Benefits of blogging for SEO
Blogging for SEO
Blogging is one of the most underrated tools in the online marketer’s arsenal. Though many companies dismiss blogs as “fluff”, and an added burden on the PR department, its benefits to business far outweigh the efforts required to keep a company’s blog active.
Consider the statistics. As of 2014, WordPress estimates that over 400 million people view more than 16.3 billion pages per month. An additional 62 million posts are uploaded to the cyber sphere each month, with over 55 million comments posted to them. (1)
This is an incredible amount of engagement! To ignore the potential of blogging as a marketing tool is to ignore a huge part of your potential online customer base. But beyond the access to a vast online community, the benefits of blogging for a business are plenty.
Blogging complements SEO
Blogging regularly means uploading original and relevant content about your product or service. And we all know what content means. Search engines like Google, which drive a large chunk of your SEO traffic to your site, automatically index your blog pages, making it easier for your customers to find you online. In fact, a study by HubSpot indicated that companies that blog receive a whopping 434% increase in indexed pages. (2) By creating keyword-rich and relevant content, the likelihood of your site turning up higher in search rankings also increases, which can in turn, boost traffic to your page.
Of course, just getting traffic is not the objective here. Companies tend to favor marketing channels that connect them to relevant and convertible audiences, which is why the potential of blogs to target specific sets of audiences makes it such a useful tool.
Backlinking and references
Any company who has considered blogging as an option for online marketing has heard about the term “back linking”. But what is it, and how does it work? An inbound link, or a backlink, are links that lead to your website from another website. It is one of the Google algorithm’s primary considerations in determining your page’s rank on the search engine results page. As such, the more relevant inbound linking you have, the more likely you are to turn up higher in the search engine results page, which gives you the additional visibility that was mentioned earlier.
How does blogging fit into this equation? Well, the more interesting and original the content you post to your blog, the more likely people are to see it and share it. Companies that blog have been estimated to receive 97% more of inbound links than companies who don’t. (3) Not all of these links are organic, and several bloggers often pay others to share backlinks to their sites. However, the effect on business can still be tremendous. Google will penalize your site if it finds the domain in a paid, bartered, or exchanged link scheme. Acquiring back links with “black hat” methods may work this time around, but Google is working vigorously on their algorithms to find and push sites that use these practices to the bottom of search results.
Blogging’s Business Impact
The reason why blogging is such an effective method is that it relies upon the power of communities and word of mouth to drive sales. You may find this surprising, but 61% of US consumers have made purchases based on recommendations from a blog. (4) When people buy products, especially high-involvement products, they tend to search online for information about it. This is when a company can capitalize on the opportunity to grab their attention. Blogs help to induce trust in customers, since they provide valuable information regarding a product, which helps the customer make an informed decision.
The economies of blogging also work in a marketer’s favor. The sheer probability of attracting a larger group of potential customers to your website increases exponentially with the amount of online content that references your product. In the B2B (business-to-business) sector, for example, companies with blogs generate 67% more leads than companies who do not. (5)
Apart from this, many companies harness the power of blogs to complement their overall marketing strategy. Particularly interesting or viral blogs can be promoted through paid advertisements, or social media, which would grab even more eyeballs. Businesses that blog have been shown to generate up to two times as much traffic from e-mail marketing than others. (6) Blogging is a good option to tie together the loose ends of your online marketing strategy, and this is what makes its impact clear to see.
However it’s more than just a strategy for lead generation for a company – blogging means assuming and taking control of a brand’s entire online identity.
Your Blog is a Brand
With the vast amount of online information that may already be available on your product, it becomes important for you, as a marketer, to be able to control what your customers see. The increasing relevance of reputation management and authority building makes it important for you to be able to present your potential audiences with information that accurately represents your company or product.
81% of consumers trust and believe in what they read on blogs. (4) This can swing either way in the case of unmoderated content, which is when blogging becomes an important tool to tip the scales in your favor. When the content that you have generated turns up higher in search rankings, it is what your customers will click on. This ensures that you are able to maintain the integrity of your brand, especially considering how their perception of this information could affect your bottom line.
As is clear to see, the impact of blogging on customer behavior online is far too great to be ignored completely. While there are some clear ground rules and strategies that help to achieve blogging success, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist or an expert marketer to know that empowering your consumers with useful information is a sure step in the right direction.