Blogging has long been an effective strategy for ranking your website on search engines.
Blogging is perfect for SEO as you’re creating exactly what the search engines and the searchers themselves are looking for.
Google is rumoured to use over 200 factors to rank a website in the search results. Content is and has always been one of the top areas it looks at. Content has long been king and it’s very clear to see why.
Content is what most searchers want. When they head to Google, they want and need answers and Google knows this. Since the creation of Google back in 1998, Google has been trying to do just one thing – organise and provide the best results!
To appear on Google – to rank on Google – you need to add value and content to the internet. Aside from all the other more technical areas of SEO that we can help you with, creating content like blogs is essential if you’re trying to rank higher on the search results.
What is a blog?
Blog is the shortened term ‘weblog’ (web log), which rose to fame in the 1990s with the rise of publishing tools, which made it easier for content writers to create and publish informative and narrative content for the world wide web.
Initially blogs were standalone pieces rather like online diaries. Bloggers create content and articles as a continuing project and grow followers and fans that subscribe to the blogs to get the latest posts.
Nowadays blogs are found on most good websites because web developers and SEOs quickly noticed the volume of traffic these sites generated. They saw the benefit of having a blog on a website which not only gains traffic but adds authority and traffic to the domain.
How long should a blog be?
This is a hotly contested topic but we often tell clients that a blog should be as long as you can make it while remaining useful.
Research will show you that anything from 3-400 words is considered a good length for a blog but we’d argue that’s still a very small amount of content when you consider where the Google spiders crawl and what they look for.
Google anything question-based and it’s unlikely that a small article will rank highly (unless it’s a huge site) pointing towards longer form content being your ultimate goal. Four hundred words is the minimum, not the target!
What should I blog about?
Blogging isn’t just about ranking – it’s about authority. Google rates authority just as highly as it does great content, so it’s worth mentioning that here before we get into it…
Authority is your trust bank.
Adding to your banks of trust should be high on your agenda as a website owner. Trust is the backbone of business and forms a core part of decision-making in the buying process. It’s no wonder then that Google looks for people and websites with authority when it’s deciding who should appear higher when people search.
Authority is built over time by a constant stream of traffic and visits to your site. Things like the time people spend on your site, people sharing your site, people linking to your content and people returning again to your site all show Google that you’re an authority in your chosen field.
It’s simple when you think about it: if you’re the authority in your field, more people will (and should) visit your site, and Google will want to show you to them.
So what should your blog be about? Your expertise. Show your visitors (and Google) that you know your subject and you’re not afraid to blog about it.
One really simple area to blog about is the core areas of your business that affect your customers as those are the areas that will be searched for online.
Here are six ideas and strategies to help you come up with ideas and create great content that visitors will love and Google will look to rank.
Researching keywords (Google Ads)
We don’t recommend that you write for search engines. As with all SEO, it needs to be natural and not created to please the Google bots. The long-term strategy should always be to create great websites, great content and great experiences.
That said, its makes a lot of sense to know what it is people you could help are searching for. There are many tools out there that can help you but a really sensible place to start would be Google’s own advertising platform Google Ads (formally Google Adwords).
Google Ads gives you a really great insight into what people search for and what advertisers pay to appear for. With this information you can work out the types of subjects to write about.
In Google Ads you’ll find the Keyword Planner. https://ads.google.com/aw/keywordplanner
In the keyword planner you can search for keyword ideas and then you create ads and pay for those keywords in the Google auctions. But for blogging research you can use this tool to help you see how popular certain words are in the search and you can even filter the results by location, too.
Essentially what you’ll need to do is have a good starting point – the most obvious keywords – and then look at the suggested keywords to give you an idea of the search terms your audience are looking and searching for.
You’ll be surprised at the results with a few minutes on this and it’ll pay you dividends to save the keywords that surprise you and that you know you could blog about.
If you’re working with an SEO company then you’ll already have a list of keywords that you’re looking to rank for so ask for these to help your blogging direction.
Next you’ll want to take each keyword or phrase and search for them in Google. This sounds really obvious, but you’ll need to know in what context users are searching for to help you create content to help them.
Essentially what you’re aiming to do is be the content they find when they search and although nothing is guaranteed here, it’s a great place to get ideas for your blog.
Add your first keyword or ideally your first phrase into the Google search and check two areas for ideas and prompts for content:
- Auto-suggest – As you search, you’ll get auto-suggestions based on the searches most commonly put into Google. This data is essential learning and could be ideal blog content.
- Related searches – Now scroll to the bottom of Google and check out the related searches to your search. This is a bit of a rabbit warren of ideas, but the data is exciting and useful as these are what people are searching for in Google.
