Does Google even pay attention to blogs these days?
Blogs have been around since the earliest days of the internet. But in the age of instant answers and AI-driven search, are blog posts still relevant? Does Google even care about blog posts anymore? The answer is a resounding YES!
Every new blog post offers a wealth of marketing opportunities
Blog posts can have a significant positive impact on organic rankings, especially if you follow Google's Guidelines on writing useful, helpful, people-first content. Even in the fast-moving age of AI-written content, where anyone can produce a mountain of blog posts rather quickly, blog content is still one of the most useful elements of any marketing campaign.
In this post we'll share a few reasons we love blog posts, and we’ll explain how marketing professionals use blogs to increase rankings, build positive sentiment, and improve UX on any website.
What is a blog?
Literally, the term "blog" is short for "web log," which is defined as an online journal or diary that discusses one or many topics within a specific subject. In the early days of the internet, blogs were among the first user-operated websites.
In the 2010s, the term "blog" and "website" became somewhat interchangeable, as Multi-Author Blogs (MABs) like Gawker and Huffpost took blogging to a whole new level. In the commercial world, the term "blog" generally refers to the section of a website dedicated to long-form, editorial, and narrative content.
These days, blogs are used in a variety of commercial applications, including eCommerce. Since Shopify allows users to create as many blog sections as they want, many Shopify websites will have multiple blogs designed to satisfy different users' needs. For example, one of our clients in the seafood delivery vertical uses blog sections to organize their non-product content according to user intent. This delivers a much better user experience because it makes it easier for users to find what they're looking for.
What is a blog post?
Technically speaking, there are a number of defining characteristics that separate "blog posts" from regular page content. The most noticeable difference between "pages" and "blogs" is that blog posts have a user comments section.
However, keep in mind that comments are not a requirement for blog posting. Many publishers choose to turn off blog comments to cut down on spam comments like, "great post! need viagra? visit definitelynotascam.org"
Defining characteristics of blog posts:
- Blogs can have a user comments section
- Blog posts appear in chronological order (or reverse chronological order)
- Blog Posts are dynamic, and are updated on a regular schedule
- Blog Posts have a timestamp that displays the publishing date and time
- Blog posts can be assigned categories and tags to make them easier to browse
- Blog Posts can appear in RSS feeds, allowing users to subscribe to a publisher's feed
- Blog Posts display the name of the post author
What can blog posts do for your brand?
There are three primary commercial functions served by blog posts:• Provide a better experience for users
• Increase visibility in search engines
• Enhance technical SEO strategies
So, how exactly do blog posts accomplish these 3 functions? After all, aren't blogs just a holdover from 20th century internet? Not at all! Even in 2023, a full 30 years after the first blog post was published, blogs are more valuable than ever for commercial brands who are trying to make waves online. Here are a few reasons we love blog posts in 2023.
6 reasons why marketing professionals love blog posts
1. Blogs broaden your keyword profile and extend your reach
Blogs are the perfect platform to introduce new concepts and new keywords, without changing core messaging, editing product descriptions, or risking the appearance of keyword stuffing. Blogs are also a great place to discuss topics that are important to your brand, but may not be directly relevant to one specific product or collection.
2. Blogs provide a platform to discuss special techniques, unique parts & proprietary materials
Blog posts are the perfect place to discuss specific features, parts and materials that you want to highlight, without stealing focus from your products or collections. You can go in-depth with technical specifications, discuss the how and why behind your products, or delve into the various use-cases for your offerings. Blog posts are also the perfect platform for explaining niche and off-label uses for your products in a "non-official" capacity.
3. Blogs are the best platform for in-depth, long form, or multi-part content
Let’s face it: when shopping online, most internet users prefer short-form, easy reads. That’s why the optimal product description is less than 500 words. But some users prefer to do extensive research into products and brands before they consider buying. Long-form blog posts are great discovery tools that help users gain a better understanding of your brand and products, without cluttering your PDP’s with 2500-word descriptions.
4. Blog posts are packed with technical SEO opportunities
Every time we create a new website page, it creates dozens of opportunities to use a bit of SEO strategy and get an edge on the competition. Every new blog page is a new page title, a new H1, a new set of H2’s, new anchor links, a new meta title, a new meta description, and new page content that can be optimized to increase visibility for one or many keywords.
5. Connect with your industry through resources and learning materials
Blogs are a terrific platform for publishing supplemental information about your brand or products, without cluttering navigation menus or distracting from the sales funnel. You can use blog posts to discuss obscure technical specifications, address niche audiences, or build an audience of industry professionals and other advanced users. You can even invite other industry professionals to appear as guest authors on your blog.
6. Blogs let you address smaller audiences without changing your core messaging strategy
Blogs are the perfect forum for conversation and opinions that appeal to niche audiences. You can publish fresh perspectives on your products or brand, or address time-sensitive current events and recent news stories that are relevant to your industry, without touching your evergreen core content.