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Mark Preston

Blogging SEO: The Truth, The Whole Truth & Nothing But The Truth

Blogging SEO

Over the past couple of weeks I have been asking my followers over on Twitter what SEO marketing tips they want to read and understand. Although I got quite varied responses, which I am working through, one thing stood out from the crowd. Many people still do not understand Blogging SEO.

Now, anyone who is reading this post that knows of me, will know that I launched my website (Mark Preston SEO) back in April 2016. They will also know that I have yet to publish my first post on my own site. I just thought I would mention this before I start receiving comments like – “How can you write about blogging SEO if you haven’t published a single article on your own site?” A fair comment really. And my answer is simply that I have actually got quite a few articles already written to post on my blog. However, I wanted to spend 2016 building up my personal brand awareness and loyal follower base so when I do finally start blogging on my own site, each and every article will receive real impact (shares and links) because I have already built up a status.

What’s with the title?

No, you are not in a court room or reading a post on a legal blog. The title relates to how I write as I am a person who tells it as it is, without holding anything back. Sometimes it gets me into bother and I have caused quite a stir with a few articles I published on my LinkedIn Pulse profile but I would not have it any other way.

When it comes to SEO and digital marketing in general, there is so much trash written and published that provide no value to the audience at all. Many posts go down the same old boring road. And I am here to set the record straight and tell you to stop wasting your time and money, as well as give you a few tips along the way.

So, what is blogging SEO?

Simply put, it is the creation of articles that get published on your company or personal blog to drive a certain target audience to your website. We achieve this by getting each blog post ranking at the top of Google.

In my opinion, the process of writing articles, posting them on your blog and sharing them with your audience on social media to gain shares and links, only works if you have already built up a large loyal and active follower base who interact with you on a daily basis or you have created something that is far superior than anything else that has previously been published online.

The problem with this approach is only about 5% of all articles published online receive any impact at all. If an article does not receive any impact or gets ranked, you are wasting your time and money.

The inbound marketing approach works fantastic for some brands but it will only work for you if you have great resources, time and money to invest into the future growth of your brand. If you are not prepared to wait at least 12 months for a decent return and you are not prepared to invest heavily in building up your sales funnel by creating mind blowing content pieces and working your social media platforms night and day – don’t bother going down the inbound marketing road. Instead, invest your marketing budget into something that will actually drive new business.

Blogging SEO is not the same as inbound marketing

You might be thinking that blogging SEO is just another term for inbound marketing but as far as I am concerned, blogging SEO is very different. I train my clients to blog with the purpose of driving targeted visitors to their site through search engines such as Google. Once they land on the blog post, it needs to convert the visitor into a lead or sale. In other words, I totally skip the top few tiers of the sales funnel and concentrate on getting your articles ranked for the money keywords where your potential customers have already decided that they need your product or service, and they are just looking for a reputable supplier.

This blogging SEO approach has allowed me to provide a return on investment to my clients,a lot faster than inbound marketing allows.

Top 5 blogging SEO questions I get asked

road-sign-63983_1280There are far too many myths related to writing content that gets ranked well. Here are the top five questions I always get asked:

1. How many times a month should I be blogging?

Well it has been proven, sites that blog 15+ times a month receive the most traffic. But I question the quality of those visitors. Plus most of those visitors do not have the potential to turn into a new customer. It is my strongly considered opinion that it is better to create one fantastic piece of content per week. This should be fully optimised to get ranked for a long-tail money keyword. This will result in driving new business today, tomorrow and in a years’ time. As I have already said, there is no point at all in publishing 15+ articles per month if most of them just do not receive any impact.

2. How many words should I write for each blog post?

Someone over on Facebook at the weekend sent me a message saying “I’ve heard that a blog post of 500 words is no longer enough and we should start to write articles of 3,000+ to stand a chance of getting ranked”. This has got to be one of the biggest misconceptions relating to blogging and content length.

My advice would always be this. The length of the blog post should be as long or as short as it needs to be in order to satisfy the readers’ intent to ensure they convert from a prospect into a lead. If that means you can achieve this with 300 words or you need to write a 5,000 word article, so be it. I have seen an article with only 250 words ranking just as well as one that has a few thousand words.

3. What is your best content creation tip?

Over the past ten years, I must have read thousands of marketing related articles. I have to say that it is very rare I read the article word for word right till the end. Frankly, most blog posts these days are just not good enough. They have been written just to get the numbers in without any thought to the reader at all.

I travel the UK training in-house marketing teams in the art of ethical SEO technique. As you would imagine, blogging does crop up. In order to ensure the team has grasped the concept of blogging, I set them a little task that goes something like this:

I start off by saying:

Before you even think about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) when writing your next blog post, say to yourself –

‘What IMPACT do I want to generate from this piece of content?’

I usually give the team two minutes to think about this question. It is amazing that a question so simple can stump so many people. Once everyone in the room has come up with an answer to this question, I then say:

Now write the article to ensure your desired impact is met and achieved

Once you grasp this, your writing skills will get a lot better and the articles will just flow naturally.

4. Does blogging increase rankings?

The act of adding new content on a regular basis to your website does NOT increase your rankings. Last week I worked with a company who turned over around £3m. They brought me in to train their staff as their website was not ranking on the first page for anything. When I looked at their website, I noticed that the company was very active at blogging and the articles was decent quality. Still though, the site was not ranking.

When I asked the staff about their blog, they informed me that they had been told that in order to rank high on Google, they needed to keep adding fresh content to their website. So they started a large content creation campaign.

The fact is, blogging only helps to increase rankings if the content you publish generates impact (links) or your site already has built up such a fantastic amount of authority, everything you publish starts to rank high straight away.

5. When you say quality content, what exactly do you mean?

  • Content that has been well written for your audience
  • Is spelling and grammar error free
  • Satisfies the users’ intent
  • Builds trust
  • Converts well

 

This doesn’t happen overnight. A good trick I have found very useful is after you have proofread the article a couple of times, stand up and read it out aloud to someone else to see if it makes perfect sense. If there is nobody else in the room, just read it our aloud to yourself as you will soon know if it works or not.

I could go on forever

The only problem I have when it comes to blogging is that I just get carried away. One day I had got so wound up due to a conversation I had with a potential customer relating to ethical SEO, that when I got home, I started to write a tweet about it. But that tweet ended up being a 1,164 words and published on my LinkedIn profile.

The response I received though was fantastic and to date that single article has gained 2,156 views, 129 likes and 59 comments. It also was the direct result of securing a 5 figure contract and continues to be a great lead generator. How? Simply because the impact I wanted to generate from this article was – I always put ethics before money and will not do anything that will have a negative effect on the future of your business; even if you ask.

Let’s chat!

I’m really interested to hear your own thoughts and experiences on the whole blogging SEO subject. Even if you don’t agree with me; that’s perfectly fine. I’m always up for a good debate. I’m also happy to answer any questions you may have, so just post a message below and I will answer every single one. If you don’t want your message public, you can always connect with me at @MarkPreston1969 or on LinkedIn.

Thanks for taking the time to read the whole article. I must have done something right if you didn’t get bored half way through.

 

Images: https://pixabay.com/en/seo-google-search-engine-896174/

https://pixabay.com/en/road-sign-attention-right-of-way-63983/

 

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Profile photo of Mark Preston
Mark has worked within the SEO and digital marketing industry for over 15 years. He has spent ten years at Director Level, running and building agencies, working with companies and brands of all levels. In April 2016, Mark decided to pack the agency life in to become a freelance SEO consultant, promoting his own brand awareness through Mark Preston SEO. He now travels around the UK, training marketing teams on ethical SEO techniques.