Lee Odden

SEO Benefits from Blogs

Is blog optimization part of search marketing? Absolutely! Blogs are web site content management systems with additional functionality such as comments, trackbacks and RSS. Blogs are really no different than web sites.

If you can optimize a document and that document gets indexed, categorized and ranked by a search engine, it’s part of search marketing in my book. As such, marketers should be aware of how these kinds of channels can be used within the overall online marketing mix. Blogs are one of many platforms that benefit from optimization.

I sincerely believe using blog software to manage certain kinds of content on a web site such as an online media room, to archive newsletters, post frequently asked questions and to provide product updates can make a site that is otherwise very search engine un-friendly, become a viable source of great rankings. This applies to both regular search engines as well as blog search engines. These are applications for a blog besides the common use as a platform to increase credibility and communicate a more personalized voice for a company.

Blogs are no silver bullet though and require working hard and smart – especially smart. However the payoff can be significant.

Online Marketing Blog receives the majority of it’s traffic from search engines. I can’t mention any of our clients, so I’ll risk being a bit vain and offer a few of our own examples. This is a blog after all and these are very practical, verifiable ranking examples.

The top referring search phrases in the past month for this blog include “marketing blog“, “online marketing“, “rss button” and “social bookmarks“. Even more niche phrases bring in quality search traffic such as, “blog optimization“, “press release optimization” and “social media optimization” which are all services our SEO firm provides.

Of course the rules can change slightly over time, but here are a set of benefits I often find myself explaining to people wondering about the search engine optimization benefits of having a blog.

  1. Structured content – Blog software with category features allows the aggregation of content according to themes. This makes it easier to algorithmically categorize content. If you can make it easier for search engines to understand your content, you have a much better chance of ranking well on those topics.
  2. Crawlable URLs – Most blog software offers uncomplicated URL structure, making it fairly easy for search engine spiders to find and crawl blog content.
  3. Internal links – Blogs that post product or service related information can deep link anchor text to product information or purchase pages deep within the web site. This is very beneficial for ranking on long tail phrases.
  4. Inbound link magnet – One of the biggest benefits, blogs link freely to each other – much more than web sites do. Blogs are also a significant source of many posts to social news and social media web sites. Text, audio and video are all easily supported for syndication by blogs. The more media available, the more likely it will attract incoming links. Additionally, there are many widgets and plugins that make it easy to share blog content, thus encouraging links and traffic.
  5. RSS – Links to RSS feed urls that use the blog domain name will assist in building link popularity and when RSS content is syndicated or cited by other blogs, any embedded links will also assist in sending traffic.
  6. Fresh content – Both readers and search engines reward fresh content with repeat visits. From a search engine perspective, that means your site can be crawled more frequently, allowing your new content to become searchable more quickly. Fresh content is also indicative of a more authoritative web site.
  7. Active community – Comments and trackback features in blog software encourage interaction. An active blog community creates the kinds of citations or signals from other sites (annotated and contextually relevant links) that search engines tend to reward in the rankings. Loyal blog readers can boost a site’s visibility through advocacy on other blogs, in forums offline at conferences as well as on their own blogs and within the comments of your blog.
  8. Non-Search traffic – I think the greatest benefit of having an active blog has little to do with improving your search engine rankings though. The best thing about blogs is that they allow you to generate substantial amounts of traffic via RSS and links that have NOTHING to do with search engines. My recommendation to marketers in 2007 is to pursue traffic alternatives to search engines as aggresively as their budgets and marketing programs will allow. The result will be incremental increases in site traffic with search engine referred traffic an added bonus, if not correspondingly enhanced.

Bonus benefit of a blog:
Blog & RSS Directories – With a blog and corresponding RSS feed(s), your site can now benefit from visibility within blog and RSS search engines. Web sites without feeds (your competition maybe?) are not included in these kinds of directories and search engines.

Here are a few additional blog marketing tips from this blog as well as a recent blog optimization article on Search Engine Land.

So there you go. A basic list of practical reasons a blog can be beneficial as a site optimization tool and for improved web site traffic. What SEO benefits have you found from having and promoted a blog?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. “The best thing about blogs is that they allow you to generate substantial amounts of traffic via RSS and links that have NOTHING to do with search engines.”

    Got to disagree with you there, Lee.

    Over 90% of my traffic comes from organic search, traffic that I have actively targeted with my articles.

    Out of this traffic, I’ve got a 15% loyalty rate, which is growing a percent every 2 weeks or so.

    Now, sparing you the full history, my current ‘blog is an experiment, and I’m keeping a very detailed diary, too.

    So I know what’s working for me and what isn’t, and if you’re like me and you talk up tech’ from a human angle, then search traffic is your friend.

    However, not all ‘bloggers will feel the same about that. Not all ‘blog will feed of organic search, but most will.

