Does blogging help with SEO?
"If you want to climb to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), well-written, engaging content alone won’t cut it," warns Courtney Feairheller, contributor at HubSpot. "You also need to focus on writing SEO-driven, keyword-focused content that attracts not only website traffic, but the right kind of traffic."
In order to maximize reach, boost brand authority, and create more conversions, brands are investing in high-impact content marketing initiatives. For many industry-leading corporations, small businesses, and startups, allocating time, energy, and resources to blogging are mission-critical components of success.
Does Blogging Help With SEO? Here’s the Evidence
Does blogging really help with search engine optimization (SEO)?
The answer is yes.
However, with so many variables and varying opinions at play, there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to optimization. For one, it's incredibly difficult to rank when you create "thin" content. Instead, content should be jam-packed with valuable information, helpful insight, and more.
Secondly, there are some misconceptions surrounding duplicate content. Just because you've written similar articles before doesn't mean you shouldn't write another that focuses on a different search term. In fact, crafting similar content is a great way to boost organic traffic and domain authority.
Lastly, there is some confusion around grammar and rules for writing. Yes, you should still avoid typos, misspellings, and poorly written phrases. However, a lot of the “rules” of the past no longer apply - at least when it comes to blogging.
Blog posts must be easy to read, not puffed up like your college word-count-infused research papers. You should be writing an informative, easy-to-read, and compelling article, and it needs to be digestible quickly. It’s not a research paper. Instead of using long, drawn-out sentences, and “wall-o-words” paragraphs, think simpler. Use short sentences, short paragraphs, and skimmable headings — readers and search engines will thank you for it!
Easy-to-read doesn’t mean short and lacking depth. The best blog articles are long-form, some passing the 10,000 word mark. But, they are still easy to read because it’s all meat and little fluff.
Now that we've debunked some of the most common myths surrounding blogging and search engine optimization, check out some of these examples that prove blogging's effectiveness:
Buffer Acquired 1,000,000 Users in 2.5 Years
Buffer's growth story is an inspiring one. A social media management platform, Buffer amassed 1,000,000 total users in just 2.5 years thanks to strategic content development and deployment strategies. In fact, 70% of the application's growth is attributed to content marketing. What did Buffer do right and more importantly, how can you replicate the application's success for your own business?
Kevin Lee, director of marketing at Buffer, says,
"For our social blog, we aim to publish 70% social media tips/strategies and 30% content marketing tips/strategies. We publish four times each week on average, once a day Monday through Thursday. The stories we write are typically between 1,500 and 2,500 words, and are quite deep into research, instruction, and education."
Buffer follows a 3-step process to achieve content marketing success:
- Audience: Buffer performs routine content audits to identify what readers are interested in learning more about. With a better understanding of its audience, Buffer can craft more relevant and targeted content. Above all, the company is a solution-driven service provider. As such, blog posts are written in a way that addresses reader's unique challenges.
- Cadence: Buffer posts consistently week-to-week. Additionally, Buffer plans out content four to six weeks ahead of publishing, giving the team plenty of time to research and plan each piece.
- Promotion: Content promotion is just as important as content development. Buffer utilizes a few different strategies to promote its content including content repurposing, newsletters, and more.
Sure, a million visits per month might seem like a bit of a vanity metric. However, in Buffer's experience, increased traffic through the blog has driven positive results in other areas including revenue!
Marco Increased Traffic by 2,500% in 1 Year
Marco, a leading technology provider, leveraged the power of content marketing to boost its organic reach by 2,500% in just 12 months. Blogging helped Marco take its traffic from just 88 visits per month to 2,299 visits per month!
Here's how Marco unlocked rapid organic growth through blogging:
- Research and Create Buyer Personas: A semi-fictional representation of the businesses' ideal customers, Marco utilized market research and data to figure out who the business was marketing to.
- Create Topic Clusters: Once the team had a better understanding of their customers, they worked to create "topic clusters" or areas of focus. Marco's main buyer persona was facilities managers/IT managers/office managers. With that in mind, they decided to write blog content around "general technology," giving readers access to information related to technology in the workplace.
- Create a Call-to-Action: Marco created bottom-of-funnel call-to-actions to encourage these managers/IT manager/office managers to signup for a free technology assessment. Marco achieved a 16.28% conversion rate within the first month!
- Promote Content: Finally, Marco instituted a content promotion plan to facilitate greater distribution. The content was shared across Marco's social media channels and email.
The best part of this content marketing effort? "Marketing became, for the first time in our history, a direct revenue-generating force," said Jeff Gau, CEO of Marco.
Atlantech Increased Lead Generation by 366% in 1 Year
Atlantech, a business-class fiber internet, phone service, and data center services provider, generated a 366% increase in leads through content marketing. However, it's important to note that growth didn't necessarily happen immediately.
"What a lot of companies don't understand is that, when you're focused on building an organic traffic engine, results don't show up overnight. It's not even a linear investment," said Ryan Scott, head of inbound marketing at Lean Labs.
Atlantech used the Big-5 approach to content, writing posts that centered on answering the target customer's questions during each stage of the buyer's journey. Topic clusters were built around the following focus areas: phone service, fiber internet connectivity, and data center services.
Between January 2016 and January 27, Atlantech published 86 blog posts; seven content-based lead magnets; and other service-based lead magnets.
The result? 66% of their leads were generated directly from organic traffic, with 13% of those leads becoming MQLs!
Crush the Competition With Blogging
Despite what spotlight hungry marketing "gurus" might say, blogging is far from dead. There is no disputing the power of blogging when it comes to organic growth, search engine optimization, and domain authority. With ready-access to all the information they need to take the next step in the buyer's journey, blogging helps convert one-time viewers into lifelong customers.
If you haven't invested in content marketing, what are you waiting for?
Success starts with a solid game plan. Our approach might not be right for every applicant, but when the fit is right, we'll build an actionable inbound marketing outline and crush the competition together!