Do You Really Generate Business By Blogging?
One of the most frequent comments and questions I get when discussing the benefits and value of blogging and using the inbound methodology for small business is – “Bottom line do you get business from doing it???” While I thought I had touched on it in my previous blog, evidently I need to make the case that much stronger. Not just the value of blogging, but how small business blogging improves your bottom line.
I’ll repeat and add some of the relevant statistics.
- According to Hubspot, overall ROI – Return On Investment – is more likely to increase for companies who blog; in fact, businesses who prioritize blogging experience a 13X increase in ROI, year after year.
- The average company that blogs generate 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links, and 434% more indexed pages!
- “B2B companies that blog only 1-2x/month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t blog at all.”
- 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. Compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic. Over its lifetime, one compounding blog post creates as much traffic as six decaying posts. (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics#Blogging)
However, all the traffic in the world won’t help if you don’t capitalize on it!
With one customer we were helping we found during a site audit and repair that over 70 percent of his e-commerce website’s traffic was generated by blog posts written three and four years ago! The issue wasn’t so much about getting traffic but how to convert that traffic into paying customers. To diagnose the issue, we had to see what was working and what wasn’t. Clearly, the content wasn’t the issue, as it was still generating traffic! Nonetheless, most of that traffic left without ever converting. Why? First, we needed to identify what types of blog posts were popular on his blog. After examining the data, we found that the content style of these high traffic blog posts was what we refer to as ‘evergreen content’.
What is Evergreen Content?
‘SEO Content’ is content created with the goal of attracting organic search engine traffic. Evergreen content, like the tree it’s named after, is SEO content that that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” long after it is published. You may be thinking, “Isn’t all content online sustainable; the articles and blog posts don’t ever disappear!”
When we talk about a piece of content being “evergreen,” we mean that it continues to be relevant long past its publication, so search engine traffic grows over time. Unlike topical news stories and trendy – in vogue – topics, evergreen content addresses your audience’s concerns over the long term. This helps to generate leads month after month, year after year. (For what it’s worth, not all of your blog posts should be evergreen content, but it should definitely be a significant percentage of them. Timely content can also help generate short-term traffic to your site as well.)
Four Possible Reasons Your Blog Traffic Isn’t Generating Revenue
So this customer had relevant evergreen content, and was generating a large traffic stream – so why wasn’t it helping his bottom line?
The answer to that had many factors, but the main reasons we discovered were as follows:
The blog was not integrated well on his website
One of the worst business decisions a company can make regarding their blog is to have it off-site. Second only to that is having the blog on the site, but not integrated well with the site.
A couple of points he mentions relevant to this case are:
Blog posts help your website rank for long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are those three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to your goods or services. Whenever a customer uses a highly focused search phrase, they are telling us exactly what they are actually looking for. A site without a blog will have a hard time ranking for these long-tail search queries. Having more content is the best way to rank for the long-tail queries you are hoping to be found for; the more content you add, the more chances you have to rank for less common, but ultimately higher-converting keyword phrases. Logically speaking, if your blog isn’t integrated on your site, the traffic it generates will be less likely to get a proper conversion.
Consistent blogging keeps your website “fresh”
Google loves to see new content being added on a regular basis and rewards sites that do so with better visibility. More content also means more opportunities for adding internal links. This creates more pathways for search engine crawlers, which more effectively spreads PageRank throughout your site. Once again, if your blog content is offsite, you will not benefit from its freshness.
There were no calls to action
Many times your content will have the answer a customer is looking for. However, if you don’t integrate CTAs (Calls To Action) you miss the opportunity to capitalize on their interest! It’s like putting out bait without a net to catch the fish! A call-to-action (CTA) is a button or link that you strategically place on your website, blog or email to drive prospective customers to become leads by filling out a form on a landing page. A good CTA should link the regular content that your potential customer is interested in, to a focused page with a more high-value offer on it (the landing page) that is relevant and interesting enough to persuade your visitor to complete a short form or a purchase. (For more on CTAs and best practices check out this link from Hubspot.)
Don’t just feed the fish, prepare the hook or the net to catch them with!
The website was a mess and landing pages were non-existent
One of the most obvious problems this website had was that even if he had integrated CTAs into his blog posts, his homepage was a jumbled mess and he had no dedicated landing pages that would lead the customer to make a purchase. Imagine attracting a potential customer to your store, only to have them sift through a disorganized room to figure out on their own where to find what they’re looking for! This is a great way to lose them forever! Maintaining a consistent scent throughout the sales funnel is the best way to get a conversion! Make sure that whatever attracted them to click on your content in the first place is included in each subsequent step they take. Furthermore, having a dedicated landing page without other on-page distractions maintains the focus and purpose of what you want your customer to do.
It wasn’t being shared or referenced by influencers and wasn’t generating links
An important element of your blog is that it needs to generate links organically. This can only be accomplished if your content is shared! Like the CTAs, social share buttons are a basic low-commitment way for visitors, leads, and customers to engage with your brand. It allows them to amplify your message beyond your current reach. Not having these buttons makes it more difficult to share and in all likelihood, it will not be! Links are the lifeblood of any website. Make sure it’s designed to capitalize on any avenue that generates them.
What’s my point sharing this case study with you? I think it perfectly illustrates my answer to our original question.
Does small business blogging improve your bottom line?
Yes! It can and does – provided you set it up properly in advance.
Create quality content to be found by the people searching for your products or services and configure it to improve your conversions and increase your bottom line. Take the time to plan your content/blogging strategy to execute it properly. Remember what Benjamin Franklin said – “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail!”
If you’d like to discuss these or any other digital marketing ideas in more detail to improve your small local business, please feel free to contact me @ 855-970-GURU.