Post by Erik Bergstrom, SEO Analyst
Businesses are looking to blogs these days as they search for a way to increase their content marketing footprint. Blogs are a tremendous tool for connecting with consumers while increasing site value through organic search. All businesses – big or small – can obtain SEO value from this content creation platform. The benefits behind creating a blog for a business can all be tied back to one thing: increasing site traffic.
BENEFITS of BLOGGING
Blogs are meant for two things: (1) generating new customers and (2) providing fresh content for returning customers.
From an organic standpoint, blogs are a great way to rank for a wider variety of keywords. Pushing out a variety of content will help brands become a known source of knowledge within their space. Leveraging comparison keywords and keywords that directly speak to a consumer’s needs are both valuable acquisitions obtained through blog postings. For one enterprise-level technology client, organic keyword rankings improved along with a 130% increase in page views YoY due to the addition of SEO optimized blog content.
Content that doesn’t get updated (such as product pages and support information) can become stale and can deter user interest. Blogs help pump out fresh, interesting pieces of content on a regular basis that can remedy this type of situation.
Blog posting is also a great way to encourage content-sharing. Each time a blog post is written and promoted on social media accounts, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+, the chances that existing customers share it increases. Essentially, each time a new post is published, site traffic increases.
Lead Generation & Linking Opportunities
Blog content can also help generate leads on products with improved internal linking opportunities and the promotion of special offers. If visitors view a blog post and see a call-to-action or special offer on a product, it will prompt them to view the brand’s main site or it will lead them to a form submission to receive future offers/updates. Improving internal linking is an often overlooked aspect of blogs; linking back to products is a great way to gain visibility.
Additionally, there are also opportunities for inbound links. External websites can also see the value in content and link to it. The audience of other websites are then recommended to view this content, leading to a potential increase in customer base. If the blog is located on the same domain, improvements to the link portfolio of a site will be seen. In turn, improving a link portfolio leads to improved organic ranking opportunities.
A blog can help establish brand authority. If potential customers view a company as a thought leader, they are much more likely to value its content and products. For example, someone may have a question about which speaker system is most appropriate for their apartment space. This person uses Google to search “best speaker system for a small apartment” and finds a blog post from your site explaining the different speaker systems ideal for different sizes of homes. This person then continues the buying process and researches other sources before starting to seriously consider buying a speaker system. Once the consumer returns to your site and discovers your speaker systems (instead of viewing your website as just another retailer), this person will recall the information you previously provided. Consumers will likely trust you and your products more than the competition as they remember how you eased their buying process.
HOW to START a BLOG
The key to blogging is picking a posting schedule and sticking to it. Depending on the resources available, anywhere from once a day to once a week is appropriate to satisfy consumers. Here are three best practices when publishing on a blog:
- Have a plan
Posting once a week is the beginning of a successful strategy but typically not the end. Blogging once a week is a great way to introduce an existing customer base to this new platform. Overloading them from the start may deter them from coming back as often as they may want to. Eventually, blogging once a day or once every two days is important to satisfy those members of your audience that crave content without being too hardcore for the casual reader.
- Blog for the audience
Remember to monitor blog update “unsubscribe” numbers. This is a great way to see whether the content provided is relevant or not. Consider ramping down the publishing schedule if there’s a prolonged spike in unsubscribes. The initial spike is expected, but a prolonged increase in unsubscribes means that the audience can’t digest the information provided.
Every audience has a sweet spot where the frequency of posts and post length is balanced and encourages repeat visits and social shares (i.e. retweets, likes, etc.). Employ content based SEO strategies when optimizing posts to ensure they’re properly set up for organic search. In addition, ensure there’s internal linking so readers will have easy accessibility to product pages.
Blogs are a great way to increase traffic, improve internal and external linking, improve social media presence and increase authoritative thought leadership. Providing fresh content can help generate a larger customer base and keep current customers coming back for more. For more information on blogging, contact your Performics account team today.