Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the phrase on everyone’s tongue these days. It refers to the techniques that owners of web pages use to boost their ranking on search engines. Basically, it’s how to maximize the traffic a web page gets from users searching keywords or phrases related to the page. This is particularly important to businesses, where getting clicks (and the right kind of clicks) leads to making money. There are a myriad of techniques companies and people use to optimize their pages for search engines, but one that’s becoming increasingly popular is hosting blogs, publishing articles, and other content on their websites, in hopes of attracting curious users who will then make a purchase, visit advertisers, or share the content with their social media circle. Here’s how using blogs and articles can take your SEO efforts to the next level.
Types of Traffic
It’s important to single out the kind of traffic we aim to increase through hosting blogs and articles. There’s direct traffic - coming from users typing in a URL or clicking a bookmarked link. We can’t maximize this traffic unless we introduce users to the site through other means first. Then there’s paid traffic - clicks resulting from paid advertisements, placed on search engines or other sites. With a limited budget to spend on these paid ads, we instead aim to increase “organic” traffic - that is, the clicks coming from results on a search engine, results that occur there “organically” without paid placement. Of course, these results don’t just show up there by random chance. We use SEO to earn a place near the top of these results, thereby maximizing organic traffic without paying hand over fist for an artificially inflated ranking. This is where blogs and articles come in.
Maximizing Your Money
When it comes to SEO, budgets are often limited, particularly for small businesses, which is why we’re focusing on organic traffic. Hosting content that people want to click on - content that promises to be entertaining, helpful, or educational - is a great way to attract organic traffic, getting users in the door before explicitly attempting to sell them on anything. Thus, the cheapskate SEO pro has an eye on content that attracts organic traffic without costing much to produce. Obviously, video content is eye-catching, modern, and attractive to users with short attention spans, but it’s often expensive to produce - hiring a third party to create a video isn’t cheap, and doing it in-house can be a lot of investment for a potentially small return.
The Cheaper Option
This is where articles and blog posts come in. They cost a fraction of what a multimedia production does, they can be embedded easily as links from other pages, and you can load them with the keywords you’re aiming to optimize for. Commissioning or buying blog articles (or writing your own) is an amazing shortcut to organic traffic - it’s cheap, effective, and deceptively deep. The amount of tinkering you can do to make each post generate maximum traffic, with keywords, headlines, tags, and embedded links, is mind-boggling. Since the overhead for producing or buying a blog or article is so low, you can essentially throw things at the wall and see what sticks (by using analytics to track which blogs are grabbing traffic and increasing your ranking). And hosting blogs and articles is proven to work.