When I first started blogging (circa 2007), my posts were 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 2000’s, 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:
Improves Your Overall Rank in Search Engines (SEO)
No matter who your customer is, chances are high that they use search engines. Your best bet for driving customers to your website is showing up on the search engine results page (SERP). With a bit of strategy, blogging helps you do just that.
How can a blog help you show up on Google? In short, by strategically selecting the topic and keywords of posts and by creating a really helpful, comprehensive content.
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 more clesely to the #1 spot on Google, reaching 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 your blog rank on Google. There are three types of links that you can build:
- Links to other pages on your site.
- Links out to other relevant websites.
- Links in from websites.
While it’s relatively easy to embed links 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.
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 and provide them the information they need. Blogs are for people at the beginning of their buying journey (top of the funnel) and those who are closer to making a purchase (middle of the funnel). Here’s an awesome guide from HubSpot on creating content for every funnel stage.
Blogs that interest many types of people are more likely to be shared on social networks. These 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 to one more ready to buy, a well-written blog can convert a reader. But to get the conversion, you have to ask for it with a call to action (CTA).
A call to action on a TOF post should move them reader down the funnel and get them the information they need to enter the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. Linking to relevant sales pages on your website or getting them to sign up for a newsletter are great CTAs for this audience.
Likewise, a CTA for Middle of the Funnel blogs should aim to make the reader to the purchasing stage. In these blogs, you can be more direct. Tell them to get a quote, sign up, or buy.
Blogs effectively fill your sales funnel and move prospects through it, providing them with the information and encouragement to buy.
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 sends a message about your brand.
The language you use, the tone of voice, and the topics you write on help people understand what you do, 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 tarnish your brand.
Check out how Neil Patel creates a brand-building blogging strategy.
Positions 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 and when they’re ready to buy, you’ll be top-of-mind.
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, on Quora, and on online forums to see what questions are coming up. Then, provide value to the people asking the questions by contributing to the conversation and posting a link to your relevant blog post.
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. Provide value first and when you ask for the sale, you will be more likely to convert.
Blogging Keeps Working
When you post a thorough blog with carefully selected keywords on a relevant topic, you’ll generate traffic immediately. That’s great news! But what’s even better is that people will keep coming to your website through that blog long after you post it. Unlike paid traffic, traffic earned through SEO is ongoing.
Great blogs can also help you understand what content your audience wants. Through Google Analytics, you can see what pages website visitors land on, other pages they visit, and if they convert. With this tool, you can find out what blogs are driving the most traffic and conversions and write more like them.
Why not make the most of your time spent on successful posts? Repurpose your best performing posts into videos, infographics, ebooks, or other pieces of content.
A Business Blog Has Tons of Benefits
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 post that drives thousands of visitors to your site, 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: Contact us today to get started.