The first blog post, written by a student at the time named Justin Hall, was published in 1994. Today, almost thirty years later, there are about 500 million blogs out of almost 2 billion websites.
While the first blog post was published to Links.net, most current blog websites are published on the WordPress content management system (CMS) platform. While WordPress first began as a blogging platform, its open source code has led to the development of thousands of responsive websites on this platform. Much of our design and development work today leverages WordPress and, about 90% of the time, we include the built-in blog with it. Why? Because blogs, or article writing, still matters, and if proper SEO has been performed, can rank highly in Google.
Despite the proliferation of images and video, people still like to read. Additionally, blogs keep websites current, allow the website owner to expound on relevant topics that may not necessarily be applicable to include in a “services” page, and are significant ranking signals to Google.
Better said, blogs not only have the ability to rank high in a Google search engine results page, they also elevate keyword ranking of the other website pages that have been optimized, as well. That is, the pieces elevate the whole.
We have a client that runs an ENT practice on the east coast. We designed and built their website on the WordPress platform, and then optimized it. After a few months, we ranked within the top 3 pages of Google for many of our targeted ENT-related keywords and keyphrases. Some website pages ranked on the first page but most were found on the 2nd and 3rd pages. That’s not a bad showing for an initial SEO strategy focused only on optimizing a handful of static, ENT condition pages, i.e., chronic sinusitis, sleep apnea, allergies, TMJ, tonsillitis, etc.
We then convinced the practice that writing articles on a regular basis would not only add value to the user experience but would impress Google enough to begin ranking other pages of the website higher, as well. It’s been almost 10 years and it’s fair to say that writing monthly articles has had a significant role in ranking the practices’ website on the first page of Google for just about every targeted keyword term on all pages and blog posts.
How to Write and SEO a Blog So That It Ranks Higher in Google
Articles keep a website current. They prove to visitors that the site isn’t stale. And, in the event that a visitor associates the quality of the website with the how you run your business, you definitely want to make sure you are keeping up-to-date with your article writing. THE worst thing to have happen is for your last blog to have been written in 2019.
So, how do articles help rank a website higher for keyword terms in Google? They must be current, educational, add value to the user, be optimized, and link (where applicable) to other pages of your website. The goal is to not only get your blog ranked highly but for your entire website to be ranked highly.
First, the article itself must have a keyword(s) focus. If you’re writing about “sleep apnea causes and treatments,” you’ll want to perform a bit of keyword research to ensure that “sleep apnea causes” and “sleep apnea treatments” are keywords that have a good amount of search volume each month. If not, look for similar keywords. To do this, you can use Google’s keyword planner or begin typing the keyword into Google and look for its predictive search terms that are displayed just below the search line.
Second, research your topic. Your article should be educational and offer a unique perspective. Once people find your article in a Google search, you want them to stay on the page to actually read it. Google is aware of the time spent reading the article and has metrics to measure the performance of it, i.e., time on page, bounce rate. In other words, the article is not going to rank well if people leave the page after a few seconds of reading.
Third, write and optimize the article. This is called SEO copywriting. Make sure to include the keywords you uncovered that relate to its topic. Make sure the keyword(s) is in the title and description. In the content area, also make sure to use keywords in your paragraph titles and make sure to repeat the keywords in the content body. But, don’t overuse your keywords. Place them in the content naturally. If you read it back to yourself and it feels forced and spammy, then it is. Last, link keywords in the content to other pages and articles of your site. Using the sleep apnea example, link “sleep apnea causes and treatments” in the article to the main sleep apnea page on the site (if you’re an ENT practice). If you’re not sure how interlinking pages looks, just visit any one of Wikipedia.org’s pages.
Once you’ve optimized and published a good amount of unique articles, they will rank on their own merit but will also help to rank your website pages higher, as well (website pages are non-blog pages like an About Us or Services page). As the old adage states, a rising tide lifts all boats. The more articles you write and rank in Google, the higher the other pages of your website will rank.
If you research, write, optimize and publish one unique article each month, blog writing is absolutely relevant to your SEO strategy and you should begin to see higher rankings in Google for your keywords in 3-6 months. Of course, the timing is dependent on the keywords you’ve targeted. For example, your site is going to rank highly for “5 carat diamond rings for my wife” long before it ranks for “jewelry.” As of this writing, “5 carat diamond rings for my wife” yields 55m search results versus 2.8 BILLION for “jewelry.”