While a social media ‘link’ may not carry the weight traditional links still can, the activity around your business online is playing an ever expanding role in the assessment of your value by search engines. You need to be seen as a valuable contributor to the conversation around your business and by extension, your keywords. You need to be real and you need to be valuable to consumers. Your blog is the best way to get started.
While I don’t claim to be a blogging expert, a blog’s potential contribution to SEO is clear. Offering genuine, valuable, informative, interactive and engaging content to your customer base via a blog increases relevant content on your website and, via social media distribution, can increase the activity around your website.
I’ve often heard questions from customers around what on earth they could blog about, but if you have customers, then that should answer the question for you. Think about your business from their perspective and create value for them. Answer common questions, give information on your products or services, or explain why you’re better than most. There are literally dozens of topics you could cover once you start thinking from your customers’ point of view. And as I’m prone to repeating, in the end, Google is just trying to service the end user. Keeping that in mind throughout all your online activities is unlikely to steer you wrong, except when you’re thinking about technical changes to the site, in which case consultation with an SEO expert is essential.
For a little perspective, think about it this way: No matter who we are, all of us are someone’s customer. Imagine the last product or service you bought or researched online. Did you choose a website with a small amount of content and little to none of the information you needed to make up your mind? Or did you choose the website which immediately spoke to you about your search query and helped you make a decision? Google wants to deliver users the latter in their search results, so show them that you know what you are talking about and are the most valuable resource a consumer could come across.
From a social media standpoint, a good blog will also help increase interaction. Giving your customers something to think about, interact with and offer their thoughts on, will increase the value of any Facebook Page, Twitter account, LinkedIn Business Profile, Google+ Page and so on. It also allows you to engage in an ongoing conversation with your customer base, giving you obvious re-marketing opportunities and building lifetime value rather than one-off sales.
I’m writing all of this because I am honestly surprised by the amount of businesses who write off the idea of having a blog due to the time it would take or because they can’t imagine what they could have to say. But as with anything in your business, if that time creates value, then you need to focus on that and not the immediate inconvenience of making the time to get in the habit.
Content is much more valuable than it has ever been, particularly with the continued roll-out of Google’s Panda algorithm (which looks at content) and the always underestimated Hummingbird update, which changed the entire landscape of content.
So get out there and start showing both the search engines and your customers some value!