Are you and your business feeling a bit behind these days? Especially with your marketing strategies?
Have you been wondering about the hype over search engine optimization (SEO)?
Are you asking yourself, “Why blog”?
Well, it just so happens that we have some informational points to help you think about blogging for your business. We want you to understand how blogging and SEO work hand-in-hand.
We also want you to know about the various other benefits of blogging for your business. So if you’re interested in all this, keep reading.
Why Blog for Business? Here Are 9 Reasons
The following paragraphs explain why you need a blog for your school, as well as the logic of blogging in an Internet-based market that is driven in large part by search engine optimization (SEO)
1. Why Blog? To Tell a Story!
The power of storytelling has never been overrated–even though it has been underrated at times by those who disparage subjects in the arts and humanities fields.
The wonderful thing about narrative is that it is a truly resilient mode of communication, that resurfaces in small ways at times such as when “naked” numerical data and the reports that accompany them just won’t suffice.
Hence, the brilliant and growing field of data storytelling.
Blog articles–especially those by professional writers–tell great stories of all kinds. They tell readers about your business and how it got started. They also tell about the unique histories of the products and services your school specializes in.
How do you make an electrical panel or an HVAC interesting? Have blogging professionals tell their stories. And what is the most effective way to get a rescued pet adopted? Narrate that pet’s story prior to being rescued.
2. Blogs Facilitate Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
And speaking of storytelling …
In case you didn’t know, the word “blog” is a shortened form of “web log.” In other words, blogging first started as a type of public journaling, like an ongoing OpEd piece from the newspaper.
How did it ever get to be one of the key aspects of successful search engine optimization? In other words, what does journaling have to do with the highly automated job of web-searching–which is carried out by robots?
SEO has been defined as “a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP).”
Moz, a company specializing in SEO points out that optimizing a website not only brings traffic to your site, but it brings quality traffic, meaning visitors looking for your product rather than something completely different but with a similar name.
SEO allows your business’s website to draw the right people for the right reasons. This process is considered an organic one, which will be discussed more below.
3. Google and Other Search Engines “Read” Your Blog
The connections between web searches, search engines, websites, and their search-engine-optimized blogs are complicated, yet also important for understanding the extent to which a search-engine-optimized blog for your business will help you.
Therefore, we’ll briefly go over key steps in the search process and how SEO fits into that.
When you do a web search, a search engine (e.g., Google) automatically sends out automated programs called “crawlers” (or “spiders”) to look for words or phrases you have typed into the search box.
Although this process takes seconds at the most, it is a complicated one. It begins when the crawler copies your search information and stores it in a data center, of which Google alone has dozens.
“Search engines scour their index for highly relevant content and then orders that content in the hopes of solving the searcher’s query. This ordering of search results by relevance is known as ranking…
In general, you can assume that the higher a website is ranked, the more relevant the search engine believes the site is to the query.” This is true some of the time, but not all by any means.
Imagine searching for a local food market that sells oranges and getting search results for the Kenosha, WI marketing firm Dooley & Associates (which has the color orange as part of its brand).
This is the kind of thing that used to happen with web searches. The results are more precise today, though, thanks in large part to the increased popularity of SEO.
The Role of SEO
As a result of the web search process, incredibly huge amounts of information on websites all over the world are stored and used for subsequent searches. In many cases, the process of indexing happens automatically through the crawling process.
Having a site search-engine-optimized and requesting to have that site indexed, though, are what get it ranked in search results and make the traffic start to flow to the site.
In a nutshell, optimizing a website for marketing purposes involves the embedding of carefully selected “keywords” through the site, including both its internal architecture (the part not seen by users) and in the content.
Keywords generally are terms and phrases commonly appearing in searches for a given topic. They make it easier for the crawlers to locate and index the site, as well as for the search engines to rank and list it in search results.
The site’s title and meta-tag, which can be seen by users (the title in the URL and the meta tag in the descriptive blurb that accompanies a search result) are critical places to place keywords.
4. With a Blog, Traffic to Your Site is Organic, Not Paid
We’ve mentioned the word “organic” a couple of times already, so let’s discuss its relevance to web searches and the importance of having a blog for your school.
One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of “organic” is “having systematic coordination of parts.” Of all the definitions listed, this comes closest to its use in the context of web searches.
Essentially organic search results are ones not paid for directly, as would be the case with advertising, for example. Search results deriving from SEO keywords are those that fit naturally within the content of blogs and other site content.
Dave Davies of Search Engine Journal states very succinctly that “basically, Google and Bing (and the others) are advertising engines that happen to draw users to their properties with organic listings. Organic, then, is the means to the end.”
