Your website needs a blog. Yes, yours. Whether you are painting houses, equipping non-profits, or selling herbal remedies for cats, a blog will demonstrate your authority in your field, increase traffic to your website, and increase lead conversions and sales.
Ideally your phone is ringing off the hook with potential clients who were recommended to you and you have more work than you can handle. If this isn’t the case for you then your organization needs a robust inbound marketing strategy. Inbound marketing is the creation of content that brings potential customers to you rather than requiring your marketers to always go to them. Most successful businesses generate sales through a combination of referrals, inbound marketing, and cold contacts. Inbound marketing has a higher return on investment than cold contacts and consequently is one of the most effective marketing strategies. At the top of the inbound marketing list of methods is leveraging blog content. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017 report, 53% of marketers consider blog content creation as their top inbound marketing priority. Marketers are pushing blog content creation because it works and it will work for you if implement it well.
Whatever it is you do you have blog potential.
Some organizations think that what they do doesn’t lend itself to a blog. Yet potential customers want to know about you, what you do, and how to improve their lives. If you sell feline herbal remedies, for example, write about how to cure common illnesses, how to improve your cat’s activity level, how to encourage healthy mental development, debunk common myths about herbal remedies, give behind the scenes looks at your company, etc. Get creative and get writing to increase your perceived authority, website traffic, and conversion rates.
Your blog content will help your organization develop an authoritative voice in your field
You are great at what you do.
Your potential customers need to know this. Without hearing about you from other satisfied customers, potential customers will rely upon reviews and your web presence. An outstanding website makes an outstanding first impression. Part of that first impression should be your blog. A beautiful, informative, functional website will convey your organization’s professionalism – a regularly updated and helpful blog will generate confidence in your products/services/message. Your blog will show your potential customers how much you know about what you do. If they are helped by your free blog content they are more likely to believe that your paid content or services will also be helpful.
Think of your blog as an extension of your portfolio and testimonials. Don’t just show your potential customers your work and quality – show them your knowledge and your passion (and do it in a way that helps improve their lives).
Your blog content will increase traffic to your Website
Typically, sites that publish more blog posts generate more traffic than those that do not. In 2015 sites that published more than 16 posts per month generated, on average, 3.5x more traffic than those that only published 0-4 posts.More blog posts means more relevant content for search engines to index. This inevitably converts to more organic traffic to your site.
One out of every ten posts are compounding, meaning their organic search traffic increases over time.
Additionally, a relevant blog gives your organization plenty of potential social media content. With your blog, in addition to your normal social media posts, you can share helpful and relevant content that will drive additional traffic and increase brand commitment.
Your blog will increase your site’s relevance, helpfulness, and number of compounding pages.
Without a blog you aren’t leveraging any of these benefits. Even five posts a month generates more traffic than none.
Your blog content will increase the likelihood of your visitors converting to leads or sales
In addition to increasing your traffic your blog may increase your leads. Websites with regularly updated and relevant blogs see more lead conversions than those without blogs for two reasons.
First, more traffic can equate to more leads if your visitors are finding what they are looking for. If you paint houses don’t write about plumbing – write about painting. The relevancy and helpfulness of your blog can connect web searches with what you sell. Unless people are specifically searching for your business, this is more difficult on a landing page or an about page than it is on blog posts. Your blog will attract visitors that may not have found you without it and if those visitors find what they are looking for some will buy.
Second, your blog provides you with increased opportunities to put a call to action (CTA) in front of your visitors. A call to action may ask them to subscribe, contact you, or buy but will do so in a format that your visitors want to see.
(Like this CTA asking you to subscribe to our email list)
By leveraging your effective and regularly updated blog you will generate more leads and sales. A well managed blog does have a high return on investment.
Your blog will be successful if…
Before you assume that any blog will yield these results here are some of the ingredients of an effective blog:
You post often
Posting once or twice a month will yield more results than not having a blog at all. But statistically the more you post the more traffic you generate and the more leads you receive. If you can manage to post four times a month do so – if you can manage to post sixteen or more times a month do that.
Above all don’t let your inability to reach a certain target keep you from posting at all. Post as often as you can with as helpful content as possible.
Your posts are an ideal length and well-structured
Longer posts tend to generate more organic search traffic. The exact length is still a matter of debate in the world of search engine optimization but 500 or more words is certainly a floor for an ideal length. Some SEO experts, like the team at Yoast, recommend 1,000 or more words per post.
Longer posts means you get to use your keywords more often without keyword stuffing.
However, longer posts do not necessarily equate to compounding posts. Longer posts only perform better initially unless the post is also well structured and readable. Shorter paragraphs are better than longer paragraphs. Additionally, using numerous headings with proper heading structure will help both readers and the search engines navigate your post well.
If you publish lengthy posts that are readable, well-structured, and helpful you may be publishing SEO gold – and if you are posting often you only exponentially increase the benefits.
Your blog authors both understand your brand and write well
Poor authors will write poor content for a poor blog.
Instead your organization needs knowledgeable and talented people writing for it.
Are you the best person to write about your content? Then rest those hands on that keyboard and get to work.
Or perhaps you are passionate about your organization but aren’t the best author. Or maybe you are writing blog posts but you need some additional authors in order to generate a high volume of content to achieve the best results. In either case here are three options for finding the right authors for your blog:
- Ask a passionate employee who also writes well to write some of your content (oh and be awesome and compensate them for their additional labor).
- Hire a marketer or similar individual to write your content in house (and do a whole lot more too).
- Contact a creative firm (like Rystedt Creative) and ask them to study your brand and write stellar content for you at a fraction of the price of hiring someone internally.
With the right authors who write well and understand your brand your blog content is sure to be stellar.
You give your blog time to attract committed readers and generate compounding traffic
The amount of time it takes to see a return on your blogging investment will vary.
If you are starting your blog fresh today with no subscribers it may take a couple of years to really see results from your blogging. Yet you will never see results if you don’t start or if you quit part way through. Even old posts can generate compounding traffic years after publication. Just keep blogging.
If you are re-launching your blog keep with it. Keep blogging and do it better than you did before. It may still take a year or so before you see the results you are looking for but do it well the entire time and, unless you are the exception, you will see results.
If you already have a blog and a subscriber base but are not seeing results check if you are posting often, posting at an ideal length, structuring your posts well, and writing well.
Above all – don’t quit.
Just. Keep. Blogging.