Do blogs really work for businesses? The data says yes. Definitely
Even though there are millions of blogs out there today, there are a still a number of businesses that don’t have them, or if they do, seldom post anything. For some they just don’t have the staff to write regularly, but for a number of businesses the thinking is that blogs just don’t have value. That’s likely correct if they’re not done right, but a wealth of data demonstrates their value if they’re done correctly.
As of 2011, NM Incite had tracked over 181 million blogs around the world. They are done by the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, stay at home moms, college kids, and small business owners. One would think the CEO’s would have an advantage, but a well done blog will find an audience and can even be profitable if the number of readers is large enough. Yet, even a business who has a small following will find that a blog has definite value.
The result of blogging can be to generate more business with prospects and existing customers, while helping to lower the costs involved with customer service and sales. This article isn’t about how to properly blog, but how your business can benefit from blogging.
Frequency is important for blogs
This is one area where I admit I’m not as effective as I should be for my own business. I tend to only blog 5 times a month. Businesses that blog more than 20 times a month get 5 times as much traffic as those that blog less than four times a month.
It isn’t just the frequency that results in more leads; it’s the fact that you’re constantly adding more pages to your site. The search engines love content and by adding so much text to your site you’re getting more chances to be found. Businesses with websites of 400 or more pages get six times the number of leads than those with just 50-100 pages.
Yet, don’t dismiss a blog because you don’t have the staff or the time to write frequently. Businesses with a blog get 55% more traffic than those that don’t. B2b companies that blog even just 1-2 a month still generates 70% more leads than those that don’t.
Blogs generate links in the right way
Links are still an important element of SEO, but as the recent Penguin Update demonstrated, going about getting links in the wrong way (paying for them, link exchanges, etc.) can get a site penalized. This is why writing blogs of value generate links in the way Google intended. If someone finds your blog of interest or that the information has value, they’ll link to it. Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those without a blog.
Blogs can have lasting value.
Another reason that many give up on a blog is that after a few entries it’s not generating any traffic. Yet, what they don’t take into consideration is that that blog entry remains out there in the internet atmosphere. If they’ve been properly done they can eventually be found. And found. And found. For one client I did a blog about a specific type of pet product. It had a few readers when it was posted, but nothing to boast about. Yet, that page now typically generates about 10 visitors a week to their site. It was written over two years ago. So multiply that 10 by 52 weeks and then multiply it by two years. That’s a lot of traffic for one page. Businesses that blog generate 6.9 times more organic traffic than those that don’t.
Do People Actually Read Blogs? Yes.
It isn’t’ just that blogs are out there, they’re being read. Most people read 5-10 blogs, but even if they don’t regularly read yours, they can still find your page, as I previously mentioned. If you’re a b2b company data shows that companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. For B2C this number goes up to 88%.
After reading a blog
- 21% of people made a decision about a product or service
- 19% looked to blogs for support or answers
- 17% discovered a product or service after reading a blog
- 7% execute a purchase after reading a blog.
Blogs can work for your business either to generate business, lower costs, or just to develop your brand. If you’re just getting started then read the blogs of other people in your industry to get a feel for them. If you lack the time or the expertise to write a blog, then bring someone in. If you need assistance with your blog, then contact Ad Hoc Marketing today. I can help you generate content and teach you the proper way in which to blog so that it will help your business grow.