A conventional weblog is a news feed, telling a story about what is happening “now”, and talking about points of interest at a moment in time. However, this purpose doesn’t really fit with how blogs tend to be used within SEO.
Rather than the content being valid for a short period of time while it is relevant to the moment, SEO blog content tends to be more “evergreen” and created to provide an answer to a question that could be asked yesterday, today, or tomorrow.
Commercial blogs hanging off the side of a website aren’t really blogs in a conventional “weblog” sense. They’re an organised hub of content – a series of product or service-related articles that add value to the user journey. The reason why SEOs typically bastardise a traditional blog format in this way is lost in the mists of time, but it’s almost certainly just convention from the early 2010s when CMS were less advanced than they are now.
What are the Benefits of a Blog then?
Leaving the semantics of whether a series of informative articles that are meant to provide long term content value to a website is a blog or not, there are some real SEO benefits of integrating content into a website.
Broader Visibility, Recognition and Personalisation
The content that appears early in a search funnel informs a lot of the decisions that a user makes later in the funnel. If our searcher saw a page of meal ideas that didn’t contain recipe ideas for a product we sell, then their subsequent search journey would bypass us entirely. Having visibility as early in the user journey as possible allows us to enter consideration later in the purchase journey.
There’s technical value in this appearance too. Google and Bing both personalise your search experience based on what websites you have previously visited. This means that if you visit website “A” during the research phase, pages from that website will be more visible in future searches on the same topic. Google recognises the value of consistency in what people see, and if they have engaged with a brand previously, it makes sense for them to see it again.
Increased Website Authority Means Better Rankings
Over the last few years, Google have talked more about the importance of websites being seen by users as valuable resources. The key to this is EAT:
The foundation of EAT is websites that contain rich content, written by experts that provides trustworthy information provide the best user experience and as such should be promoted in search.
Supplementing the “what” of product pages with the “how” and the “why” of a blog or supporting content demonstrates that a website is a great resource within a subject. Google view the website holistically, and all pages in a website benefit from an uplift in the way the website is scored on quality by Google’s EAT algorithms. This means that an investment in writing a detailed article or blog post about the manufacturing process or use of an item will benefit the rankings of the page about that item.