In other words, the keywords serve an entirely different purpose for users reading blog content for interest or information than for the search bots (crawlers) that discover them and search engines that list and rank them.
5. Good Content Builds Your Authority and Validates Your Expertise.
If your blog is to be successful, you will need to demonstrate the authority and expertise that is present in your business. We’ll explain why.
Organic vs. Paid Search Results
The users we’ll discuss now consist of quite a few live human beings, which brings us to a use of blogs we really like: a context in which users are the ones who actually have a good reason for reading blog articles.
If the SEO keywords happen to have resonance with these humans, that’s pure coincidence–probably because the keywords are derived from searches done by humans.
We see this as a pleasant reminder that computers, the web, search engines, and other technology that now undergird so many of our daily activities are the creations of humans like ourselves and would not continue without them.
By the way, there are some good suggestions available for marketing your blog.
Blogs and Human Expertise
“So who produces all the blog content that must be out there by now? If you’re saying that my business needs a blog, will I need to be the one writing it?”
As the business owner, you might want to do the blogging for your business yourself. Many business owners do–especially those, like electricians, with a lot of technical detail that needs to be explained accurately.
However, a lot of businesses hire professional writers to write blog articles for them. They do this by either working with independent freelance writers or using SEO companies that pay writers to do this for their clients.
In either case, we’re talking about writers with excellent research skills who not only can create clearly written articles but accurately researched ones as well. A writer with the right skills could even write on behalf of an electrician.
Thus, if you are looking for professional information that will lead you to an actual professional (e.g., the electrician herself), you will be better off than you were back when hiring a professional meant flipping through the yellow pages.
With good college websites, you have the opportunity to learn about a school array of services, read student reviews, and get in-depth information about what the products or service(s) you need or desire will entail.
6. Blogs Help to Provide Data on Your Business and Insight About Your Site Users
Various metrics are used to measure the effectiveness of SEO on your site, and therefore also about the site’s usage overall. These include
- Engagement metrics
- Conversion rate
- Time on page
- Pages per visit
- Bounce rate
- Scroll depth
- Search traffic
- Keyword rankings
- Number of backlinks
There are several other metrics in use as well, including some that are specific to Google Analytics.
Metrics are an important reason why your business needs a blog as part of an SEO strategy. Once your site has been fully search-engine-optimized and the blog is up and running, these metrics will prove both interesting and quite useful to you.
This all might seem intimidating right now, but as you begin to see more traffic to your site as the result of SEO and other marketing strategies, you will look forward to seeing the latest data.
7. Blogs Drive Long-Term Results
When it comes to the Internet, people sometimes approach things with a “here today, gone tomorrow” type of cynicism. However, this should not apply to a business’s blog.
A blog and its content can last indefinitely–or until the blog content or the entire site is taken down. In fact, looking at a site’s blog and how far back it goes can tell you when it was created. This is a tremendous benefit to the business.
HubSpot’s Corey Wainwright explains about an older blog post that it “is now ranking in search engines. That means for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic and leads from that blog post.”
Wainwright also points out that a blog article is pretty much maintenance-free once it’s been posted–though we hope, of course, that it will be updated every once in a while.
8. There Is No Shortage of Writing Talent
What can we say? We’re writing this blog article, after all. And yes, we’ll admit we’re happy to have this source of employment, which didn’t exist in years past.
There are lots of writers available these days, as discussed above. If you can’t get this kind of assistance through the SEO firm you hire, search for someone through a site or company that hires bloggers.
Writing is a popular profession, so you’re certain to find someone who will work with you. And if you need photos for your blog, you can reach available photographers through these sites as well.
9. Blogs Are a Channel of Communication With Customers
If your blog is well done and engaging, a lot of people will return to it to read new and updated content. Why? Because blogs are the perfect reading material for today’s highly distracted population.
They’re short and pithy, and they inform you of things you didn’t know before.
A lot of blog posts are grounded in the principles and traditions of narrative –storytelling, that is–which makes them easy and pleasurable to read.
Why Blog? Have We Convinced You?
Well, it seems we have come full circle by returning to the notion of narrative as an effective vehicle for marketing communication.
In addition to introducing you to the benefits of blogging generally, we hope this article has also encouraged you to reflect on how this practice can make us feel more human while immersed amid technology that can be a bit alienating.
Why blog? We say, “because it energizes and inspires us.”
Would you like to know more about the different topics covered in this article? Please take a look at our blog, which we believe is very comprehensive of topics relating to the digital media environment (aka “digisphere”).
And please let us know if you’re interested in our services!