A Blog or weblog is a cross between a journal and a magazine and usually forms part of a website, or in some cases it is a website in its own right. Most true Blogs are operated by individuals who specialise in a particular subject, and who use the Blog to comment on that subject, often using graphics, video and links to other websites and Blogs to make their case.
Many Blogs include an element of interactivity with readers, allowing them to post comments on articles.
But what is a Blog for most businesses, and how would you use one?
At its most basic, a Blog can simply be your outlet for news and a section of your website dedicated to bringing potential and existing customers up to date. Blogs seem to be surrounded by some sort of mystique and there is the assumption that if you include a blog on your site, then you have to be updating it every day. This is simply not the case.
We at Three Girls Media recommend that every website that we design should have a Blog, and that it should be updated as and when you have something new to say – ideally, at least once a month, and more often if your news justifies it.
Firstly, and most importantly, Blogs (or the news section of your site) are a great way of interacting with and engaging with your viewers, clients and potential clients. You can post company news, appointments, special offers, news that you have won contracts, news that you have completed contracts etc. If your content is sufficiently engaging then both readers and the search engines will want to come back to your site for more.
The SEO benefits of Blogging
Blogs are also great for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as they show not only the viewer, but also the search engines that you care sufficiently about your site to update it regularly. Most websites include a number of “static” pages that form the core of information that a company wishes to project to the public. Blog posts are content that changes dynamically, and that most importantly are time stamped. Search engines will see that content is new because they compare your current pages and content with their previous visit, and the more often your content changes, the more often they will come back for more. The more often they visit, the better your chances of ranking well.
Every time you create a new post, assuming that is related to your business or industry, you are providing new content that will be full of the key words and phrases that you wish to be ranked well for and the search engines will have additional articles to crawl and return results for. One of the other great advantages is that you can write about a specialist area of your work where it might seem odd if you had a “main” page dedicated to it.
For example, whilst we are Web Designers in Edinburgh, one of our specialisms is designing Custom Facebook Business Pages. This area of our business is not sufficiently large to warrant a “main page” on our website, but it is worthy of a number of blog posts. Perhaps one to announce that we offer design of Facebook Business Pages, one to showcase some of our work, and one to explain how they can benefit businesses. Each time we create a blog post on this subject, we a creating content that is rich with these Facebook related terms, that the search engines will crawl, and hopefully they will then see us not only as web designers, but also as designers of Facebook pages.
If you write articles that are intended to provide information, explanations or other “how to” guides on your blog then you have the opportunity to link to other pages on your website where you may have more complete information, or to other resources on the internet. All of this shows both the readers and the search engines that you care. By linking to particular pages on your website you are highlighting to the search engines that these pages are particularly important, perhaps making the search engines realise that these are key words that they should rank you for. Similarly, by linking out to sites other than your own, you are demonstrating that you are prepared to show other author’s content in an effort to provide the best user experience and information to your readers.
As a final thought, if your content is good, the your readers will want to share it with others – so make sure that your site has functionality that allows readers to share information on all the major social media platfrorms.
If you need advice on incorporating a blog into your existing or a new website, please contact us on 0131 558 2741.