We’ve all heard about “blogs”, but what are the real benefits and why should we dedicate so much time to maintaining one? Well, blogging can actually serve more functions than what appears initially. When considering that most web users are online to search for information (in one form or another), you have to see a blog as not just significant, but as a necessity. Blogging not only serves as a great platform for providing information to your audience, but can produce significant advantages over your competitors. Below, I will systematically break down those advantages and how you can most efficiently apply these benefits towards your business.
This may be surprising, but blogging can directly correlate to a financial incentive for your business. For example, your potential customers often times go through a due diligence process before making a final decision on the most company. This time should be seen as an opportunity to inform, engage, and most importantly, offer value to your prospective audience. A successful blogger utilizes these elements, ultimately conveying their vast knowledge and expertise in a particular industry. This poses a major advantage over the competition when considering that most businesses with a website usually lack a blog and the ones that do have a blog, rarely maintain it. Would the potential customer rather use the business providing insight and value or the business that commits the bare minimum towards their online presence?
Often unrealized, a website or blog acts as a first impression to online users and ultimately is a direct representation of your company. Without the ability to greet and inform each user on a face-to-face basis, your website has to essentially take on this role for you. Having that mindset will dramatically increase the percentage of people willing to pick the phone and call you. On average, you have around 10 seconds to capture a potential customer’s attention before they click “back” and move on to your competitor. With that said, there has to be something of value offered to keep them not only interested, but coming back. Whether it’s an informational video, blog post, or a free consultation, there should be some element that helps you stand out from the crowd.
“Standing out”, ultimately determines the difference between seeing no results and exponential results. More importantly, standing out in search engines is a variable to the equation that can almost guarantee a successful marketing campaign. The beauty of a blog is that it not only provides value to your potential customers, but gives you a significant advantage over your competition in search engines. For example, Google’s algorithm uses unique and newly created content as one of many precursors for determining the relevancy and ranking position of your website. With Google, it’s all about the “user experience” and if you’re providing their users with value, they in return will provide you with highly relevant traffic.
To most efficiently harness this lead source, you need to understand some of the basics when it comes to the“on-site” optimization process. First off, I would recommend using a common blogging platform such as WordPress being that it’s easy to understand and universally accepted. When deciding on a topic for your blog posts, I would strongly suggest blogging about your industry. Off-topic posts don’t serve much value in search engines and dilute your overall message. When writing a post, be sure to include keywords that you would like to eventually see ranking in search engines. The title of the post should clearly define the content and once again, you should include your targeted terms.
However, overuse of targeted terms can cause penalty, which is why you need to be aware of what’s referred to as “keyword density”. Every time, that you include your targeted terms, you should be adding a nice blend of content around that term. To simplify, you’re optimizing your post for search engines, but writing in manner that still makes sense to your audience. Other areas where you can include your key terms, are the categories and post tags section. Categories allow you to quickly organize your vast collection of blog posts and post tags are terms that can quickly summarize the content of the post. If possible, adding images and video to your posts will not only increase the odds of someone reading it, but Google will also give that post additional value.
Another factor that Google seems to watch closely is the post frequency and long-term consistency. Their ideal candidates post at least on a weekly basis (preferably daily) and can maintain this over long periods of time (months and even years). If done correctly, you should start seeing the fruits of your labor in as little as 3 to 6 months. In the event that there are desired terms not being indexed and ranked, you may want to consider hiring an SEO firm to conduct an “off-site” optimization campaign. To be brief, this primarily consists of producing a high volume of backlinks that embed those targeted terms in the “anchor text” of the links.Even if you had to hire an SEO firm, blogging would still accelerate that process,reducing the ranking time and costs.
As you can start to see, blogging does yield a much higher value than you may have originally thought. With your only investment being time, it should be centered at the core of any online campaign. For those that can’t invest your time, there are services out there that can maintain and manage a blog presence for you. Regardless, this is only one piece to the puzzle, but considering the high return to investment ratio, it should be a considered a top priority.