“If Google has the choice to show two articles for the same keyword, which one are they going to choose? The one where readers average 45 seconds on the page or the one where readers average 4.5 minutes on the page?” – Marcus Sheridan, keynote speaker, author, and partner, IMPACT

Blogging is the fourth core essential for building a sturdy online brand identity. According to an Orbit Media Survey, the indexation of your website rises by 434 percent when you have a blog. Brands which blog also get 97% more links to their websites.

Blogs are further viewed as one of the most trustworthy sources of online information. Blogging is the second most popular media format that marketers leverage, and ranks as having the third highest marketing ROI.

Blogging should be part of every marketing strategy because it gives your brand an opportunity to show its identity on a deeper value level. It’s also an opportunity to exhibit your brand’s unique knowledge and expertise in your particular industry.

Creating a blog should be one of the first steps you take to drive new traffic. It’s a highly effective way to reach your target audiences. You reach them through creating content that is relevant to their online searches.

GNL considered some of the latest insights and trends to get you going. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to blogging or would like to invigorate your content strategy.

Five key ingredients for the perfect blog:

  1. Blog posts should be in sync with your brand’s goals – particularly that of serving your audience:

One of the main reasons you’re blogging is to express your brand’s market insights and expertise. Yet, if your blog doesn’t strive to also address the needs or challenges faced by your audience, it becomes a pointless exercise. A blog post that doesn’t resonate with its audience will not generate traffic, leads or sales. Speak to your brand persona’s challenges and obstacles it may have encountered, and how it overcame these. In short, humanise your brand to make it more relatable.

  1. Leave your audience with something to take home:

Content becomes most effective when it gives readers something they can benefit from. One way of achieving this is by including concrete, actionable steps they can apply. When compiling a blog post, ask yourself: have I truly added value to the few minutes my readers will spend on my post?

  1. Give authority to your blog by making research a priority:

Content creation is a serious business. Always remember, you’re not just writing for your unique audience, but for the world’s stage. Most people will probably never have heard of your brand, so make the moment count. If you want your blog to be impactful across industries, peoples and cultures, you’ll need to write with authority that’s backed by current research. Challenge yourself to add to that research by offering new insights through your writing.

  1. Links produce authenticity and trust:

With search algorithms continuously evolving, one of the key things still looked for is links. All links, whether external, internal or back, should be part of every SEO checklist. Links also add authenticity to your writing by showing your content is credible and well-researched.

  1. Long-form content:

Your content should be as long as it needs to be in fully addressing the reason why the reader has landed on your site. Don’t underrate long-form content. With longer content, you’re also telling search engines like Google that what you’ve compiled answers a user’s inquiry. Doing so more comprehensively is of a higher value than short-form content. Long-form further makes people spend more time on your website, which is also very important for SEO.

Ultimately, you want your brand to be a trustworthy source of information. Key industry insights will make your website worth visiting again and again. Well-researched, authoritative and well-written long-form content can help you achieve this.

The Capstone: Search engine trust

Your brand identity is not complete without the buy-in of internet search engines. If your website isn’t optimised for SEO, you won’t be attracting new customers – not easily.

CEO and founder of seosupport Vincent Sünderhauf was featured in Forbes magazine. He used real-life human prerequisites to help us understand Google’s trust algorithm.

Basically, there are three trust accelerators to the algorithm:

  1. We trust people we have interacted with and know.
  2.   The longer we have known someone, the more we trust them.
  3.   Our trust grows faster and stronger (or breaks down entirely) in shared crises or under intense circumstances.

The more interaction, duration/frequency and intensity, the better the ranking will be. The bottom line here is earn the trust of your users first. Google will quickly pick up on this through its user engagement analysis. And again, it comes back to that humanity principle.

The more a brand is perceived as human, the more relatable it becomes, and the more people it will draw to itself. The intimate connections brands create are foundational to brand loyalty. And if you have a loyal audience who visits you time and again, search engines will take notice!