Want to Blog Smarter? SEO Expert Lew Sabbag Explains How.

Lew SLew Sabbagabbag is the founder of Publish Today Media, a Boston-based firm that provides a full range of Internet marketing services, including search engine optimization (SEO). Last month, we talked with Lew about The SEO Essentials. This time around, we discussed how to get the biggest SEO bang out of your blog.

I think many people don’t understand all the benefits of blogging. For instance, tell us how blogging can help with SEO.

Blogging can definitely drive traffic to your site, though it is a long-term effort. There are two schools of thought about how to go about this.

On the one hand, you can set up a blog on your site so that it is part of your domain [e.g. thehiredpens.com/blog]. For many people, this is the ideal way to generate new site content on a regular basis. And Google likes this approach — they like to see your site grow consistently. Rather than posting 250 new pages in one week and then nothing until 2012, you’re better off putting up five blog posts a week over the course of the year.

On the other hand, you can set up a blog that lives off of your site, like we do with our blog, Publishing Today Conference. In this case, you have to be very strategic about your posts. That is, you should use a good keyword in the title of each post. And in the body copy, you should have anchor text that includes the keyword and links back to a page on your main site with corresponding content. When Google crawls your main site, they love to see relevant inbound links — and that boosts your search ranking.

Which approach do you recommend?

In terms of overall SEO benefit, I give a slight edge to having your blog live offsite. But whichever approach you take, you should be blogging in accordance with your keyword strategy. In order to realize the optimal SEO benefit, your blog must include keywords that are relevant to your customers and business. And again, that means keywords in the title and body copy along with anchor links to deeper pages on your website.

Over time, if you do it right, blogging will help you build an audience. Having this following, in turn, contributes to the authority of your Web property in terms of Google PageRank. As your PageRank rises, Google is more likely to serve up your site higher in search results.

A random question: Suppose my business targets different verticals. Should I consider having multiple blogs?

Absolutely. The Net is so niche-driven; you can’t be too many things to all people. So if you sell handbags, jewelry, shoes and belts, you should have a separate blog for each. And of course, you also should be incorporating the right keywords for each blog.

Do you have any other recommendations on blogging? Let us know.

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