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November 5, 2014
05 Nov 2014

Why Blogging Can Help Your SEO: A 110% Increase the Easy Way

Why People Blog

diaries blogging blog

Then. Now.

When you say you “blog”, people usually giggle and relate you to their perception of a blogger, which is a geek typing on his computer and expressing his feelings publicly.

Well, that may be true in many cases (don’t giggle, bloggers are sensitive!) but there are also other reasons why people blog, like sharing a case study or review, announcing a new product, sharing exciting company news and building new relationships. And some even blog to make money.

Much though some like to look down on it, blogging isn’t always just a pastime, just a mindless exercise of expression, or just a sweat-free endeavor.  Many times, it involves hard work.  In exchange for that work, the best bloggers get some type of return, from improved reputation to actual money.  Either way, the return is something they can treat as a resource later on.

Bloggers actually have to think about a lot of things.  Take these, for instance:

  • What you are going to write about
  • Who you are writing for
  • How you are going to relate the content to the readers
  • What your end goal is

And that’s not even an exhaustive list.  The last item is usually the most important.  End goals vary, of course, but for many blog owners today, the end goal is usually the same: money.

Earning from a blog isn’t a myth.  It’s only possible, however, if you have an audience.  You reach the audience through your content (heck, it can even be content about your feelings, although it doesn’t have to be).  The bigger the audience, the better your site traffic, which means more opportunities to make money.

And it sure doesn’t hurt your SEO either.

What does it have to do with SEO? (Insert snarky face here.)

You might also be asking: “Does your business website directly benefit from blogging at all? Why not just build a static site (or a single page site) and focus on building backlinks instead?”

Go back to the basics of SEO and inbound marketing and you will see why it’s a pretty important piece of the SEO puzzle.

You don’t start with backlinksYou start by optimizing your site. You then proceed to creating content that is relevant to your topic. With proper on-page SEO and internal linking, you can make your site’s content work to your advantage.

We all know creating “high quality” content is great for different aspects of SEO. That’s already a fact and that’s why it has a lot to do with SEO.

 

How Blogging Can Be Important For SEO

There are a lot of SEO benefits to blogging but here are 4 of them:

  • You make the most of each piece of content you publish – by using on-page SEO and internal linking, you can benefit a lot from your own posts. If you’ve heard about siloing in the past then the concept is like that. By using your other pages, you can use in-content phrases to link to other relevant pieces of content. This will tell Google more about that page and it often gives you  a good boost in rankings.
  • It can play a major role in your Content Marketing strategy – one way or another, if you’re doing SEO, you’ll also be doing content marketing. Your blog can play a vital role in that process, and it usually does. In the end, you get a lot more referral traffic, new backlinks and more organic traffic. #Win
  • You get to rank for more keywords that you aren’t really targeting – One of blogging’s more unheralded benefits is that you get to show up for a lot of unexpected keywords! Take a look at your Google Webmaster Tools and check out your impressions and search queries. You’ll probably see a lot more words there that you didn’t really target but which people are looking for, so why not improve on those and get even more traffic?
  • Organic traffic converts better that most traffic sources – A lot of the long-time bloggers and businesses out there know how important search engine/organic traffic is and they’ve probably already noticed how well it converts into leads, sales, email subscribers, followers and new, committed readers. They stayed relevant and increased their traffic exponentially over time by having their posts show up in the search results. That wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t create content on their blogs.

For your business it could mean…

For a business brand, blogging about your “feelings” publicly might not sound right but if you do things right, you’ll get the benefits like those mentioned above.

You can’t just buy brand loyalty and trust but blogging can help you bridge the gap between you and your clients by educating them and reaching them when they need you the most.

If you want to start a content strategy immediately, look at it like this: Your content strategy IS your blogOnce you understand this, you’ll be ready to commit to it.

 

The Logic

I took the initiative to start blogging 3 months ago (you’ll see blog posts from 6 months back, but we only changed them to earlier dates LOL).  Most of the posts have been for our Digital Marketing Knowledge Center area.  Those articles are for business owners new to SEO and digital marketing, so they might be a little boring for the more seasoned online businesspeople. We finished the bulk of the basic articles we planned on doing 2 weeks ago, and we released this post to start our real blogging journey.

That having been said, there’s something else to get out of the way by quickly admitting it. The traffic on this site sucks! Mainly because we don’t really promote it.

Could we have done better on getting more leads by building links, doing outreach and creating epic link bait? Of course! That’s what we do for clients!

But when we started this site, we only wanted to use it as an “ongoing” case study to show things that we would be doing. Of course, this will eventually (in a year) be our hub for our content marketing strategy.  Not quite yet, though.

Now we get most of our leads from referrals and other startups.  Thus, we didn’t really expect a lot of leads from the website (at least for the first 2 years).  But you know what happened after we started blogging?

Google Webmaster Tools Impressions

We increased impressions by 110%!

Impressions shot up!

We’ve been receiving an average of 5 targeted leads weekly. Mostly from Google, because our basic online marketing blog posts are ranking for a lot of keywords. Not too bad for some blog posts, eh?

You might be wondering: have some of the articles received organic inbound links? YES!

You might be wondering too: will we ever intentionally start building links to these posts? We might by mid-2015.  For now, though, we still have our hands full with other things.  So in the meantime, we’re focusing on what’s important: our clients.

Anyway, the logic here is that we created useful content, optimized it, and used it to improve our site’s overall visibility in the SERPs.

That’s not all.  Through internal linking, we got to pass more power and relevance to other posts while making it easy for Google to find our other pages.

Better crawling + Relevancy through internal anchor context linking + Optimized content + Tracking and improving user experience + Proper technical and website structure = Great SEO

Combine that with promotion and consistent improvement? Well, now you see how important a blog can be for SEO.

 

Something Actionable: How you can do it

What’s better than telling you how to do something?  Actually showing you how to do something. So let’s get started.

Instead of using our blog again, we’ll use one of our recent projects, an up-and-coming fashion blog. Who doesn’t love fashion blogs?  We won’t be saying who it is as we haven’t publicly announced our partnership with her yet, though.

Before we get down to it too, let’s note something quickly: the downside for SEO is that fashion blogs are normally scarce on the (written word) content side.  It’s an image-heavy niche.  Just keep it in mind as we go.

 

1. Start blogging!

For new blogs, the first step is simple: do your keyword research. Target long tails and start creating your strategy. Google’s Keyword Planner is free and easy to use so I would recommend that. Be sure to include some words in the post that you can link later to other, future posts you create. I would recommend an editorial calendar (like CoSchedule) to make things simpler.

(Also, if you noticed, since I talked about “blogging and SEO” here, if you look around the page, you can see a lot of long tail phrases that I want to eventually show up for.)

Focus on creating a great piece of content when you are starting.  Also, target evergreen topics. These are topics that are always relevant to your readers and potential clients. You’ll be updating these articles as things change so you should aim to  be the authority for that topic.

The length? There’s absolutely no limit. You can hit up 10,000 words if you want. You can go as short as 500 words like these guys but to be professional, I have to tell you that the “data” points to 1,600 words.

But to be honest, there’s really no fixed number. It’s not really the number you should be obsessing about, anyway.  If you always let your content be dictated by word count, you’ll end up hurting the quality of your content instead and that will turn off your readers.

blog post length ideal word count aardvarks

Do you find yourself writing like this?

Need more ideas? Check this link if you need more blog content ideas.

For the fashion blog I’m referring to as our example, we focused on creating new tutorials as evergreen content. We had more text to work with as well so we got to integrate keywords that we found from the research.

As an extra step, we made the tutorials prominent by adding them to the sidebar, at the end of other posts and the navigation menu.  Result?  Each evergreen post is easy to see throughout the site, which will rake in more visitors and eventual inbound links.

Note: If you’re new to blogging, you might get confused, so just start with the content THEN you can come back and add the keywords and links later. Just get started!

