When I first started blogging (circa 2007) my personal blog was little more than ramblings of a personal journal. Not even my mom read it. While the idea of putting my thoughts and words out into the world wide web was intriguing, the potential that blogging held for business was lost on me.
Through the early 2000s, the number of blogs online grew exponentially, and so did the collective understanding of just what they meant for business. Today it’s widely agreed that blogging is a valuable (dare I say essential) part of marketing.
But exactly how does blogging help your business and can it move the needle enough to make it worth your efforts? Here are some pretty compelling ways that blogs can help you kick ass and make a name for yourself:
Blogging improves your overall rank in search engines
No matter who your customer is, they use search engines. Your best bet for driving customers to your website is showing up on the search engine results page (SERP). When done correctly, blogging helps you do just that.
How can a blog help you show up on Google? By carefully selecting the topic and keywords and by making a really helpful, comprehensive post.
When people are Googling, they have questions. Your blog’s job is to be there to answer their questions effectively. To find out what people are asking, do keyword research. Here’s an incredible guide from Moz on how to do awesome, thorough keyword research fast.
Keyword phrases (a.k.a longtail keywords) are often easier to rank higher for and can reach your target customer more effectively. For example, a plumber may write a blog that targets the longtail keyword, “how to know if your pipes have lead” with the title 10 ways to know if your pipes have lead.
Links are another way to help rank your blog on Google. There are three types of links that you can build:
- Links out to other pages on your site.
- Links out to other relevant websites.
- Links in from websites.
While it’s relatively easy to embed links in your blog to your own and other websites, the real work is in getting links from other sites, or link building. Here’s a comprehensive article from Wordstream on what the heck that means and how to make it happen.
Blogging helps you sell more
Blogs are a flexible tool to target people at different stages of their buying process. With a little consideration, you can write to capture the attention of customers at the beginning of their buying journey (top of the funnel) or those who are closer to making a purchase (middle of the funnel).
Blogs that interest many types of people are more likely to be shared on social networks and can introduce your brand to a large new audience. A top-of-funnel (TOF) blog for a plumber might be, 5 Epic Home Plumbing Blunders in Toronto. A middle-of-funnel (MOF) blog is aimed at a smaller audience, someone considering services or products that you offer (i.e. 5 Ways Choosing the Right Plumber Will Save You Money).
No matter if you’re writing to a general audience, or one more ready to buy, a well-written blog can convert a reader if you include a call to action (which you absolutely should). A call to action on a TOF post should be intended to move them down the funnel and get them the info they need to buy. linking to relevant sales pages on your or getting them to sign up for a newsletter are great CTAs for this audience. For a MOF reader, you can be more direct. Tell them to get a quote, sign up, or buy.
Blogs effectively fill your sales funnel and more prospects through it to prepare and encourage them to buy.
Blogging builds your brand
Blogs aren’t just for helping you rank on Google or for increasing sales. Whether you intend it or not, every blog also builds your brand.
The language you use, the tone of voice, and the topics you write on help people understand not only what you do, but who you are and what you value. The more blogs you write, the more opportunity you have to reinforce select messages about your brand and differentiate yourself from competitors.
To do this effectively, your brand must be cohesive. What you do on your website, on social media, in print, and on the job should all sound, look, and feel the same from the customer’s perspective. If you write about great service, you better give great service. Inconsistencies degrade your customer’s trust and can ruin your brand.
Check out how Neil Patel creates a brand-building blogging strategy.
Blogging can position you as a thought leader
People buy from those they like and trust. Your customers like and trust someone who knows what they’re talking about and who’s helped them in the past.
Use your blog to be helpful and answer questions that your target audience has. Become the go-to person in your local industry.
Use keyword research to understand your customer’s pain points, but also talk to the people in your business who deal with your customers daily. At the very least, look in Facebook and Linkedin groups and on online forums to see what questions are coming up. Then go back and post a link to your blog in answer to every instance of the question.
Show up with a goal to help and serve your customer and to share knowledge that can benefit them. Your genuine intentions and valuable insights will absolutely make people like and trust you and position you as an industry leader.
Blogging keeps working
When you post a well-researched, thorough blog on a relevant topic with carefully selected keywords, you’re going to see some traffic landing on that post. That’s great news! But what’s even better is people will keep coming to your website through the blog long after you post it.
Not only will blogs continue to drive traffic to your website, but they can help you understand what content your audience wants so that you can create more like it. Through Google Analytics, you can see what page website visitors are landing on, what other pages they visit, and if they convert.
Look at what blogs are driving the most traffic and conversions and write more like them. Make the most of your time spent on successful posts and repurpose them into videos, infographics, ebooks, or other pieces of content.
You’ve got to admit, blogging has some pretty irresistible benefits for businesses. If you have a business and you don’t have a blog, you’re leaving some serious opportunity on the table.
But who has time for it?
While you may hit the jackpot with a one-off blog, the real payout comes from consistent content development. If you’re ready to get on the blogging bandwagon, we can help.
Start with a free blogging strategy consultation: Sign up now.