For years, blogging was merely a way for any average person to maintain an online journal of their travels to exciting places, or a place where budding chefs could share favorite tips and recipes. That was then. But times have changed.
Did you know that today blogging has become an essential element of a successful marketing strategy for all industries? For pregnancy help centers, blogging brings a lot to the table. Blogs with strategically selected topics that are written with the utmost quality and follow the latest Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices will supply tremendous value to your website.
Does Blogging Really Help SEO?
First, what is SEO? SEO is the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position when someone searches for your center online through a search engine like Google. SEO improves rankings organically (meaning they are free). If you have not already, you should make a concerted effort to ensure that SEO is a part of your marketing strategy.
Now to answer the question about if blogging really helps SEO. The short answer is yes. But that does not mean that simply having a blog will rocket your site’s links to the top of Google search rankings. Blogging is helpful because it contributes to a number of elements that are important for ranking factors. Having a high-quality blog on your website that includes posts on relevant topics to your audience can make a big difference in how your overall website performs in search engines.
Here are seven main reasons why.
1. Blogging Keeps Your Website Fresh and New
Do you ever visit a site that clearly has outdated content? What does that make you think about that site? You probably have a negative reaction right away. Maybe this organization is not trustworthy if it does not put forth the effort to update the website content. Most online users will quickly move to another resource when they detect that the content is outdated.
For PHCs, current content is even more important. Information about pregnancy, abortion and relationships is constantly changing. You want to make sure that the people reading your blog are finding the most up-to-date information possible. This will keep them engaged and increase the likelihood that they will return to the blog later for new posts.
Google and other search engines also favor updated blog content. Google does not want to deliver outdated information to searchers. Websites that regularly update content, like blogs, let Google know that the website is alive and consistently offering fresh material. Regular updates also give search engines a reason to index your website more often, which keeps it on the radar and makes it more likely to appear at the top of the list of relevant search results.
2. A Blog Keeps People on Your Website for Longer
Google’s top priority is providing online searchers with the information they seek. If someone clicks a link from Google and then quickly returns to the search page, that tells Google that the search result was not helpful. However, if the online user stays on the page they click for a long time, Google views that as a strong search result. By writing compelling blog content that people read for an extended period of time, you are increasing the chances that Google will see your pages as strong search result options that it should continue to place high on its lists for relevant searches.
Dwell time (the time an online user spends on a page before clicking away to another) is an important ranking factor for getting your pages to show up high in Google. That means the longer that someone spends reading a blog post, the more favorably Google will view that link. With that in mind, you should strive to write blog posts that are not only engaging but also will take some time to read.
3. A Blog Provides Opportunities for Internal Linking
Links are an important aspect of SEO, and internal links are easy to include since they are links that you provide to other pages on your site. Failure to include internal links (again, these are links within the text of the blog that go to other pages on your site, like services pages) is one of the simplest SEO mistakes you can make.
Regular blog posts offer easy opportunities for links to other articles on your site. Search engines will notice this and will be more likely to place your pages high in search results.
4. A Quality Blog Makes Other Sites More Likely to Link to Your Site
Internal links are important, but they are only half the goal. You also want external links (pages from other sites that include links to your site). You will have a better chance of getting external links if you consistently create high-quality blog posts for your site. Blogs fill your site with many pages of engaging content about relevant topics that appeal to a wide variety of users. Those topics will be appealing to other sites since they will recognize that their readers would like to read your content, so they will link to your blog posts.
HubSpot has evidence if you are still skeptical. It found that websites with blogs earn up to 97% more inbound links than sites without blogs. It’s simple: blogs will increase your external links, improve your ranking on search engines, and increase the number of women who will see your content. From there, they can learn about your center and take the next step toward making life-saving decisions with their unborn children.
5. A Blog Helps Build a Relationship with Your Audience
While connecting with your audience isn’t a way to necessarily help you improve your search ranking, it’s still significant. A blog gives you the opportunity to tell your audience more about you and help to begin forming that relationship of trust and understanding. Additionally, online users who read a post that they greatly enjoy will be likely to share it with others. That will give you even more readers and more traffic to your site since these readers will probably want to continue finding out more about your center and the resources you offer. Growing the number of people who find out about your center will ultimately impact more lives.
6. It Makes It Easier to Rank for Specific Keywords
If you’re trying to rank for specific keywords, one of the most effective ways to do so is to write a thorough and engaging blog post about it. When people start searching that keyword (for example, early signs of pregnancy), they are looking for complete answers, which is exactly what your blog provides.
Google is sophisticated enough that over time it will recognize that your page supplies the best answer to the question, so your blog post will become one of the top search results.
7. Blog Posts Increase Your Site’s Authority
When you blog about a particular topic, you are telling users that you are an authority on that topic. As you continue to compile content on the subject, you will establish yourself as an expert. This leads to greater trust among your readers, so they will continue to turn to you as a trusted resource for the information they need about pregnancy, STIs, and other relevant topics. Google will also notice as you grow into an authority on a topic. Google and other search engines will become more familiar with your site and what you offer, recognizing you as a reliable source that deserves to appear high in search rankings because readers find your information valuable.
Keys to a Writing an SEO-friendly Blog Post
Think before you write.
This might sound obvious, but it is crucial to think through your content before you begin writing. The topic is essential. The women in need of your services are looking for answers to specific questions, so make sure you are doing research to find out what those questions are. That way, you are providing the most useful information possible.
After choosing a topic, ask yourself a few questions. What do you want to tell your readers? What is the central question that you want to answer? What is the purpose? Make sure all the content is answering the post’s main question.
Create a Structure.
Each post should have an introduction paragraph, body content, and a conclusion. Your conclusion should include a call-to-action to visit your center or one of your site’s pages. After you devise your structure, make sure to write paragraphs that are not too long. Huge blocks of text can be off-putting for readers, so make sure your posts have shorter paragraphs that are not intimidating.
Optimize the Length of Your Article.
As a general rule, your blog posts should have at least 500 words. In most cases, the longer you can make your content the better it is in Google’s eyes. But keep in mind that making posts thousands of words long could turn away women who are looking for relatively quick answers to their pregnancy questions, so your posts should not be overwhelmingly long.
If Choose Life Marketing can assist your center with blogging and improving your SEO, please contact us. Our team cares deeply about your mission and is motivated to help your pro-life organization thrive.