If you have a business and a website, you probably have a blog. Or, to be more accurate, you have a blog tab. With a handful of blogs. From an energetic week in July of 2017. Hey, I get it. Writing and publishing blogs is a time-consuming process, and it’s hard to draw a straight line from publish blog to increase sales. But, just because the line is fuzzy doesn’t mean it isn’t there. There are quite a few significant benefits to maintaining a regular, high-quality blog: from (yes) increased sales to improved search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Blogging regularly is one business decision you can make that is basically all upside. So, stop neglecting your blog. Once you hit publish, you’ll start to notice your blog makes a difference in both your customer’s overall experience with your organization and your website SEO performance.
Blogs help move customers through the sales cycle.
At a very basic level, your blog is a way to help move customers through your sales cycle, which is a pretty significant benefit on its own. Your blogs will:
- Exhibit subject matter expertise in your area
- Create a library of responses to commonly asked questions
- Drive new traffic to your site
- Function as evergreen content (say hello to a long-term ranked company for “Google Overlords”).
It’s important to note that potential customers probably won’t make a purchase based on one blog. That makes regular blogging easy to push off and even more important. Every new blog represents a new chance to drive traffic to your website – especially when you incorporate blogs into your social media marketing strategy. This benefit is particularly valuable if you have a primarily-online business. Regular blogging helps take the place of a salesperson answering questions in your storefront. And while a reader might not make a purchase immediately, they more likely to sign up for an email list – assuming your blog was helpful, and it includes some way to capture the reader’s information. Which it should.
Blogs are an essential component of SEO success.
Do blogs help a site’s SEO rankings? Yes. But, maybe not in the way you’re thinking. The formula is a bit more complicated than website + blog = SEO VICTORY. If you care about your site’s search-engine ratings (and since you’re reading a digital marketing and web strategy blog, I assume you do), blogs help in a couple of significant ways.
Google cares about how much time visitors spend on your website and how many pages they visit once they’re on your site. A good blog will keep visitors reading and lead them to other pages on your site (contact page, about, product-specific pages, etc.). Google uses this information to decide how valuable your site is – and displays it in search engine results accordingly.
Long-tail keywords are most organizations best path towards search engine success. Unless you’re one of the largest and most well-established organizations in your field, then you are going to struggle ranking well on short, basic keyword terms. Fortunately, half of all searches are four words or longer. These long-tail keywords are better targets for smaller organizations hoping to improve their SEO rankings.
Blogs are natural homes for long-tail keywords. As you write in an in-depth way about your industry, you end up including those keywords organically as part of the process – as opposed to jamming the keywords into existing content. This pleases both the SEO powers-that-be and your readers.
Internal links are an easy way to boost your site’s SEO rankings, and blogs are a natural location for high-quality internal links. Google uses the number of internal links pointing to a page and the anchor text associated with that link to help determine that page’s topic and relative importance. Also, using your blog to link to more significant pages on your website (like your Our Services page) will transfer authority back to that more significant page. Higher authority helps to improve your website search engine results.
Speaking of higher authority, backlinks – or external links back to your site- are another important tool you can use to increase your site’s authority. Just link internal pages transfer authority back to your site, so do external websites. Backlinks are particularly important when the site linking to your content has a higher domain authority than your own. They can also be a little tricky to obtain. There are a few different approaches to convincing other sites to link to your content, but all of them require that your site has content worth linking to.
Is it possible that your site already has content that is so valuable another website will send its visitors to your site? Sure, but relying on your existing website content to earn you backlinks limits your options. Blogs, on the other hand, expand your options a significant amount. Great, unique, and informative blog content makes great backlinks and highlights your organization’s strengths to a larger audience of readers.