Answering what Googlers want is the best thing for your blogging and SEO. Google is all about helping people find the best content and you have billions of users searching online 24 hours a day leaving trails of what they need everywhere.
Be the answer to their searches. It’s a great strategy and of course it’ll give you some really good insight into what your potential customers need and what you should ideally cover on your blog.
Checking social media trends
Social media doesn’t just provide a great traffic opportunity to you; it also gives you some great ideas for blog content.
Checking the trends on Twitter is a great place to start. Every day, Twitter will show the top trends in any country or county in the world. Understanding what people are talking about is key information for your blog.
Not all the trends will be suitable, but some could well be so keep any eye on the trends daily.
Facebook also gives you some great insight on trending topics but Twitter is the ruler of breaking news.
Another area you could look would be Google News, Apple News, or similar. What are people talking about and can you include it in your blog? The secret is to filter the stories to your industry and find topics for which you’re trying to be the authority.
Searching Twitter is also a good idea here. Searching gives you an insight into the conversations happening right now and offers an unrivalled place for trending and up-to-date conversation.
If you want to filter your search then use the largely hidden Advanced Search tool on Twitter.
Popular forum posts
Although not as popular as they once were, online forums still give some great ideas and insights into what people need help with. This is all about being the authority and to be that you need to be the oracle.
Searching out popular online forums, especially industry-specific ones is a worthwhile pursuit in the direction of great content. Not only will these forums give you powerful blog content ideas, they also give you a place to share your article for some primed and ready traffic.
Don’t spam these groups though. Like all online activity, it’s best to be helpful and share content where it adds value rather than rock up and post a salesy link right away.
Reddit and Quora searches
Often called the front of the internet, Reddit and sites like Quora rank highly and have mountains of content in them. The discussion threads on Reddit can give you some quality focus for your blog too.
Searching Reddit couldn’t be simpler and it starts with Communities. Search the communities and then filter by ‘Hot’ or ‘Top’ to find the content that’s really popular and worth your time.
Then, look for content that you can see needs helps and advice with. While you’re there, help them, but then decide on some content that you could create for your blog that answers these topical and popular areas.
Quora works well for this too. Quora is a great place to create content and answer questions and it’s worth getting an account and linking up to some topics. Search at the top for your chosen topic and then follow it for a daily updates and a feed geared towards your area of expertise.
Then you’ll have an up-to-date stream with question about the very topic you’re aiming to be an authority in. Take the ideas away and blog about them (after answering them and giving back to the community of course) and you’ll have some interesting and searchable content for your blog.
You can also go back to Reddit and Quora with your blog link if it suits to answer with your article too.
Facebook and LinkedIn groups
Another area of the web that’s worth a look is Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Much like Reddit and Quora, these places are awash with ideas and topics for your next blog post.
Not all of these groups will be useful and it certainly pays to search the group for the keyword and phrases that you’re trying to rank for and see what members are saying and asking.
Sharing your blog link back to these questions could give you a healthy dose of traffic too.
Some good examples of blogs that rank
Does blogging get you traffic? You bet!
You must first have a great site and one that loads well and is a pleasure to use but if you’re creating superb content then you’ll quickly find that Googlers will find you, bookmark you, and share your content which will lead to evergreen content and backlinks from other sites – which are another key area for ranking.
Here are a few client examples from The Evergreen Agency to show you what style of content works and why we feel they got indexed and achieved such great traffic.
LDS Drainage Service – How to unblock an Outside Drain
This exceptional blog post has had 150,000+ impressions and 10,000+ clicks in the last 60 days.
Why? Because it’s a very simple, helpful, and informative post. There are lots of searches for this term and the blog answers them perfectly.
Vintage Roots – How to Drink Port Wine
This post by wine lovers and experts, Vintage Roots, has gained them 450,000+ impressions and 30,000+ clicks in the last 60 days.
Why? It’s a simple beginner’s guide and one of the most authoritative pieces of content on this topic found online.
This simple but thorough list of handmade birthday cards ideas is a real David versus Goliath, gaining 80,000+ impressions and 3,000+ clicks in the last 60 days.
Why? Despite this being a small eCommerce business in Kidlington, they have a handful of definitive guide posts that Google and Google readers love.
All these blog posts rank extremely well as they’re:
- The best piece of content on their respective subject matters found online
- Informative, educational, and above all – helpful. This ensures their business/website deserves to rank.
- Well-optimised and based on real-target customers search habits.
All three are in very different industries but common in their outcomes as they help and offer value to users. That’s what Google and the searcher on Google needs – value!
Base your ideas on value
Add value to the web. When you do, the results are incredible and you’ll get there with research, long form content and informative posts.
We hope this post has been useful, informative, and something you’ve found to be valuable! That was our aim and always will be.
Good luck with your next blog post. If you’d like some more inspiration then check out these posts: