Raise your hand if you have ever wondered about the purpose of a blog for your business. “I have a business website, and new leads can find me through my Facebook ad campaigns. Why do I even need a blog?” sounds familiar?
Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at some interesting facts.
According to Hubspot, businesses that blog regularly receive 55% more visitors AND 67% more inbound links than businesses that don’t have a blog at all.
In the last few years, content creation has become the most effective SEO (Search Engine Optimization) technique. The more content you publish around topics relevant to your customers, the better your odds of improving traffic from search and nabbing conversions.
If you’d like to know more about SEO, we explain it in more detail here.
So coming back to that question – what is the purpose of a blog for your business?
Well, the numbers clearly say that Google loves it when businesses share high-quality content with their audience. And that love translates into higher organic search rankings.
When we sit down and talk to our clients about their marketing goals, one of the first things they mention is boosting their search rankings. They want to be visible. They want to be found online.
One of the quickest ways to be found by search engines is to have content on your website that they can index. According to a survey done by Hubspot, companies that regularly publish blog posts have 434% more indexed pages than websites that don’t publish content!
And what better way to get more indexed pages than adding carefully crafted blog posts to your site?
In addition to your website pages, your blog should be a key contributor to your content marketing strategy. Digital marketers, as well as businesses, have apparently realized that; according to a survey done by Content Marketing Institute, 94% of marketers and business owners are planning to invest in a content creation strategy this year.
Now that we know how significant a blog can be for your business, let’s talk about how exactly it can affect your brand.
The purpose of a blog and what it does for your business
Blogging for businesses or projects, or business blogging as we call it, is the form of creating and publishing short-form content to get your business more online visibility.
To make your website a lead generating machine, you need people to actually see it.
The two most important ways people can discover you online are: 1) they type in your site’s URL, or 2) they find you through search engines.
Now, unless you are a big player in your industry like, say, Baskin Robbins or Nestlé, the odds of #1 happening to your brand are pretty unlikely.
That leaves you with #2.
As previously mentioned, when your website has more pages, you have better odds of ranking well in search engines.
Now consider this: every time you publish a blog post and, as a result, create a new web page, you create:
- One more opportunity for your website to appear for the queries people are entering into search engines
- One more opportunity for another website to link to your blog post, giving you more SEO juice
- One more opportunity for someone to share that new post on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Do you see it? Blogging is one of the easiest and most economical ways to get your business found by the relevant audience so you can generate new leads.
Let’s talk about this in detail. Here are our top reasons why a blog should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
- It helps drive quality traffic to your website
As we mentioned before, one of the ways people find your website is by typing your name right into their browser.
For one second let’s forget that you are a small business, and people do find you by typing in your website URL. Even then, that’s an audience that already knows about you! You are already on their radar and that doesn’t help you get new traffic.
Another way to get your brand noticed by people is to a) generate traffic by placing loads of paid ads or b) buying an email list and blasting the innocent visitors with dozens of salesy emails every week. While the former is expensive and legal, the latter is also expensive and illegal (check out Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act, 2003.)
So how to drive traffic that doesn’t stop the second you run out of money?
Yes, blogging is the answer you’re looking for.
When you consistently post content on your blog, it indicates to Google and other search engines that your site is active and they should be checking it out more often to see your new content.
The following graph from Hubspot shows that traffic generation increases significantly once a website reaches 300+ indexed pages.
Wondering what the purpose of a blog is? Well, generating leads via higher search rankings sounds pretty good to us.
And in case it’s not obvious, adding blog content to your website is the only way to achieve that many indexed pages.
Also, when you write a particularly great blog post, people are bound to share it on social networks. This is the best kind of exposure you can get when trying to reach a new audience.
- It helps convert that traffic into leads
So now that you have good traffic coming to your site – thanks to your blog, it’s time to convert it into leads.
And blog posts can help you do that too. All you have to do is add a call-to-action (CTA) button to every post you create. You can also use these CTAs to offer free eBooks, free trials, free webinars, etc., to people in exchange for their information just like the one you see below.
The key is to create a content asset for which people would be willing to exchange their information. It must be a high-quality piece of content that will genuinely help them. And a CTA button is how you will turn them into leads for your sales team.
It should be noted here that even though the purpose of a blog is not selling your product, it can still entice people to make the final buying decision.
- It helps your business establish authority
One purpose of a blog that few business owners think about is to answer common questions their customers have.
