How important are blogs on your website?
“Blogging is dead!” Or so they have proclaimed time and time again over the last ten years or so.
Actually, blogging is truly alive and kicking. Although we would say that, wouldn’t we? To prove it to you, this blog looks at the latest evidence to see why and how blogging should fit in with your marketing strategy.
Is blogging still a thing in 2023?
48% of marketers use blogs, and according to Hubspot’s State of Marketing report, they are the second most popular media format.
Blogging for business is all about using blogs to increase visibility of your brand, increase traffic to your website, gain inbound links and to position yourselves as experts in your field. So in answer to the question, blogging is absolutely still a thing in 2023 – a pretty important thing in fact!
What is a blog?
Let’s take it right back. Just in case you don’t know, the word blog originally comes from ‘weblog’ coined back in the late 90s. It’s basically an article on a website.
Usually businesses choose to create a ‘blog’ section on their website to house these articles, but they can come in various guises including ‘resources’, ‘news’, ‘guides’, etc. It all depends on the main purpose of your blog.
Who reads blogs anyway?
Hopefully you’ve done some target audience research and you’ll know whether or not your customers read blogs, but it would be quite a good guess to suggest that most of them do on a regular basis. If you look at Google search results for most queries (that aren’t branded, product specific searches) you’ll see that the results are dominated by, what are for all intents and purposes, blog posts:
Another study by Hubspot found that 60 percent of all internet users read blogs more than once per week. They arrive at those blog posts in different ways – organic search, forums, emails, and social media.
For the reader, blog posts are an invaluable source of information. Often it can be seen as more reliable than branded content as you get what appears to be an impartial view. Blogs are used by people looking for an answer to a question, to solve a pain-point, to learn more about something, or even just to be entertained.
Should a brand write a blog?
Yes! But as long as you can answer two key questions:
- Do you have a niche that you’re an expert in? Hopefully the answer to this one is yes! Otherwise, what does your business do…?
- Can you provide top-quality content with information that no one else has? That doesn’t mean you have to be a research professor coming up with new theories, but you need to be able to add your own spin on a topic.
When writing a blog for your business, you’ll want to be adding something to the internet. There are millions of blogs out there, what will set yours apart from the rest?
This is an old Whiteboard Friday from back when Rand Fishkin was still at Moz. But creating 10x content still has its place today as it works to Google’s E-A-T content guidelines.
E = Expertise
A = Authoritativeness
T = Trustworthiness
Your website needs to publish E-A-T content to rank and compete with your competitors.
How to build blogs into your marketing strategy
Blogs can be used for different points of the marketing funnel. The type of blog post that you create will depend on who you want to target and what you want the outcome to be. All this will be dictated by your content marketing blog strategy.
At the top you have awareness. This is where you have more generalised content covering topics that will interest your audience but wouldn’t necessary be directly connected to your product. This isn’t going to be the place to add CTAs to buy your products because the reader isn’t in that frame of mind yet. But you’ll want to include a next step CTA, perhaps to another blog post to read on a similar subject – potentially a post aimed closer to the buying decision.
The purpose of these top of funnel content marketing pieces is to draw people in who may not already know about your brand so that when they are in the consideration phase, they will hopefully think of you.
At the middle of the funnel, people are starting to become interested in your brand and the products that you offer. Their pain point has been identified. So, the type of blog posts you might focus on would be reviews, comparisons and more detailed articles with information that people who might be in the mind to buy would need to know. You’re teaching them how to choose a solution.
Right at the bottom of the marketing funnel is where people take action. This is where you need to explain why your product is the best solution and where you’ll have a clear call to action to visit a product page or get in touch.
Let’s look at some examples with a holiday villa company as the business:
The blog posts you create will feed into your other marketing channels. To drive traffic to your website, you’ll want to link to your blog post but how you do this will depend on the channel.
Repurposing blog content for multiple marketing channels
The handy thing about spending time writing a blog is that you can repurpose the content to use in loads of different ways.
Take the film locations blog above. This would need to have images in the blog post as it’s a very visual topic, so you’ve already gone through the effort of sourcing images. You could turn those images into a video for Instagram/Facebook Reels. You’d also want to create a Pinterest pin.
Blog posts could be repurposed into things like:
- Explainer videos
- Downloadable content such as PDF checklists
- Sound bites
- Podcast episodes
Repurposing content gives you extra reach as you can get to your target audience on all the platforms they hang out on. You can also get the most bang for your buck out of a piece of content as you can rehash it and update it over time so it’s still relevant.
Blogging for SEO
With my old SEO hat on, it would be remiss of me not to talk about why blogging is good for SEO.
Blogs help show Google that your brand is relevant because you’re regularly publishing new content. You can target all sorts of keywords with blog posts, particularly long tail keywords which might not have much in the way of volume, but they can be highly lucrative because searchers are closer to making a buying decision.
‘Long tail’ refers to the shape of a distribution graph. Your ‘head terms’ are shorter, broader and have the highest search volume, e.g. ‘digital marketing’. But these terms have the most competition and are the most difficult to rank for. Long tail terms are generally made up of more words and have a much smaller search volume, ‘online courses for aspiring marketers’, for example.
On their own, long tail keywords aren’t going to bring traffic to your website in droves, however there are a lot of them. By creating lots of content that targets various different long tail keywords related to your products, you are creating multiple opportunities for people to visit your website.
Blogs can also be used to support your main content and show your authority on the subject. You’d then weave internal links throughout your content to help people stay longer on your website and to continue their journey.
Another SEO benefit from blogging is creating opportunities for incoming backlinks. Almost 30 years after the Google algorithm first came about and backlinks are still an important ranking factor. By creating EERIE content (that’s content that’s at least two of the following criteria: entertaining, engaging, relatable, inspirational and educational) you’re more likely to get other website owners (or webmasters – remember that word? Throwback!) to link to your content.
The benefits of blogging for business are:
- Growing brand awareness by increasing your reach
- Creating content that speaks directly to the pain points of your target audience
- Increasing your visibility on Google by ranking for longtail keywords
- Building a bank of content that can potentially be repurposed for years to come
- Relatively low budget marketing channel, making it ideal for small businesses.
Blogging may have changed its appearance over the last three decades but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Blogs should form an important part of your long-term digital marketing strategy.
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