Given the ongoing commitment of time and resources required does blogging really deliver a return on investment? Many of the benefits of business blogging seem intangible and difficult to measure. This post discusses both the benefits of blogging and how those benefits may be measured
The benefits of business blogging may be summarized as follows:
- More traffic to the business website = more sales leads.
- Ongoing communication = more credibility, engagement and customer retention.
- Raised profile = more sales leads.
Link between business blogging and more website traffic
A well written, informative and engaging blog post may rank on the search engines as a standalone item for a given keyword. Anyone clicking on that blog post will be taken to the blog residing on the main company website generating visitors who may click around the website (or follow links) for more information once they are there.
A business website will generally have a relatively small number of pages and therefore a relatively small number of keywords. A blog delivers the capability to expand the range of keywords dramatically over time. While it is true each post may attract a fraction of the traffic of the main website pages, over time the combined blog traffic can add up to a considerable figure.
Blog posts may be socially shared via a wide range of channels which further expands their reach and opportunities to generate click through’s and, perhaps just as important, links. Blogging therefore has an impact on search engine marketing and a website that resides higher on the search engines naturally generates more traffic.
Given the dramatic changes to the Google (and others) search algorithms over the past 18 to 24 months it is increasingly difficult to improve a websites position in search without content.
Blogging facilitates ongoing customer communication
B2B market research has shown that when asked why they left their existing supplier over 60% of respondents stated the reason as the supplier did not communicate with them on a regular basis or that they felt undervalued. Blogging is an excellent way to stay in touch with customers without pushing sales messages their way.
Good blogging practice engages with prospects and customers, facilitates feedback, builds credibility and can, over an extended period of time, build a community.
Raise a business profile via blogging
There is little doubt significant resource needs to be allocated to each blog post but fortunately that same content can be shared and re-used many times for maximum effect. Social media channels, good social bookmark sites, slideshare type applications, Video (youTube) and high quality blogging collation sites all extend the reach of a single blog post. All of which ultimately builds the profile of the business.
Blogging and the big lie
I quick look around the internet will show many business blogs abandoned after the first few posts. The reason is primarily based on those involved falling for one of the major internet marketing myths that is ‘build it and they will come’ – what rubbish.
Publishing the post is only the first part of the battle, the post then needs to be distributed widely by the most appropriate channels to reach the audience. It needs to be re-used (as noted above) then distributed again. Only then is it possible to expect any engagement and resulting traffic / interest.
The impact of every business blog post is measureable and each can generate website traffic, engage with customers and prospects and raise the profile of the business. To be successful takes time, significant resources and some new skills but the medium to long term benefits of business blogging can be significant.