A blog is a very powerful tool for businesses to connect with consumers and share ideas and expertise. From an search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint, it’s a way to add fresh content to your site on a regular basis. This will improve your freshness score and help your website to gain higher visibility in search engine results.
Once you have your blog up and running, the biggest questions are:
- How can I drive traffic to my blog?
- How can I get people to read it?
- What should I write about?
While there are many techniques a hotelier can use, this case study leverages trending topics within social media channels.
“Trending topics” refers to a term or set of keywords that rapidly gains search volume due to popular culture or general interest. There are several tools you can utilize on the web to find out what topics are trending. For this case study, I primarily used Google Insights for Search (www.google.com/insights/search/) to discover which topics regarding events and things to do were trending in the area I was targeting.
Every topic that was chosen for the events blog was based on a trending topic. I used the keywords that are trending in the post title, in the meta data (title tag, description and keywords), in the blog tags, and then repeated it a few times in the actual post. Once published, the next step was to post a link to it on Facebook and use those same keywords in the Facebook post, including a call to action, such as “read more” or “tell us your thoughts.”
The results were excellent. It is worth noting that the blog used in this case study was being managed actively and being updated with new content regularly (minimum once a week) prior to the study, so the increases in traffic are attritutable to the quality, not the quantity of posts. Once trending topics and social media were strategically implemented, the results were as follows:
- The traffic to the blog increased by 261%
- The time spent on the blog increased by 36%
- The blog posts related to the trending topics were 5 of the top 10 pages on the blog as a whole
- Search terms related to the trending topics started driving organic traffic to the blog
- Search engine bots began to crawl the blog more frequently
Once traffic to the blog started to increase, search engines took notice and crawled the blog more frequently. As the search engine bots digest the information on the posts – specifically the keywords – visibility increased in the SERPs for queries regarding that same set of keywords. All of these items combined improved the traffic to the blog.
When creating content for your blog, it is important to use trending topics and to post a link to your blog on social media. Promoting your blog on social media will give you visibility to an expanded audience. That audience will be more likely to actually click on the link and read the post if you’re writing about things they are interested in. Google Insights for Search is an excellent tool that can show you what people are searching about in your area. If a topic is being searched for at a high volume, obviously there is a great deal of interest in it. By leveraging trending topics and your social media audience, you can get a great deal of positive results.
Contributed by Cassie Vignieri, eStrategist