The decline of the corporate blog – Does it still have relevance?
The latest figures for Fortune 500 companies show that although 50% of companies had blogs in 2010, this had dropped to 37% in 2011.
The reason for this has been long debated, with budget and time constraints, the rise of social media and a lack of understanding or inspiration perhaps to blame. Whatever your excuse, the relevance of a blog cannot be debated.
Why should I bother?
Google Penguin cracked down on spammy link building techniques, while its predecessor Panda’s freshness update saw Google admit that freshness is a ranking factor in its algorithm.
Blogs are an easy way to add the high quality, fresh, original content to your website which Google loves. As Google recognises synonyms, you don’t need to stuff your posts with keywords. Create interesting posts which keep readers coming back for more and, providing they are relevant, they’ll also boost SEO.
Your blog can increase direct traffic to your website, boost brand awareness and provide a platform to directly communicate with your customers. Intriguing posts, follow-up comments and a casual tone will make people really warm to your business.
Can’t I just do this through social media or my website’s page content?
Social media can create backlinks to your website, but these links are just one ranking factor. Blog posts have more SEO benefits than social because content analysis is probably Google’s most significant consideration. Social media can certainly complement your blog; but should not replace it.
Similarly, updating your website regularly to keep on top of Google’s freshness ranking factor is time-consuming and unnecessary. Your blog is set aside from the rest of the website and easy to update regularly.
Ok, ok I’m convinced. But how do I blog successfully?
Try thinking of your blog as a magazine to show potential customers what your company is really about. Your blog can be a place for inspiration, direct engagement, problem solving, rewarding loyalty, sharing news, creating excitement or even making direct sales. Above all, it is a cheap and easy way to increase brand awareness and compliment your brand image.
Almost any business can have a successful blog; scissor makers Fiskars, for example. You won’t find any dull “Top 50 uses for scissors” or “A guide to the different types of scissors” posts on their blog. Fiskars thought outside the box and created the Fiskarettes Blog in the UK and its US counterpart Fiskateers. These are extremely popular crafting blogs where members can share pictures of their creations, discuss crafting techniques, read tips and interact with other crafters. The networking atmosphere of Fiskarettes is perfect for bringing back visitors time and time again.
For smaller businesses, on-blog user logins may be too expensive to set up and maintain. The key thing to remember is that your blog is a place for interesting content with purpose. Don’t take the hard-sell route, but think outside the box and create useful, interesting or intriguing posts.
If you own a joinery business, for example, why not offer home decoration tips – a post on space saving in children’s bedrooms with references to fitted wardrobes, perhaps? If you own a restaurant, why not share food photos, recipes, behind-the-scenes photos from inside your kitchens and interviews with your chefs?
Whatever blogging style suits your business, remember to make sure it is interesting, personal and regularly updated.
If this sounds like a big commitment or thinking creatively isn’t your thing, contact the experts at KPI. We can write tailored blog posts to maximise your traffic and SEO relevance.