    Because of body of articles I had in place prior to Macworld, my traffic took off because of the strong content and good, well-written, concise article titles.

    That’s SEO working.

    What you’re proposing sounds more like SMO, but it would be great if you could clarify what you mean by:

    “My recommendation to marketers in 2007 is to pursue traffic alternatives to search engines as aggressively as their budgets and marketing programs will allow.”

    What are these alternatives?

    Speak to you soon…

  2. Hey Wayne, thanks for the comments. I think you missed an important part of the post, “Online Marketing Blog receives the majority of it

  3. I would love to have that 7,893 Alexa rank button on my blog. But you are absolutely right.

    As bloggers, we cannot overlook the importance of proper SEO. If anything ever happened to these social bookmarking sites, thousands of blog owners would be looking for another way to occupy their time.

  4. It’s time that we start with a English version of our Dutch blog. On http://www.dutchcowboys.nl we wrote over 2.500 articles in 24 months about Search (SEM) and mostly about Google.

    Pagerank of 7 and a Alexa trafficrank of 12,692

  5. Right on Barry. Blogs don’t have to be “blogs” do they? Slog is interesting – seems more like a verb though. 🙂

  6. Avatar Barry Welford says

    I think blogs provide one of the most important ways of getting extra traffic. I believe the effects are magnified if the blog becomes an integral part of the company website. Ideally it should become a seamless part of the website. I’ve coined the term Slog (short for Site Weblog) for this blogging section of a website.

  7. That’s a great example Michael! The great thing is that in time, you should be getting great visibility on both blog search engines and regular engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN.

  8. I have found as a lawyer, having a blog on my web site has a much greater impact on my business through technorati, then the search engines themselves. For example, I have had reporters call me and request an interview on a specific legal subject I have blogged. This creates many additional links to my site, but more importantly it enhances my firm’s brand.

  9. Hi Carla, feel free to link away.

  10. Avatar Carla Still says

    Hi! Nice and well written article! I am a Virtual Assistant developing my own blog. Currently, I am writing an article on the benefits of blogging. Can I link back to this article??? Thanks! 🙂

  11. I understand that RSS feeds are important because you can embed keywords within the links and it provides updated pages but I’m curious as to just how much impact RSS feeds have with link popularity since RSS is an XML based format for content distribution. Can search engines identify the links as coming from a feed and therefore see it as less qualified?

  12. […]I agree, u must do optimize a document and that document gets indexed, categorized and ranked by a search engine.
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  13. Great Article and very helpful indeed as a new blogger!!


  14. Does anyone know any good seo blog software that is compatible with a website on a windows server written with asp classic and sql server. Almost evrything out there appears to be PHP?


  15. Great article — thanks!

    I love Blogs (and probably Slogs, soon) but as I’m only just experimenting, I’d also love some advice.

    What I need to know is this: Which is better for SEO — your website *linked* to your blog or a website *created in blogging software*?

    And is it best to have your website/blog hosted on your own server (as you can with WordPress) or to use something like TypePad and have them host it for you?

    I’m sooooo tempted to rebuild my website in blog software — so much easier for me than Dreamweaver — but I’m really not sure which option!

    Thanks! (And hope that all made some sense!)

  16. Jane, you’re asking an age-old blogging question.

    Your web site is pretty straight forward and as a writer, having your site setup with blog software might do a better job representing your skills and messaging than a regular web site.

    If you keep your site using Dreamweaver, then add WordPress to the same server so your blog address is a sub directory: yourdomainname.co.uk/blog

  17. Excellent points made by all. The importance of Blogs has increased tremendously in the last 3 years.

  18. Our company started using blogs for SEO about a year ago and have increased google search traffic 8,000 percent over that time.

    All I can say is…it works!

  19. Lee, thank you for that! Seems like I’m thinking along the right lines. Which is a relief.

    And, TJ — that’s an impressive quote! I shall add it to my Proof-That-Blogging-Is-Good-For-You folder and pass it on.

    “All I can say is…it works!” sums it up nicely!

  20. Great !!! So blogs may be the key to get the benefit in SEO field..Good keep it up.

  21. That is right. Blogs are the important part of SEO, far more beneficial for bring the quality traffic, and whole lota more.

  22. True, blogs would yield more and form an important part of online marketing as slogs (loved the term “slog”).

  23. Great post. Blogs are a very natural way to attract links. I’d love to see a post on how to get your company to blog. Particularly if you are dealing with a large, conservative company.

  24. Nice post…Blogs are simplier to create and optimize than websites..

  25. In order to use a blog to increase my sites site ranking (SEO) does it make a difference if my blog is hosted at my site or hosted at say blogger or wordpress?

  26. I understand that RSS feeds are important because you can embed keywords within the links and it provides updated pages but I

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