For further SEO tips, I would suggest checking out this guide from Ana Hoffman. The lady knows what she’s talking about, so listen to her. wink  You can just ignore the Google Authorship part as Google killed it recently.

 

2. Already have some existing content?

 

Optimize It!

Content optimization is inevitable if you’re talking about search engine optimization.  Found some old content on your site? Why not give it an update? It might already have great links pointing to it!

In our case, we found a lot of unoptimized posts. No meta titles and descriptions. Images were generic, no ALT text, not optimized for the web (they were at least 2mb each; with 15 images on a page, that won’t load too quickly even if you’re in South Korea).

This wasn’t shocking, of course.  If you ever ran a blog in the past on your site, you know that you probably have a lot of poor content hanging around somewhere in the corners of that blog too.  It’s pretty normal.

That’s why blog owners and SEO pros often perform content audits. Check each of your posts and find out which aren’t performing.  Learn which have great links and either improve them, redirect to another post or kill them off.  How can you audit your content?  Well, here are some possibilities.

Option 1: Load Open Site Explorer (OSE). Enter your URL and click on Top Pages.

OSE will show you the links each page has, social shares and other details.

Checking Top Pages on Open Site Explorer

OSE is pretty useful for quickly viewing your top pages

 

Option 2: Use Google Webmaster Tools (Top Pages).

Load GWT and go to your Search Queries area. Click on Top Pages. It won’t give you a lot of data, but you’ll be able to see your best performing pages.

Google Webmaster Tools Can Show Your Top Pages

If the Aids Infected the Internet and Killed All SEO Tools, I’d Be Perfectly Happy If GWT is The Only Thing Left

 

Option 3: Use Screaming Frog and then export it to URLProfiler.

We can export it to a spreadsheet and figure things out from there.

This is actually what I would normally do.

Screaming Frog will crawl your whole site, it will show you your duplicate problems, missing meta details and so on.

URL Profiler will show you the rest, even social shares.

In the end, you’ll know which of your pages are the most popular, which need some work and which pages are the most powerful (in terms of backlinks.)

URL Profiler and Screaming Frog

Thanks to the URLProfiler team for this cool Gif

URL Profiler is my answer to Scrapebox + Add-ons…for Macs. Finally, I can remove my VPS subscription and turn off my damned local Virtual Machine. Now if they see this, I hope they have a discount coupon to send me so I can offer it to you guys.

Note: There are Screaming Frog alternatives like Moz and Rob Hammond’s SEO Crawler.

 

Option 4: Check Google Analytics and find your most popular content.

For a quick summary, here’s a report template you can use for Google Analytics.

Best Posts Using Google Analytics

“Your best posts, in a glance” – *Patent that*

In the end, you should be able to identify all your best pages using those tools. Skip #3 if you feel like you’re complicating things. Spreadsheets can often make things look like something is complicated (when it’s really not!).

As we had an internal deadline for this campaign, we only took the best pages, simply gauging traffic based on Google Analytics (Option #4) to make things simpler.  We ended up editing the articles and turning them to evergreen posts. We put in the H tags, fixed the images and added in meta details. It looked pretty good in the end.

So here’s a quick question just for a review of the basics: Why do you want to optimize pages?

Easy.  Here’s why:

  • It improves your site’s overall SEO
  • It’ll make the existing content rank better
  • It prepares you for the next steps.

Tip: When blogging, your titles are as important as your whole content. This plugin (and tips) recommended by Sean will help you find the best one to get your target market’s attention.

 

Do Internal Linking

Okay, say you’ve optimized the content.  Now things are starting to get easier.  You have to move on to internal linking.  Here’s how to go about this phase of the process.

Step 1: Prioritize pages you want to optimize and identify their target keywords.

Before you even start constructing links, you have to know which destinations you want your links to lead to.  To cover that, you’ll have to perform something of a review again of your posts, as you can see in the following steps.

A. Collect Data

  • Head on over to Google Webmaster Tools
  • Go back to Search Queries
  • Check out the Avg. positions of your keywords
  • Find the ones that are near page 1 or are already on page 1 (but not ranking #1)
Check Rankings in Google Webmaster Tools

Yeah, you can kinda hack rank checks by using Google Webmaster Tools

  • Click on the keyword
  • You will be brought to a screen like this one
  • You will see the page URL in question
Find The Best Ranking Page and Keywords On Google Webmaster Tools

GWT even tells you your average CTR per position. Imagine the things you can estimate with that…

 

B. Create a spreadsheet with the URLs you find.

  • See Column 1 (URLs)
  • See Column 2 (Target Keywords)
  • Insert the URLs (and their respective keywords) you found there
  • Insert important static page URLs (like your services page)
  • Insert the URLs (and keywords) of the pages you improved earlier

You can make it more complicated but that’s what you’ll need for now. Only 2 columns of basic data.

Did you see the existing content that you improved earlier? Did you notice where it’s ranking? You’re leaving money on the table by not making them rank higher!

 

Step 2: Improve existing pages that are already ranking.

If you found pages that you haven’t improved yet, go and fix them up now.

 

Step 3: Start linking to your other pages.

Start by finding posts on the site that have related keywords you can use.

Grab your spreadsheet and search for the target keywords in your other blog posts. Look for long phrases where you can place your keywords. If your target keyword is about “SEO blog” and you find a phrase like “knowing SEO can really help when you have just started your blog….” don’t be afraid to use that phrase to link to your intended page.

To better explain, here’s what we did:

One of the keywords we wanted to improve rank for was “best fashion blogs”. It should point to the homepage according to Webmaster Tools.

  • I searched the site for terms similar or related to the target keyword. You probably have a search box on your site too. If you’re on WordPress, then go to your posts area. There’s a search box on the upper right.
  • The obvious keywords showed up, like “fashion blog” or long phrases like “blogs I follow because of their great fashion sense”.
  • I edited those posts and added the link using the appropriate anchor text and point them to the homepage. (Remember, we’re targeting the homepage only for this example. It could technically be any other page in another situation.)
  • For some posts, I edited phrases or intentionally added the phrase. For example: “….some fashion bloggers I follow…” –  I improved the content and edited that part into “…..some of the best fashion blogs I follow…” and inserted the hyperlink into the homepage. Remember, you aren’t there to put in grammatically wrong anchor text. Treat it as adding value to the reader instead.

The end result after doing all this is that we would end up improving the rankings for “fashion blog” and “fashion blogs”, so that’s a bonus.  We did the same for other posts and the client’s “Offered Services” page.

Note: If you used the OSE tip above, you could see which of your pages have the most backlinks. You can use them to your advantage. The stronger pages have more backlinks pointing to them so using these pages for internal linking will have a bit more importance.

 

Do External Linking

Yes, you read that right: external linking is part of the content optimization phase.  I could tell you to link out to other people and other sites and you might think I’m crazy.  I actually linked to 3 other local blogs that are within the same vertical: I don’t mind at all.

You might be wondering: why would you recommend other people on your blog posts? That’s like stealing your traffic, right?

No, not really.

I’ve linked to a lot of other sites on this post and the traffic I send them will definitely have a wonderful time on their blogs. But it does me some good too.  You see:

  • The reader will like me for recommending other useful blogs
  • It helps be build relationships.  I expect nothing in return and I just want to commend the works of other people.  As a side effect, they may choose to promote my post on their social media accounts or link back to my post in their future work. Or they can do nothing, which might not do me much good, exactly, but doesn’t hurt me either.  Whatever the case, it’s just a bonus, but it does build relationships that can take you farther than any PR8 backlink.
  • It raises the relevance of my posts.  In this age of semantic search, Google can relate my content to others’ content and almost magically figure out what my content is really about. Google = Skynet.
  • Linking out to other sites looks natural, don’t you think?
  • I only link out to great sites. Not low quality sites. That alone adds trust to my content.

There are probably a few more that I left out, so let me know in the comments section!

Tip 1: Worried about bounce rates? Afraid they’ll increase because readers go to other sites? Just open the links in a new window. Boom.

