So you started your own business. Great! Now what? How will people find you? Will it be a magic, mind-melding thing where they’ll just know and stumble upon you? Maybe! Or will it be a Google, internet, SEO thing? And what does that mean anyway? So many questions . . . Let’s break it down.
You might already know this, and if you do, skip this section. SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a fancy way of talking about your visibility on search engines like Google or Yahoo or Bing. (Is Bing still a search engine? I literally just googled that.)
However, having a blog in and of itself doesn’t do much if it’s poor quality and/or updated sporadically. They say that content is king, but so is consistency. How does blogging help with all this? Keep reading.
1.) Blogging keeps your site dynamic
Blogging, especially if the blog is recent, signals to the powers that be (in this case search engines) that your business is alive and kicking. If you haven’t updated your website in several years, the internet starts to wonder if you’re still in business.
“Google doesn’t want to deliver its searchers outdated information,” according to HostGator.com. “Websites that are regularly updated signal to them that the website is alive and offering fresh content. It also gives the search engine algorithms more reason to index your website more often, keeping it more on their radar over time.”
Updating the homepage every week? A pain in the rear. But a blog? Totally manageable. Or maybe it’s not, in which case, I can help you. I’m a professional writer with more than 13 years of experience. Writing is my jam and I’m more than happy to take the blogging portion off your hands.
2.) Blogging keeps people reading
We have to talk a little bit more about how search engines work in order to understand why blogging is important.
Search engines want to provide people the information they’re looking for. For instance, if you google “freelance writer in Oakland, CA” you expect the first result to be what you’re looking for. However, if after briefly perusing the site you discover it’s a website that sells lances, and you hop back over to Google, that signifies the first search result maybe wasn’t so great. But if you click on the first result and stay on the website for a bit, then Google breathes a sigh of relief and says, “OK, yes, that is the most helpful search result.”
Google hasn’t said point blank “dwell time matters in terms of ranking,” but they’ve made other statements that make it clear dwell time is something they pay attention to.
So blogging means people will dwell longer on your website.
3.) Blogging helps with long-tail keywords
I’ll be real here — I would love it if someone googled “freelance writer” and my name came up as the top entry, but let’s be honest, that’s probably not going to happen. What’s a gal to do? The answer: long-tail keywords.
My best bet is using longer, more specific keywords that are relevant to my business, such as “empathic freelance writer in Oakland, CA, who has a journalism background.” Just kidding, that’s too long but I think you get the gist.
Half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer but they can be hard to fit in the homepage. This is exactly where blogging comes in. I’ve typed “freelance writer in Oakland, CA” a few times now already because that’s doable in a blog.
Sure, I won’t get as much traffic as “freelance writer” but the traffic I will get will likely come from local people in my target audience.
So there you have it — three reasons why you should have a blog.
Stay tuned for more reasons. (Yes! There are more!) And again, if you don’t want to maintain a blog I’ll gladly take on that task for you. Let’s chat!