Blogging for SEO

If you are running a content-based website, adding a blog is an effective way to SEO your site. Essentially, a properly run blog has a number of features that can be exploited for the purposes of viral marketing, social networking, and building defensible traffic.

SEO Benefits
The more that a document that can be indexed, categorized, and ranked by a search engine, the more search engine friendly that it is. Because blogs are so easily indexed by search engines, adding a blog to your current site (or creating one on its own) represents a great opportunity to gain a higher ranking in the SERPs. Of course, to enjoy these blogging benefits, your blog should be updated daily (or at least five days a week), but if you practice and preach that Content is King, then you should have no trouble adding a blog to your daily diet of webmastering. Specifically, blogs conducive to SEO because they offer:

1. Structured Content: Blog software breaks content down into categories. Consequently, search engines have an easier time understanding your content, and this can help you rank higher on the SERP for those topics.

2. Linkbait Potential: Blogging is about joining a conversation, so having a blog helps to get you talked about. The ability to comment and trackback also encourage users to interact with your site more. As your blog becomes a member of a larger community, it will become talked about in forums, other blogs, and the comment section of your own blog. When this happens, you receive more inbound links. Of course, you have to link others to do this, but because blogs are about conversing, linking to other blogs is critical.

3. Crawlable URLs: Part of the SEO process is SEOing your URLs. Blogging platform offer a feature to structure the URLs of your posts to include title information. Provided that the titles of your posts describe the content of the posts, these structured URLs will help let search engines know what your content is all about. Consequently, you have another chance of ranking higher on the SERP for these keywords.

4. Updated Content: Search engines reward frequently updated websites. First, the more that a site is updated, the more that the search engines crawl the site. Secondly, search engines regard frequently updates content as indication of an authority site. Therefore, by blogging on a daily basis, you can help ensure that (1) your site is indexed more often, and (2) it is seen as a more authoritative source of information for certain keywords queries.

5. Defensible Traffic: As your blog gains a higher profile within the larger community that it naturally becomes a part of, it will begin to generate traffic that did not come from search engines. Because this is kind of traffic is favored by search engines, this will increase your search engine ranking, which in turn will increase your search engine traffic, which will result in more repeat visitors, and so on… Although this traffic will eventually plateau, it will increase your search engine ranking, and once the cycle gets started, it will be pretty much self-perpetuating until it climaxes.

6. Link Exchanging: Many blogs have what’s called a blogroll. This is a list in the sidebar of other blogs that the blogger reads. Once you have developed a presence for yourself in a given community, you will be in a position to propose a link exchange with another blog.

Of course, it is important to remember that these benefits will not be enjoyed overnight. Indeed, establishing your blog within any given community is hard work and the amount of time it takes before you start seeing those benefits can depend on the community/industry that you are a part of. However, once those benefits are realized, the traffic has been generated will be defenisble and reliable.

While blogging everyday at first might seem odious, once you become accustomed to the routine, it becomes almost addictive–like socializing. After all, it helps you keep up to date with topics you are interested in, and in touch with people and communities that matter to you.

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