By: Roger Janik, President and CEO, ServerSideDesign.com
There have been plenty of articles written regarding how blogging is an effective marketing and SEO strategy and while many articles touch upon the finer points of developing blogs for profit, few address how they can assist improving inbound links. In the following article, I’ll take a stab at giving some valuable information to my fellow SEM and SEO professionals working hard to maximize their gains in traffic and indexing.
It really shouldn’t be any surprise just how effective blogging can be to one’s business. Blogging gives not only the business, but the public a place to convene and have a conversation. While it is usually up to the business to get the conversation started, bloggers generally don’t need that much persuasion to get involved and voice their opinions, as well as offer their own agendas. For the most part blogs are a great way to have your hand on the pulse of what many of your customers think while keeping the discussion at a distance as not to interfere with your major web address and its products, services and message.
While many businesses develop blogs to create a great way to communicate with their customers, in short time many SEM & SEO professional found out just how well they also can impact inbound links, traffic and ranking. Following are some of the ways that you can use blogs to positively grow inbound links, traffic and buzz.
The Typical Blog Set Up
There is actually no typical blog set up, just like the standard website; there are many ways to go about setting up your blog. Several options available for developing a blog are to host your own blog using WordPress (http://www.wordpress.org) on your own website or you can have others host it for you such as Typepad (http://www.typepad.com) & Blogger (http://www.blogger.com). Just keep in mind that similar to a normal domain, a blog should be optimized correctly. Some of the ways to optimize your blog for readers, as well as the search engines are:
Jazz Up Your Blog Template
Try to avoid the generic template, make sure you change up the color scheme, add an original title and make additional changes to remove any feeling that the blog was created using a cookie cutter.
Fresh & Updated Blog Content
Just like your website, a blog is near useless unless it is updated often with original content. You can’t expect viewers to visit your blog often if there is nothing new for them to see and read. Make sure that on average, you update your blog at least once a week. While your visitors will appreciate your fresh content, the other benefit of fresh and updated content is that your site will be visited often by spiders and ultimately rank higher in the SERPs. As always steer clear of duplicate or incoherent content- if you wouldn’t place it on your main website don’t post it on your blog either.
Plenty of Links in the Blog
Use your blog to not only market your main website, but other blogs you may have and other resources you think could be useful to your visitors. Not only will your visitors thank you, but you might just build some acquaintances in fellow bloggers and website developers that return the favor and offer some priceless organic links. This is also a great strategy to appear or be independent instead of being affiliated with one specific website or company.
Avoid the Many Optimization Pitfalls
Keep in mind the items and strategies that can penalize your website can also penalize your blog. Here is a short list of some of the things to stay away from:
- Buying traffic
- Posting paid links for PR gain
- Duplicate content
- Black-Hat SEO techniques
- Blog farms
- Excessive links with no content
- Post links without being embedded in content
Strategies to Improve Inbound Links from Blogs to Your Main Website
Blogs are a fantastic tool to market and optimize your main website. The beauty of blogs is that they are incredibly affordable, easy to launch and can be used to in many ways to build organic and inbound links. Here are just a few ways on how to improve your main websites in the SERPs using blogs.
Embed Links into Blog Content
Perhaps one of the best ways to improve inbound links to your website is by embedding them into your blog content. Your blog should be used not only to communicate with your customers, but as a promotional tool for your website, products and services. Make every effort to add some anchor text within original content to help send spiders to your website and ultimately rise in the SERPS. It is important that your links are embedded into content due to the fact that most evidence points to search engines viewing embedded links as organic. Not only will you get more weight from embedded links, but since they come from an independent blog they have a good chance of maximizing their weight.
Vary Your Blog Links
Besides embedding your anchor text, make sure that your links are varied. Don’t send every link on your page to one specific webpage; make sure you links go to several web pages-better yet, send links to several different sites.
Send Links from Quality Content
The More Blogs the Merrier
I am not saying that you should launch 100 blogs; however a handful of blogs on a variety of topics that are important to your main website will be just the thing that is needed to help promote your main website.
Create an Authoritarian Blog
As you can see, there are many ways blogs can help you improve inbound links. The secret to success is to put in the time, effort and resources to develop blogs which will ultimately help your website.