Since people have been researching products online, marketers have been competing to nab that #1 spot in Search Engine Rankings (SER). It's vital businesses consider how their product(s) will show up on the first page for their most relevant search terms. To maintain a top spot, focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is standard. Today, one of the best practices to improve SEO and SER happens to be blogging.
With digital marketing came a new method for success; It is with a few strokes of the keyboard that customers research and buy products, giving them incredible speed and access to a load of debatable knowledge. With the emergence of online marketing, the marketing teams focus shifted from forcing screaming ads to a large amount of people into answering the questions of a smaller amount of the ideal target in order to attract the right audience. Therein inbound marketing was born and the practice of blogging, centerfold.
Inbound Marketing focuses marketers on attracting, converting, and closing online traffic reducing the requirement to chase business. In this post, we are focusing mostly on the first part, attracting your customers– because one of the best ways to do that is by blogging.
Here are a few of the main benefits of Blogging:
Think about the last time you made a large purchase. You likely did a considerable amount of research before making your purchase. You probably then analyzed the different options and manufacturers of the product, the price, and the retailer. Likely, you ended up making your purchase from a retailer who you deemed trustworthy, customer-oriented, and knowledgeable.One of the best ways for an industry-leading retailer or manufacturer to share their knowledge is blogging. Blogging allows you to get your product in front of the right customer for very little investment. Even in B2B sales, a 2016 Demand Gen study reported, "47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep."
Blogging allows you to get your product in front of the right customer with little investment.
1) Online Authority
By blogging properly, companies increase their online authority, which increases their search engine ranking. To build your online influence, you need to become a thought leader in your industry and translate that to the web. The avenue to do this is through online content, most notably blogging. When you blog about topics relevant to your industry and that are being searched by customers in your industry, search engines will place your content towards the top of the search results, more or less depending on how relevant your content is to the search. By having a specific place (the blog) to publish information around those relevant industry topics, readers will know where they can continue to find similar and new information. Publishing industry-relevant content regularly keeps traffic coming back for more; This, in turn, shows search engines that your blog is both popular and specific to your targeted readers search criteria, which then improves your search ranking. Enter “Search Engine Optimization” into your search bar. SEO is the process of optimizing your content so that it is more likely to rank higher in search engines. Furthermore, ranking at the top for specific target keywords is no easy process. Google’s ranking criteria is continually changing. For these reasons, It’s important to employ an SEO specialist (usually this is an agency) to make sure your SEO practices are up to date and ongoing. Blogging without great SEO will fall on deaf ears (or maybe just to that guy that looks like he has nothing else to do but scroll through hundreds of pages of search results!).
Once you establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, not only will your content rise to the top of search engine results, but customers will correlate your brand as having the knowledge and expertise they can trust for both industry and product-specific answers. It’s a fact: 81% of online consumers say that blogs are a trusted source of information and advice. Think about it. Look at sites like WebMD (Health), MOZ (Search Marketing), Associated Press (News), Trip Advisor (Travel Advice), all of which are the go-to destination for knowledge within their industry. Why? Because they are reliable source to attain the information that the searcher needs.
3) Customer Loyalty and Advocacy
By being a knowledgeable industry thought leader, your existing customers will come to trust and reward your brand by serving as brand advocates. Advocates are eager to talk about you every chance they get. They are so enamored with their experience that they want to spread the good news and be seen as the influencer.Brand advocates are an excellent way to spread the news about your products. Who better to trust than a friend or family member?
4) Traffic and Quality Leads
Now for the section that you’ve been waiting for and perhaps the biggest reason businesses blog. When everything comes together just right, your content is optimized and your topics are incredibly relevant to the right potential customers, then you start to see an improvement in traffic and leads. B2B business see leads increase by up to 67% and traffic to increase by 30% – That’s a huge return.
Once blogging gets prospects to your site, you can offer additional content (say an eBook) or a free service (say, an audit?) so that prospects will fill out a form and give you their information. BOOM. Lead. There you go. Now, because you know these prospects came to your site on their fruition seeking specific information after they've just read a particular blog, you know they are a quality lead.
5) Minimal Cost with Big Impact Compared to Other Options
The only thing that blogging will cost you is your time and effort. When considering other paid options such as PPC and paid social, blogging can start to look pretty sweet.
But remember, blogging does not lend itself to overnight success. It takes months to truly start seeing organic results. But, once you do, the returns are exponential. It takes time to move up the totem pole. Most businesses who deem blogging as ineffective do not invest enough time to truly see its long term impact.
The more you put into something, the more you’ll get out of it. This is true in many cases, including those with blogging. Ninety percent of Hubspot’s leads in 2017 came from old blog posts.
It takes time to build your content library and to build online authority, but once you have it, your content will be working for you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, without lifting a finger. You will, of course, want to keep it fresh for search-bots (SEO), but the more time-consuming part is done. Because your content will be relevant to your audience, it will be evergreen– meaning, just as the evergreen tree retains its leaves all year, evergreen content is always relevant.
Eager to start getting more traffic and quality leads? We can lend a hand. Our blogging expertise will get the ball rolling. Whether you’re just looking for advice, or you need someone to handle your blogging efforts week-to-week, we can help. We always offer free marketing help in our first discussion. If you'd like to inquire, you can do so here.