Blogging to many businesses we come across is somewhat alien – its just not considered as part of a cohesive marketing strategy. I’ve sat down with many businesses small and large who struggle to come to terms with how a blog can help you win more business – because ultimately winning more business is what it’s all about.
So lets look at how Blogging can help your SEO and your Brand:
1. Inbound Marketing (including SEO)
Inbound marketing is one the most effective forms of marketing – your “there” when your potential clients are looking for your services, your visible and relevant so a searcher finds themselves on your site and converts.
Unlike email marketing, cold calling and all of that stuff, inbound marketing is ensuring that you are visible to those looking for your product and services – makes sense right?
But here’s the hitch – 25% of searches within Google have not been searched before so how can you possibly choose what keywords to optimise for in order for your website to be visible?
You can’t, so you may as well forget about SEO that exclusively focuses on a handful of keywords – your simply targeting a very narrow user base.
This is where blogging comes in. By regularly contributing to your website blog with articles that are relevant to your business your pumping LOADS of great, juicy and highly relevant content into Google. Google consumes this content which helps it understand what your site is about and putting it simply:
The more relevant content you have out there, the more relevant keywords you will rank for particularly Long Tail Keywords.
Its pretty logical when you think about it.
Here’s an example, this is a graph from Google Analytics showing a blog and the traffic it receives (from Google as Landing Page), note that it took some time to get started but once it did, check out the traffic – Nice relevant traffic!
The great thing about blogging is that it tells your visitors you know what you are talking about. By blogging about subjects relevant to your industry and displaying your vast knowledge helps establish you as an authority which in terms builds a level of trust.
If you are regarded as an authority in your industry you’ll have a much easier time of winning new business and that is truly great for your brand.
How Many Times Should I Blog?
There are no magic formulas, only blog when you have something worthwhile to say. For instance don’t bang out a daily blog which is just waffle, you’ll bore your visitors to death (yes I said visitors, we write content for people and NOT Google).
Equally, 1 blog every 3 months is not going to tempt anyone to come back to your site to view your blog.
In my experience a good and relevant blog posted once or twice a week gets good traffic and holds visitors attention – you can gauge this by using Google Analytics. Try it and find a good balance.
How Many Words Should my Blog be?
If you can say what you need in 300 words then great, but a good blog with some substance provides more content and will hold interested viewers longer.
Do not ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER stick to a magic formula you’ve read on an SEO forum such as 1 x 100 word blog per day = Page 1 rankings in 3 months – its rubbish and it doesn’t work.
Write regularly but when you have something worthwhile to say and say it in as many words as you need too.
What can I blog about? My Business is Boring!
I’ll bet my Google mug that I can think of at least 25 blogs for any business, I don’t care if your selling vegetables or Ferraris, there is always something you can blog about.
Here’s some ideas:
Top 5’s or Top 10’s – To use a recent real life example: For a Law Firm specialising in Personal Injury – Top 5 Tips if your involved in a car accident.
Comment on topical subjects: Sticking with the legal example, the news today covered some new laws concerning whiplash claims – get a blog out on the same day and lots of juicy traffic!
A little humour helps -If your a locksmith, how many times have you rescued someone from a locked toilet? If your a large corporation how did the last team building excersise go? Injected a measured amount of humour and your personality into your blog is a great way to keep the attention of your readers.
Don’t Forget Social Media
Social Media including Facebook and Twitter provide a powerful platform to get your blog content out into the web. If you write interesting content then people will share it socially and discuss it, this helps creates links to your site naturally and increases your brands reach exponentially.
Recently, a very well known company in our industry called Hubspot performed a great piece of research using a set of 7000 businesses, here’s some stats from that research:
- Companies that blog 15 times per month get 5 x the traffic than those that don’t blog.
- Small business (1-10 employees) tend to see the biggest gains
- Companies that increase their blogging from 3-5 x per month to 6-8 x per month see their leads almost double
- B2B companies that blog only 1-2 x per month generate 70% more leads than companies that do not blog
- An average company will see a 45% growth in traffic when increasing total blog articles from 11-20 to 21-50 articles
- B2C companies see a 59% increase in traffic after growing total blogs posts from 100 to 200
- The average company with 100 or more total blog posts is more likely to experience continued lead growth
- Companies with more than 200 blog posts have >5 x the leads than those with 10 or fewer
Anything involving online marketing takes time. Forget the rank page 1 in a month stories it just doesn’t happen (unless its for a very low competitive term). These things take time and patience is rewarded.
Every day I see businesses that stop and start their Online Marketing constantly and wonder why they don’t get results – you need to think long term and thats months and years. The Internet is not going away so you need to start preparing for the long haul and that means forgetting about all the get ranked quick schemes: they do not work, I repeat, they do not work.
Instead focus on creating a website that people want to visit (and want to link too) and you’ll be rewarded, plan your blog content well in advance and be prepared to publish something in response to a current event relevant to your industry.
Don’t forget the golden rule – If you write your content for people and not Google – People and Google will love it.