If you think blogging isn’t the answer to your company’s inbound traffic dilemmas, consider this: you’re here, aren’t you? Of the many, many millions of websites on the internet, you not only stumbled across this one, you’re taking a little longer than the national average to stare at the pixels on this page. And maybe this overplayed sign.
This is terrible science, you jerk.
A lot of businesses are in the mindset that blogging isn’t “for” them, that it just isn’t important to their goals and that there won’t be any interest or incentive from their target market. Maybe you’re among them, and don’t quite see the point. Well, stop it. I’ve got five reasons why blogging is essential to your inbound marketing strategy—and why if you don’t have a blog, you’re already behind in the search results game.
1. Google Loves Indexed Pages
Here's the thing--Google and other search engines track each blog post you make and count it as it's own page. The more pages you have, the more authority you have in search rankings, because hey, if you've got all those pages linked to your website you must have something to offer, right? The real value in this is it creates opportunity to use keywords, and use them effectively (which is something we'll talk about in a later blog post). Instead of having your keywords appearing on one page, or ten pages, or however many you optimize for, your keywords can appear on dozens, hundreds, and (who knows?) thousands of websites, all carrying your brand, and all appearing in the rankings. Better yet, they can be tailored to fit the exact subject your prospects are trying to research. Nothing says authority like market saturation. Nothing.
I was so horribly wrong.
2. Maximize your Incoming Links
Here's the second part of using search engine optimization with blogging: the more places linking to you, the better Google thinks your content is. It becomes preferred and so your rankings go up. The best trick to getting those links is to actually pony up and offer great content. You want to write blogs other blogs will blog about. You want other blogs to be all over your blog.
You're marketing with Mojo now, my friend.
And, of course, the beauty of having other sites link to you is you're getting advertising for free. Someone just linked to your post about "The Top 10 Reasons You Need Great Wind Turbine Efficiency Analysis Software?" Well good news, because now all that blog writer's wind turbine enthusiast friends will go read about turbines on your website, where you happen to offer analysis software, and they'll tell their friends, and so on. It's marketing magic at work, and it'll keep on giving for years to come if the content stays relevant. As graduating seniors everywhere are learning, there's no expiration date on online content.
Actually, the wind turbine guy might not have many friends. You should probably change markets.
3. Give Them Something to Tweet About
Two and three are pretty much the same point, but the social media aspect is so important that it's worth repeating. You want to get people talking in a positive way, even if they aren't talking about you or your product specifically. As long as someone is talking about content under your roof, your brand will be carried along with it and you'll be getting that traffic. More traffic, even if a lot of it is from people who aren't necessarily interested in what you offer, increases the chances that a viable prospect will see your site. You want to attract as many people as possible and establish yourself as a resource.
Just maybe not for hardcore wind turbine enthusiasts.
If you can get trendy on twitter--and part of that is having an awesome social media strategy yourself--then your market exposure will explode. The idea is the same as with links from blogs, you want to provide content that people will want to share with their friends, and a big part of that is making sure the content they're sharing doesn't read like an advertisement. You want something educational and interesting, which brings us to point 4.
4. Educate your Readership
You never know where your readers are coming in with regards to their buying cycle. Remember, roughly 75% of visitors to your site are just looking for information on products and services and aren't anywhere close to buying. But if you educate them down that sales funnel and get them wondering where the best place to get that product or service is, your brand is going to be at the top of their heads. What you're doing is establishing yourself as an expert online. If you've educated someone, you've become credible in their minds. More than that, you've formed a relationship with them without them even knowing it. It's the idea I talked about in my last post, "The Point About Content." The trick, as I said, is to not be pushy with the offers and sales rhetoric. You want to be the friendly neighbor who's out to give a helping hand.
And once they trust you, that's when you strike.
5. Control your Online Reputation
Blogging is a huge PR tool that can be handy with press releases, and it's a great way to interact with your market and get feedback in the form of comments. What's better than reading a great, informative article? Getting validation as a human being that other people think it's a great article too and that you aren't alone in the universe. Then it's an extra great article, because look at all those other people who think so. If someone has something negative to say, you don't have to allow that comment.
Except here. We wouldn't do that ever. Not that you would post something mean about something I worked so hard on, right?