Search engine optimization (SEO) involves much more than the quantity of blog posts, but producing high-quality fresh content on a regular basis through the use of a blog on your own website is vital. I use the term “vital” in the vein of what the paramedics and doctors want to know when they’re trying to keep you alive: “What are his vitals?” Your website is your most powerful marketing tool, your website’s blog is its most important lifeblood and your efforts to keep your business alive need to focus on those online vitals.
A quick and simplistic list of vitals to keep in mind as you develop and implement your SEO strategy:
- Audience and keywords
- Website Structure
- Keyword-aware content and storytelling
And once you’ve gotten to the content part, you wonder how many blog posts you should be writing, yes?
One of the first things many of us do to answer questions like that is to find out what “the other guy” is doing. We like seeing how other people are succeeding with their online business, what they are doing for marketing and a whole slough of other curiosities. At the bottom of this post is a fine infographic that lets us do just that – see what the other guy is doing. And in this case, we get to evaluate what professional bloggers have been doing in 2014 and 2015 and use that information to help form an SEO strategy for 2016 that fits our own needs.
The number of posts it takes to rank high on Google
Child: How long will it take me to learn my multiplication tables?
Father: As long as it takes.
Apply the above dialogue to answering how many blog posts it will take for your website to rank well on Google, Bing, Yahoo or Ask.
While it’s an answer nobody wants to hear – because we all want a hard and fast number and we want it now – it’s an answer that is partly based on the variables that none of us control. Variables like search engine algorithms, user behavior & preferences and competitor actions, to name a few.
So, how many blog posts will it take to rank high on Google? As many as it takes.
In my experience, greater success is seen by small to medium sized businesses who are not competing against corporate giants for a desired keyword. This applies to both organic and paid search engine marketing efforts. The corporate money can simply drown any investment you might make into improving your organic search results or spending a percentage of your marketing budget on a PPC campaign like Google AdWords.
The way over that barrier? Develop a content strategy that focuses on longtail keywords, a more narrow target audience, technical improvements and employs a deeper SEO investment than blogging, alone.
Audience and keywords
Question: Who is your audience?
Answer: The people who find specific value in what you provide.
Question: What are your keywords?
Answer: The words your audience is typing into Google (or other search engine) to find the value they want.
Keyword research as it relates to the service or product you provide and the audience who wants what you provide, is vital. Without the research, all you have is anecdotal information and gut feelings. In my experience, these two sources of data are unreliable, at best, and people who go no further than those two sources usually go no further than dumping money into a website and wondering why no business is being generated from the website.
[message_box title=”Tip for small business owners: ” color=”blue”]Using Google’s Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) for keyword research is the best place to start for the do-it-yourself entrepreneur; it’s free and there are many tutorials and how-to articles online.[/message_box]
Small and medium businesses who choose to hire a professional SEO consultant to handle the big picture of their online presence often see results that are better, stronger, faster – sort of like the Six Million Dollar Man (at 1:00 mark).
Website structure for SEO
Everything from meta data to platform type to coding standards to organization & quality of content to the overall user experience is part of the structure of your website. For improved search engine results, spending time and money on optimizing the structure of your website is vital.
Make sure your website’s title, description, NAP and per page titles and descriptions are optimized for the search engines and you’ll be off to a good start.
What does keyword-aware content mean?
Looking briefly back to the top of this post, you’ll see the third bullet point in the list of important SEO elements is “Keyword-aware content and storytelling.” The simplest way to accomplish this goal is to write a blog post that is focused on its topic, is informative and is relevant to the rest of your website. In writing naturally – for the human reader, not for Google – your content will inherently include desirable keywords.
Being aware of targeted keywords is a valuable skill to develop because it will do two very important things as you create fresh content:
- Keeps your blog post interesting and helpful.
- Keeps your content from being intentionally stuffed with keywords; writing about the topic without worrying about how many times the keyword has been used.
I make the slight distinction between “keyword aware” and the more commonly heard buzz word, “keyword rich”, because the latter implies your content should be rich with keywords and for many of us rich means a lot. And in the spirit of crafting high-quality content, we simply don’t need or want a lot of the same keyword(s) littering our blog posts and static page content.
Related and recommended reading:The 10 Basics of Blogging Search Engine Optimization by Ramsay Taplin at Blog Tyrant. A very good nuts-and-bolts article on exactly how to get the right start for your website’s SEO foundation.
Infographic by Orbit Media Studios via WebMag.co
SafeHouse Web is a team-based company in Hollister, California, that provides proven SEO solutions with measurable results along with expert WordPress website design and social media marketing. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (831) 205-0077.