I've studied search engine optimization (SEO) for many years now. If there's one thing that Google and other search engines really love and if there's one absolute in the SEO world, it's that fresh content is what they want. If you do not have a blog (or "News" section or "What's New?" section) on your website, then you're absolutely missing out on lots of traffic and sales.
Ok, there are some exceptions... not every business should have a blog but this is rare.. For example, we have a few clients where they really don't want to get business from their website. In their industry, there are only a handful of companies like theirs out there and they just won't get new business from their website. Their potential customers already know who they are. This is very rare and your business or organization most likely does not fit into this situation.
So why do search engines like new content?
My answer to that is simple... think like Google.
If you're Google, you want to give the best results to people who are searching, right? You want websites that load quickly, keep content on them (I'll explain this next), have original content (not just stuff from other places) and are publishing new content all the time.
What I mean by keep content on them is that pages don't change. Each page has a dedicated URL (web address) that doesn't change and that content will permanently be at that URL all the time. This means that URLs that have ampersands (&) and question marks in them is a sign that a page was created dynamically and that the next time Google crawls that page, the content could be different (or has a more likely chance of being different). Google wants to send searchers to pages that are relatively the same as when they came to your website and crawled it.
Search engines like websites that are growing, too. They want to see new (fresh) content is being published all the time. When you do that, your website starts to become an authority on those topics. It's good, fresh and original content that hasn't ever been seen before. You want to publish articles that are "bookmark worthy" (a particular episode of Seinfeld comes to mind when I write that).
I like writing. I may not have perfect grammar but it's fun for me. I know that's not everybody though. If that is you, then write about your industry and what's going on. If that's not you, then you can hire copywriters fairly cheap or have someone else in the company do it. The thing you have to realize is this... whatever content you publish is going to be on the website forever. You publish it once and it'll always be there, working for you. That's the great thing about blogging. The page will get traffic and work for you on into the future. With that in mind, think about if you had been blogging for 6 months or a year already - you'd already have all that content working for you!
There'a a simple formula to writing a good article. It's called "AIDA" and I've written about this before. It stands for:
Simple, right? First, get their attention with a compelling headline. Next, grab their interest - tell them what they're missing out on and be a little emotional about it. Next, create desire and then give them something to take action on.
When you write for the web, you need to write in short paragraphs, use headings, make things bold and even use bulleted lists so that the page can easily be scanned. Most likely, when people arrive at your article/post, they are in search mode. They're looking for something. They might scan the page so see if the page is what they're looking for and if it's worth reading. Having a page with large paragraphs is not going to make it look very digestible. Keep it concise and to the point. Every sentence should add meaning and value. Remember that the first sentence of a paragraph should have a point and then the next sentences should support it and add to it.
Blog about your industry and give your readers some valuable information. State a common problem and then describe how to fix it. Sometimes, you don't want to give away the farm. Keep some of it back so that they have to contact you to find out more - which is a call to action!
Here are some ideas about how to come up with things to blog about:
How To Create Content When You’d Rather Be Doing Something Else (searchengineland.com)
The Round-Up is the first refuge of the lazy content creator. It’s so easy. Just read what the “experts” are talking about, link to their posts and add a smidgen of commentary.
And here's another article I wrote that explain how to business blog:
How Do You Blog? (webstix.com)
One fantastic way to add content to your website is with a blog. A blog is an informal way to easily add new content to your website. The latest posts show first and the rest get archived. Right now, you're reading my blog. If you like to write, then a blog will be a great tool for you. If you're not a good writer, then hire someone to help you. It's not too expensive.
Here's what each blog post / news item should contain or be:
Do research for your article. Get good information. Interview someone else if you have to. Your content should be something people will want to bookmark and share with others or post on Facebook.
As much as you can. You really can't do it too much. Some people making a living on it. Adding just one new post a week to your website gives you 52 pages of new content a year. Set a goal of blogging 1-2 times a week and you'll have around 100 new pages on your website a year. That's a start. Remember, that content lives there forever. It works for you into the future. You do that work once and it keeps paying off.
Definitely on your own website, under your own domain. You want the credit for the content. If you blog a lot and want to have another blog, then it's ok to get a blogger.com account and blog there a bit.
Then contact Webstix! We'll be happy to set up a blog or news section on your website for you. The thing about blogging is that it's easy. You do it right in your web browser. It's easy to login to your website and start wriing. You save it (post it) and it appears on your website right away.
The bottom line is that adding content to your website is the best thing you can do to get more traffic to it. How it really works is simple... get your head around this:
Google: 25% Of Queries Are New & Adding Question Engine (searchengineland.com)
Manber said 20 to 25% of the queries that Google sees today have never seen before. Wow, 25% of the queries people enter into Google today, were not seen before today?
People may be using a certain phrase in their search and if that phrase is on your website somewhere, then you have a good chance of ranking for that search. If your website doesn't have that phrase on it, then you do not have much of a chance. The more content you add, the better chance you have. Again, I said it was simple.
If you want more website traffic, then start blogging. I cannot stress enough how great it is that content you post keeps working for you into the future. Post really great content that solves a problem or answers a question and you'll see traffic over time.
Of course, there's more that should be done. You need your website set up correctly so that when you post, that content is optimized. We call this on-site SEO. It's very important that this is done so that you get the most value from your work. Contact us today and we can help take care of this for you. Download our e-book about how to make sure this is done.