I get asked this all the time by my Idaho web design clients – they hear the buzz word and hear blog this blog that from all directions but are still left guessing as to what a blog actually is. I hope to clarify this a little bit in this entry.
While blogs are used by millions of people as a way to interact and share portions of their life experiences with others, or to talk about their hobbies and interests, blogs are also valuable tools in Search Engine Optimization.
Generally a blog is a website outside of your main site where you can write content relevant to your area of interest; related to the content of your main site, and hopefully full of keywords and links pointed to your main domain.
By frequently creating new,keyword rich text and links on your blog you can effectively drive more traffic to your main website. Search engines love content, and they love NEW content even more. Blogs allow users to create and publish new content fairly easily, and as search engines update their data from blog sites more frequently (because they know there will be new content there often) you can see an incredibly fast return for your time involved if you really get in and get serious about your blogging.
Still confused? Think of your blog as the online version of those sign wavers you see outside of pizza shops or on the corner flagging traffic for the local tax man. Essentially you blog is just like that – it is a digital presence that is waving your flag in front of the traffic on the Information Super Highway, saying “Hey! Check out this site for great<u> insert keyword here</u>!”
In some cases people will come across your blog read it, like it, subscribe to it (making it itself even stronger in the search engine results), and find your site thusly generating more traffic for your main site – but more likely the search engines themselves will find it and see all the links to your main domain thus giving it more “strength” for the keywords you’ve targeted and thusly improving your search engine placement. The more keyword named links you have pointing to your main site (“Boise Web Design“, “Idaho Real Estate” whatever your keywords are …etc) the more trust that establishes with search engines, stating that in fact you are a source for that particular information, and thusly improving your standing for those search terms.
The most important parts of blogging are: Blog Often, Blog Well, Link link link! That is to say your blog does you no good if there isn’t fresh new content on it regularly. Even if it’s a post about the weather, make sure you include some keyword based links in that text or in the blog tags. Blog Well, by writing relevant content, rich with keywords and keyword based links – don’t lazy out and just steal something someone else has written (not only does it violate copyright, but what’s the point in having the SAME content as someone else?!). Link link link! – means make sure your blog entries have keyword based links pointing to your site. Having alot of text in your blog is only half the battle when blogging for Search Engine results – but it’s a battle that can be won!