In recent years, customers have changed how they learn about the businesses they work with. They no longer rely on product-related information through the use of targeted advertising. Instead, they want to know who businesses are and what they stand for. They want to know about your core values, who your employees are, and what you do that makes you different from your competitors.
While this can seem daunting, it can be relatively simple to communicate all of this if you have a detailed content marketing strategy.
You can use your corporate blog page to highlight your successes, provide value-added content, and improve your search engine rankings through your use of content.
But too many small businesses see their blogs as a distraction. They are focused on their day jobs which means that their blog page gets left unloved and outdated. But these firms are running the risk of being left behind – and with "70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing" (HubSpot, 2020), it is clear that blogging isn't something that you can put to one side for a later date.
What are the SEO advantages of having a blog?
You may be questioning why blogs are so important.
Well, simply put, they have a remarkable impact on your search engine rankings.
This is because a continuously updated blog provides an opportunity to add new content to your site.
The likes of Google and Bing will be searching for sites that add updated content to prove that these businesses are still active. Have you ever come across a website with an out-of-date blog page where the last post was published several months or even years ago? You could be inadvertently giving the impression that your business has ceased trading without meaning to.
If you are using a carefully crafted content strategy, your blog content should be aligned with the search queries that your customers are searching for. By carefully considering what your customers are looking for, you can be found in the search rankings far more easily. According to DemandMetric, 68% of people read about brands that interest them. Therefore, you should be tapping into this. In an ideal world, you want to give your customers a reason to want to visit your website, even if they are not ready to purchase your products or invest in your services. What's more, your blog content should be linking through to your internal product/service pages, giving you more opportunities to convert your visitors into paying customers.
Another way your blog can improve your SEO tactics is to align your content with long-tail keywords. These days, customers are searching for longer search terms – and the more detailed and specific you can be with your keywords, the more likely you will be able to rank high in the search engines.
Let's use the example of "running shoes." As you can imagine, this is a common search query, with approx. 75,000 search queries per month.
The volume of traffic relating to this common phrase would make it almost impossible to reach the top of search engines. But what if you expanded it to a long-tail keyword? Could that change your opportunities to rank high? What if you published content on your blog along the lines of "best running shoes for shin pain" or "when to buy new running shoes?". By expanding your content and providing value-added content, you could directly attract your target audience and give yourself a greater opportunity to rank higher in the search engine listings.
What should you be doing to ensure that your blog is used strategically?
Now we know why it's important to blog, we need to consider how to use it strategically so that you can see the benefits as quickly as possible.
To do this, you need to do your research. Blog content should be a core part of your marketing strategy. You want to combine search queries with the areas of your business that drive revenue.
Ask your SEO team to confirm what searches are driving traffic to your website
Your first step to creating a strategic blog strategy is to think carefully about what your customers are searching for. You could ask your external SEO team to provide you with a list of popular keywords and queries which will help to inform your content. If you are a small business and you do not have the budget for an SEO team, you can use the data available through Google Analytics and Google Search Console to provide you with these insights.
The more you can align your blog content to your audience searches, the more likely you can generate new traffic to your website via your blog.
Talk to your business development team to confirm your business priorities and revenue drivers
While it's important to focus on common search terms, it's also important to align your content with your business priorities and revenue drivers. The easiest way to generate a return on investment via a blogging strategy is to focus on the strongest parts of your business. For example, let's imagine that you have a retail store. In which case, you would want to use your content to raise awareness of your products with the highest profit margins. Your bottom line will benefit more from selling one item with a 30% markup rather than selling five items with a 5% markup.
Similarly, suppose your business plan focuses on moving into a new area, perhaps the launch of a new product or relocation into a new area. In that case, you may want to focus your content on these areas.
Use your blog to drive content through your social media platforms
Your blog should be a key driver throughout your website. A well-written blog should use internal linking strategies to drive visitors to key product or service pages. It should direct readers to your contact details, helping you convert them into paying customers. And it should drive content to your social media channels.
If your company struggles to maintain your blog page, you may also be struggling to find the time to update your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram feeds. Well, your blog content provides you with many opportunities to share your content on your social media feeds. However, it's important to remember that your blog content shouldn't sit static on your site. It would help if you used it to drive people to your website rather than waiting for people to find you themselves.
The more you can share your content socially, the more you can generate engagement with your audiences and build a reputation for your business.
Can you use your blog to provide added value and improve your reputation as a trusted expert?
One of the biggest benefits of using a corporate blog is that you can share your expertise and knowledge.
Customers these days want to have value-added content. If you are a retailer, they don’t just want to purchase an item from you. If you sell clothing, customers want to benefit from styling suggestions. If you sell food items, they want to read recipe ideas.
In the B2B space, your customer wants to know what your expertise is. They want to feel confident that you are the right person to work with them before they’ve even made that first initial contact. By using your blog to share what you know, and how you work, your customers are likely to be much further along the sales funnel from the very first conversation. That is why so many businesses choose to outsource their blog articles to a professional copywriter. They want to be able to have someone who can craft and tell their stories in a compelling way, without being distracted by their day-to-day jobs.
The more effort you put into your blogging strategy, the more reassured that your customers will feel about who you are as a business. They’ll get an insight into your expertise and feel confident that you are the right person to help them. And once you gain a reputation for developing value-added content, not only will you see more traffic from returning visitors, but you will start to see a significant difference in your search engine rankings.
So, as we start 2022, it’s time to consider your business New Years Resolutions and consider how you can use your blog strategically to improve your bottom line.