I’m continually nagging, sorry, asking our clients to start blogging and to have interesting articles written about the great things they are doing, in their company and community. Nearly all just don’t have the time, or have an interest in doing it for a week or two, but then stop for 6 months or until my next nagging, sorry, politely reminding them to pick it back up. I always get the impression that they know it’s important but, it’s all about time, they’re just too busy doing the day-to-day running of their business to worry about writing decent content, that or they just don’t know what to write about. As an online marketing specialist, I’ve seen what difference a blog can make in terms of search engine visibility. A simple article that focuses on one area of your business can boost your site with all keywords related to the article, sometimes this can take you from a ranking of 5th, to number 1! So, yes, it’s really important if you drive leads/calls from your website. I found an interesting article that supports my nagging gentle persuasion: Forbes, the Basics of Blogging. 1. Increase Search Engine Traffic In terms of search engine rankings, I like to think of blogging as fishing. The more hooks you have in the water, the more likely you are to catch a fish. In the same way, as you add more content to your site, more pages from your domain become indexed in search engines. This improves organic search visibility and increases website traffic. Every new page you publish is like dropping another hook in the water. With more opportunities for your target market to find your bait, the more bites you’ll get. The more blog posts you have, the more chances you have to rank for various keywords. 2. Humanize Your Brand Carefully crafted website content (e.g., a homepage or about page) can’t hold a candle to a blog post when it comes to showing the personal side of your business. Blogging gives your business a way to touch on issues and concerns of interest to your prospects, while also sharing what you and your employees are passionate about. Your blog posts give you a unique opportunity to share your voice and personality, building up trust and increasing your brand’s likeability quotient. 3. Support Your Social Media Initiative It’s difficult to maintain an active social media presence without access to unique, high-quality content. Sharing other people’s content on social media is great, but at some point, you want to be directing those leads to your own site. As you share your blog posts on social media, you increase traffic to your business website – a feat that would be much more difficult without highly relevant, topical information such as that found in blog posts. In addition, blog posts provide content for email newsletters. If you’ve got an email newsletter, you’ve probably wondered what content should go in it. A simple top-10 list that highlights your best blog content over the last 2-4 weeks is valuable content that’s likely to be appreciated by your readers. 4. Build Authority in Your Industry A blog is one of the best ways to establish yourself or your brand as an expert in your field, as it gives you a platform for sharing important industry-related information and insights. As you build up authority in your niche, this breeds trust and familiarity, keeping you top-of-mind when your prospects are ready to buy, and increasing conversion rates, which brings us to our next benefit… 5. Improve Conversion Rate An active blog sends a signal that your business is alive and well, loved and maintained. This is why I often tell business owners that if they can’t update their blog regularly, it may be better not to have one at all. A blog with high-quality content also helps build brand loyalty, further increasing your conversion rates. According to Hubspot, overall ROI is also more likely to increase for companies who blog; in fact, businesses who prioritize blogging experience a 13X increase in ROI, year after year. 6. Generate Inbound Links Having high-quality inbound links to your site is one of the three pillars of SEO. However, without a blog, it can be extremely difficult to attract authoritative links to your business website. When you add new content that serves as a resource for other bloggers and media, you start to naturally accumulate inbound links as other authors, columnists, journalists, bloggers and contributors reference and cite that content in their own articles. These links are important for SEO, but can also generate significant referral traffic back to your site. 7. Rank for Long-tail Search Queries A site without a blog will have a hard time ranking for long-tail search queries. A typical business website can often successfully rank for business-specific keywords (e.g., “Joe’s Drycleaners”), but will have a more difficult time ranking for highly-specific phrases like “How to get red wine out of silk”. Having more content is the best way to rank for long-tail queries; the more content you add, the more chances you have to rank for less common, but ultimately higher-converting keyword phrases. 8. Increase Leads Research shows that the more pages a site has, the more leads it gets. According to Hubspot, businesses with 401-1000 pages of content get 6x more leads than those with 51-100. In simple terms, the more you blog, the more leads you generate. More content means more form submissions, more email opt-ins, more quote requests, and ultimately, more sales. 9. Facilitate Valuable Discussion Blogging gives businesses the opportunity to connect with customers and prospects through a two-way conversation. It signals to visitors that you’re open to comments, feedback and even criticisms. And from a business perspective, learning what’s on the minds of prospects is marketing gold. You can use this dialogue to ask further questions, gain new insights into your customers’ needs and structure your content and marketing initiatives based on what you’ve learned. 10. Allows You to Achieve ‘Freshness’ The freshness factor is also significant; Google loves to see new content being added on a regular basis and rewards sites that do so with better visibility. Fresh content is also more likely to be timely or news-related, which means it’s more likely to get exposure for trending searches. More content also means more opportunities for adding internal links. This creates more pathways for search engine crawlers, which more effectively spreads PageRank throughout your site. Final Thoughts Blogging on your company’s website is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. By providing your own unique thoughts and insights, you naturally grow your search traffic, customer trust and ultimately, sales. To some extent, blogging also levels the playing field with big brands, giving small businesses the unprecedented opportunity to compete with big businesses with big budgets. What would you add to this list? In your opinion, what are the top benefits of blogging on your website? Reach out and let us know what you think.