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If you ever doubted the SEO benefits of blogging …

by Kelly Exeter | October 14th, 2013 | 11 comments

The SEO benefits of blogging

Until I fell pregnant with baby Mia last year, I was blogging fairly regularly here on the Swish Design website. Then, between pregnancy fatigue and of course Mia’s arrival, my blogging efforts became sporadic. At best 🙂

Once I returned to work in a part-time capacity there was only so much I could fit into my truncated days so blogging was well down my priority list. At least until last month when I went to a conference and heard one of the speakers say ‘when I blog 2-3 times a week on my business website, things just seem to happen.’

‘Hmm’, I thought, ‘maybe I should re-assess where blogging sits on my priority list and commit to writing two posts a week for a few months, just to see what happens.’ Well I didn’t quite manage the two posts a week thing but in the last four weeks I wrote five posts.

Then, quite by chance, a couple of weeks ago I sat down with my staff and audited our website. Part of this audit was looking at the search terms we ranked for.

We’ve never paid money for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) as we’ve always preferred to do the things covered in this series of posts and try to rank for key search terms organically.

As recently as 6 weeks ago we were on page 5 of the search results for ‘Website Design Perth’. As you know, if you’re not on page 1, you may as well be on page 100 for all anyone cares. ‘Website Design Perth’ is a reasonably competitive search term though so I just figured we were never going to rank for that term without paying for an ongoing SEO program.

Imagine my surprise then when we googled ‘Website Design Perth’ during our audit and found swishdesign.com.au sitting at #7 in the organic results on the first page. In the space of a few weeks we had gone from nowhere, to page 1. Today we are at #4 in the organic results.

The only thing that changed on our website during that time was that I wrote five blog posts (two which co-incidentally did mention website design in one way or another.)

So to summarise:

  • 6 weeks ago: Nowhere for ‘Website Design Perth’
  • 2 weeks ago: #7 on the first page for ‘Website Design Perth’
  • Today: #4 for ‘Website Design Perth’

Stunned by these results we quickly checked out our ranking for ‘Graphic Design Perth’. We’d been at #1 in the rankings for that search term for ages thus were pretty unhappy to note we’d slipped to #3. Out of curiousity I wrote something useful for the blog with Graphic Design as the topic.

Within a day we had jumped up to #2 for ‘Graphic Design Perth’.

Interesting.

So what’s the take-home here?

Clearly blogging is more powerful from an SEO point of view than even I thought. It is something I intend to keep an eye on and report back about here in the future. But for now:

  • If you have a blog on your business website, the good news is you’re ahead of the pack, (so long as you are actually using it!)
  • If you don’t have a blog on your website and you’re spending a lot of money on SEO … it might be worth re-thinking your strategy.

 

COMMENTS

I have a blog and a website. They’re separate, mostly because I’m using a template website and I can’t put my blog actually on the site. Is there anything else I can do to help? Mention my business name in blog posts, that sort of thing? 🙂

The really short answer Karen is that if your blog isn’t actually on your website (sitting in the same domain) … getting SEO benefits out of it is going to be very very hard (ie impossible) 🙁

Your blog itself would have its own SEO value … but it wouldn’t be passing it on to your business website … linking between the two won’t make much difference in that regard.

Kelly — thanks for the article and more importantly, that you shared the before and after.

What does need to be said is that the blog has to hit the target. It has to be the right content for the consumer. You not only committed to blogging, but you produced blogs that mattered to the people they needed to matter to.

‘Don’t just make content, make content that matters’ – Jay Baer.

Oh yes definitely! I was going to put that in there but didn’t want to distract from the numbers! I will do a follow up to this post with some tips and tricks I think. After a bit more experimentation!

Such a good reminder Kelly!
Sometimes we just spend money on SEO thinking its the easy route to take, you have proved that there is no need to spend any money…… thankyou for saving my hard earned dollars!

Pleasure Amy! The other thing I love about blogging is that while sure, there are SEO benefits to the business, the benefits to the customer are so so much more. An SEO program is fine and does the job driving visitors to a website … but a blog driving visitors to a website does so much more for everyone concerned.

Awesome – love this – I now have another great article to show clients along with the awesome words of the Sales Lion and his River Pools and Spas story. I can’t speak highly enough about blogging – it is the main thing that works for my business and website – great to see it is working well for you too Kelly – and in such a short time. Google is more and more loving relevant, fresh content. I love that the “SEO” tricks of the past and terms like “Google slapped” are not in my vocabulary! Thanks for sharing!

Yes! What I love most about blogging is the fact that it is a very organic and natural form of SEO … and it means that (as you say) you never have to worry about Google updating their algorithm because you are always doing the right thing by google!

I know almost nothing about blogging and websites, but I took the advice from Kel and colleagues and wrote regular blog posts when I got a new website. Within 4 months we had gone from 6-8 pages down the list in google searches to the first page for most of the common key words used to search for our business type. The hardest bit is making it all interesting content to draw readers to the sites, without making it a sales/marketing pitch.

You guys have done an amazing job with your blog Scotty. As you say – it’s not easy choosing topics and making them both interesting and non-salesy. But you’ve done it and done it well! I am thrilled to hear you have gotten great search results from your efforts!

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