One thing I usually suggest to clients when we’re working on a website with them is to include a frequently updated blog.  A blog on your company website is a great way to stay in touch with customers, provide news about your company, talk about developments in the industry, show thought leadership and expand your customer base. It’s why, as we continue to expand and develop NNE Digital within Newspapers of New England, I’ve asked our team to begin blogging regularly and am penning this post to get us started. In addition to building awareness and helping your customers better understand your industry, a company blog is also a powerful SEO tool for your website.

Here are five ways your corporate blog will boost your site’s SEO:

  1. Well crafted, useful content is going to generate backlinks. Backlinks are links on other websites to your content, and they play a critical role in your off-site SEO. While there has been a good deal of controversy, and Google-imposed penalties for unscrupulous link-building strategies, high-quality blog content remains an ethical, valuable way to build links to your site. Just remember, honestly earned backlinks on relevant sites will boost your rankings. Link farms, paid links and anything that Google sees as spammy will get you penalized.
  2. Answering the questions you anticipate potential customers may be typing into Google allows you to discover and use keywords in a natural – and useful – way.  Brainstorming SEO blog posts is as simple as thinking of questions customers frequently ask you, and then using a keyword research tool (Google’s adwords keyword tool is free) to see what phrases have the highest search volume and discover related words and phrases you may not have considered. This isn’t for the purpose of “stuffing” your post with these phrases, but to simply understand what terms the general public is most likely to use to search for your product. You may manufacture personal unmanned aerial vehicles, but if you want search traffic, you should be aware that “drone” gets about 22x more average monthly searches than “unmanned aerial vehicle.”
  3. A company blog gives you a vehicle to add more content to your site more frequently. This means higher “freshness” scores for your content. The freshness factor is an element Google takes into account when indexing and ranking content.  According to the blog, “Some SEOs insist you should add 20-30% new pages to your site every year.” While you can freshen your site by updating existing pages, a blog can really boost your volume into those levels.
  4. Great blog posts are inherently share-able on social media. And while social media signals don’t directly impact Google ranking, they do provide more exposure for your content, higher traffic volume, and the opportunity to build backlinks, which will boost your ranking. In addition, Google may see social signals as a long-term way of evaluating trustworthiness. “In other words, over time Google will be watching to see who consistently gets good social signals day-in and day-out as an indication of who should be trusted.”
  5. And finally, if you care about search rankings, you should blog because Google says so. Here, in its webmaster guidelines. And when it comes to SEO, well, they’re making the rules.

Ernesto Burden is VP Digital at Newspapers of New England.