Why Blogging Isn't Enough Anymore

Why Blogging Isn't Enough Anymore

By John Jantsch

There was a time when the art of SEO practitioners focused on building out highly optimized pages dedicated to narrowly defined themes or keywords. So, if you had an insurance business you would build one page designed to show up in a search for life insurance and another for health insurance and you pretty much left them alone once they were returning some results.

2 prong strategy approach

photo credit: winterofdiscontent

But then blogs came along and sort of upended the whole deal. All of sudden all this fresh, highly optimized, education based content started flooding the web and search engine ate it up. People started sharing this content routinely, linking to it and even republishing it via RSS feeds.

As the search engines began to favor this type of content, the game of SEO shifted heavily to blogs, networking and link acquisition.

As is so often the case over time, I believe that the imaginary pendulum is swinging back in the direction of optimized pages. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m as bullish as ever on blogs and still believe that every business needs one. I further believe that search engines are starting to even out their results in ways that don’t favor blog content the way they once did.

blog search traffic

This Alexa ranking chart show swings in search engine traffic for several high profile blogs during recent Google updates.

High traffic blogs attracted so many links that it made it hard for the search engines to deliver the most relevant content using their existing approaches. SEO spammers abused the positive elements of blogging to game search results so a correction of some sort was predictable.

The much talked about Penguin and Panda updates from Google went after duplicate content, low quality pages and what were seen as unnatural links very hard. Many, long time, very legit, blogs saw temporary, but slow to recover, drops in traffic from search. (Of course long-standing, high quality blogs receive a great deal of traffic from direct links and direct readers.)

I believe the best approach currently and in the foreseeable future calls for a 2-prong strategy to content development that feeds both readers and spiders. I believe that we must create what I’m calling classes of content that address the growing demand for real-time updates and long-term sustainability.

I’ve written about the types of content we need to produce, but this is a different, yet related, idea. When I talk about classes I’m talking about how we build, display, link to and optimize our content.

I believe we need develop content strategies along these two classes

Attraction Content

Attraction content is essentially fresh, keyword phrase relevant, link worthy blog posts that are updated frequently. We must commit to optimizing the on page factors for this content to give it the most search engine reach while continuing to amplify it in social channels to attract readers, links and social signals. (Google is currently giving heavy weight to content on Google+ no matter what they are saying publicly.)

I further believe that this content should revolve around a small library of topics related to the most important keyword phrases and long-tail phrases that you are targeting for your overall online presence.

But, this strategy isn’t enough.

Foundation Content

The second thrust of your content strategy involves the creation and optimization of pages dedicated to each of your core keyword phrases. As I mentioned in the opening of this post, many websites have been built over the years with this tactic in mind, but it’s the careful combination of real-time attraction content and what I’m calling foundation pages that will deliver the greatest results.

With blogging becoming so prominent many sites have turned to creating very little accept new blog content and I think that’s a mistake.

The value of these foundations pages is that once they are built you can continue to optimize them and focus on adding valuable content (perhaps from a series of blog posts) as your content library grows.

You can add eBooks, links to resources, internal links and main navigation to these pages. By doing the proper amount of keyword research you can build a group of static like foundation pages that are so specific you stand a very strong probability of ranking them highly, particularly as you create related blog content that links to these pages.

These foundation pages also stand up as great resources for site visitors and are great jumping in points for deeper engagement and conversion activities.

Update: An alert reader asked for some examples of sites using this approach, so here are a few examples.

The need to produce content that allows you to spread your expertise and be found will likely never go away, it will however, continue to shift as search behavior and search engines dictate.


Stop Hoping For Referrals – Build Your Referral Teams and Start Getting A Referral A Day
Most people believe that getting referrals is something that just happens, that all you need to do is just turn up to networking events, do a good job with your clients or customers and be part of a referral group. This could not be further from the truth and you are leaving so much money […]
Is Your ‘About’ Page Ruining Your Chances of Getting a Referral?
Every business has a website, right? It is your shop window; the place where people learn about you, your brand and the products or services that you’re selling. And due to our heavy online usage habits, it’s also the place that dictates the sustainability of a company. You see, every business needs to be liked. […]

Subscribe to the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.