Tip 2: Some sites no-follow all the external links. It’s your choice if you want to make the link a No-Follow link. How about sites you hate or want to call out without giving them a benefit of a do-follow link? Just add a rel=“nofollow” link in your <a href= tag.

 

3. Tracking

Okay, so you have your content and you’re keeping an eye on it and the links both in and out of the blog.  Now  you have to track the blog’s performance, see how it’s doing.  Again, keep things simple. Don’t overcomplicate things.

  • Check Google Webmaster Tools

Check back weeks or a month later. You can check improvements by going back to Search Queries, and clicking on “With Change.” You will see the recent changes there.

Does it always show things accurately in terms of rankings when I check on Google results? Nope, you have a lot of factors, like location or if you’re logged in to your Google account BUT it gives you enough data to tell you if you’ve improved or not.

SEO Tracking with Google Webmaster Tools

Tracking Averages with Google Webmaster Tools. Pretty neat.

 

  • Use Google Analytics or QuillEngage

For Google Analytics, you can use the report template I shared with you earlier and compare it to the previous period. You should be able to identify some changes from the data you’ll see.

I also like QuillEngage. It sends me weekly and monthly reports for what’s essential. You could see referral traffic and your most popular page for that period. It’s a detailed summary so you don’t even have to log in. It’s usually good enough to tell you if you have something that improved.

 

  • SumoMe Content Analytics

Taking it a step further, you can actually track your post’s performance using a plugin like SumoMe. Why would you do that? So you can further improve it! You can also squeeze in another internal link on where they usually stop. Ninja

There are a lot of crazy (in a positive way) stat tracking tools out there, seriously. A little bit too much, even for an app addict like me. So stick with some basic ones first. They’re usually good enough for the simple jobs.

 

4. Have some spare time? Make sure the whole site is technically “good enough”

If you have some extra time, don’t waste it.  It never hurts to audit and optimize the rest of the website as you go.  Here are some quick tips that can help there:

Do an on-page SEO check.

  • Load SEOptimer
  • Enter your site URL
  • Fix what you’re missing (Or have your Web guy fix it)

Go to Webmaster Tools for more quick checks.

  • Check HTML Improvements
  • Your Index Status (If there’s a huge discrepancy, are you on SquareSpace?)
  • Crawl Errors
SEO Improvements Using Google Webmaster Tools

Further Improvements Using Google Webmaster Tools

Go over the site design.

  • Check if your site is mobile-ready.  If not, do a redesign. Making it responsive is a good step to take.
  • Did you code your site by yourself? It’s probably messy as hell so start cleaning up the codes while you have time!

Optimize meta details and images.

  • If you use Screaming Frog earlier, then you might now have a list of all the pages with missing meta details. If not, crawl your site now.
  • Enter Meta titles and descriptions with the character limits. Keep your titles to 60 characters (could be a bit more but that’s a safe length) and keep your descriptions to 150 characters.

Audit the rest of your content.

  • Are you “Tag” happy? No-index those tag pages. Don’t put 100 similar tags on a single post!! Keep it down to, um, 4? No throwing of rotten tomatoes please.
  • Structured Data, Rich Snippets as needed. You see this post about a recipe? There’s a reason why this blog rakes in a lot of traffic. They use structured data really well.

Using WordPress? Figure out whether to use a Page or a Post!

Optimize for quick wins on page speed.

  • Check your speed here or here
  • WP-Rocket – Easy as pie. The WP Rocket guys should give me a lifetime reward for all the good word that I’ve been spreading about them LOL!
  • Have a little extra cash? Consider using a CDN like MaxCDN  (or you might want to try smush.it to optimize image sizes, which is free. Also has a WP Plugin.)
  • If you still want to go the extra mile, read this.
  • Check your schema and fix/add as needed..

The Result

Within 2 weeks I could see some great changes in webmaster tools.

If you’re familiar with webmaster tools, you probably know what the columns are. Instead of blurring out a whole load of things on a single screenshot, I’ll be showing just 3 of the more generic terms that have smaller impact on our overall result.

Impression numbers are probably not totally accurate but it’s something we can measure, so I’m not complaining. It has since tripled since I got these screenshots.

Fashion Blog SEO

So far, so good.

The drop in the 2 impressions showed up because of Google testing where they could get the better CTR. I also noticed a shift for the “fashion blogger” keyword for local search and global search. It should be back to normal within a week or so.

After that month, Webmaster Tools showed these increases.

Google SEO Increase From Blogging

Better Impressions, Positions and Better CTR. Good Enough.

 

Takeaway from the whole exercise: Just call it “quick wins.” Easy 50% increase in both impressions and clicks.

 

Taking It One Step Further: Promotion

You will have to do this. Lame as that may sound, this is part of your content marketing after all.

In the example above, I didn’t do promotion at all just to show how great on-page SEO can give great results to a blog, especially one that’s on the verge of ranking.

But since it’s a fashion blog, it’ll get regular links from newbie fashion bloggers that are still on free blog platforms like WordPress.com, Weebly, Tumblr or Blogspot. Not really powerful links, but they’re natural so I can’t really stop them.

Last I checked, it got some (7’ish) links pointing to the homepage, with the brand or URL as anchor text. If they had a direct effect on ranking for all the terms I improved on, it would’ve happened when the site received links from similar sites in the past. So I won’t consider those new links for the experiment.

Just to get you started with your promotions:

Should I use Black Hat SEO? White Hat? Or something in the middle?

My take? Stay white and learn different techniques. If you have a lot of time to kill and want to take this seriously, take some time to learn the concepts of Gray/Black Hat and apply them to White Hat work.

Whatever works for you, really. It’s your site. It’s a free world. I know a lot of successful Gray and Black Hat marketers too.  But remember, you have to have the right attitude when you apply these strategies and you should know how to do it correctly as there are a lot of consequences involved.

Rant (and probably a little bit of a lecture): There are Black Hat guys that do embarrassing SEO for multi-billion-dollar companies. For the service companies out there, I would assume that you educate your clients of their risks when you do risky SEO for them. If not, then you’re not only adding to the negative perception some have of the SEO industry, you’re also messing around with someone else’s property. It’s not your personal project to destroy, after all: it’s their business, their money, their reputation, their blood, sweat and tears. If you don’t explain to them exactly how much of their property you’re risking with your tactics, please GTFO.

 

THE Question: How often should you blog?

Does it really matter if you’re consistent or not? Should you post daily? Maybe blog weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? Which is the best for SEO?

We post weekly here. It’s not a problem. We moved last week’s post to today because we wanted to give time and make sure that our move to https is complete.

We know people that post monthly or daily. Their overall rankings are awesome~

We’ll be experimenting with irregular posting schedules from hereon out to further gather data. Kevin Duncan did a wonderful test about traffic when he blogged daily.  Here’s the gist:

  1. If traffic is your primary goal, frequent publishing can be effective if you already have a steady base of readers. However, if your blog currently lacks readership, you’re unlikely to see a bump in traffic. Your time would be far better served promoting.

  2. Diminished time and social proof are the two biggest short-term shortcomings of frequent publishing. Long term, the inability to do in-depth promotion is likely the biggest shortcoming of frequent publishing.

  3. If you have a multi-author blog, frequent publishing could make a lot of sense. Social proof would still be an issue, but the burdens of time and promotion would be lessened since there would be multiple bloggers to shoulder them.

  4. There really is no “one right way” to blog. Frequent publishing has many cons, but it has pros, too.

Hope you don’t mind me copying that Kevin!

So in the end, which posting frequency is best for SEO? 

Based on the data, it doesn’t really matter!

IF your operations can afford a whole team and you have hefty growth goals, then blasting out epic content daily while promoting each one continuously is the way to go. You get to rank for more terms and maximize your traffic potential.

On the other hand, if you can afford to make only one good piece every week or so but can dedicate time to promoting it as often as possible, that can work too. That’s why even 1-post-a-month sites can rank really well for each of their posts for multiple terms! Because they create epic content that people will naturally link to and they have time to promote it further.

