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Blogs for Search Engine Optimization?
Chris Behan - President, Socius Marketing, Inc.
Although many have touted cloaking, keyword stuffing, hidden text, and other “black hat” techniques, search engine optimization companies are coming to the realization that in order to succeed in gaining relevant listings on phrases that are actually searched, you must have a content-rich website. Content is the cornerstone to any successful SEO campaign, and without it, failure is all but guaranteed.
Wikipedia is the most visible example of how powerful content is. While the accuracy of the content contained in Wikipedia sometimes comes into question, the sheer quantity cannot be ignored. Google currently shows the site at 3,840,000 pages in size, and that’s just the English side of Wikipedia. I am not suggesting that you build a 4-million-page website, but the logic of a content-rich website is undeniable.
Before we begin to discuss the use of blogs for optimization purposes, let me explain the origin of blogs. The word blog comes from combining the words “web” and “log” to form the name “blog.” The modern blog evolved from online diaries, typically utilized by journalists and political activists as early as 1994. Blogs are now very prevalent in entertainment, political, and wellness sites.
So, back to the topic: the use of blogs for optimization. Since SEO practitioners have realized that content is king when it comes to search engine optimization, they had to find an easy way to add content to a website, and their vehicle to achieve this is a blog. However, this method is extremely flawed.
Consider this for a moment before you attach a blog to your website:
industry are you optimizing for? Blogs may help the online presence of certain individuals and organizations, but should only be used in select cases, and typically, for purposes other than ranking in search engines. You can often find blogs written about celebrities, elections, and the like, but if
you are like 100% of our clients, then you are not
optimizing your entertainment or political website.
Think of it this way - who blogs about injection molding, commercial shelving,
or cubicle refurbishment? Google knows that these
types of blogs are done by SEO practitioners trying to
manipulate search engines, and for this reason,
blogs like this will never get your site ranked.
Conversion - The conversion rate of a blog is significantly
less than that of a core product page that is part
of a website. Think of the last blog you visited
(assuming you were ever at one). Where are the order
buttons, request-a-quote buttons, etc? Blogs are
not formatted like sites that are trying to generate
leads and sales, and therefore conversion will suffer.
- Ranking - Before you hire any SEO firm that uses blogs, conduct a keyword search that you would use to locate your industry, and see how many blogs return on the first page of Google. There won’t be many, if any at all, proving that blogs simply won’t work for the optimization of your website.
So, taking into account the fact that in most cases a blog would not fit into your industry, the conversion rate stinks worse than hot garbage, and rarely do they rank well in search engines, why do SEO practitioners continue to push them? Because they don’t want to add content to your website.
Blogs make it very easy to attach content to your site, but attaching content to your site is not as effective as adding content to your site. Actually going into the code of your website and adding core product and service pages that convert at high levels is a lot of work, and in many cases involves personnel that SEO companies just don’t have on staff. That said, coding pages directly to your website is not only best for search engine optimization, but conversion as well.