In my opinion, blogging is one of the most valuable marketing tools available to businesses.
Hubspot's previous analysis of 1,500 Hubspot customers (small businesses) found that companies with a blog attracted 55 percent more visitors to their websites than those that did not. The ones that blogged also had 434 percent more pages indexed in search engines.
In addition, according to their Marketing Benchmarks from 7,000 HubSpot's customers, businesses with websites greater than 400 pages, get 6x more leads than those with 51-100 pages.
Although their information is somewhat dated, I'd surmise that the numbers could only be greater at this point.
Your blog will only be as effective as its functionality, appearance and quality of content. Move in the right direction using these content marketing tips.
Zillow is a popular online real estate advertising network that makes most of its profits from advertising revenue. Along with its partners, Yahoo Homes and HotPads.com, the Zillow network attracts 46 percent of all real estate-related traffic every month, according to data compiled by Inman News. That's more than twice the traffic of its nearest competitors, Trulia and Realtor.com. The popularity of Zillow's main blog can be attributed to the quality and relevance of the content.
The site covers everything real estate, such as home improvement tips, market trends and even celebrity real estate news. This fall the blog covered actor Jake Gyllenhaal putting his Hollywood home up for sale. These types of posts are not only relevant to the overall subject matter, but also attract readers interested in the actor and not necessarily real estate. It's these types of blog posts that can broaden your audience beyond your target demographics.
Another good example is the LifeLock blog, which covers topics like the dangers of malware and identity theft prevention measures. Then via the Lifelock Twitter account, it pushes out these valuable educational resources. As an information home base for those looking for facts of identity theft, it can attract customers without being overly promotional about its products.
Keeping your content informative first, entertaining second, and always relevant is crucial to your blog's success.
Google's official blog covers everything from search trends to new products its developing internally. But what I think makes Google's blog so successful, is the variety of writers. One article will be written by Scott Huffman, the company's Vice President of Conversational Search. The next one will be by Brian Elliott, the Head of Partnerships for Google Shopping.
Some companies choose to hire ghostwriters to create content, then put the name of company employees on them as the author. I don't have a problem with this strategy at all if the company's employee has an opportunity to review, edit and add his or her own voice.
But, this strategy is only effective if the writer is familiar with your industry and company culture. Elance, oDesk and WriterAccess are three popular websites to find freelance writers. Make certain to get a sample article first or links to other published work of the writer to gauge the fit. Those with SEO and news-gathering experience make the best writers for a business blog.
Another option is to hire a freelance editor to proofread content created internally. Spelling and grammatical errors are a surefire way to lose credibility and subsequently potential customers.
The 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner found that only 43 percent of marketers have a blog optimized for mobile devices. Moreover, 60 percent of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, according to comScore. Mobile optimization for blogs is thus a top business priority.
Those using WordPress for their blog can simply install one of several plugins (I use WPTouch) to instantly optimize their blogs for mobile. You can also use an app like Mobify or Wirenode to create a separate mobile site that will properly display on smartphones and tablets.
An informative, well-designed blog can make all the difference between a company just getting by and one that's setting industry standards. Keep all the aforementioned in mind to ensure consistent traffic and potential leads.