Why Your Blog Needs SEO

Before we get started, I have one teeny nugget of information that’s going to make your SEO journey seem a whole lot easier: you’re already doing the hardest part of SEO.  For real, and you deserve to be rewarded for it! While your blog is its very own small business with a million things to do, the hardest part of running a website is actually producing great content and building a devoted audience. While that might come as a shock, it’s something you’re already doing – no matter how far you are into your blogging journey!

After over two decades helping countless (literally, countless) companies improve their SEO, we’ve seen one trend we couldn’t ignore – bloggers have THE EASIEST sites to rank. Yep that’s right, and we’re not afraid to admit it. You and YOUR BLOG could be hitting results all across the front page of Google, breezing past big companies simply because of the quality content on your blog.

There’s one common thread that connects all SEO-struggling businesses – they just can’t get enough of content. And not in the way you and I LOVE content and are full of ideas and fresh pieces – they’re stuck on creating things that are valuable to their readers that encourage them to visit their site. Did you ever imagine lil’ old you, tucked away in your corner of the internet, would possess a skill that many large companies actually struggle with?

Seeing as you’re already doing the hardest part of SEO, the remaining work is simply tinkering with and configuring your site, so Google knows just how good you really are. Think of your blog right now as the shy child in class – you’ve got all the answers, but the teacher doesn’t know it yet. All you’ve got to do is TELL them that you do! Raise your hand, grab Google’s attention and GET RANKING!

BAH, BACKLINKS!?

First off, I’m going to dispel a big, fat SEO myth: backlinks. The truth? They suck. Like, a lot.

When we surveyed nearly 3,000 bloggers on where they think they need help with SEO, faaar too many came back with with ‘building backlinks!’ While each and every little bit of feedback helps us grow, every time I saw ‘backlinks’ land in my inbox, a tiny part of my SEO soul died.

There is SO much misinformation about SEO floating around on the web, combined with ‘get rich quick’ schemes that really only benefit the pockets of the peddler. Over the years, this bad info has drawn the idea of SEO away from what it actually is, convincing many that a fictitious ‘backlink juice’ was the key to rankings – rather than having a great site full of useful content, and telling Google all bout it! Our community’s feedback showed us how key having the right knowledge is in your journey, so here we are!

Way back in 1999, Google emerged into the world, taking its very first steps and changing the way humans find answers forever. Back then, SEO was aaaaall about backlinks – getting other sites across the web to refer to your site with a link.

A fledgling Google saw these referrals as ‘good juice’, in the same way you might trust a recommendation from a close friend. If one site has gone out of their way to recommend another, it must be good! Unfortunately, the world of backlinking was quickly plagued with dodgy types exploiting the naivety of Google’s trust, creating fake blogs full of Lorem Ipsum posts purely to generate a backlink and score a little more ‘juice’. Quickly, backlinks became useless to Google – because they were useless to the user.

How useless is backlinking? So useless, we don’t do it. We’ll take backlinks when they happen naturally, but we don’t encourage others to actively source them, or build SEO campaigns around them. The ONLY time we look at backlinks is to check for ones that may be causing harm. That doesn’t mean all backlinks are bad – the type you gain naturally through guest posting, recommendations and just generally existing online will show Google you are a quality source, without you having to actively ‘build’ backlinks just for the sake of it.

FROM BACKLINKS TO CONTENT

When backlinks became redundant, we moved into the ‘Content Era’ – where the sheer quantity of content created was deemed the best way to procure rankings. ‘One post per week’ was cemented into the mind of every site owner, and probably had more of an impact on your stress levels than rankings. You see, approaching content on a frequency basis isn’t exactly what Google is after – it isn’t how how often you post, but instead what you cover, and how valuable that is to the user.

We’ve always been in the ‘quality over quantity’ mindset, but now we build our SEO strategies around the idea that quality content helps build your brand. GOOD content that is useful to your readers, easy to navigate and read, with a touch of optimisation, will perform better than poor content, no matter how infrequently you post!

Build an audience that really loves what you do, and keep DOING IT! From there, SEO is really just tinkering with your site to deliver the best user experience possible – removing the slow bits, making it easier for readers to find what they need and removing pesky 404s. We’re not going to make you do EXTRA work, instead we’ll help you simply improve on everything you’ve already built!

SEO AND YOUR BLOG

So after many, many years watching and learning through Google’s different updates, we’ve found common SEO problems that affect nearly all bloggers we’ve met: bloated indexes, slow load times, weird content structure, and sites that aren’t as easy to navigate as they should be. All you need to do to have a well optimised blog is spend a little time working on the areas outside your content, and just a few minutes perfecting each post.

Can you guess what the bloggers who aren’t affected are doing?
They’re already working on their SEO.

Good SEO is all about user experience and the strength of the brand – every ‘technical’ optimisation you make simply helps Google understand these! If your navigation menu is simple and easy to use, your readers can find what they’re after. If you’re running ads, find that balance between cash in the bank and turning your readers away – ad services significantly slow down your site (a pet hate of readers and Google), and too many or highly unrelated ads may damage your audience’s trust in your content. Ads are still a part of running a profitable blog, so find a balance that works best for you.

SOCIAL TRAFFIC IS LETTING YOU DOWN

I’ve got a quick test for you that will show you EXACTLY how beneficial (and important) SEO can be to your blog. Log into Google Analytics (follow our handy connection guide here) and take a look at your referral traffic – how many users have visited your site through social media, and how many through organic searches?
*If you’re waiting for Analytics data to populate, your CMS may have its own traffic measures in the backend to use in the meantime.

The effort you put into your Facebook posts and tweets will be driving users to your site, just as you’d hoped. Whether that number is big or small doesn’t matter right now, because it’s about to get much bigger – without you having to put any more effort into tweets or pins.

Take that number of social visitors, and double it. How does that sound?

You could be seeing that many EXTRA VISITORS to your site, on top of your current social efforts. It IS possible to boost your traffic to those levels, you simply need to nurture your organic search audience! If your number of organic visitors isn’t above your social traffic, social, you’re LITERALLY leaving traffic on the table – and your ideal readers are being shut out! Forget emptying your pockets to fight pesky social algorithms, and start investing into FREE traffic instead – all it costs is a little bit of time, it’s an awful lot less work than you’d think.

For the skeptics in the room, take a look at the results below. This was our very first SEO guinea pig, SkinnyMixers. Before we applied our course to her site, Nikki was seeing 32,000 monthly visitors from social media, and a chunk less in organic traffic, with only 24,000 coming from search. While these are already AWESOME numbers to start with, it’s the percentage of increase and difference in growth between the sources that we’re focusing on!

SkinnyMixers Blog Traffic Growth With SEO

In just 18 months, Nikki nearly DOUBLED her social traffic – going from 32,000 to 54,000 monthly visitors. That’s all down to her hard work & dedication she’s put into building her community, and the time (and money) put into fighting social media algorithms. Before SEO, Nikki was getting less visitors from organic search than social media. Just a little bit of SEO later, she added an EXTRA 60,000 MONTHLY VISITS to her site – three times the increase social traffic saw, in the same time frame!

While Nikki’s social media presence and expertise naturally grew during this time, it’s nothing compared to the impact SEO has had on her growth. Can you image if she’d never worked on her SEO? Sure, she’d still have gained 20,000 extra visitors, but another 60,000 would be left out in the cold, unable to find her content when they needed it most!

Ask yourself this: are you currently limiting your blogs potential? What would a big increase in traffic mean to your blog?

Want more like this? Head over to our Community for LIVE SEO classes every Tuesday and Thursday!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

*