At SilverServers - your Kamloops search engine optimization (SEO) gurus - one thing we specialize in is optimizing websites and blogs for small and medium businesses. In our content writing adventures, we regularly get asked what a blog is. In our opinion, it's an important SEO tool for your company that we recommend and implement into most of our websites, but perhaps it would be helpful to start from the simple answer first.
A blog is a website or webpage that is constantly being updated with new content. It can be a journal, a news feed, a place to write thoughts, share pictures, and showcase videos. Different businesses use them in very different ways. Some companies even have multiple blogs for multiple types of content! We'll talk later about why someone would want to do that.
To start off, the word "blog" may sound like a strange word that only gets used by tech and arts people – but it's actually not that strange. Until the 1990's the word used was "weblog" - a log of content updates being posted to a webpage. Most people these days haven't heard that term before because as the internet became more popular, it was shortened to simply "blog". Despite that name change, the basic purpose of this kind of content stream has remained the same – it is still a place to post some sort of updates.
There is more than one type of blog. Millions of people have set them up as their entire website! For them it's a place to share updates about family or share their thoughts about relevant topics. Some have even become modern news companies! They can be about anything. For most people, these kinds of online diaries and journals are usually free to start through Wordpress, Blogger, or any number of free services. This free-style writing kind of website isn't the only option though. For a business, a blog is just one of their many pages and it usually contains business-related content.
Now that you fully understand what blogging is, we hope you're able to see how a blog can be a powerful way to help your business have a healthier online presence. If not, then keep reading to see how a content stream like this can be used. By adding one as a page of your website, instead of making the entire website a blog, we're able to combine the benefits of blogging with a fully functioning business website.
Writing in the blog of a business website can be intimidating. What should it be about? Here are a few ideas:
-Write posts about different services provided
-Answer frequently asked questions
-Write about big projects
-Share company news
-Write product descriptions and reviews
-Explain your services
-Share your knowledge of your trade
If you're wondering how often we think a business website's article system should be written in, here's our approach. We like to see companies feeding their website quality content at least once a month. When search engines see that your website is actively producing content on a regular basis (at least monthly), they are more likely to send visitors to you. Writing more than once a month is a great idea if you're able to do it – and also if you're in high competition for your search engine ranking – but otherwise, once a month on a consistent basis is a great start. For our customers in the Grassroots SEO program, that's all we're going to bug you for anyway.
Like I mentioned earlier, some companies like to have more than one blog! This might seem like an odd idea at first – but I'll explain why this can be a good idea. You'll notice if you surf the web for a while that different articles are meant to be read by different audiences. A post promoting events and sales will probably have a very light tone meant to draw in the general public and get them excited about the event, whereas a post that explains technical aspects of what a company does might be written at a more technical level that's meant to be read by people who are researching whether or not to buy a particular service. What some companies do – perhaps a company that offers a more technical service like accounting or installing solar panels – is they have one blog for their regular news and events and another for explaining what they do, answering common questions, and showing how to use their services.
Having more than one blog is a great use of this tool – if it gets used. If you're only going to use it a few times and you don't know what might go in each of the section, then having more than one would just be another extra webpage that isn't being used. The SilverServers article system uses categories. So if you don't think you'll actually use multiple blogs then it's easy for us to attach your post to a category – rather than having one or more pages that sit dormant for too long of periods.
This is a common question. Our answer is that it should be in the menu. If it's possible it should be visible in the top level of the menu, rather than in a dropdown list. Keeping it visible demonstrates to visitors that your website is active and gives them something new to click on and check out. This causes them to move through your website, which can be a sign to Google that you've got something interesting to say. If Google thinks you're interesting, there's a good chance they'll send more traffic to you. Another way you can make your blog visible is by showcasing it on your homepage. Look at the SilverServers Knowledge Centre on the Home page for one idea of how to do that!
Although we don't get asked often, something to think about is whether you should create a name other than "Blog". This is not a required name for the content area of your website! You can give it a creative name like Daily Bread, Knowledge Centre, News, Essential Wisdom. The name should be something related to your field, for SEO reasons, but a more creative one could be the hook you need to catch a visitor's attention and get them to click. Google "blog name generator" to find websites that help create possible names.
In the end, the purpose of a blog in the SEO world is to show Google that you've got something to say that's worth reading. The more you say, and the more often you say it, the better chance you have of Google seeing you. Our team here at SilverServers is here to help optimize your posts so that Google can understand what they're about more easily. If you want help optimizing your posts, give us a call! We write and optimize tons of blog posts and what's more, we love to hear about what our clients are up to.