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Why Blogging and SEO Work Well Together

Dec 8, 2007
Blogging is becoming one of the most popular ways to market a company, brand, personality or product on the Web. Why? Because search engines love content, and there is no better way to create and manage content on the Web than a blog. According to Technorati, there are over 60 million blogs on the Web, with over 100,000 being created every day. A lot of people have caught on to blogging, and there is plenty of room for more.

What is a Blog?
The word 'blog' is a slang compilation of two words; 'web' and 'log', or 'weblog'. Initially established as a way to publish computer log files, the original pioneers of blogging began publishing more and more interesting content. Today, bloggers post news, commentary, and even real time descriptions of events using blog software.

Think of a blog as an 'online journal'. 'Posts', as they are called, are short articles that are listed on your blog site in chronological order. Visiting a blog, you will notice that the most recent article is presented at the top, and earlier stories are listed below, or in an archive.

Blog software is available all over the Internet. Some of the more popular sources are Wordpress and Blogger. Our favorite is Wordpress because it is an 'open source' application that can be installed on your own server and customized.

A custom blog allows you to have more control over the look of the interface, and event to incorporate the blog into your existing site. This is of particular interest to companies who want to use blogging as a way to communicate with customers and keep fresh content at the forefront of their site; a great search engine strategy.

Blogging and SEO: Why is it such a Good Idea?

Search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, scour the Web looking for new content to index. In particular, they are looking for content that is 'keyword rich'; content that is full of relevant keywords. When content is keyword rich, it provides relevance for the site and allows a search engine to properly categorize your blog site into a particular market.

Keywords can be anything from the name of your product, to the name of your company, or the type of services you offer. Refining keywords with geographic specificity is a popular way to climb to the top of a search page in your particular region, even though you may be competing with a lot of sites on a national level. (For instance; 'lawn care' gets over 5.5 million hits, while 'utah lawn care' gets a more reasonable 1.2 million. The more times you can use a keyword in each post, the better.)

Websites that regularly update keyword rich content are considered 'alive and active' by the leading search engines, and are given priority over sites that are considered 'dormant' or 'stagnant'. If your site has not changed in over 60 days, you are in danger of being considered 'stagnant', and falling out of favor with the search engines.

Search engines gain popularity with users based on their ability to direct people to relevant sites that are alive and active with current content. How often do you want to visit a site that hasn't changed in over a year? The search engines feel the same way, and are reluctant to refer a site that hasn't been updated for a while.

Again; a blog is a great way to add content management to your existing site, and is a terrific way to get started on the Web with a basic web presence that can become a very effective marketing tool.

What Else Can a Blog Do?

Aside from writing content, you can do a lot of creative, and even productive things with a blog.

Blog systems provide the ability to upload files and attach them to your posts (articles). Having this ability means you can add your own graphics to each article, dressing them up with photos of people, places and products. You can also add full motion video, slide shows, and even link to You Tube or other streaming video hosting services.

Podcasting has become popular, and is a fun way to add audio to your articles. You can include music, sounds or interviews; virtually anything you can record can be added to your blog as an audio file.

One of the most common things to add to an article is a file such as a PDF or even a Word document. Linking files to your articles allows your readers to download those files, which can be anything from a photo, instructions, or a form to slides, video and audio.

There are also advanced marketing functions you can perform with a blog. By incorporating a subscription function, you can collect leads from your blog, and communicate with your audience via an automated email system. Each time you post a new article, your subscribers will automatically receive an email notification. Instant newsletter.

Getting Started

Blogging can be done in a number of ways; there are free options out there that allow you plenty of space to write all you can at no cost. If you are interested in creating a custom site, with your own graphics, extensions, and management options, you will want to establish a custom blog on your own domain.

If you already have a domain (such as www. yourname. com), it is best to establish your blog on a 'sub-domain'. Your Web guy will know how to do this. Name your sub-domain with a keyword for the best search engine optimization (such as widget. yourname. com).

If you are the technical type, or you have someone who takes care of your Web systems; take a look at wordpress. org and download a copy of their latest open source blog software. Once installed you are ready to go.
About the Author
Art Gib is a freelance writer. Read more about local Internet marketing and seo blog tactics at http://www.orangesoda.com/resources/marketing-and-your-blog/. Interested in developing an inexpensive custom blog, featuring your own graphics, technical support, and training that will get you started; contact us at the URL above. We'll be happy to get you started.
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