Part of the fun of working for a great agency is being encouraged to think. Here are some of the things we’re thinking about.

How Your Blog Can Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

August 29, 2014 Jeff Bradford

Search EngineBlogging frequently can contribute significantly to customer acquisition. According to inbound marketing software company Hubspot, 92 percent of companies that blog multiple times a day gain a customer through that blog. Writing multiple times per day or week might seem like a lot of work, but its value to your firm’s search engine optimization and inbound marketing efforts is invaluable.

Long gone are the days of random link building and plugging in keywords tens of times in hopes of reaching higher in search rankings. That’s because Google is continually changing the algorithm it uses to offer the best possible search results. This algorithm is now sophisticated enough to recognize if a site is offering high-value content and is regularly updated, not just gaming its system.

We’ve heard it before: “Content is king.” In this case, those words reign true. Producing relevant content for your target consumer and building authentic relationships with them is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Your blog is your best tool for achieving those objectives.

Your content doesn’t just sit on your blog, either. It becomes material that can be pushed out on your other social media channels, creating conversations with consumers who might not be directly searching for your services.

Our firm has reaped the benefits of blogging first-hand. Prior to blogging regularly, the traffic rank for our site was around 20 million, which means that during a search for “Nashville PR firms” or “Nashville marketing firms” we would have been lucky to show up on the sixth or seventh page of search results.

Our website was generating very few leads for us. Now, after just a little work, we’re on the first page of results with a traffic ranking under 2 million. Just this afternoon, I met with an excellent prospective client who called when we showed up on the first page of his search for “Nashville marketing firms.”

How did we do it?

We started making it a priority to create content that we knew would be of value to prospective clients and those in our industry, and to monitor which content was bringing the most people back to our site.

After a year of committing to increasing our number of blog posts, we found that the topics that were viewed most frequently were those that announced job openings, offered tips for media relations, or explained the value of PR.

The takeaways were simple and universal. Write about the topics on which you’re an expert and convey the value your industry might add to others. That’s easier said than done, but below are a few tips for creating novel content on the fly that’s sure to increase traffic to your site and improve your rankings:

• Turn office updates into big news. Moving offices? Working with a new fancy client? Small updates can be spun into sexier topics like how your new office space reflects your corporate culture, or how a new client represents significant growth for your firm.

• Have a brainstorming session. Gathering the team to discuss interesting blog angles is well worth the time. Learning about the different projects going on is an easy way to uncover topics that might create interesting content.

• Separate the work across the office. It would be difficult for one person to create 12 pieces of original content a month. We’ve developed a system wherein each person writes one post a month, so 12 posts becomes no problem.

• Don’t be afraid to show your personality. Not every post has to be business related. Give your writers a chance to talk about things that interest them outside of the office. It might even attract a new client who does related work.

• Take a look at what you read yourself. What kind of information is of value to you? Chances are if it’s something that’s interesting to you, it’s probably the type of content that’s also relevant to your industry peers.

The laws of the SEO landscape have changed significantly in the last few years. The new rules require creating valuable content to foster authentic relationships. The good news, though, is that simply writing about what you’re good at could lead to huge leaps in your SEO rankings and greater inbound success.

Jeff Bradford is president and CEO of the Bradford Group, a Nashville-based PR/marketing firm that integrates public relations, inbound marketing, outbound marketing and social media.

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