Blogging for SEO: Fundamentals and impact

If you hope to improve your website’s visibility and increase organic traffic, then you should definitely keep blogging for SEO at the top of your marketing strategy.

Person yells into a megaphone in front of a city scene

Blogging is a longstanding tradition of content marketing and remains a cornerstone of search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Even if a post never goes viral on social media, your blog is still valuable to your SEO efforts, improving visibility, demonstrating your expertise, and driving more organic traffic to your website. 

What is blogging?

Blogging has been around since the early days of the internet in the 1990s. You might consider blogging an online extension of journaling since most examples of the earliest blogs mimic what you’d see in someone’s diary or journal. The name “blog” was truncated from “weblog,” a term coined by Jorn Barger in 1997 to describe websites that early bloggers used to share their personal lives online. 

As a term, “weblog” demonstrated the process by which these early journalers “logged the web.” This gave way to its evolution to “weblogging” and, eventually, “blog,” as adapted by Peter Morholz (fun fact: Peter Morholz went on to become the eventual head designer at both Groupon and OpenTable 😯). 

Once platforms specifically designed for blogging, including Blogger, LiveJournal, and Xanga, launched, both the term and practice exploded in popularity around the turn of the 21st century. With the dawn of 2003’s AdSense (Google), WordPress, and TypePad, blogging cemented itself into the cultural zeitgeist as a way for individuals and companies to reach large audiences via a single online article or feed. 

Although there are still plenty of hobbyist bloggers, the practice has now evolved within the marketing world to describe the production of a steady stream of useful, relevant, and audience-tailored content. Blogs can cover anything from personal experiences to business insights or product reviews, how-to guides, subject matter expertise, and more. The sky is truly the limit for this dynamic medium that continues to connect audiences with individuals and organizations across the globe. 

SEO blogging fundamentals

SEO blogging takes the connection that blogs provide a step further and combines what we know about search engine optimization with the art of writing a compelling blog. When you write blogs with SEO in mind, your goal is to create high-quality, readable content that appeals to both readers and search engines like Google and Bing. Without abandoning your readers, you also write to ensure your blog ranks well in search engine results (SERPs). 

How to blog for SEO

These days, there are many things to consider when blogging for audiences and search engines alike. As search engines become more attuned to users’ intents and search behaviors, it’s more important than ever to write with industry trends and search engine algorithm changes in mind. Fortunately, a few principles of SEO blogging can help guide these efforts:

  • Publish high-quality content: Valuable, well-written, and exciting content is still paramount in today’s climate. Your blog posts should address topics and ideas your audience is interested in, answer their questions, and provide them with helpful information.
  • Put in the time for keyword research: Knowing the words and phrases that your audience uses to find information online is half the battle of SEO (and writing in general, honestly). Robust keyword research can help you pinpoint these terms and then carefully insert them into your content in a natural, meaningful way.
  • Post consistently: When you maintain a regular post cadence, your audience will grow to rely on you as a source of active, relevant information. Consistent posting also signals to search engines that your blog actively provides valuable content for users.
  • Add on-page optimization: Each blog post should include optimized titles, meta descriptions/titles, headings, and image alt text so that search engines have no questions about the material contained within it. As a bonus, well-organized blog content is more accessible for people and web readers to read, too.
  • Build those backlinks: A network of meaningful backlinks boosts your blog’s credibility and subject matter authority for search engines and users. Backlinks are like a stamp of approval from other individuals or organizations, and they serve as a way for websites to vouch for one another virtually. Mutual backlinks benefit both websites, as users see each “approves” of the other, and search engines recognize and reward the virtual networking effort with higher search result positions.

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of SEO blogging, let’s explore the impact of this work on real-life business outcomes. 

The impact of SEO blogging

As blogging grows and expands alongside the internet, SEO blogging becomes even more valuable. It’s now more important than ever that companies produce content that readers are more likely to consider compelling and helpful and that search engines are more likely to surface. Each new update to the search engines’ algorithms presents new challenges (looking at you, artificial intelligence), but the core objective remains: Consistently publish valuable and interesting articles that draw more eyeballs to you and your offerings. 

Following are just a few ways SEO blogging can seriously impact your search engine ranking and, ultimately, your bottom line.

Build and maintain authority in your field

Expertly crafted content published at consistent intervals helps build your brand’s reputation in your industry or niche. People (future customers) naturally gravitate toward your products and services when you provide valuable answers, solutions, and anecdotes because they learn to trust you. And search engines usually respond in kind: If a page or site is frequented for the answer to a specific question, that page or site is more likely to continue appearing in search results for that - and related - queries.

Clearly target your audience

No longer do we write meandering blog posts about things that happened during our day, what we had for lunch, or our thoughts on the Theseus’s Ship problem. When we write blogs for SEO, we write blogs with purpose. After all, we want people who are genuinely interested in what we offer to find their way to our websites for our business. That’s why we do all that keyword research: When we optimize content for specific keywords, we can draw in a targeted audience more likely to engage, convert, and keep coming back for more.  

Stand out in search

One of the most potent effects of SEO blogging is its role in improving your discoverability and visibility by search engines. When you optimize your content for relevant search keywords and phrases, Google and Bing are more likely to rank it higher. And when your content is ranked higher in search results, it’s significantly easier for people looking for the information you provide to find you. 

Gain resilience to industry changes

No matter what else changes in digital marketing, blogging for SEO remains a steadfast, reliable source of authority and traffic to your website(s). You can easily adjust your content strategy in response to search engine algorithm updates, keeping your content competitive, relevant, and enjoyable. SEO blogging provides a layer of flexibility that protects your online presence from becoming boring or stagnant: As search engines adjust to users, you do the same. Do people in your field heavily engage with video blogs? Then you can provide them. Are users enjoying written guides and infographics in your niche? Then, written guides and infographics will be on the content calendar! SEO blogging helps keep it simple to make adjustments based on what performs in your industry.  

Invest in long-term, cost-effective marketing

We should have led with this one! Unlike paid advertising, the up-front investment for SEO blogging is time more than money. In fact, compared with paid advertising, your ROI on blogs may be higher, and the investment itself is often lower. And while blogging for SEO requires consistency and maintenance, much like gardening, the long-term gains usually outpace the costs quickly. Well-optimized blog posts have the potential to bring organic traffic to your virtual door for months, even years, after publication, providing even more long-term value. 

The future of SEO blogging

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, there’s much ongoing discussion about the impact of blogs on websites, especially as blog writing pertains to SEO. You’ve likely seen/heard rumblings of these conversations in online forums, the news, or at conferences. The SEO world is justifiably abuzz with speculation about how AI’s reach will continue to impact organic blog traffic across all industries. 

But for now, it’s still just speculation. Time has shown, over and over again, that compelling, well-structured, and authentic blog content still brings people together online. AI will likely play a role going forward, and smart marketers will find a way to incorporate all of the new AI tools into what we know works, but only time will reveal to us exactly how. For now, we know that blogging for SEO works, and it’s here to stay. 

SEO blogging with By the Pixel

Our writing team members at By the Pixel pride themselves on their ability to plan, write, and edit awesome SEO blog content that targets and converts audiences in a wide variety of fields. With a demonstrated track record, we’re proud to offer industry-tailored content strategy and production, and we love a challenge. Feel free to check out our work and reach out if you need help optimizing your blog for SEO or something else entirely.