SEO, or search engine optimization, is a powerful tool for generating traffic to your website. By optimizing your website and content for Google and other search engines, you can attract more visitors who seek your product or service.
Optimizing your content for search engines is a great marketing strategy. Doing so brings people who are already searching for your products and services to your site. Since many people begin their decision-making process through major search engines, effective SEO offers the winning combination of high-quality leads at a high volume.
But marketing your website alone won’t automatically enhance its SEO. In fact, SEO optimization can be a time-consuming, difficult, and sometimes costly project. Many professional SEO companies boast the ability to have your website at the top of search engines. However, this service often comes with an exorbitant fee with no guarantee of results.
So, how do you optimize your website’s SEO without blowing your budget and consuming all of your time? You may be surprised to learn that all you have to do is maintain a blog to boost your website’s visibility.
How Blogging Contributes to SEO
By creating fresh, engaging content regularly, you can attract more visitors and boost your ranking on search engine results pages. In addition to helping SEO, blogging keeps your website fresh and relevant. Google loves new content, and by regularly publishing blogs, you’re always providing Google with new information to index.
This increased indexing can help to improve your site’s ranking in search results, making it more likely that potential visitors will stumble across your site. In addition, each blog post provides an opportunity to include keywords and other phrases that potential visitors might be searching for. If you include these keywords throughout your blog post, you can further improve your chances of appearing in search results.
There are a variety of factors that go into SEO, including on-page elements like keyword optimization and site structure, as well as off-page factors like link building and brand mentions. To help boost your SEO results, it’s essential that your website platform allows you to define these blog post features:
- Page titles
- Meta description tags
- Image alt tags
- Header tags
- Custom URLs
These tools allow you to optimize each blog post for generating site traffic through search engines. Though almost every site-building platform allows you to edit these features, some are better than others in terms of ease of use.
The Top Five 5 Blogging Platforms
Setting up a blog for your business is easy, and there are several blogging/site-building platforms that can suit your needs. If your budget allows you to invest in a more robust product, there are some subscription-based blogging platforms that offer advanced features and customer support.
Each platform has varying features, so it’s important that you consider the must-haves for your blogging style. For example, some platforms feature better drop-and-drag capabilities or more extensions and better integration with third-party tools. Others may include SEO tools or allow you to install third-party ones.
Now that you’re aware of what to look for in a blogging platform, here are five of the best ones on the market along with their respective pros, and cons.
Also known as the HubSpot CMS or just HubSpot, CMS Hub is a content management system (CMS), that offers an ample supply of tools and features for both marketers and developers.
Pros: CMS Hub includes built-in SEO tools to quickly create optimized blog posts with interactive elements. You can even preview your posts and pages to see how they will appear on different devices. Since CMS Hub is built on HubSpot’s CRM platform, you can analyze your blog’s performance with your audience.
HubSpot is creating new approaches to SEO by applying state-of-the-art software to the problem. Search engines are integrating artificial intelligence into their services and changing their algorithms, so this approach offers huge advantages.
Cons: CMS Hub may be over the top for most beginning bloggers with its many functions and themes. Though HubSpot is available to start for free, their services get expensive pretty quickly. A savvy user can build most of the same functionality out of a WordPress build enabled by CRM-compatible plugins.
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms for a reason. It’s free and easy to set up and use. WordPress also has a ton of features to make your blog look great.
Pros: WordPress is highly customizable and allows users to specify all the important SEO features: URL text, image alt tags, title tags, meta description tags, and header tags for content. There are also over 3,500 blogging themes. Additionally, WordPress supports plugins and enjoys a strong community of developers who create and support very useful WordPress plugins, many of which are free to use. Some of these plugins are designed specifically to improve SEO.
Cons: Specific SEO features for each page and blog post can be challenging for some users, especially those with little software expertise or site-building experience. Premium features such as email support, no ads, and the ability to collect payments are available through yearly subscription plans that start at $4 a month (billed yearly). However, the most useful tools require higher-priced subscriptions that can run as high as $45 a month.
Wix is a top-rated, paid subscription-based platform that provides users flexibility and freedom to customize their site. While there are no free plans, Wix offers a 14-day trial period and will refund you if you’re not 100% satisfied.
Pros: Compared to WordPress, Wix provides a smoother blog-creation experience with the customizability that WordPress offers. The drag-and-drop editor along with hundreds of templates and tools will have you building a professional-looking blog site in no time. Wix also has its own online app store that can even further expand its functionality.
Cons: Despite offering useful options in lower-cost subscriptions, Wix has its share of limitations. You may need the premium plan to take full advantage of Wix’s most powerful features. Third-party apps that support advanced functionality will add to your total costs. Compared to WordPress, Wix lacks the plugin compatibility and community of plugin developers that WordPress enjoys. Unfortunately, its ease-of-use design may interfere with SEO since it doesn’t allow meta description tags for some pages.
Squarespace is a site-building platform similar to WordPress that focuses on creating image-rich, engaging content.
Pros: All 140 of Squarespace’s templates are mobile-optimized and customizable, giving you endless options to create a compelling blog page. Squarespace comes with a set of blogging and SEO tools to create and optimize your content. The platform also features a built-in analytics tool that informs you where your visitors are coming from, what they’re searching for, and how they’re interacting with your content. Cons: The platform supports less than 30 extensions, which limits its functionality. It also lacks auto-save, an essential feature for bloggers.
Weebly is user-friendly and offers a wide range of features, making it a good choice for both experienced bloggers and those just starting out.
Pros: Easy to use with a drag-and-drop interface that makes it simple to arrange content. Weebly offers a wide range of templates and designs, so users can create a unique look for their blog page. You can add images and videos, create polls and forms, and track visitors. The free plan gives you five custom pages, a Weebly subdomain, and 500 MB of storage. Users report that SEO settings are easy to implement and update.
Cons: While the platform comes with built-in analytics to track visitors, you would need the Professional subscription for $12 a month (billed annually). Image editing is limited to only zoom, blur, darken or apply a color filter. The free plan has many restrictions, so serious bloggers would need to upgrade to a paid subscription to take advantage of helpful tools and features.
Choosing the Best Platform for your Business
While SEO is a major consideration when building your site, there are several other factors to take into account before selecting a suitable blogging platform. Ultimately, the platform should fit your business and workflow, and be approachable to the people who are responsible for maintaining your site.
When deciding between blogging platforms, list the specific roles that your site will serve and consider how well each platform addresses those needs. SEO should be high on that list.
Once you’ve found the right platform for your site, you can start taking advantage of the organic, high-volume site traffic that your SEO will bring!