What Can a Blog Do For You?

Ask not what you can do for your blog; ask what your blog can do for you.

Okay, I’m pretty sure that’s not what JFK meant at his legendary inaugural address, but I am sure that a blog is part of a mutually beneficial relationship.

Blog authors only get out what they put in, which means that the better the content of your blog, the better your results will be. While quality content requires a significant investment in time or money spent to pay a professional writer, the rewards are overwhelming. When compared to traditional advertising channels, blogs are one of the best and most cost-effective marketing options.

HubSpot is a massive proponent of inbound marketing, and the company’s 2012 report on the state of inbound marketing reveals several surprising statistics. Before I mention these numbers, it’s important to realize why inbound marketing is so effective.

The main principle at work here is that it’s far easier to bring Muhammad to the mountain instead of trying to schlep that same mountain across Arabia. If you can get visitors to come to you (your blog), your chances for success are much better, and there is much less work involved. Here are a few important statistics about the marketing value of blogs.

Companies that have blogs generate 55 percent more traffic and 70 percent more leads.

Once visitors arrive on your blog, they are ready to stay as long as they find valuable information.

Inbound leads cost 61 percent less than outbound leads.

If blogging isn’t on your list of great ways to get affordable leads, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy.

More than half of all companies with blogs have gained at least one customer through this channel. To top that, 92 percent of companies that blog several times per day have acquired at least one new customer from their posts.

If you’ve been blogging once a week or once every other week, it’s time to set a new goal!

According to the Demand Gen Report, following up on web leads creates 20 percent more sales.

Rule number one: Act quickly. One in every five leads can become a new customer. Don’t alienate potential clients. Make one person responsible for following up on inquiries, converting leads and tracking referral data.

The web is a marketing and research platform. Even customers who receive a word-of-mouth referral will use your online presence to make an educated decision.

Remember: What you aren’t doing is very important. Oh, and one more thing. It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is. A blog will make your marketing strategy better.

Content Marketing After Penguin and Panda

Penguins and Pandas: What’s Up with Google?

Penguin-Panda-Update-GoogleGoogle’s search engine algorithms are notorious for their secrecy. While SEO experts and programmers don’t know exactly what changes Google made to their proprietary systems, the effects have been quite revealing. Since April 19, 2012, Google has unleashed a battery of devastating refinements that caused the page rank of many web pages to plummet. The complexity and frequency of these updates only added to the confusion, and had many site owners and developers struggling to determine what affected the rank of their previously top-performing pages. Here’s what you need to know about Google’s infamous Panda and Penguin updates.

  • The Panda update was unrolled on April 19, 2012.

  • The Penguin 1.0 update was released on April 24, 2012.

  • A second Panda update was launched on April 27, 2012.

Basically, these changes are designed to penalize sites and content farms that blatantly duplicate text from other websites, including properties that they might own or control. These changes have sent a strong message to webmasters and developers. In the post-Penguin/Panda climate, websites need valuable, original and authoritative content to survive. Our dear colleagues at Frisco Websites explained that Google is pushing organizations away from cookie-cutter sites and challenging companies to provide a broader range of original content.

Today, Google has very little tolerance for sites that copy content or engage in keyword stuffing to artificially improve their ranking. While the effects of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates are settling down, Google is bound to release further refinements that demand fresh, exciting web content that is valuable to search engines and real readers.

If you believe your website was affected by these updates, visit the Search Engine Journal to discover a practical and simple way to determine what updates affected the performance of your website.

The Hidden Cost of Crappy Web Content

All content is not created equal. Weighing the options and prices of web content is a baffling process. It’s not uncommon for clients to place identical orders at varying price ranges just to gauge the quality.

When comparing the cost of content, cheap isn’t better. In the short term, cheap (crappy) content might be easy on your wallet, but the long-term cost can be devastating. The old cliché you get what you pay for is certainly true in the content market, so it’s important for clients to be on their toes.

 In the immortal words of my grandma, “we cannot afford to buy cheap.”

Quality content powers successful websites. Creating content that accomplishes business objectives requires two elements working in harmony. This means content must attract search engines, but it must also appeal to the reader/customer. I put search engines first because ranking well in search results is the best way to secure visitors. Once a reader is on your site, the content must be engaging and appealing to a real person.

Creating content that pleases readers and search engines requires a careful balance of SEO techniques and good writing. If content doesn’t appeal to search engines or interest the reader, purchasing that article was a waste. Clients can update the content with articles of the same quality, but the results will be the same. In fact, they can be worse. Truly crappy content can upset readers and make a negative impression. Losing a customer or potential customer due to crappy web content is the ultimate cost.

Good web content, on the other hand, makes a lasting impression. Investing in quality content is the perfect way to attract search engines today while creating valuable articles that have better longevity and will continue to attract readers in the future. Don’t penalize your website by filling it with sub-standard filler. If you want to be the best, you need to invest in superior writing.

Google is also cracking down on websites that use gray-hat SEO techniques and dubious practices to fool search engines. We’ll be talking about that topic in our next post, so stay tuned!
Reference Code: HSQZV2K677HF