Can you imagine how many more leads a salesperson could close if their target customers discovered blog content written by their sales team? Just imagine the impact of sending an informational blog post or article you created to explain or resolve things for a confused consumer?
This is pretty powerful stuff.
If prospects find answers to their common queries via blog posts written by you or your business team, they’re much more likely to convert into paid customers because they already trust you; because you have helped them in the past – even before they made a decision to buy anything from you.
If you are consistently churning out content that’s useful and helpful for your target audience, it will help establish you as an authority in their eyes.
What a blog does NOT do
So you have done amazing research and spent hours creating the most detailed, helpful, and creative blog content. You hit the “publish” button. Now you are waiting for thousands of visitors to find your incredible blog post and come sashaying to your website.
Don’t do that.
There’s a lot more that goes into making a blog post popular (hint: promotion and SEO). A successful post is not only well-written, it’s engaging and encourages the audience to respond. Also, if you want people to share your content, you’ll have to do it yourself first; include your blog posts in your email and social media campaigns.
And even when you do everything right, it can take a couple of months to see the results of your efforts. As they say, the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Now let’s talk about a couple of misconceptions people have about the purpose of a blog.
It does not sell: Even though a blog helps to inform and educate your audience about your product, it does not “sell” your product.
When people first come to your website, it’s highly unlikely that they will buy something from you. In fact, it usually takes a prospect seeing your content or brand multiple times before they make a decision. Often, this process takes several days or months. Take a look at the stats from an example company below.
Visitors have probably come to your site through one of your blog posts they found in the search engine results. First, they need to know if they can trust you.
If your blog post is full of “buy now” buttons, people will bounce and leave before you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
You know what? Scratch that. They will leave way before you can finish saying it.
Don’t use your blog content to sell; leave that to content written specifically for your sales funnel (sales copies/squeeze pages.) Again, the purpose of a blog is not to sell; it’s to inform your target audience about your product and services.
It’s not about quantity: Probably one of the biggest misconceptions people have about publishing blog posts is no matter the quality; more blog posts mean more traffic. Not true.
When it comes to a business blog, strategy and quality are much more important than quantity. A strategy will help you create content that revolves around the relevant topics for your audience.
Note: It is also important to figure out which social media platform will be most suitable for you to share content. For example, does your target audience prefer Facebook over Instagram? Do your research, and create and share your blog posts accordingly.
Also, the purpose of a blog is to appeal to your buyer persona. Do NOT think for a second that with more blog posts you can cast a wider net and catch the attention of a larger audience.
If you try to speak to different types of people, your blog content will be generic at best. If you’re trying to build authority in your niche – which we know you are – you should forget about the term “mass appeal”.
It will not help you become a blogging sensation: If we had a nickel for every business who told us they want their blog to be so successful and amazing that “people will keep coming for more” we’d be much (much!) richer.
At the risk of sounding “low vibe”, let us tell you something: people do not care about your blog.
People who read a company’s blog don’t do it for fun; they are simply looking for a solution to their problems! So if you’re thinking the purpose of a blog might be to establish your online presence as the next Forbes, think again.
But that’s okay. It truly is. Take a deep breath and read on.
How to get best results from a blog (that nobody reads)
Let’s say you are a new business who offers plumbing services. You create a website page that says “We offer best plumbing services in…”. The chances of that page appearing on page 1 of Google search results when someone searches plumbing services are zero.
As a new business, it’d be impossible for you to rank for “plumbing services”; search engine optimization is a tricky thing.
Writing blog content and articles gives you a vehicle for pursuing less competitive keywords. In fact, in the digital marketing world, the whole purpose of a blog is to help you rank for certain keywords. If you do keyword research to find less competitive search phrases that you can rank for and create well-optimized highly targeted blog content, you have the recipe for success.
The process is simple. Not easy, but really simple.
So here’s what your blog creation process should look like.
- Identify the audience
- Decide the tone of your content (casual and conversational vs. formal)
- Decide the topics
- Decide a schedule for publishing new blog posts (example, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday)
- See what your competitors are writing about (and what they missed)
Now you can understand the incredible impact a blog can have on the growth of your business. If you think it’d be overwhelming for you to create and write blog posts on a regular basis, you can always hire an agency to take care of it all for you.
But understand that nobody knows your business and your customers like you do. So even if you outsource the writing, make sure you’re involved in creating your content strategy.
Still wondering about the purpose of a blog? If you’d like some help regarding your blog content strategy, don’t shy away from dropping us a message. Our in-house nerds love what they do and they’d be happy to help start your business blog or improve it through SEO.