To understand why and how you can rank without having an active blog, let’s look at the “ranking factors”. Keep in mind this isn’t an official list. In fact, such a list doesn’t even exist so don’t fall for clickbait. I’ve simplified it to make it easier, but here’s what matters for SEO:
I’d say about three and a half of the five factors above have nothing to do with running a blog. Even high-quality content doesn’t entirely mean writing often.
Some of the points have a “hidden” boost from having a blog, namely the internal links. If you can write ten articles on different aspects of a topic, you’ll create a better content cluster. It helps but isn’t required.
From the get-go, this is great news! You don’t need to hire a full-time copywriter, especially if you’re in a less competitive niche. So let’s find out what to do instead.
By now you shouldn’t be surprised that we’re about to cover the basics. If you’re a sports fan (don’t worry, you don’t have to be one to understand), you’ll know how coaches and managers often say “we’ve lost because we didn’t do the basics right”. This applies to SEO as well.
The hyper fixation on advanced techniques is harmful. They require much more resources and getting the basics wrong will undermine all that effort 👎
So, instead of that, optimise the heck out of the pages that matter. SEO is not just content marketing! Writing blog posts might work great just because of the sheer scale, but as a marketer, you’ll know that it brings in colder leads. And if you’re short on resources, you don’t have the time to generate cold, long-term leads just yet.
Instead, you should rank your money-making pages. This starts with high-quality service and product, but also the way you package it.
Even if you have tens of products or services, you must be able to explain your business in a sentence or two. Just don’t get too vague. Include your target audience, their problems, and how you help them solve the challenges. This is how we do it on our home page:
We collaborate with marketing leaders to solve crippling web design challenges. We do this by building websites that are tested with their actual target market and generate high-quality inbound leads.
If you have a full-service digital agency, saying that “we’re a full-service digital agency” doesn’t help much. Neither does “we do web design, SEO, paid advertising, social media”… You get the point.
It’s easier said than done, but writing online content is nothing like what they’ve taught you at school. Creative writing can actually harm your chances of getting sales or leads.
You don’t need to create content often to be viral. While having a semi-dead blog can be a negative look, downloadable resources can be timeless. And people love freebies, assuming you stick to creating high-quality content.
Checklists, guides, market research, spreadsheets, document templates… you name it. Give people enough value and they’ll talk about it. Even two or three pages can immensely help others.
You can even start building a mailing list and using the documents as a transitional call to action.
Curious about the purpose of the transitional call to action? Discover our button hacks.
Covering the basics will take you much further than pumping out blog posts, especially if you’ve just started paying attention to SEO on your website. If you’d like to take the first step, here’s an article that covers:
Last but not least – don’t forget to measure your SEO performance. Without it, you won’t know if you’re going in the right direction.
“How To Write Your Website Content” is a 92-page ebook that aims to help you hit the ground running. We’ve compiled our 20+ years of content and copywriting experience and included our bespoke Website Messaging Workshop framework as a bonus.
Originally published Nov 04, 2022 12:11:15 PM, updated August 22 2023.