Being a regular blogger, blogging for around 5 years now – I’m always surprised to find that a huge proportion of businesses and websites I come across don’t have any blogging presence.
In an age where 76% of consumers search for products and services online via search engines and social media platforms, (just think about your own consumer behaviour and what you do when looking for a new product or service), then being ‘visible’ online is now business critical.
Having a website presence is one thing. However, in order for you to ensure your website doesn’t become a ‘billboard in the desert’ (as 40% of all UK websites are and received zero, yes, zero, traffic!), then you have to work at driving online visibility.
There are a number of ways to assist your online visibility – here are some of the key ones:
SEO (search engine optimisation) – I’m not going to get into detail about SEO – however, enough to say that there are two key elements to SEO, 1) ‘on page’ – which relates to the content on your website, meta, site structure, navigation etc and ensuring all that is optimised. And then, 2) ‘off page’ – which is the far more labour intensive means of growing credible and relevant ‘back links’ to your website.
The overall objective is to ensure that when someone types in those all important keywords when searching for a product or service eg: ‘forensic accountant London’ – then you are visible on Page 1 of the search results (ideally in the top 3 organic search results – [after all, do you look beyond those or switch to Page 2 of search results?]).
Online advertising – When someone types in those all important keywords eg: ‘social media consultant London’ – you are paying to top the bill. You are bidding on keywords so that you become visible in the sponsored links. Again, ideally you want to dominate the sponsored listings – so that you have more chance of being ‘clicked’ on. Results show that the top 3 positions receive the most traffic from sponsored activity.
Social Media Networks – Rather than putting all your eggs into one ‘online’ basket and simply having your website presence being the main means for audiences to find out about your business and services – now you can leverage a plethora of social networks to create a broader online presence.
Not only do social networks provide you with more opportunity to grow a presence online – but they also enable you to target specific people, influencers etc – and talk and converse and provide insight into what you and your business are really about. This fundamentally enables you to showcase what you do for others via case studies, testimonials, track conversations, grow thought leadership by sharing opinion and expertise, grow fans and advocates who spread the word for you (to name but a few of the many uses of social).
Of course – the challenge with ‘Social’ is that you have to put something ‘out’ (share it) in order to attract people ‘in’.
Unlike advertising or optimising – social is the place whereby you ‘earn’ attention by the nature of what you share.
Therefore, you need to have something ‘sharable’ – and a method to consistently and simply share those all important insights into you, your business and your products and services.
This is where ‘blogging’ comes into play.
A blog, in my humble opinion, is a MUST for every website – and yes, I believe EVERY website, even those focusing solely on ‘ecommerce’.
The blog is the ‘mouthpiece’ for the business and brand. This is the place where you can share more than you can say on Twitter or Facebook – and of course, provides you with unique, purposeful and relevant content to share on those social networks too.
Fundamentally, social isn’t about direct sales, it’s about getting people to ‘know you, like you, trust you, talk about you – and ultimately do business with you’.
In order to grow this relationship and get people to know, like and trust you – you’ve got to provide content that is useful, purposeful, authentic and from the heart of your business – so that you ‘earn’ attention.
Your Blog is your Broadcast Station
Your blog is indeed your broadcast station. Everything the business wants to share, believes in, has done for others, people get excited about etc – can be shared via your blog. And of course – where does that blog sit? – on your website.
- When people visit your website they see your blog (particularly if you’re smart and have it visible on the home page). They see that you’re alive and that you have opinions, advice, testimonials, case studies, view points, expertise, authority, a personality etc.
- When people read your blog, they get pulled back to your website. Where they can explore more blogs or products or services or hit the call to action you included in your blog to encourage them to get more involved with your business by subscribing to your blog or downloading your latest Social Media or Marketing guide etc.
It’s the perfect ‘engagement’ and ‘broadcast’ tool. It works beautifully for social media – as it gives you something to share – and it’s an authentic view on you and your business.
If a business isn’t blogging – then they don’t have much to say. And in a world where being ‘vocal’ matters – then blogging assists with your online visibility.
Ok, so if we dedicate time and resource to blogging regularly – what’s the ROI?
At Carvill Creative we keep a track of all enquiries – whether they come via our online ‘Get in touch’ form or via phone or email.
Out of submissions from the last three months – 50% were via Google Search and 50% said:
I can confirm that from those that contacted us via seeing our blog – 60% have so far translated into new business compared to just 18% of those that made queries via Google Search.
Also – a client, Westbury Accountants – grew traffic to their site 386% when they picked up their blogging activity. You can read their Blogging for Success Case Study here.
My questions to you are:
- If you’re not blogging – why not? If it’s a resource thing – then work with a company like Carvill Creative where we either train you and your team to blog internally (as we did with Westbury) or indeed we learn about your organisation and personality and regularly create content for your blogs.
- If you have a blog – how regularly are you blogging and are you measuring its effectiveness? Do you track where leads come from, do you monitor Analytics on your website to review traffic via your blog?
Blogging isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Focus on the end in mind. You’ll find lots of tips and tactics for getting started with blogging here in our Blogging Masterclass in A Blog Post article – and of course, if you want to start a blog and don’t know where to start – get in touch. We’d be delighted to get you blogging.
@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of marketing strategy and online visibility – covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.
Want to talk to the team at Carvill Creative about your social media activity or training needs? We’re happy to chat, so simply ‘get in touch’.