Allow me to immediately clarify my title.
Keywords and optimisation still is, and always will be, hugely important for online content to be found in search engines. Although we’ve moved away (phew!) from the dark days of keyword stuffing and the like, writing a sonnet or haiku about your industry instead with no regard for optimisation, although undoubtedly quirky and creative, will not help with your organic search performance.
Right, so now I’ve cleared that up, what exactly am I getting at with my title?
If your brand’s website has a blog, what are you trying to achieve by having one? On any given day you can browse hundreds of sites with blogs buried at the bottom of home pages, which contain content that could send an insomniac to sleep.
These types of blogs are often bereft of many other facets that could make them at least vaguely useful. Pamela Vaughan from Hubspot provides a good summary of things that make a bad blog post here.
But what do you think site owners with these kind of blogs are hoping to get out of blogging? I personally think that they believe in two things.
First, they see a blog as something nice to have on a site, or even something that they think they need to have on their site, but they don’t see content as a powerful means of generating traffic, leads and organic search performance.
Secondly, and this is really now the point of my title, perhaps they do see the SEO benefits, but that’s all they see. They may start a new blog post with the only brief a keyword or set of keywords that they intend to target in the post. The topic? Whatever they can pluck out of thin air or what they think might be nice to write about, but whatever it is they mustn’t forget about the keywords.
These kind of blogs won’t be shared on social channels, basically because no one will want to actually read them, let alone post onto their Twitter or Facebook accounts. And because they had no consideration for audience or shareability to begin with, what the heck did the site owner expect anyway?
Also, if you’re employing a copywriter, why are you even paying them? If you’re blogging just for keywords sake, what’s the point? If you want to produce content that’s not going to actually do anything other than sit at the bottom of your home page that no one is going to read, save your money and do it yourself. Also, copywriter’s are creative people, let them be creative!
Blogs should no longer be ‘nice to haves’. By thinking about your audience rather than keywords, you will produce something that provides so much more value. What kind of questions are your customers asking, for example? You could address these with informative blog posts that answer their questions, they’ll read it and then be more inclined to share it on social networks. Oh, and what do you know, as a result, that impacts positively on your SEO.
Furthermore, you can optimise your content straight away with your headline, leaving you free to be as creative as you possibly can for the rest of your article. So say our customers at Click Consult, for example, were asking questions such as “What are the benefits of blogging?”, we could produce a piece of content with the title “The benefits of blogging- a 10 step checklist” and immediately we’ve optimised our content for keywords and phrases that people will be searching for.
High quality content is now the key to high organic search rankings and your blog is a powerful tool. Take the emphasis away from keywords and make generating ideas and thinking about your readers and customers your top blogging priorities.
This will also please your previously under utilised creative copywriter, too.