Create content, optimize your site, promote your content, get links.  Your whole site benefits. #BestForSEO

 

A Bonus Result: Your own community

In my past 8 (10+? lost track) years online, reading blogs and interacting, I’ve never seen someone as passionate as Adrienne when it comes to blogging, building and engaging with the community.

According to her, she gets as much traffic from referrals (from all the relationships she has built over the years) as from organic SEO.  That’s saying a lot because she has a blog that gets great organic traffic already! So that’s A LOT of referral traffic!

What if your blog can get both? How would your business look like today?  Well, there are things you can do for this part.  Here are just a few of them:

  • Ask questions or ask for their input. What do they think? Get them to comment!
  • Reply each time
  • Connect on social media
  • Find influencers in your niche. How? Use Topsy or Followerwonk, while building to be an influencer in the process.
  • Build a relationship with them.
  • Go to their sites and start networking with them. I know you are busy, so schedule time to visit their blogs.
  • Be memorable.
  • Share their content

You can probably think of a lot more. Personally, I’m not there yet. I have a long way to go but these are the things that have worked for me and I consider the people I mention on this post as my friends. Hopefully, I’m one to them, too.

Once you start getting organic traffic to come in, never forget about the readers. Connect with them and they’ll be your brand’s lifelong fans.

 

Actual Bloggers Getting Traffic From SEO + Blogging

Besides all the great bloggers I linked to above, here are some of the other bloggers that have proven that SEO and blogging do work hand in hand.

Nick Eubanks posts about advanced SEO topics and is probably my favourite SEO related blog. Since it’s ranking for some broad terms, then you can assume that he is getting boatloads of targeted  traffic daily.

Stuart Walker’s content work and site are pretty awesome. I’ve only started following him recently but looking at the site’s stats, I’m pretty sure he’s getting a lot of organic traffic. Definitely a great blogger to look up to.

Dave Schneider is like the second coming of Matthew Woodward. (Hope you guys won’t mind the comparison? LOL)
He has a ton of projects, another new startup (Ninja Outreach) that I already linked to on this post and he is also gearing up to launch his Mastermind group soon. So keep an eye out for that. He publishes regular income reports and you could see his traffic grow over time using effective content to improve his visibility in the search engines.

Marc Andre, much like Dave above, is one of the up and comers that I follow. His content and SEO work is topnotch, so I have no doubt he ranks for a ton of terms.

Matthew Capala is a blogger/professor/speaker/author. What else is there to say. His blog is going great and highly targeted. That’s why he can author books about SEO.
 
Note: My first guest post this year will be launched on his blog soon. This is the link so it won’t work until it’s published.

Ryan Biddulph dropped into my radar because of Matt when I saw him in on of his books. I have no doubt that Ryan’s site is getting a lot of organic traffic from a lot of long tail keywords. He writes mega posts like it’s nothing. This post took me 2 days to finish. He can do it in 1 morning. I got started online because of the 4 Hour Work Week, so what Ryan is doing now, that’s like a dream of mine! In 5 years, I hope to be doing the same thing. Check out his eBooks when you have that itch to be a digital nomad.

Enstine Muki is a firestarter, I mean that in a good way. I’m not sure if you’d feel the same, but I think I can hear his voice when I read his blog posts. It sounds like he’s so enthusiastic! He has some projects like Broaded and it’s pretty good! Looking at his site’s stats, I’m pretty confident that it’s receiving some good organic traffic.

Don Purdum doesn’t even worry about SEO, he just keeps on churning out great content business owners and bloggers can relate to. THAT is why he is raking in pretty good organic traffic.

Ramsay Taplin is like ProBlogger 2.0. When you think of blogging, you’d want to think of his site. Imagine the organic traffic he must be getting now?

Adam Connell is like ProBlogger 2.0a, simply because I typed his name after Ramsay. So that’s essentially a tie. What I also like is how Adam tracks and tests his site. Applying those findings = great for SEO.

Unlike Marvel Movies, I’ll be featuring women too because… let’s be honest guys, many women are better bloggers than us!

I mentioned Ana earlier. I also mentioned Adrienne, so the next person you think about is always Harleena Singh (that goes both ways) – 19k Alexa is huge, no matter how inaccurate Alexa is. Organic Traffic + Referral Traffic = Ballin’

I’ve also been following these 4 amazing women for at least 3 months now. I could see why they have such great followings and all their blogs are consistently churning up organic traffic.

Carol Amato, Catherine Holt, Sue Anne Dunlevie and Brittany Bullen give you actionable tips on every post they make. All their blogs are really clean, fast and optimized. Best of all? They are just getting started. How could they not rank and bank?

Michelle’s (Finance) blog dropped onto my lap a day ago because I was looking at…I don’t know! I actually forgot! I just found it on Google! Which is awesome because I wouldn’t have found it in the first place. It’s a pretty cool blog with an income report as well. She just got a new loyal reader.

I only read 1 food blog regularly. It’s called Pinch Of Yum. I LOVE their story and I LOVE their blog. Each recipe or post is highly optimized and very focused. I have no doubt that their site is getting a LOT of organic traffic. If you are in the same space, there are no better bloggers to look up to.

So do you still think blogging won’t benefit your organic rankings? All of these great bloggers have proven that blogging can really help with SEO and vice versa.

 

Why Your Business WON’T Need a Blog

I’ll be honest, not all businesses need a blog. When you say content marketing, it doesn’t mean that a blog is required. It’s really not! But it does help.

The only time I would recommend not having one is when you can’t really commit or invest time for it.

Create a strategy, craft a schedule of when you will post on the blog and make sure the content is created according to your plan. Then see if you can do that, even once a month.

If you can’t, then that’s the time to drop the idea of blogging and focus on off-page content marketing and guest blogging.

 

Why Your Business NEEDS a Blog

Your business, more often than not, will benefit from having a blog. You can even make it your #1 marketing platform like what many other businesses already do.

By blogging, they connect with their market and they get found by new, targeted, potential clients and readers. Since the traffic came from their efforts with SEO, they get to convert them into email list subscribers and that will lead to marketing promotions, brand building and eventual sales.

You can consider it a sales funnel where you can capture cold or hot leads, educate them, build trust and reap exponential benefits in the long run.

 

Start Today

By holding back, you might be leaving money on the table. As I showed in my example, a few quick wins using your blog can jump start your site to better visibility. Pushing it further will open your business to new possibilities.

Your competition won’t stop improving and the technology around your customers won’t stop distracting them.

You have a chance to catch their attention by taking action ASAP. Don’t lose this chance to build a stronger client base and build brand loyalty with better SEO by using your blog as your primary content platform.

So, after all the things you read above, do you agree?  Do you think blogging can really improve your SEO? Tell me what you think and give it to me straight ’cause I can take it 😉

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103 replies
  1. ikechi says:

    Hi Dennis

    I don’t know what to call your post either awesome or pure genius. I have learnt a lot from it and I am sure that other bloggers will appreciate it too. It takes hard work to blog and the fact that bloggers have to work towards achieving the purpose of the blog can be fun or daunting but the passion cannot be overlooked.

    I love the tips you have stated on increasing SEO as they are true and I have tried some of them which have improved my blog. Thanks for such an awesome post.

    Reply
  2. Ravi Chahar says:

    Hi Dennis,

    SEO is one of the main thing you need to think about if you want to boost up your website. When someone start his/her blog then SEO is the main thing to learn. Though only SEO is not enough. You need to build connections with your readers and much more is required.
    I like the picture you have added in the starting. Its true as now a days people work hard to get more readers at their blog.
    Thanks for writing.
    Hope you are having fun.
    ~Ravi

    Reply
  3. Harleena Singh says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Informative post indeed 🙂

    You surely covered up a LOT in this wonderful post, and it’s certainly going to help SO many of us. Let me thank you firstly for the kind mention before I proceed further.

