By Chris Cardinal
On May 29th, 2008
We suggest to every client we have, no matter their business or their market, to blog often about what they know. (When they don’t know much, we tell them to fake it.) <nearly-self-evident statement> Blogs are a powerful way to boost your search engine results and to drive further organic traffic to your site. </nearly-self-evident statement> I bring you through all the tasty details after the jump.
- More content to spider. Google looks at page depth and volume of original content on your site when considering your metrics for your PageRank. The more original, *relevant* content you have, the more Google figures you might know what you’re doing. (There are naturally exceptions to this, which I’ll cover a bit later.)
- Pingbacks. Pingbacks are a nifty concept that help make the “blogosphere” work: When someone posts a blog post about your blog post, a pingback is listed on your blog. Similarly, when you post a link about someone else’s blog post, a pingback is listed on their blog. This helps get the word out about your blog and provides a nice way to follow-up on responses to your content. On some blogs, it also serves to help bolster you in search engines, if a no-follow/no-index hasn’t been set. (No-index/no-follow are options a user can place in their robots.txt file to stop search indexes from indexing a given page, or from following the links on a given page.)
- Authoritativeness. Writing what you know gives people a chance to connect with you in a non-sales-pitchy way. You don’t feel like you’re being offered the anti-rust coating on a used car, but you’re able to get a feel for their level of expertise. Write to prove what you know. People look for reasons to trust companies before buying their products or paying for their services. Original content that demonstrates your authoritativeness on your business is a great way to give potential customers peace of mind.
- Fresh Content: Google loves when you post new content. New content on an older website is even better. Google considers the age of the content when determining its rank and how relevant it might be. Further, frequently updating your content is an indication to Google to more frequently spider your page.
- Search Volume, Again: To build on the first bullet, having greater volume of content is great from a sheer quantitative perspective. (More original pages = better to the Goog.) But having more varied, still relevant content is a big deal because it gives people more potential hooks to search on. If someone’s searching for a specific chiropractic treatment that a chiropractor happened to blog about, they’ll stumble upon his site via those means, instead of just a simple search for “chiropractic care.”
If they’re in the same area, it could easily convert to a new client. And even if they’re not, the original user might well bookmark them and consider them an authority. It still relates in higher rankings and building a subscriber base.
- Stand Out: Having meaningful, useful, digestible content could be all that separates you from your competitors to a potential client. You can never have too much content. Users will bite off as much as they want to chew, but they should never go hungry, essentially. Even if a user doesn’t read all of your content, they’ll see you’ve taken the time to publish a lot on the subject and you probably know something about it after all.
- Feeds & Subscribers: Feeds provide users with an easy way to track a blog’s content in a relatively passive manner. For the uninitiated, a feed is simply a text/description listing of all of your latest content. Pretty straightforward. Without having to remember to pull up your website any time they’re curious if you’ve posted something new, the content is pushed down to them. They can ignore it, read it or flag it for later consumption. More and more users are becoming more and more comfortable with the many feed-reading options out there. If you’re not using a feed reader yet, consider Google Reader. I’ll be doing a post on feed reading and subscription services soon.
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