SEO - search engine optimization - is the process of moving your website up in the search results. Obviously, the higher your website appears in search engines like Google, the more natural search engine traffic you can acquire for your business. And, statistically, this kind of natural search traffic is generally the most valuable traffic you can get. But you knew all of that already.
What you might not already know is that your process for improving your rankings on Google had better make room for a blog on your website. Here are 4 cold, hard facts about how blogging can improve your SEO results:
1. SEO is more about your content than anything else.
It's a plain-and-simple truth. You need content, and you need lots of it. Since 2011 Google has made vast improvements to their algorithm (how they rank websites). Before 2011, Google had to rely more on "off site" factors to determine the value of your website (links, for example). But since the Panda and Penguin updates, especially, Google is now much smarter and much better at analyzing your website's content than ever before. And they're just going to keep getting better.
2. Blogging is the most search-engine friendly way to publish your content.
Sometimes I talk about "Business Blogging" with small business owners, and they just give me a blank stare. Remember - all you need to know and understand is that a blog is just an "SEO friendly" way to publish content on your website. A blog is simply a tool for publishing content quickly and easily. It doesn't matter what kind of content you're publishing -- personal or business -- "blogging" is just shorthand for publishing content. Yes, your teenager can blog about the burrito she ate for lunch AND your business can blog about important topics your customers will care about. The teenager's goal is much different than your goal. That's all you really need to know.
3. Social media loves your blog posts.
I always say: Blogging was the original social media, and it's true. But more to the point, if you're going to be successful with Social Media Marketing for your business (and you'd better be!) then you need stuff to share. That's exactly why you need a blog. Take a look at your Twitter feed for just the next 15 minutes. Notice how many people are out there sharing content? 90% of those shares are blog posts. This is exactly why you need a blog for your business -- so it's easy for your site to get shared. More social sharing means more traffic, which means more prospects, more leads, and more customers for your business!
4. Long-tail traffic is what you really need.
Blog every day for 100 days, and you'll have 100 new pieces of content popping up in Google. Every single blog post is a new opportunity for a Google searcher to find your website and to find your business. While your competitors are fighting tooth-and-nail for those "top tail" keyword phrases for your business ("auto insurance," for example) your blog will bring you loads of new traffic from long-tail searches you probably would never anticipate ("auto insurance tips for new drivers in los angeles," for example). These long-tail keyword phrases have much less competition and can bring lots of very targeted traffic to your website.
Blogging is an essential part of your SEO formula. If you don't yet have a blog on your website, install one today. If you already have a blog but you're not publishing content frequently, what are you waiting for? Every blog post is a new opportunity to attract a new customer into your business.