    Honestly speaking, I hardly know much about SEO, except for the basics, so this is a real treat for me! Yes, GWT is one place that shows you everything so clearly. But your post made me take note of a lot of things, which I didn’t have much of an idea about, so I’d be bookmarking it and refer it to whenever I am there next. I guess unless you don’t check all the settings and explore, you never really know.

    I liked your idea about internal linking and might just try it some day! Yes, without optimizing your content, you can never reach the search engines, not the first few pages at least. But you are right, sometimes most of our keywords that aren’t the ones we use, also show up, so using long tail is the key 🙂

    Lol…I really don’t know any other hat color, except white! I agree about the posting schedule too, and it really depends on how and what you can manage, though you should take out time for full promotion once your post is up, that is essential. I’d read Kevin’s post you mentioned and how he was posting daily. I guess what matters is your post IS of value and helps people, is power packed, just like this one of yours is, and then once a week or ten days or more is good enough too.

    I am glad we get traffic in proportion from all spheres – a perfect graph I would say, though organic is more, even though I don’t do much of SEO, nor do I use any tool or software. Loved the way you mentioned so many bloggers and their posts, this makes it a weekend read for me now!

    Thanks so much for sharing such an awesome post with us, and your hard work is noticeable and much appreciated. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    Reply
  4. Erik Emanuelli says:

    Hi Dennis,
    what a great post with a lot of useful information.,
    It could be easily an eBook.

    I am not a SEO master, but I think to understand the basics.
    I do internal linking for each of my posts, and I try to link out to useful and relevant resources.

    I don’t concetrate much on keyword density,
    as I don’t want to be labeled as a writer for search engines.

    GWT gives you a lot of useful information,
    sometimes it’s not used that much from bloggers.

    Thanks for the share, have a great week.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Erik!

      Yeah, you don’t have to be one to get the basics of seo down. A lot of people I’ve spoken with think it’s too technical, even when I was explaining it in plain english. They just won’t listen.

      You are right with the KW density part, it’s not 2007 anymore. People still actually write like that nowadays which is not surprising since some gurus still preach it.

      Reply
  5. Mi Muba says:

    Hi Dennis

    Very well researched and well thought post on blogging for SEO.

    First image of the post is sufficient to tell the whole story. Those who don’t know the power of blogging keep appealing manually or through offline methods to make people read their website. They have to put their lot of resources to publicize their website.

    Once they come to know the real power of blogging and how a phrase can attract a huge number of visitors by just following a few basic rules of search engine optimization they get flabbergasted after watching the results.

    But no one believe in the real potential of blogging before he gets involved into it practically and see its miraculous results. So the task become more challenging when a blogging consultant has convince a giant to start a blog to expand its outreach to its target market.

    Thanks a lot for such a comprehensive and detailed post proving the worth of blogging for those who want to sell by doing little.

    Reply
  6. Marc says:

    Hi Dennis,
    Wow, this is a really detailed post with a lot of great resources included! Thanks for the mention, I appreciate it.

    Reply
  7. Anima Choudhury says:

    hey Dennis!
    Guess what, I just wrote a very aggressive post on describing how SEO and key-words are ruining our natural flow of writing. As a result even if we write good with unique contents, interesting facts and stories and other info, we dont get enough readers cause we are not good with the politics of blogging!! Then I just found your this post! haha
    What a coincidence!
    That was a genius perception you wrote about, but I wish I could follow so many things, I just so want to go with my originality.
    That is why it actually bugging me with loads of questions.
    I just wish if you could guide me a bit 🙂
    here’s the link, for my every unsolved question http://bit.ly/1tAkKgh
    TIA !

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Anima,

      You are on the right track. As for keywords being a problem my answer is simple, you start with “that” BUT you dont have to let it limit you.

      Today, google is smart enough to know alternative meanings of words and phrases. It can understand phrases and identify keywords in that phrase. It can see your name an associate it with your blog even without the link.

      So when writing, don’t imitate those people that use grammatically wrong keywords in their articles just to force “search engines” to think your article is about that.

      IF you look at this article, one of the phrases i target is “blogging for SEO” but I never once mentioned it but I did mention the words separately throughout the piece because it’s pretty hard to actually use that in a sentence that can literally make sense.

      So don’t worry, keep learning, keep improving the basics. Everything starts there.

      Personally, I need to write more, so I will keep practicing even if my schedule is limiting me. My writing style is all over the place, my technique needs polishing, etc. So I’ll keep learning from my mistakes and I know I’ll get better.

      That’s how you should treat SEO, too. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Adrienne says:

    Oh my gosh Dennis, this post is awesome!

    I know that in the past I had learned quite a bit about SEO but as time has gone by and things changed it all kind of went over my head. My blog went from a PR4 to a PR2 to a PR3 then back to a PR2 although like you said, my traffic is not shabby. I’m obviously doing something that’s not too pleasing to Google but since so much of this I truly just do not understand, I just decided to write for my audience and let what happens happen.

    Not a very smart move I agree so don’t chew me out. The good news is though it worked to my advantage. LOL!!! Yep, it’s because of the connections I’ve made and the relationships that I’ve built that I really do have a lot of the best of both worlds. Could my traffic be better? Well of course it could and over time I hope to continue to improve upon it. For now though I’m very happy with where my blog is and my traffic. You’ll be happy to know though that I do onpage SEO on every single post so yay!

    I really do appreciate you mentioning me here in your post since I do know you are an SEO guy and I’m just the opposite! That really does mean a lot because I would think that if people are getting great organic traffic and they can get just as much referral traffic and then follow that up with social traffic then that’s a pure winner in my book. We all know we don’t want the majority of our traffic just coming from one source and one only.

    Thank you so much for this post and I’m hanging on to this one. As you know I’m knee deep working on my product that will be released soon so I hope to come back to this and try to improve upon the areas I need help with. Thank you again, really great stuff.

    Enjoy your week now.

    ~Adrienne

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Adrienne!

      Thanks for taking time out from your busy schedule to come over! Are you still on track for your November plans + product? I hope you are!

      I AM very happy to hear that you actually do onpage SEO! LOL!

      Your blog probably fluctuates in PR mainly because of all the nofollow links. Just an assumption. I could look into it if you want though PR hasn’t been too important in a long time so that’s not something you nor other bloggers should worry about. 🙂

      Take some time off and enjoy your weekend!

      Reply
  9. Don Purdum says:

    Hi Dennis,

    What an awesome, fully packed article!!! One of the best I’ve seen in a while.

    I think when it comes to businesses the majority of them in my experience don’t understand the technology or our language. To them it’s like speaking Greek in an English speaking world. It just doesn’t compute for them. They are frustrated and I seen many get taken advantage of.

    Then, on top of SEO it has been complicated for them when people started talking about blogging and social media and it felt like it was just being piled on.

    Now, the real issue is that they don’t want to take the time and it’s easier to just pay someone and not worry about it. The problem is that they don’t know who to trust and no one can ever know their business as good as they do and helping them at that level has limitations.

    Because I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years I’m very familiar with seo, social media, and obviously blogging and websites. Marketing online is not so much different than offline it’s just that the tools are different and how you might use them at first feel foreign.

    If you network the right way, build a community, and offer great content then you don’t have to worry about seo for the long-term. It will take care of itself. I’m seeing the fruit of my strategies right now and guess what; I don’t have to chase Google. lol…

    Thank you so much for the mention in your article Dennis. What a blessing!!!

    I hope you have an awesome finish to your week!

    ~ Don Purdum

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hey Don!

      Spot on. Aside from those that you mentioned, I always preach “Do it right the first time” when it comes to SEO for blogs and sites.

      By knowing the basics, even the simplest ones, they can reap long term rewards. Couple that with the rest of what you did, then that’s basically Google giving you lots of free traffic.

      Thanks for dropping by! Always appreciate your thoughts and contributions!

