogs help attract search-generated traffic, and I comment to the effect that blogs, with their fresh content, attract more interest from the search engines than do static, unchanging websites. I know there is a lot more to the story than that, but I’m no SEO expert and getting my head more comprehensively around the issue has been on my list of things to do, soon! So it was great to read today fellow Business Blog Consulting blogger Lee Odden’s post Blogs as SEO Tools. He goes way beyond my “fresh content” argument (although that is included) and provides a list of no fewer than nine benefits that can accrue from using blog technology, not just as a communication platform but with full utilization of its content management system capability. He comments: Blogs are no silver bullet though and require working hard and smart – especially smart. However the payoff can be significant.  [...]

    Pingback by Business and Blogging - Blogs and Search Engine Optimization: Lee Nails It — January 24, 2007 @ 3:13 am


  4. Excellent article!

    “Blogs are no silver bullet though and require working hard and smart – especially smart.”

    I couldn’t agree more with this statement.

    Comment by Kai — January 24, 2007 @ 4:33 pm


  5. Excellent article.

    I have a real problem explaining what a BLOG is to those that don’t know – and there are many.

    This will help me a big THANK YOU

    David

    Comment by David Saunders — January 24, 2007 @ 5:34 pm


  6. You really clarified a confusing issue by explaining how blogs are treated by the SE’s Thank you. I am printing your article and using it as THE guideline.

    Bill

    Comment by Bill Dueease — January 25, 2007 @ 4:35 pm


  7. Great point! Some business websites urgently need blog tools such asRSS and real time interactivity for business success.

    Comment by Skelbimai — January 26, 2007 @ 4:17 pm


  8. [...] 01/23/2007 09:17 PM Blogs as SEO Tools [...]

    Pingback by Late breaking news at Free Traffic Exchange Info Blog — February 4, 2007 @ 3:46 am


  9. Nice article. helps lot. Thanks. Waiting for next one. :)

    Comment by Roxy — February 5, 2007 @ 3:16 pm


  10. [...] the entire article at BusinessBlogConsulting.com, here. 08 Apr 07 | Why Blogs?, Tips and Tricks, [...]

    Pingback by Blogs as SEO Tools « Lucas Sawyer Consulting : Minneapolis, MN - Website Development, SEO for WordPress CMS/Blogging Platform — April 12, 2007 @ 8:47 am


  11. Sweet resource, just what I have been looking for.
    I have added you to Stumbleupon.

    Comment by Bubbila — March 24, 2008 @ 11:20 am


  12. Blogs are very useful to get Good PR. But i have heard of some SEO expert and they didn’t give any importance to Blog. I think Blog are more useful and easiest way to increase ranking.

    Comment by Dubai Web Design, Development — July 17, 2008 @ 3:37 am


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