It’s no secret that blogging can improve your digital footprint, attract new customers and grow your business. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog get 55% more traffic and 67% more leads than businesses who haven’t taken the plunge – and a study published in 2019 found that marketers who prioritised blogging saw approximately 13x the ROI of marketers who didn’t.
But blogging isn’t easy. Truth be told, it’s surprisingly easy to invest time and effort in a company blog that goes nowhere, and it is incredibly disheartening to invest time, effort and money on a marketing project that doesn’t yield results.
To help you maximise your chances of attracting new customers, here are 5 tips to blogging for business success by Dave Robinson, an SEO strategist at Red Evolution, a Scottish SEO agency.
Engage with potential customers at critical moments in the buying journey
When people shop for goods or services online, they go through a journey. They may start by asking Google or another search engine for some basic information: “what is an electric bike” or “wedge vs. stiletto heels.
Then, when they have a better idea of what they’re looking for, they’ll move onto the ‘consideration’ part of the journey, where they start weighing up the pros and cons of various providers.
When blogging to attract new customers, you want to make sure that you’re producing articles that appeal to visitors at both stages. Ideally, you’d focus on writing content that uses what, why and how-style keywords, and “vs.” type keywords that let you talk about the unique selling points of your own products or services.
Ultimately, this approach will yield much better results than chasing keywords with high search volumes or just trying to rank for phrases with no real intent behind them.
As an example, writing a post designed to rank for a phrase like “are wedges healthier than heels” is a much better use of your time than trying to rank something for a generic phrase like “black wedge heels” because you’ll be hitting people in the consideration stage of their journey, and stand a much better chance of getting them to engage with your brand.
Build authority and establishing your website
Blogging isn’t just about persuading people to buy from you: it’s also an opportunity to build your website’s authority and increase your chances of ranking for a variety of search terms.
To explain, Google ranks sites according to a variety of factors, but they pay a lot of attention to your website’s perceived authority, which is largely determined by the number of other, 3rd party websites that reference and link to your content.
If you create blog posts that are useful, informative and thorough, you can attract links from people who’re keen to share your wisdom and this can – over time – increase your chances of ranking content for the search terms you’re targeting.
So if you’re writing a blog post, try to think about what you can offer readers. Try to make sure that your articles are more informative than the current crop of best-ranking content, or try to find a unique angle that maximises the likelihood that other bloggers will want to refer back to your content.
Focus on genuine pain points
Thinking about the blogs you enjoy reading, there’s a good chance that they spend a lot of time addressing issues that are personal to you. While it can be tempting to churn out generic content that chases high-volume keywords, the content with real sticking power tends to be blog content that resonates with a specific subset of your audience.
Focus on finding and addressing these pain points to maximise your chances of building a devoted following. Ask yourself what your potential customers are really struggling with, and try to offer helpful advice that speaks to their issues. Ultimately, it’s this approach that’ll help you build a brand and cultivate a following.
Focus on delivering a steady flow of useful traffic
It’s easy to waste time chasing a really exciting keyword that you just can’t rank for . Even if you take points one and three of this guide to heart and spend time focusing on high-intent search terms that speak to a genuine problem, you’ll probably come across highly-competitive search terms targeted by large companies with a £200,00+ yearly marketing budget.
Generally speaking, these search terms are a waste of time and money. You’ll spend a lot of time trying to rank for them, only to find that the people you’re competing with always come back with a better, more detailed or more robust blog post.
So try to focus on picking fights you can win. Even smaller, 30-a-month search terms will drive a steady stream of organic traffic to your site and quickly ranking articles for 10+ of these will always be more productive than wasting months trying to rank content for a phrase that’s simply too competitive.
Engage directly with your audience
The web’s a busy place. Ever since Google first announced that regularly publishing high-quality content was the best way to grow your digital footprint, businesses of every stripe have been churning out a near-endless stream of increasingly generic and low-value content that takes a scatter-gun approach to attracting new customers.
Simply put, this approach is played out. You’ll never beat the bigger and more established players who want to spend their time appealing to ‘everybody’.
And that’s ok. Instead of trying to please everyone, use your blog to cultivate a unique voice that speaks directly to the people you really care about. Irrespective of whether you’re selling financial services or sports equipment, your ideal customer will have specific preferences that can be mined to increase your blogs sticking power.
Maybe they prefer an unbearingly honest approach that calls out common assumptions, or like to read detailed content that references authoritative sources. Maybe they just want content that’s easy to digest while they’re riding the tube.
Whatever the case, understanding their preferences and playing to them is key to making your blog work for your business.