Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in December 2015. While blogging is just as important as ever, we saw the opportunity to include even more helpful updates on the importance of blogging, and how's it's critical to success in your overall marketing strategy.
For years, marketing experts have emphasized the importance of blogging for digital success. But it's 2018 now. Why is blogging important still and how should agencies and businesses make the most of their blogging resources?
Why Blogging Is Important (Yes, Still)
At a time when many brands are pivoting toward more video and social media marketing, is blogging still important? The answer is a resounding "yes!" For businesses just starting to flesh out a marketing strategy, blogging is a marketing tool with a low barrier to entry and a tangible payoff. For more established brands, a blog is the ideal anchor to a multi-faceted marketing strategy.
A consistently updated, high-quality blog remains the ideal way to drive traffic and grow your brand. As our friends at Crazy Egg point out, when a blog is managed well, it boosts your inbound leads in a major way. Google loves a meaty, frequently updated blog, rewarding great content with higher search engine rankings as an overall trend.
Blogging is also the perfect way to establish a brand voice, becoming recognizable to customers and growing loyalty. A great blog shows that your brand has its own unique personality, has tons of interesting information to knowledge-drop, and is worth spending time with.
What other marketing tool brings in leads, helps you create your own unique presence in your niche, and establishes you as a thought leader, all without the need for a full-scale marketing department or a massive budget?
Here are a few concrete examples of the importance of blogging to keep in mind:
1. Blogging improves your Google rankings.
In fact, simply having a blog on your website improves your Google ranking by as much as 434%! Regular blogging with high quality content improves your Google ranking even more dramatically.
Simply having a website is not enough. Google rewards sites that publish consistent, informative content that provides actual value to visitors. Freshly updated content is even better. Blogging remains the best way to pull this off.
2. Blogging is flexible & complements your overall strategy.
Blogging is adaptable and is the perfect complement to the other facets of your marketing strategy. Creating an e-book to give away on your site? Your blogs for the next few months can each hone in on a topic covered in your e-book, and link to your e-book landing page.
Blogs can be similarly helpful as an anchor for your social media updates. When you publish a new blog post that you're excited to share, go ahead and do so via your social channels. You may find that readers click over to your blog, read a few posts, then return to your Facebook status update to comment with their thoughts.
Your audience will soon learn that you are providing useful, fun, unique content across various platforms, allowing them to engage however works best for them.
Blogging, creating video content and cool downloadable graphics, and updating your Facebook or Twitter on a regular basis are all important! A thoughtful marketing strategy is made up of several moving parts that all help highlight each other.
And since blogging is designed to be flexible, you can pivot your strategy over time as your marketing needs change. Want to target specific local SEO keywords? Build your blogging strategy around those keywords for the time being, until a new priority pops up.
3. Blogs are trustworthy & informative.
Yes, your followers will click on a quick video out of boredom or curiosity. But when they want to dig deeper and learn more, they'll turn to your latest blog posts.
Bite-sized, shorter blogs are a great way to share a unique take on a specific topic in your industry, quickly explore a new feature or product, or even talk about a book or podcast you know your readers will love.
Long-form posts, on the other hand, let you go deeper and become a trusted authority on whatever you are most passionate or knowledgeable about. A well-researched, thoughtful blog post can help you become the thought leader in a given area of your niche in a way that social media and other forms of digital marketing are unlikely to accomplish.
4. Blog posts are the ideal home for internal links.
Internal links encourage your customers and readers to spend more time on your site. A blog is the most intuitive and logical place to work in those links, whether they lead to related blog posts, services, or products.
As long as you are linking to relevant pages using anchor text that makes sense to your readers, blogging is the most effective way to get readers to spend more and more time exploring your site.
Here is an example: Let's say you are a fashion startup, blogging about the importance of trade shows as a way to expand your brand reach and get your product in front of more customers. You can use something like "reach more customers" as the anchor text for a complementary post on the importance of social media engagement for fashion businesses. Your readers get to learn multiple useful lessons that they can apply to their own marketing strategy, all because they followed a link to your blog post.
Blogging Consistently Is Important
As you can see, blogging is as important as ever in 2018. But it's important to keep in mind that while just having a blog at all is a great start, it also needs to be updated consistently.
It's tempting to craft each post with the precision of a literary masterpiece. After all, you want your blog to be a reflection of your company's values. If you have time to do that—great! But beware: are you spending so much time perfecting your posts that you don't publish as frequently and as consistently as you should?
The bottom line is that while the quality of your content matters, how frequently you post and update that content is vitally important, too. Balancing the relationship between quality and frequency is so, so critical.
Here's why you should be making a concerted effort to keep up with a consistent publishing schedule to maintain fresh content:
1. Rack up SEO & page rankings.
The more frequently you update your site with fresh content, the more opportunities you have to strengthen your SEO and be indexed higher by search engines.
Here's how it works: search engines like Google use algorithm-based web crawlers to index the one-billion websites that exist online today. These crawlers rank the sites based on a variety of factors like inbound links, user time on site, mobile friendliness, and much more.
