When you have a problem or there is a question you urgently need to know the answer to, what’s the first thing you do? You google it! Good old google. How did we live without it?

Google is bombarded with over three billion search queries a day. That’s a mind-blowing, one trillion searches per year. Being a business owner, it’s safe to assume your target market and potential clients are online searching for answers, ideas, entertainment and solutions.

Why start a business blog?

Adding blogging to your marketing mix allows you to connect and convert on a worldwide scale. The best part is, it is easy and affordable to implement, no matter how small your organisation is.

Here are some interesting stats on the power of content marketing and blogging that business owners can’t afford to ignore. Companies who blog receive 97 per cent more links to their website and links remain a key ranking factor when Google examines your site.

By 2020, customers will manage 85 per cent of their purchasing relationships without talking to a human. 92 per cent of companies who blog multiple times per day have acquired customers from their blog.

Website conversion rates are nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters. Marketers who have prioritised blogging are 13 times more likely to enjoy a positive return on investment (ROI).

Blogging will achieve three things for you business. It will increase your website traffic, boost customer engagement and build trust and authority in your market.

Increase website traffic

If you want to significantly expand the digital reach of your business then get blogging. Google and other search engines favour original, quality content. The more blogs you publish, the more chances search engines will pick up your content. Develop a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy with help from a SEO professional to boost your page rankings and acquire organic search traffic.

For example, Sunshine Coast based accounting and financial planning firm Otium Group started blogging in 2012 publishing a minimum of one blog per week. At first it was just the CEO Drew Grosskreutz, hurriedly writing something on a Friday night ‘just because he had to’. Today, the company works closely with an SEO ninja and its target is a minimum of three blog posts per week. As a result organic visits to the website have tripled.

Boost customer engagement

Customers will love you for creating content to solve their problems, educate, inform or entertain them. Blogging also gives your business the opportunity to engage and interact with the online community, especially if you use social media to promote your posts.

Build authority

Blogging shows clients and prospective customers that no one knows the industry like you do and gives your business a voice. Posting relevant, useful content on a regular basis expands your following and builds trust. Never fear giving away free information or advice in your posts as this demonstrates you and your team’s expertise through your blog.

Companies who blog receive 97 per cent more links to their website and links remain a key ranking factor when google examines your site.

Getting started

Have an understanding of what appeals to your target audience. To grab their attention and rise above the noise of the digital world you must prove that your content is worthy of their time.

What to blog about

This thought alone can stop new bloggers in their tracks. The secret is to just start. An SEO expert will be able to do the research on your market and give you some idea of the right keywords to incorporate into your blogs to drive organic search traffic and improve your rankings.

  • Get into the mindset of your target audience
  • Brainstorm some ideas, pick a topic and start writing what comes to mind. Get all of your thoughts out, aiming for a minimum of 400 words per post and then go back over your draft and edit it.
  • Your latest blog post is published and live on your website. Now to sit back and wait for the clicks and leads to start rolling in, right? To increase the reach of your blog you need to promote it. Share your posts across social media channels, link to them in your email marketing and reach out to influencers, others in your industry who you think will find your content interesting.

How do you know what’s working and what’s not?

Shares, likes and positive comments are a great indicator of whether your target audience is finding value in what you have to say but using traffic analysis tools similar to Google Analytics allows you to gather data on your website’s performance and can reveal the success of your blogging efforts. For example, at Otium Group important metrics, including unique views, conversions, page bounce rates and average duration (how long our audience spends on each page) are analysed each week and used to improve future content marketing tactics and strategy.

Blogging and the bottom line

Get your content strategy right and blogging will draw in new leads, improving the bottom line of your business, but it’s vital to ensure this isn’t the sole reason behind why you do it. The key purpose behind every post you publish must be to add value for the audience.

If your reader feels you are just dressing up a sales pitch or constantly talking about how great your service/product is they will lose interest and click away. Modern marketing is about “telling not selling”.