Blogs are the No. 1 search marketing tool

Most studies show that 85% of clicks on a search engine results page occur in the organic side. In today’s recessionary environment, none of us can afford not to be aggressively competing for every opportunity. Organic search traffic is the biggest untapped opportunity in marketing. So, how can marketers legitimately target hundreds or thousands of terms organically?  One word: blogs.

Usually, the first question is, “Are blogs appropriate organic search landing pages?”  That answer is found in a study from eMarketeter in 2008:  “…it is not always clear or relevant to the end user whether a particular destination is a blog…” From a search standpoint, the reality is that the line between blogs and traditional Web pages is blurring. Our data show that blogs actually have higher engagement and conversion rates than what’s considered “typical” for traditional Web sites.

Search success depends on relevance.  As search expert Vanessa Fox says, “Relevance means keeping to a topic, helping the search engine understand what your site is about and, ideally, about one thing in particular.”

Keep these things in mind when considering a blogging for search strategy:

First, remember that titles are critical. Search engine optimization (SEO) will tell you that the most important writing on any page is its page. Simple logic tells us that if the search engine is trying to figure out what the page is about, the title is the leading indicator. Name your blogs the keyword phrases you are targeting.

Also, use targeted keywords in your blog posts. Matt Cutts of Google gives this obvious advice: “Think about what people are going to type…and talk about that.” Blogging is ideal for SEO because you have an unlimited palate to put a lot of content on a page.

Be sure that you know the competitiveness of your keywords. This is a volume strategy. For relatively quick results, it’s best to target terms with less than 2 million competing pages. 

Rethink content or post volume. In this environment, there is no such thing as too much content. Give up your thought leadership, once a week pontification. Free your employees to write about the things searchers care about: Use cases, your client’s success, new features and benefits and leverage the keywords your prospects are using. Whoever creates the most content on a given topic is likely to drive the most traffic.

Don’t discount linking. I’ll simply say that it’s credible content that drive inbound links. If you want a lot of links, you need a lot of content.

Note that blog volume is critical. If you consider titles to be the most critical element on a page, it stands to reason that the more pages you have, the more keywords you can target. Think 50 to 500 blogs depending on the size of the organization and the amount of traffic you are targeting.

Finally, focus on conversion more than conversation. This is not about the number of comments you are getting, it’s the amount of engagement. In business engagement is spelled L-E-A-D-S.

Chris Baggott is CEO and co-founder of Compendium Blogware. Reach him at [email protected].

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