Search engines regularly crawl your site looking for new content. Even if you don't post new content, search engines will still crawl that page. But if you are posting new, quality information frequently, you increase your chances to rank even better the next time your site is crawled.
Other factors influencing your SEO & page ranks include building a network of inbound links from outside sources. Getting other reputable sites to link to your site is a very powerful signal to search engines that the information on your site or page is a credible source. The best way to do this is to publish the kind of content other sites want to link to, and to do so often!
Never underestimate the power of new, updated, and regular blogging as a factor in search engine optimization and page rank.
2. Curate your keyword profile.
The SEO benefits of regular blogging for business go beyond the results from indexing and crawling. The importance of blog writing consistently also comes from increased opportunities to increase the amount and range of keywords for which you rank.
For example: If you are a veterinarian looking to help and attract local pet owners to your website, chances are that potential clients will search for keywords ranging wildly, from "dog dental care" to "bird feather diseases."
If you update your blog frequently, you can devote individual posts to a wide range of keywords related to your business and increase the chances that potential customers using very specific keywords will find you using Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Frequent updates also allow you to home in on specific audiences with specialized keywords—like a local audience—while still maintaining a breadth of keywords for which you’d like to rank.
3. Beef up social media content.
Unless you're in the minority among small- and medium-sized businesses, your website is likely not the only avenue that you use to promote your services in the digital realm. You hopefully also have a social media account or two, on which frequent content is just as important as it is on your blog.
Why are frequent social updates important? In an article for Moz, Larry Kim explored what the nature of the relationship is between search rankings and social shares is. He says, “If you’ve done any SEO at all, you’ve probably noticed that the stories that rank well tend to have high social share counts.”
Kim notes that posts with high engagement rates and lots of shares come from the same content that gets higher click-through rates in search results. Ultimately, Kim posits:
"Facebook Ads, Facebook's newsfeed algorithm, Google AdWords, and increasingly Google organic search are all systems governed by machine learning systems that reward remarkable engagement with greater visibility."
What’s the takeaway? The more frequently you post stellar content on social media, the more opportunities you’ll have for engagement. Here again, we see the relationship between quality and frequency. The more engagement, the better. This is an art that content writers have learned to master through various tactics.
Of course, coming up with high-quality content is not always easy. Following Kim’s theory on social media and organic search, you should share your content that already performs well in organic searches and vice versa. Blogging and social media play well together in this way: your blog is where the high-quality, valuable content lives, and your social profiles are where you share your blog posts with the widest possible audience.
With the importance of blogging consistently and frequently established, the next question to answer is: exactly how frequently should you blog? The simple answer is: as often as you can, without compromising on quality. Balancing the relationship between quality and frequency is key to successfully growing your online presence and gaining customers.
Okay, but how do you accomplish this?
We're so glad you asked!
How To Blog Consistently
Blogging on a consistent, frequent basis may sound like an impossible task when you're already short on time. The truth is that blogging is like any other good-for-you habit: once you make it a priority and fit it into your weekly schedule, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.
Here's how to make that "impossible" task possible.
1. Use an editorial calendar!
The first step to blogging consistently is to create and follow an editorial calendar. This allows you to get on a regular blogging schedule in a low-stress way. Simply set aside some time to brainstorm a month or a quarter's worth of blog topics that will be fun to write but also help you build out your marketing strategy.
Schedule a manageable number of blogs per week (start low and scale up as you can). Set calendar alerts or use workflow programs like Trello or Asana for yourself and your team to stay accountable to one another. From there, the calendar will do a lot of the logistical work for you.
At BlogMutt, we believe so strongly in the importance of a good editorial calendar that we created one anyone can download for free!
2. Know when to outsource blog writing.
If you're spending hours each week staring at your laptop screen and willing a blank document to magically become a compelling blog post, it's probably time to outsource your blogging. Every business owner and startup founder knows the danger of trying to do everything yourself. You quickly become burned out, your work becomes mediocre, and you start to question why you ever became your own boss in the first place.
Luckily, blogging is up there with doing your own accounting on the list of things that simply make the most sense to outsource to the experts. Whether you're short on time, writing isn't your main talent in life, or you get major writer's block every time you even think about blogging, outsourcing is the way to take this task off your plate and make sure it actually gets done and gets done well.
Blogging Isn't Going Anywhere
We really can't over-emphasize the importance of blogging as a key element of your marketing strategy. Blogging isn't antiquated—in fact, it's an agile, modern, and adaptable way to hit several marketing goals at once. Anytime you wonder why blogging is important, just take the time to look at your metrics pre- and post-blogging, including customer engagement, keyword ranking, and time spent on your website per visit.
And if all of this sounds great but you simply don't have the time or know-how to make blogging profitable yet for your business, brand, or organization, get in touch with BlogMutt. We're always thrilled to show off our platform and answer questions for anyone who's curious via a guided tour or phone consultation.