In the age of content marketing, many of our favorite brands, organizations, and companies aren't just showing off services— they're showing off information and authority in the form of digital stories.
Consumers' desire for captivating and informative content has changed the way Google handles its search algorithms. The fluffy content of the past has been replaced with carefully curated and authoritative content. Search engines' expectations demand more dynamic, higher quality, and fresher information.
It makes sense: good-quality content and fascinating stories drive engagement from consumers. And in an increasingly digital world, it's key for organizations to become a part of that relationship with customers. That's why regular, high-quality blogging is critical to your business's success. Blog posts help you stand out in Google's algorithms, help drive engagement with clients, fit in perfectly with omnichannel efforts, and provide clear results.
1. Blogs Improve SEO, Rankings, and Traffic
If you've been involved in digital marketing for long enough, you may recall the days when short posts aggressively stuffed with keywords helped websites' SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This is because the algorithms of key search engines of the past (think AltaVista, Infoseek and Lycos) weren't quite sophisticated enough to recognize that a web page repeatedly crammed with the word "insurance”, “investments” or “loans” didn’t necessarily signify quality content.
Now, with Google's updated algorithms, quality is what’s key. Let's take a look at how quality blog posts, frequently posted, can help your site's rankings and drive more traffic to your site:
Crawling & Indexing
There are billions of pages on the internet, and Google organizes the content of these websites through crawling and indexing. These interlinked processes help Google know which sites are most relevant to a search and which to display in search results. Regularly posting helpful content will give your website more pages and more opportunities for Google to crawl, index and display your site.
Google uses complicated, ever-changing search algorithms to decide which content (out of billions of web pages) will be most relevant to search requests. What they're ultimately looking for – in order to display the best content – is the most useful information.
In order to do so, Google ranks content based on a number of different factors, some of which include: its freshness, keywords that match searches, comprehensiveness of information and a site’s trustworthiness. If you have a regularly updated blog filled with interesting, accurate, and detailed information, it's going to qualify as more useful – not only to your prospective clients but to Google's algorithms as well.
Google also considers inbound links to decide which websites to feature in search results, with this in mind:
If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that's a good sign the information is high quality.
Posting authoritative and useful content is a powerful way to generate links to your site. According to Hubspot, websites with active blogs get 97% more inbound links than blog-less websites.
2. Blogs Establish Expertise
Sharing quality content is a great way to position your organization as an expert in your field or niche. It's important to partner with marketers that really understand your goals and industry in order to properly position yourself and produce content that’s truly helpful.
Writing a blog post is not a matter of shouting into the void. A blog post provides tailored, carefully-produced content that shows off your knowledge in a niche. In fact, a blog post is one of the best places to use internal links to other articles and web pages within your own site and social media channels, creating a network effect of information for your curious prospective clients. Carefully position your internal links so that they're connecting consumers to your absolute best content, like relevant blogs, comprehensive videos, charts, infographics, or other long-form articles.
Research shows that 47% of consumers look at three to five pieces of content offered by a brand before making a purchase. As a financial institution, clients need to be impressed by your knowledge. By establishing yourself up as an expert through quality content, you're reassuring them and making it easier for them to take up your services.
3. Blogs Develop Relationships
A blog transcends outdated methods of marketing, like traditional advertising campaigns, by relating to your customers on a more personal level and building trust.
When people take to the internet, they're looking for interesting content but, more importantly, trusted sources of information. By establishing a blog, you can position yourself in that role. In fact, studies have shown that 81% of online consumers in the trust the information that comes from blogs.
Blogs also provide a great opportunity for connection. Consumers can comment directly on blogs, which constitutes a direct link between them and your organization. In addition, blogs are highly shareable and clickable: this means that if you post quality content, it can quickly make its rounds on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
So to make sure that you're a trusted source, and to bolster relationships over time, make sure that you're posting regularly.
4. Blogs + Social Media = Omnichannel Success
According to Forbes, organizations that commit to omnichannel marketing have a customer retention rate of 89% versus 33% for businesses with sub-par omnichannel marketing. Those are some pretty significant stats, but what exactly does it mean for your organization?
In part, the omnichannel revolution in marketing is associated with the fact that people repeatedly switch between devices throughout the day, and from blog posts to social media to their email. This means that the tone, messaging, and content that your brand produces has to flow organically and smoothly from one channel to the next.
Omnichannel marketing integrates all the channels of your outreach—social media, email marketing, advertisements—into one cohesive whole. Not only do blog posts provide an amazing way to connect with consumers by producing social media content, but they also help create a cohesive narrative across channels for your organization.
5. Blogs Provide Lead Generation
It works like this: your potential client sits in front of their computer (or more likely, their smartphone) and enters a question into the search bar. Say they enter a series of questions like “What’s the best ETF for portfolio diversification?” or “How are commercial loan rates determined?”. Or perhaps they use Google's voice search feature (which now represents 20% of all mobile searches) to ask “How much life insurance does a new parent really need?”. These are instances where whatever the comparable questions are for your business, you need your website to appear in the search results and preferably rank near the top.
Blog posts are one of the best ways of becoming that perfect answer. Answering the questions that your prospective clients are asking and doing so with well-written and informative posts generates value, traffic and leads. If visitors to your site are engaged with the material, they'll visit other parts of your site, learn about your services and reach out.
6. Blogs Get Results
The bottom line, pure and simple, is that blogging produces results.
Research shows that blogs that post daily receive five times more web traffic than those that don't. And you don't need to post every day to see the benefits. Blogs that post less frequently (eleven or more times per month) get three times more traffic than blogs that only post once or twice a month. Consistency is the key. And when it comes to ROI, three times more marketers get higher ROI from inbound marketing activities like blogging than they do with outbound activities.