Blogs are much more than a pastime and a way to share your experience with others. Having a strong blog benefits any business site, and can have a huge positive impact on your sales.
So investing a good chunk of time and resources into maintaining a good blog with regular and informative uploads is very much worth it.
Strong content brings in traffic, and besides the obvious benefits (more people visiting your site = more chances that someone will convert), blogs can help your site rank higher in search engine results pages.
And today we’re going to look at some tips on how to do just that.
1. Publish Regular, Long-Form Content
Google likes long-form content more than shorter articles. For example, we don’t publish anything shorter than 2,500 words on our own blog.
This is simply the specifics of Google’s algorithm and longer content ranks much better than short articles. Search for any topic, and you will notice that most of the content on the first page is long-form.
There is more to it than simply pleasing the algorithm, though. Obviously, longer content is more informative. And informative content is exactly how you attract backlinks, which are a huge part of SEO.
Besides, it is much better to have a single be-all-end-all guide rather than a dozen of smaller articles for navigation purposes. It also acts as a social share magnet.
2. Outperform Your Competition
It might be difficult to make your content stand out from the rest, especially if you’re in a highly-competitive niche. However, it is far from impossible.
This is where competitive analysis comes into play. Take a look at exactly what kind of content your competitors are making, and which topics they are covering.
Use this information while writing articles of your own to make better content. You can also use a tool like Ahrefs to identify which keywords they are ranking for and which ones they aren’t using.
Ideally, you want to pick keywords that have a low difficulty score and have a lot of search traffic. But the most relevant keywords to your business will likely have a high difficulty, so you will need to outperform your competition content-wise.
While preparing your own articles, read through your competitors’ posts and take notes of the areas they could improve on. Perhaps, their content is too short, they missed out on a crucial point, or their article could really use some extra tips and advice.
Make sure that your article differentiates itself from the competition by being better than the others.
3. Optimize Your Site For Performance
Performance has always been a ranking factor, but now that Google has rolled out another core update, it is more important than ever.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to monitor your pages’ performance. It even points out exactly which processes are taking too long, letting you know exactly what you should fix.
And since most people browse the internet on their handheld devices, you need to take extra care to make sure that your site is optimized for mobile. Google actually favors highly-optimized sites so it’s not just a matter of making mobile users’ lives easier.
Having smooth loading times also reduces the number of bounces.
4. Build Links To Your Content
Link building is one of the most powerful SEO strategies you can use to improve your site’s rankings.
Inbound links pass authority and traffic from one site to another. High-authority backlinks also serve as an indicator for Google that your content is valuable and link-worthy.
This, in turn, translates into higher rankings for your content. In fact, link building is exactly how we helped our partner company, Visme, grow to over 2M monthly traffic and 8M users.
There are numerous link building strategies, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s take a look at the most widely used ones.
Guest posting is the process of writing a piece of content and publishing it on a different resource. This is done for two purposes: getting your content in front of new audiences, and, of course, for that sweet backlink in your bio.
Guest blogging is one of the easiest ways to earn backlinks, and finding prospects for it is very simple. There is no shortage of sites with a “Write for us” page, but in reality, most websites accept guest contributions if you simply ask for it.
After all, why would someone refuse a good piece of content that is also free?
The obvious downside to guest posting is the fact that writing an article for every single link you build is time-consuming. But you can add an extra layer to it.
If you have some link building partners, you can set up an ongoing collaboration, where you add your links in your guest posts, and they do the same for you.
This way, instead of getting just one link out of each guest post, you can get multiple.
The skyscraper technique is an awesome way to both produce some great content for your blog and earn some backlinks along the way.
It is essentially what I was talking about in tip number 2: the premise is the same. You first research your competitors’ articles and find areas of their content that you can improve on.
Then, you add extra floors to the skyscraper (expand upon existing content, making it longer, more informative, and generally better), and send out your link building pitch.
For this strategy, finding prospects is quite easy: all you have to do is open Ahrefs and take a look at the backlink profiles of your competitors’ articles.
You can export that list of backlinks, find the emails of the people behind those sites, and pitch them, letting them know that you have just published an article that is better than the one they’re currently linking to.
Make sure that your link building pitch has a decent value proposition; for the purpose of link building, a simple link back will often be enough.
Again, it is time-consuming to create strong, long-form content, but on the other hand, all of the prospecting can be done in a matter of minutes. And, if you’re in a highly-competitive niche, it is quite likely that your prospects will have a lot of sites linking to them, which means more easy link building prospects for you.
So, here are the 4 most important aspects of growing your blog: making regular, long form uploads that are better than your competitors’, optimizing your site for performance, and building lots of high-quality backlinks to boost your authority.
Managing brand partnerships at Respona, Vlad Orlov is a passionate writer and link builder. Having started writing articles at the age of 13, their once past-time hobby developed into a central piece of their professional life.