When it comes to marketing a brand, there are endless options to choose from. Although every digital channel has something unique to offer, the first option brands should consider when enhancing their marketing strategy is a blog. A blog is one of the most effective ways to boost brand awareness and reach your target audiences by authoring content that is relevant to their searches. 

Before you race to your computer, you’ll need to outline a few things, starting with finalizing your topic and focus. Establishing a topic will help you to determine the niche your blog will fit into, and showcase your brand as a market leader within the industry. To set your blog up for success from the beginning, consider your brand’s purpose and audience; this will help you identify the right keywords and phrases to ensure your blog will drive readers toward your website. 

Even with the right blog positioning, Search engine optimization (SEO) is a tough topic due to constantly shifting trends and algorithms. Blogging is an excellent, user-friendly step to take toward driving more organic website traffic. If you’re still skeptical about how blogging can contribute to your SEO, here are the top ways that a blog can be valuable to your brand: 

Keep your website fresh.

If you’re like most people, when you stumble on a website that hasn’t been updated in years, you’re likely to exit immediately and never return. Google is the same way; when a website or its content hasn’t been updated for a while, it will move on past it to find the next best search result for the user. Therefore, websites that are updated have a much higher chance of ranking higher as a search result than pages that are stale. 

A best practice is to to release content at least once per week. By publishing fresh content, users will be more likely to trust that your brand is up-to-date on the latest in the industry and, therefore, more trustworthy. When a user feels your content is credible, they’re also more likely to share it across digital channels, greatly improving your SEO. 

Increases ‘dwell time.’ 

Dwell time is defined as the length of time a user spends looking at a webpage after they’ve clicked a link on a search engine results page (SERP), before returning back to the SERP results. It’s a key metric in determining how well your website is performing and can provide valuable insight related to what your audience seems to be most interested in. However, dwell time doesn’t only provide you with feedback; Google likely uses this metric in its algorithm to decide where a website ranks (this is not confirmed, but highly speculated by SEO Experts). The longer the dwell time, the more likely it is that your website ranking will rise.

It takes approximately 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. What can you do to make the best impression in such a short amount of time? Publish content that is relevant and tailored to your specific audience. 

Identifies long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are keywords that are more specific. Long-tail keywords gain less traffic, but they have a higher conversion rate due to fitting within more of a niche. Although relevant keywords should be included in blog posts, long-tail keywords are incredibly valuable. Due to the incredibly competitive nature of SEO, your content has a higher chance of reaching your target audience with more specific keywords than those that are more general. Long-tail keywords can help you to identify specifically what your audience is interested in and pinpoint their needs by targeting more specific searches. 

Learn about your audience. 

As you begin to create content, it’s important to resist the urge to “set it and forget it.” Even after content is published, you’ll need to pay attention to which blogs are getting the most traffic and shares, as these topics are huge hints toward what topics are likely to drive your SEO and earn more conversions.  

The more you’re able to improve your SEO with blog content, the higher your website will rank, as well. As you begin to hone in on topics that perform well, more users will land on your website and become followers, increasing overall traffic. Bonus points: creating stellar, SEO-driven content will also help you to build a loyal brand following. 

Get expert help.

This all sounds amazing, but let’s be honest: running a business is difficult, and finding the time to create SEO-focused content doesn’t always make the cut on the to-do list. If the thought of creating and maintaining a blog still feels like a massive undertaking, then there’s good news: you can hire someone to take care of it for you. 

No matter your industry, a blog is a powerful tool to help your website reach higher rankings and earn more organic traffic. Whether you take on the task of blogging yourself or hire an Expert to help, you’ll quickly begin to reap the benefits that quality content can bring to your business.

This article was written by Alex Sixt, a member of the Entrepreneur NEXT powered by Assemble content team.

Source: Entrepreneur