SEO, increasingly, is becoming a bona fide discipline, an industry to be reckoned with. With an increase in prominence comes an increase in exposure, and an attendant increase in the level of knowledge evinced by the populace. For example, relatives, when they inevitably ask what I do, are no longer inevitably slackjawed. People know what it is, this thing we do. Sort of.
Thusly, potential clients are approaching us with a limited education, an idea of what they need. Toward that end, one of the questions I get, with rapidly growing frequency, is “should we have a blog?”
My answer is, do you want one?
Followed by, are you sure?
A blog can serve many purposes, one of the most important being to bridge the gap between your customers and your organization. If your CEO is participating, no longer is he/she a suit on the “About Us” page, the result of an increasingly-generic combination of education and experience (it takes more, in this day, in this age, than an MBA from Pepperdine to impress people); with a blog, an executive offers the rare chance for the client or stakeholder to see the person behind the obligatory photo, the list of accomplishments. Through a regular blog a corporation can establish a dialog, speaking directly to constituents, “one-on-one,” as it were. A nice fringe benefit of this conversation is that it results in a lot of new content for your site, which, if properly optimized, can hold considerable weight in search engine rankings.
We’re obviously sold on them.
So, should you have a blog?
Do you want one?
If you want to have a blog simply for the purpose of increasing your search engine rankings, you might want to think again. Do you have the time and resources to maintain this dialog, this relationship? A blog’s not a one-off; it’s a long-term commitment, and the more you post, the better. When you start one, you’re starting a conversation, and if you get bored, get up and walk away, your efforts are going to be transparent. Transparent and off-putting, the online equivalent of a salesperson whose wage is entirely commission-based finding out you’re not a potential customer. Conversation over. You mean you don’t care what I think about the Superbowl? You don’t actually think my kids are cute? When you asked me about the weather, that wasn’t coming from the heart? Well up yours, friend; I’m going home.
Do blogs help search engine positions? Sure, the way any great content helps search engine positions. From a strict SEO standpoint they have lost a bit of their lustre, thanks to the advent of the splog and the attendant SE algorithm adjustments. But they’re still good.
This is going to sound strange coming from someone whose job it is to sell SEO services: SEO strictly for the sake of SEO is a bad idea, and leads to inferior practices and ugly, unusable websites. And there are enough of those already. Don’t write a blog simply for the sake of SEO. Write it because you have something to say.
And if you have something to say, we’re happy to help you spread the word.