By Kimi Miller.

There are a ton of buzz-worthy terms in digital marketing, but none are as important to your digital (and overall) marketing strategy as blogging. Blogging is a cornerstone of the foundation for content marketing, social media, earned media, and search optimization. If your company can pull off a great, keyword-rich blog, it’ll provide a long-term and sustainable ROAS.

People are searching the Internet in new ways, and anyone can throw some money at targeted ad buys, but agencies with data and content-driven marketing strategies are the ones poised to win.

It all starts with earning organic traffic.

1. Increase Site Relevancy

One of the most important search criteria for gaining Google’s trust is your domain’s relevancy. The more inbound links you have from reputable domains, the higher you’re likely to rank in Google’s SERPs because you’ll be seen as a relevant resource. However, gaining these backlinks can prove difficult, especially for ecommerce or branded sites that don’t have a blog.

A consistently updated blog (even if it’s only one or two posts a month while ramping up) is your opportunity to fill pages within your domain with insightful and useful information that may eventually gain backlinks. This is typically a long-term play, but there is a way to improve your chances.

Use a mix of evergreen and topical content that’s likely to be relevant in your industry. For example: if you run an air conditioning repair company, evergreen content like infographics of statistics for electricity, sustainability, and appliances, along with topical content about new product releases and industry trends, go a long way in building your domain’s reputation. This is true with both Google and Internet researchers combing for statistics for their own blogs.

2. Build Reputable Backlinks

Using your blog as a portfolio, your next step is to guest post as a thought leader across blogs, websites, and media sites to gain backlinks through earned media. Gaining a guest post or even a column in mainstream media outlets like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, and the Wall Street Journal can really boost your site’s SEO rankings.

However, this can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. So a shortcut is to register for as a source. This service signs you up for an email list of topics currently being researched by journalists around the globe. If you participate as a source for these articles, you’ll gain a mention in the article, often with a link back to your website. Both will ultimately help your SEO efforts, although a backlink is especially helpful in raising your domain authority.

Having your name and company endorsed by the editors of a prestigious publication gives your words more value, exposes you to more platforms, and draws in more qualified leads over the long term. Keep reaching out to any sites with authority in your industry to gain a reputation that extends beyond search engines (although it helps there too).

3. Raise Long-Tail Keyword Ranking

To build a great blog, you’ll need to divide everything into categories and tags. Categories should be broad and related to your industry. An eBay marketing platform would want blogs related to eBay’s sales categories, sellers tips, etc., whereas a commercial construction company would want categories for each industry it serves.

Within these categories, you’ll need to research long-tail keywords. This will help you to figure out what information users are searching for in regards to your target categories. These long-tail keywords will become the basis of each blog article posted in each category.

Start with the highest value search terms using Google AdWords Keyword Finder and SEMRush, and brainstorm 10-20 topics to figure out what articles to write. Search the selected topics/terms (e.g. typing them into the Google search bar) to see what’s already ranking on page one. This will ultimately help you create better content and give you insight into what your competition is posting.

4. Add User-Generated Content

By writing insightful, meaningful, and useful blog content, you’ll naturally build organic traffic to your domain. Readers will eventually start commenting, and as more traffic flows, a handful of your blog articles may become discussion pages for specific topics. This process is much easier when you have useful information on niche topics that don’t already have a million discussions happening all over the Internet.

You can encourage blog commenting by commenting on other blogs with links to your blog articles. But be aware that depending on how much time you want to put into it, this is a task that can take an entire marketing team to accomplish. Keeping up on current discussions related to your blog topics provides contextual backlinks pointing to interior pages on your domain and raises your search ranking.

Over time, user-generated comments can exponentially increase a page’s content as well as the amount of time users spend on page during each session.

5. Age Matters

Once you have a blog going, the trick is to keep it going. Many websites are taken down or archive content. After a decade of hard work, you may find only a small percentage of your actual links are still around. Auditing for dead links is important to keep your blog active and at the top of SERPs.

Google and other search engines reward longevity, so the longer you can keep your blog (and the reference links to it) alive, the more fruitful the results will be. With a blog, you’re not just building SEO links – you’re actively engaging with the media industry and contributing to the knowledge pool of the world at large. This is how you build a sustainable shelf life for your brand.

A stagnant blog may end up doing more harm than good to your brand, so it’s important to keep publishing great content. A professional content team can make this happen, and it’s often a good idea to hire outside help to ensure content doesn’t become overly promotional.

6. Gain Social Media Content

Blogs are also great because they help build social content. When optimized correctly, blog articles come with an image and snippet that can be promoted across multiple social media platforms. This provides a great opportunity to share links across social sites without coming off as overly promotional.

While there’s debate about the effectiveness of social media on SEO, there’s no doubt social links such as LinkedIn and Facebook do show up in search results in various ways. A marketing agency with specialized blogging and social media teams can go a long way in building your site’s long-term search rankings.

If you’re still not convinced that a blog can increase your search rankings and revenues, give us a call, and we’ll be happy to walk you through case studies and analytics from our clients. Blogging is a serious business, and we only allow the best content to pass through our hands.

By Kimi Miller

Sourced from VolumeNine