      Reply
  10. sherman smith says:

    Hey Dennis,

    I never use this word, but I’m “flabbergasted” with all the information about SEO and analytics you put on here. I do have to admit, as i was reading I was going back and forth between this post and Google Webmaster Tools. I wanted to catch everything you wrote LOL.. This is why it took me so long to read the post.

    I have minimum amount of SEO knowledge although I’ve been blogging for 4 years. The one plugin that really helped me was SEOPressor, which helped guide me to make each post more SEO compliant. Another thing I have to admit is that I was quite confused on how to use Google Analytics and Webmaster when I first started blogging. When I signed up, I was pretty dumbfounded. I didn’t know where to go from there although everyone talked about how all marketers should use it, or a tool similar to it. I’m glad I stuck with it and figured out the basics of what I needed to know.

    But that’s what a lot of newbies go through. Most don’t have any blogging experience, entrepreneurial experience, or any type of marketing experience. A lot of them give up, while a small portion of them keep going no matter what obstacles get in their way. But this post would be quite refreshing for those getting into the game. You convey what exactly what to do and where to look. A lot of people will definitely appreciate this blog post!

    Thanks for sharing and I will use this is a reference! Have a great rest of the week!

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Sherman!

      Webmaster tools 4 years ago? It was total crap. Today? It’s the best thing since butter.

      It’s great that you hung in there because a lot of people would’ve quit with the mere sight of Analytics’ html code LOL

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I always appreciate it!

      Reply
  11. Stacey Corrin says:

    Hey Dennis,

    What an awesome post! I dread to think how long this must have taken you to put together, but thank you for doing so. It’s a gold mine of information, a lot of which I can use myself, and after tweeting it out a lot of my audience have also mentioned how valuable it is.

    Thanks again for sharing such a wealth of knowledge!

    Stacey

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Thanks Stacey! Appreciate the share as well! It took me almost two days, I think. I always take random screenshots just in case I could turn them into a post. I still need a lot more practice to get to where you guys are at. I’m pretty inefficient at the moment LOL

      Reply
  12. Dave says:

    Hey Dennis

    You have really outdone yourself with this article. It is comprehensive and accurate. I don’t blog for SEO in the usual sense of keyword mining, but I definitely use the best practices you mention here like internal linking, and Google represents around 50% of my traffic, so I guess I’m doing something right despite not knowing a ton about SEO!

    Thanks for the mention an the comparison – I don’t think my blog is up to MW’s level, as he is full time on it and does a lot of epic tutorials, but I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hey Dave!

      Thanks! You are doing a lot of things right which is why you are getting a lot of organic traffic!

      LOL! Matt was the first one I thought of. I’m pretty sure you’ll get there, part time or not. You’ve done a lot of things already in the past months and pretty effectively. Keep it up man!

      Reply
  13. Mustafa Gaziani says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Amazing stuff you’ve shared. Without doing SEO I don’t think that there is any reason to spend lot of time in writing an article. For blogging SEO plays a key role in gaining organic traffic from search engine.

    This article is right on marked, It’ll surely help every blogger to know the basics. The tools you’ve shared are very valuable for us. I’ll gonna give a try.

    Thank you for sharing!
    -Mustafa

    Reply
  14. Kevin Duncan says:

    Hi Dennis,

    This is quite an in-depth post you put together! Thanks for the mention, and of course I don’t mind you quoting me. (After all, you attributed the quotes to me!) I’m honored to be included in this info-packed of yours!

    I’ll Tweet this in a little bit. Hope you’re having a great day, Dennis!

    -Kevin

    Reply
  15. Brittany Bullen says:

    Dennis,

    What a stellar post! Are all of your posts this in-depth and inclusive?

    This is a blog I’m not sure I’ve visited yet, and I know it’s not your personal site– is this a blog you contribute to or a blog you run? It’s pretty awesome and what an impressive number of followers you have! Man, I’m jealous!

    I LOVE your “take the conversation further” area at the bottom. Is that a plugin? I want it! Plus, I’d never heard of WP Rocket– I have Wordfence caching but I could be swayed… why do you like them so much?

    Shared!
    Brittany

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Brittany!

      Yeah, this is your first time here. I’m hurt that you haven’t even looked! (kidding!)

      This is my company’s blog. Currently, I’m the only author here LOL. The brand is still a startup, slowly climbing the ladder.

      I don’t post in-depth stuff too much, this is actually the first one and it’s not as in-depth as I wanted it to be.

      The “Take The Conversation Further” part is partly html + shortcodes from the theme I’m using.
      I couldn’t find a plugin that I could manipulate easily to look like that. 🙁

      WP-Rocket’s plugin is pretty simple out of the box. Install it -> Turn it on = Speed bump.
      Then you add tweaks further like a CDN which I might implement in the future.

      I compared it to the other free ones and out of the box, they don’t perform as well.

      I’m glad you finally came over here! I’m honoured by your presence! 😀

      Reply
  16. Helen says:

    wow so much Value – wow sharing, thank you

    Reply
  17. James McAllister says:

    Hey Dennis,

    Wow! When I clicked on this article from Google+, I was certainly not expecting such an in-depth awesome article. I know you write stellar content, but this was a nice surprise.

    I’m going to be honest, I’m not the biggest advocate for spending a ton of time for SEO. In all of the niches I’ve worked in, it’s actually converted the worst in terms of affiliate sales and email signups. However, the power of SEO comes in its numbers so it’s definitely not something to just ignore. I’m sure you know a lot more about it than me so I’ll be sure to take some time to learn from you!

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hey James!

      Great to see you again!

      The stuff I showed here are just some of the quick stuff that anybody can do.
      Pages that have good results + Minor tweaks = Bring in better results. That was kinda my goal for this, but I guess it did look a bit much. haha

      Looking at your blog, I’m pretty sure you have a lot of low hanging keywords that you can do some tweaks for and rake in more affiliate sales! 🙂

      Reply
  18. Naomi Dinsmore says:

    Hi Dennis,

    First time visit and comment – I really like your blog. It’s full of loads of seriously useful content. Thanks for the insights.

    I’ll be sure to be back again!

    Naomi

    Reply
  19. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Hi Dennis,

    EPIC and thanks so much for the awesome mention! I’m truly touched by your kindness and floored by your attention to detail. I am really doubling down on SEO because I’ve not been targeting my audience as I should be, over the past few weeks. No worries! Just a clarity thing, and the more clear I become with writing blogging tips for folks who want to blog from paradise, or who just want to blog from wherever, the more I work SEO into my posts…keyword wise, meta wise, heck, overall SEO wise. It’s quite a simple process when you get the basics down and if you’re ready and willing to follow these basic steps you can make your job much easier. Google, and other search engines, can give you buying traffic and rabid fans quite easily if you keep SEO in mind each time you post.

    Thanks again Dennis! Tweeting from Bali. Have a fun weekend 🙂

    Ryan

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Thanks Ryan! I’ve seen how your writing, strategy and SEO has improved more and more, post after post.

      That’s right, applying the basics will go a looongg way!

      Hope Bali is treating you well?! I MISS IT THERE!

      PS. I did see Gordon’s game winner. Called it!
      Good thing they’ll only meet twice in a season… lol

      Reply
  20. Sue Bride says:

    This is one of the most comprehensive and useful posts I’ve read about blogging and SEO and I’ve read a lot. I’ve always concentrates on social media and relationship building rather than stressing too much on keywords but my focus has changed a little so I need to work on attracting the right sort of visitors from search.

    Posts I wrote years ago are still getting traffic but because the info is out of date it’s not going to retain interest or bring back readers. So I’ve been going back over old popular posts, updating where necessary, and adding links to newer related content.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Sue!

      That’s the way to go Sue! Once you determine some more low hanging keywords, go and optimize for those. After you edit the content, you’ll (most probably) experience a higher place in your rankings. If you do, build links to that and that’ll be gold. You can also add things that you didn’t add before like an optin form specifically for those posts.
      You’re doing great! 🙂

      Thanks for coming over! Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  21. Larry Frank says:

    Hi Dennis,

    It’s a great one I came across today, after I came back from service, I decided to open my PC and surf the net a little, though I’m not used to that, normally on sunday I’m normally on facebook with my gadget and I also play games 🙂 (lols).

