It’s easy for a digital marketing company to say that blogging matters for your business. It's our breadwinner, and we are good at it. We often get ranked highly on sites like BizSugar and our work is linked to by high-quality sites.
In fact, one high-quality site linked to not just our blog, but three of our clients’ in one blog post – now if that doesn’t speak about the quality of our content, I don’t know what will.
However, people tend not to see the results that blogging can provide, usually because business owners aren’t looking in the right areas. They think that people will instantly press ‘buy’ from a blog post but this isn’t the case, it is a long process, and sometimes the positive impact of blogging, like social media, can be hidden beneath the surface.
That is why it is important to look at the results of studies about why blogging is so important, though this should be done from an objective point of view. It is okay for marketers to say how important it is to implement content marketing; but what do customers think and how is their behaviour demonstrating the importance of blogging?
So, what information is available to show why blogging matters?
When it comes to traffic coming into your website, nothing is more important than your search engine campaigns. This is one area where blogging can really support you. Studies by Kissmetrics and others have demonstrated that the more articles you create for your blog, the more pages you’ll have indexed by search engines.
These act as signposts to your website and help it to get discovered in a search. Blogging also helps to create a varied set of keywords and searches your brand could display.
Research has also found that 80% of potential buyers will ignore paid adverts and go for organic search results.
Other research has found that those who create blog posts on a regular basis will receive more inbound links. While the importance of inbound links is diminishing, it is still an important part of your search engine campaigns. It can also generate organic traffic and cement your reputation as an expert.
2. Buyers Read Blog Posts
Before they’ve even spoken to a sales representative – your potential customers have read what you’ve written online. The average prospect has read between three and five blog posts, per the Demand Gen Report, 2016.
This gives them an opportunity to review your processes, offers and personality. Therefore, don’t lose the opportunity of getting your prospects to see your brand image by not creating branded blog content.
It is important to note the changing attitudes towards blog posts as well. In the past, blog posts were often considered to contain unreliable information. But in 2016 this changed and blog posts are now seen as a trusted medium for discovering new information.
This can also be seen in the way people are spending their time online. On average people spend 23% of their time on the internet reading blog posts or engaging on social media. It is very hard to distinguish between the two activities as most social media sites direct users to blog posts and most blog posts direct readers back to social media.
3. Closing Rates Are Better
When you employ blogging, you also have a much higher chance of closing sales. Search Engine Journal has found that inbound marketing techniques have a closing rate of about 14.6% while those who use direct marketing only, can suffer from success rates of 1.7% on average.
This is a little more important than just a closing rate. The better performing sales pathway helps you to keep costs down. It also helps you to generate more positive relationships with anyone your sales team engages.
4. Readers Skim
While this might sound negative, it is a good point. Readers aren’t interested in every word; they tend to skim read a piece of content, look for the information they want and then leave your site (hopefully by sharing it first).
This isn’t a new. This trend was noticed back in 1997 in one study, and a similar study in 2016 discovered that in 20 years, nothing has really changed.
So, while blogging matters, getting it to look the best for your audience is vital. If an audience member is bored reading your articles, they will not want to engage with your audience.
One of the first things to note on how readers interact with your content is that they don’t read it word-for-word. Instead, they skim read and pick-out important points, so avoid large paragraphs and insert regular headings.
You will also need to think about visuals and how they can up the ‘wow factor’ for your brand.
Skim reading does have one negative impact for your blogging campaigns – the shorter the content, the poorer it will look. Therefore, it is crucial to consider writing longer pieces if you want to rank well and be shared lots on social media.
At TwoFeetMarketing we struggle to get this message across, but the facts are simple:
- The best-ranked content on search engines is between 1,140 and 1,285 words (Search Metrics).
- The longer the blog post, the more inbound links there are to the content.
That isn’t to say that you can only publish long-form content. We don’t even do that. We just know when a blog post requires a lengthy discussion, we don’t try to limit the content to just a few words. We try to give the subject its full honours.
5. Readers Follow Brands And Share Content
If you really want to know the number one reason blogging matters, it is because as soon as your audience has finished (skim) reading your content, they have a few choices. Most will probably exit the browser or go to another site. It is a fact, but when you make a sales call, most will want to get off the phone to you as soon as possible anyway – it’s the same behaviour.
Then there are those that want to know more; these are the potential customers. They will either share your content via social media because they think it might be of some use, or they will follow you to keep up to date with your brand, or just read more content.
The longer you keep them on your website, the greater the chance you will create a positive lead that can be sold to quickly.
Don’t waste the opportunity. Create email capture forms and other pages to convert the visitor from your casual visitor to lead. This will help you turn blogging into a known money generator and a valuable marketing avenue.
Your Blogging Matters To Us Too
In today’s modern world, blogging matters. It helps your website to rank on search engines, generates traffic from third party websites and is a useful platform for engaging with your audience. You should make sure you have a content strategy in place to match your audience and advertise your core brand values.
When was the last time you published a blog post? What is stopping you from publishing more?
Let us know in the comments below or email us for an informal conversation about your blogging strategy.