Marc Hardgrove is the CEO of The HOTH, a white label SEO firm located in St Petersburg, FL. INC 5000 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 & 2021.
Most businesses agree that a strong social media presence and a digital advertising strategy are must-haves in their marketing plan, but what about blogs?
Blogs take time to write, and the benefits they bring to your website could take weeks or months to accumulate — not to mention the amount of outreach that needs to be done for guest blogging, plus how often Google keeps strengthening its rules behind backlinks.
This leaves many businesses wondering if blogging is still even worth it. Wouldn’t it be easier to buy a few ads on social media or Google?
If my company has anything to say about it, yes, blogs are absolutely relevant and necessary to improve your SEO.
How To Use Blogs
According to some sources, the first-ever blog was published in 1994. That means people and businesses have been writing blogs for 27 years! While other internet fads have come and gone, blogs continue to be effective after all of these years.
Blogs are referred to as “content” in the SEO world, and high-quality content is the key to climbing the search ranking ladder. When those little Google bots crawl your website, they are rating all of your content based on E-A-T values (expertise, authority and trustworthiness). If Google finds that your E-A-T is high, it’ll boost your rankings.
MORE FOR YOU
Besides your actual web copy, blogs are one of the most effective ways to improve your E-A-T. Not only do they help SEO, but they can be a useful tool in educating or persuading your potential customers.
Here are just a few ways blogging can benefit your business:
• Increase the number of people visiting your site.
• Answer customer questions about your products or services.
• Describe your business’s unique qualities.
• Build trust between you and your customers.
The best part is that any blogs you post can continue working behind the scenes on finding you new leads.
Posting blogs to your website can be really effective in improving SEO, but it’s not that easy.
Typical blogs range anywhere from 500 to 2,000+ words. Lengths vary depending on your niche, level of expertise and what word counts have performed best for you in the past. And, if you want it all to work, you have to post consistently.
As a business owner, you have two choices: hire someone (either in-house or a freelancer) to write a blog every week or hire a blogging service. There are pros and cons to both. In-house, you have full control and industry expertise in your corner. Blogging services offer talented writers to draft your blogs, but you’ll still need time to fact-check and approve each piece.
Up until now, we’ve only discussed traditional blogs that appear on your website. What about guest blogs? This is when you think of an interesting topic for a new blog and pitch another website to publish it with a link back to your website. Guest blogs can bring you extra referral traffic, and backlinks are like SEO gold.
The challenge with guest blogs is that you’ll likely need to query dozens of websites to get just one to accept it. Most businesses don’t have time for this or they don’t know which websites to contact.
Guest blogging services exist to help you obtain more links. They have relationships with many publishers and can help your guest blog find the right home.
Guest Blogging And Google Updates
If you follow Google updates as much as we do, then you’ve probably heard about the algorithm change related to links announced on July 26th.
Businesses panicked. They wondered if their new guest blogs were going to crash and burn. Some even asked if they should continue guest blogging into the future. The answer, in my opinion, is still yes!
Google’s link update isn’t penalizing guest posts. That’s not its purpose. Google wants to stop websites from posting low-quality, spammy links to improve SEO. They want to ensure that businesses continue obtaining quality guest posts.
Some websites may experience a drop in rankings, which typically happens after a Google update, but any business earning guest posts the right way or employing a white hat, manual outreach link-building service has nothing to worry about.
Let’s Keep Blogging For Another 27 Years
There are challenges to blogging or guest blogging, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on it.
Blogs are more relevant today than ever and, if done right, can improve your website’s SEO. The important thing to remember when blogging is to focus on quality above all else.
And if you’re reaching out to other sites for a guest blog, ensure they are a trustworthy site with a higher industry authority than you. Google will actively bury any blogs that come off as spammy or fake.
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Author: Marc Hardgrove, Forbes Councils Member