    I’m not too good with seo, although in my niche, I need seo to boost my blog to the next level, this is a wonderful one to follow.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  22. Jens-Petter Berget says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Great post with lots of details. Thanks for linking to my post, and my new nickname is awesome. It actually made me watch the new Ninja Turtle movie a few days ago 🙂

    I’m still hustling with SEO and to get my posts ranked at the top. I’m doing weekly reviews, and checking my ranking and optimizing posts and keywords. But, there are so many things to consider and things are changing all the time. At the moment, I’m just doing a little every week, and that’s about it. Internal linking is something I’ve been focusing on, and it seems to be helping me. And, I have fixed close to 1700 broken links on my blog as well.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      LOL! I hate that Michael Bay had his hands all over that movie. Bring back the old Vanilla Ice cameo movie!

      It’s ok, you pump out new posts daily and they are pretty optimized already. A few tweaks some time after should get you more results. Your blog is clearly getting great traffic already.

      1700? That’s crazy. How did that happen? Just curious 😀

      Reply
      • Jens-Petter Berget says:

        I don’t remember the old movie, not sure if I’ve watched it or not.

        At the moment, I have had a pause for one week from blogging. I’ve been having some big projects at work, and I thought I’d just test if I could stay away from blogging for a week and see the results. I’ll be checking my stats, and evaluating everything later this week.

        I have never fixed any of the broken links on my site, and from years of blogging and switching domains, it just became a huge mess 🙂 Now, I’ll be doing it weekly, and hopefully I’ll have control soon.

        Reply
        • Dennis Seymour says:

          You have to watch it. Tons better than this new one that’s full of product placements (!!!!!!)

          It’s like I was watching Transformers…

          Oh, that would be a great case study. Leave it alone longer! See how that works out 😀

          Reply
  23. John says:

    Wow, what a very impressive and comprehensive post…it may take me awhile to digest all of that. Thank you!

    John

    Reply
  24. Jaime Buckley says:

    Unghhhhh! Make the pain stooooop!

    I think my head is gonna explode.

    SEO…wow. This is why i tip my hat to people like you, Dennis. I understand basics, but even in a detailed and near-epic article like this, the steps and attention to details one needs to really control their own site knocks my on my butt! It’s SO much to remember. Yeah, i know you and many of my friends above say it’s simple–but you guys & gals are a clever lot.

    “Easy” is relative.

    Write a 500 page epic fantasy book…really, it’s easy.

    What slapped me in the face though was the internal linking. I’m gonna have bruises on my backside with how hard I kicked myself!

    Internal linking used to be something i did each and every day when blogging. Honestly i don’t know when I stopped–that and suggesting another article when a reader was finished–like you do in the bottom left corner of this blog.

    I’m wondering, do you–or anyone above in the comments have some good suggestions for a WP plugin to accomplish both internal linking and suggesting new posts to readers?

    So fantastic article…VERY in depth Dennis. I’d ask you to dumb it down some for me,,,but I don’t want you to lose any readers (smirk).

    – Jaime

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Jaime!

      Seriously, these are the easier tweaks. 🙂
      I guess the only way to dumb it down further would be for me to magically improve my communication skills…which is going to take a miracle!

      Even my wife knows how to do them now though so you should be able to easily do these things LOL.

      That 500 page book? Only you will find that easy. So it is relative, but only to you. 😀

      Internal links, I would go the manual way, maybe I’d put up a tutorial for that some day.

      There are automatic ways using plugins like Automatic Links and Smart Links but I wouldn’t really recommend them.

      I use upPrev to show LeBron James on the lower left. I use YARP for the “related posts” below the post.

      Reply
  25. Donna Merrill says:

    Hi Dennis,

    This is such a thorough review of SEO and how it fits into the big picture for people like me.

    I’m a blogger, first and foremost.

    I hardly give any thought to SEO, but the methods you give here are great to keep in mind. I think I do some of it almost as a natural part of delivering content.

    For instance, I don’t stop and think about keywords and long-tailed terms when I write a post. But very often, I use long-tailed keyword phrases simply because that’s what I’m writing about. I guess I’ll be more mindful of them now, after reading your article 🙂

    What I really like most about what you said is about blogger outreach, and really, just focusing on networking with lots of bloggers. Of course, we have to concentrate on our niche because, after all, those are the readers and visitors we want to attract.

    Just one more thing to thank you for, here. I’m so glad you made the point that our blog is really the start of our sales funnel. That’s what it’s really all about, or, at least it should be. I work with far too many bloggers who just blog without design or direction, but certainly building your list to open the sale funnel should always be the main function of our blogs.

    Great, detailed article, Dennis. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      I appreciate the kind words Donna! 🙂

      You practically nail everything already on your blog! Share the traffic to other bloggers! hahaha!

      I really wanted to show business owners and new bloggers how they could take advantage of blogging to improve their visibility further, but if you think about it, established bloggers such as yourself can apply these quicker and make their organic traffic even better (quicker) with just a few tweaks.

      Reply
  26. Steven J Wilson says:

    Hi Dennis,

    This was an excellent post for sure.

    You covered so many of the important details as to why and how to use blogging to our advantage.

    I think many are starting to realize the importance of blogs but they don’t put in the necessary effort to optimize it or the content on it. I just finished reading a blog post that had no links, internal or external for example.

    There is always room for improvement and this post has surely stimulated some thoughts that can help on my end.

    Thanks for this Dennis. Sharing now!

    Reply
  27. Catherine Holt says:

    Dennis, this is a HUGE post. It took me forever to read (in a good way….lol). There is so much content in here, it definitely needs several reads.

    Thanks heaps for the mention too. It;s great to hear that you find my blog useful, and I like to give readers something quick and easy to action wiht each post 🙂

    It really is a matter of opinion as to how often to post isn’t it. Bloggers stance on this is so varied that it really does come down to what each individual bloggers goal (and time) is. If you write awesome posts, but then fail to ptomote it properly, what is the point?! As I have more than one site, I have decided to cut back on my blogging schedule for Blogging Tips 101, to ensure that I am still maintaining the high quality with high promotion. Networking is a huge part of the blogging process and if you are posting too frequently (without the time to back it up) then you are doing yourself and your readers a disjustice.

    I do concentrate on my SEO efforts too, but ensuring that the quality doesn’t suffer. so keyword stuffing for instance is a big no no!

    Great read thanks Dennis 🙂

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hey Cath!

      Yeah, definitely. It’s all about the goal and time when it comes to that.

      Personally, I could barely chuck out 1 single post weekly, let alone, promote it.
      I mentioned to you last time that it’s really hard for me to figure out my schedule, and it’s still true. 🙁

      So I really envy you! You have everything figured out.

      Reply
  28. Catherine Holt says:

    Don’t be so harsh on yourself Dennis, you are doing an awesome job 🙂

    Reply
  29. Andrew M. Warner says:

    Dennis,

    This. Was. Awesome.

    Hats off to you my friend for putting together this … this epic type of guide here. Honestly, great job.

    Alot of things you mentioned here and I will be checking out alot of them. Especially the stuff with promoting my blog. I’m going to check out and study each one of those links you mentioned.

    One thing I have to do is incorporate a little more SEO into my blog posts. I don’t write blog posts for Google anymore but every once in a while, I should make a post or two SEO friendly.

    Thanks for this really great post and resource, really.

    Great job. Have a great week.

    – Andrew

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Andrew! Great to see you here! You definitely have to apply some basic SEO on all your articles but certainly not focusing only on SEO alone as that won’t really sound & feel natural right? And I know that you take conversational tones and grammar seriously so never ever change for anyone but yourself as you are doing awesome already.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Appreciate it!

      Reply
  30. Samir says:

    Hello,

    I must say I really liked the picture which is in the start “Now and Then” I guess its true. Blogging is something unique and greatest way to connect with other fellow bloggers and also a great online business.

