Do you need a blog? 5 key benefits for your business
With an estimated 4 million blog posts published every single day, it may seem like we are already at a saturation point when it comes to blogging, however, don’t let the numbers put you off. All blog posts are definitely not created equal.
Of those estimated 4 million daily blog posts published, how many do you think are actually adding value to the reader? My guess? A very small percentage.
So, the question about whether you need a blog or not comes down to this – can you add real value to your customers and prospective customers by creating content that is published through your blog? If the answer is yes, then you should 100% consider setting up a blog for your business.
We wanted to look at 5 key benefits of a business blog when done for all of the right reasons.
1. Drive traffic to your website
If you are a relatively small business and not a giant e-commerce site, the chances are that you don’t have that many pages on your website. A homepage, a few product or service pages, contact information, and maybe and about us page.
This gives you a fairly limited number of pages that can rank in Google and drive organic traffic to your website. It also limits your options when it comes to updating the content on your website – there is only so much you can do with an about page or a contact page.
Google loves fresh content. When you don’t make changes to your website, you need to be a well-known brand that continues to drive high volumes of organic traffic through branded search and high volume keywords if you want to continue to rank well over time.
A great way of adding fresh content to your website is through a blog. It’s also a great way to keep other pages across the site fresh as you can include links that pull in the latest blog content to key product/service pages as well as the homepage.
A blog also helps you to rank for more keywords that are relevant to your business. You shouldn’t start up a blog without a clear plan for what you want to achieve. This should be backed up by keyword research to identify the most relevant keywords that you feel you have the best chance of ranking for that are going to drive highly relevant traffic to your website.
Don’t expect to start driving thousands of visitors overnight. It takes time to build up your authority (see #4) and for Google to understand the relevance of the content on your site for the keywords you are targeting. Clients we work with that have embraced blogging have seen huge gains in organic traffic, however, these have typically built up slowly over the first 12-24 months and then advanced quickly from there.
2. Convert traffic into leads
Every new visitor to your website is a potential lead. Whilst the intent of someone visiting your site from a blog post is very different to someone who lands on a product or service page, it’s still a great opportunity to start a relationship with that customer which ultimately ends in a conversion.
Blog posts typically sit right at the top of the funnel when it comes to the intent of visitors arriving on the site. It’s your job to nurture that lead through the content you create and the messages you push out through your blog.
It goes without saying that high-quality content is essential to building that relationship. It comes down to trust. Customers need to trust that the content you are pushing out through your blog is trustworthy and adds value.
From here, it’s down to you to add relevant calls to action within your blog posts. Sometimes this can be as simple as adding a link to a related product page. Sometimes it can be offering a free download, whilst other times it can be a CTA to get in touch through a contact form or phone call.
It’s important to balance the CTAs you use in a post. Don’t be too ‘in your face’ with your CTAs, however, make sure you give visitors the opportunity to do more.
Not every visitor will become a lead. Your blogs aren’t going to appeal to everyone, however, without your blog, you wouldn’t even have the opportunity to talk to these visitors to make the most of the opportunity and encourage them to do more.
3. Drives returning visitors
A blog can really help to drive returning visitors. Let’s say you have a small number of product or service pages on your site. There’s only so many times you can expect a visitor to return to those pages before they know exactly what it is you are selling.
With a blog, you are constantly publishing fresh content relating to the sector your business is based and if you do it well, you should be in a position to drive returning visits every time you publish a new post.
Of course, you can also help to drive this by encouraging people to sign up to receive regular updates to their inbox as well as pushing out your content through social media platforms (see #5).
By publishing fresh content daily, weekly or monthly, you are giving people an up-to-date reason to come back to your site and see what you are saying. Without a blog, that is not an option for your business.
4. Helps to build authority
Authority is important. Not only for Google, where authority can help with rankings, but more importantly, with your customers.
When you become the leading voice in answering common questions that your customers and prospective customers have, then you become the authority on those topics and that’s crucial in your mission to drive more traffic, more returning visitors and more conversions.
Another element that can help you to build authority is publishing content from the experts within your organisation. That might be you. It might be your marketing manager, or it might be a member of your production team. Whoever can talk with the most authority on any given topic should be ‘tapped up’ to write a blog or contribute to a post that is being created.
If you provide people with the answers to the most commonly asked questions across your sector and about your products and services, prospective customers will enter the lower levels of your sales funnel more educated about your products and services and therefore, much more likely to convert.
5. Encourages community engagement and social engagement
Opening up a direct line with your customers is a great way to help to build your community. Having an open comments section on your blog (which is moderated) is a great way to talk directly with your customers and prospective customers.
Get immediate feedback on your products and services. Get valuable contributions to future blog posts. Find out the questions your customers really want answering. Encourage people to comment on every post and make sure you respond to every comment that comes in to help build your community and also help to build trust and authority in your brand.
Publishing regularly to a blog also helps with your social platforms. Without a blog, it’s challenging for social media managers to create highly engaging content plans that link back to content on your own website. There are only so many times you can push out your products and services without your audience switching off.
A blog not only helps to keep your website content fresh, but it also helps to keep your social media calendar fresh and allows you another opportunity to engage directly with your audience through commenting on your social media platforms.
A blog offers up huge potential benefits to a business when done well. Working closely with our clients, we have seen some huge gains, not only in organic traffic but also ROI, by adding a blog to their site and creating a content strategy that focusses on the areas that are most important to their business. You can check out our content marketing case studies to learn more about our results and speak to us today if you have been thinking about a blog but don’t know where to start.