    Thanks for tips

    Reply
  31. Sylviane Nuccio says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Well, I’m glad I finally made it here. What a fantastic post.

    Of course, today, blogging has a whole different meaning and any business, nowadays, should be blogging to promote their business the smart way, I would say. I don’t feel that many people are just blogging for diary reasons anymore, right? 🙂

    Your post reminded me to go to work and update some of my old posts, especially that I’m totally revamping my blog with a whole new look and concept.

    Great job you did with this post. So much great information.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Sylviane!

      Definitely. Things have changed a LOT over the years. 🙂

      You better make use of your existing blog posts. You’ve built a good number of pages over the years, great job!!!

      Reply
  32. gurvi says:

    Hi Dennis,
    I am new to blogging and I was completely unaware from this helpful information that you have shared in the post. The post is really useful for newbies as well as for experts. Now I will try to follow the mentioned points. Thanks for updating me.

    Reply
  33. Siddaiah says:

    Hi Dennis
    Such a huge long post on SEO, what you said is correct if you start blogging SEO from the starting initial stage from your first article it will improve your blog’s SEO in long run, as you said blogger’s put lot of effort to write an article by research on long tail keywords, topic matter,solution for the problem, expecting income for that effort is normal in any person, thanks for sharing such a long and described manner.

    Reply
  34. Carol Amato says:

    Hi, Dennis,

    Wow – what a fantastic article –so value packed, thanks for sharing.

    I’ve learned a lot about SEO throughout the years and have watched all the bouncing up and down with all the changes to the algorithms. I’ve stayed pretty steady myself because I have always written for my target audience trying to provide solutions to their problems – I started this way and will finish this way.

    You are spot on, this subject definitely deserves the attention you’re giving it because we cannot escape the reality and importance of this topic.

    Thank you so much for mentioning me here in your post as I was very surprised yet pleased for you to think of me.

    I consider you an authority on this topic, so will keep an eye open for continuing info.

    Absolutely agree the only way to go is white hat! My goal is to increase my organic search traffic now that my referrals and social traffic has increased.

    Thanks for the awesome info, and have a great weekend. 🙂

    – Carol

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Carol!

      Thanks for still coming over even with your incredibly crazy difficult schedule 🙂

      I look forward to hearing more about your blog’s organic traffic shooting up even more. I could only imagine how much your referral traffic is right now! 😀

      Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Enjoy the weekend!

      Reply
  35. Jhem Arzaga says:

    Hi Dennis!

    This is such an epic post! Took me ages to read it, but it’s worth it! 🙂
    It’s my habit to read every details/word per word, and my mind is full and burping now 🙂 🙂 🙂 for this very rich in information post!

    I’m going to practice it on my blogs. Right now, my main focus is my 3 months old beauty blog, and I believe I can use the informations you shared to both of my blogs– even on my newest one. I still have to tweak some more on codings to make them look into something I really like but I’m sure, designing my sites’ looks isn’t my top priority as SEO and contents. They can wait.

    Linking to other sites will do something good in your favor, yes, true that. You’ll get more respect and connections too. If bloggers are so greedy with their links and will just keep on using “nofollow” with every external links, it’ll hurt their site’s SEO, right? Search engines might not like it (or don’t like it). More links or supporting articles will make every content even richer such as this post, it adds value to readers.

    Whoa now, I’ll not only read on Neil Patel’s and other SEO/blogging blogs because here you are, I’m also going to be your new reader 🙂 I’ll add your site on my reading list. 🙂

    -Jhem

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Jhem!

      There’s nothing proven when it comes to no-following external links but my rule of thumb is if you are irritated with the guy, just nofollow the link. 😀

      Kidding aside, thank you! I appreciate the kind words! Hope to see you back here again soon. Let me know if you have questions. I wish you all the best with your blogging journey 🙂

      Reply
  36. Amiti says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Fantastic post (and long!) with a lot of food for thought. We do focus on SEO and obviously use our blog for that purpose and more. In regards to the SEO improvements due to blogging, it might just be me, but I think it has a lot to do with the realm of “content marketing” and social media. People are attracted to unique content and are always looking to share something better on social media. Couple that with Google’s changes, and it has everything to do with kick-ass content.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi Amiti!

      That’s right. The blog can also be a part (or the main part) of your content marketing efforts. For this post, I focused a little bit more on the on-page SEO side that blogging can benefit your site with.

      Thanks for dropping by! I appreciate it very much and hope to see you here again soon!

      Reply
  37. pragati says:

    Hi Dennis,
    I am speechless! There is so much actionable stuff here I could spend weeks putting it into practice. I love your take — blogging for SEO, rather than the much chewed out SEO for blogging.
    Sometimes a different perspective can really work wonders!
    pragati

    Reply
  38. Sasidhar Kareti says:

    Hi Dennis,

    Did I just read a blog post or a beginner bible? Man it was a complete motivation for startup bloggers as well as guide too. Loved the picture at the top! 🙂

    Reply
  39. Saikat Hazra says:

    Hey Dennis,

    I don’t know what made me think that perhaps this is the best post I have come across in this month. May be the way you have crafted this post. or the value it creates which could easily qualify to be the ultimate SEO guide for beginners (keeping in mind the title says something else). Simply yet comprehensive with plenty of actionable ideas. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Just a user feed back.
    Two pop-ups at the button of the page are bit annoying.

    Reply
  40. Sue Anne Dunlevie says:

    What a valuable post, Dennis! Very complete and great concepts that every blogger can use. I will recommend that all my beginning and intermediate bloggers read this post .

    Thanks for taking the time to pull all of this information together. (And thanks for including me!)
    Sue

    Reply
  41. MSI Sakib says:

    Hello Dennis Seymour,
    You just wrote a master piece which combined both business and blog. According to several researches blogs are playing main role in flourishing new businesses. Besides, most of the information on the web are stored as blog resource. Therefore, importance of blog is indescribable. Thanks for your vast knowledge, I learned lot.

    Reply
    • Dennis Seymour says:

      Hi MSI,

      I appreciate your kind words. Blog definitely can help businesses. I’m a witness to businesses making it big just by making wise use of their blogs 🙂

      Happy new year to you and your family and I hope to see you back here again soon!

      Reply
  42. Budy K says:

    inspiring me…..as a newbie….but the Animation on the age hurt my eyes :p

    Reply
  43. Misencil says:

    Very very very good post lol. Seriously be proud of what you just wrote!
    Thanks

    Reply
  44. Gaurav Kumar says:

    Dennis,

    Now this is what I call quality information. SEO is important for success of a site or online business. You have nicely put all aspects of blogging for SEO. sharing is caring. keep sharing more helpful information.

    Reply
  45. Ashton W. says:

    What a great post! Thanks so much for recommending CoSchedule, too! Glad we can help 🙂

    Reply
  46. Philip Verghese Ariel says:

    Hi Dennis,
    What an epic post it is!
    Indeed I missed this!
    And today I am here via one of your unique post at Kingged.com wherein this post is mentioned
    This is really an in-depth study itself!
    You did a good home work to bring this out.
    Lot of information for all bloggers as well as business people is filled in here in a systematic way!
    Dennis, I am book marking it for my further reference and study.
    Keep sharing your knowledge.
    Have a great weekend.
    ~ Philip

    Reply
  47. Ryan Biddulph says:

    Thanks so much for the kind shout out Dennis! It’s getting easier to write my long form posts because I’m blogging more for fun these days, and less for anything else. That’s when the words and ideas flow so smoothly, it’s quite scary. You my friend churn out these SUPER in depth, inspired posts with ease….even if 2 days passed while you created this sucker you do a smash up job working so much data and so many relevant links into your posts, I am amazed at how you do it all. Really, I am! Keep up the great work man, and hey, you are well on your way to joining Tim and me as world traveling entrepreneurs 🙂 Have a fabulous day.

    Ryan

    Reply

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