Last year, HubSpot, a company that focuses on SEO, Blogging, Social Media, Landing Pages, Lead Generation and Analytics, did a study on 1,531 of their customer websites. Their customers consist of mainly small and medium sized businesses of which a little more than half had blogs. Their study showed that the number of visitors to the websites with blogs were 55% greater than the sites without blogs.
While this study has plenty of room for error and other factors that could be involved, it's no secret that websites with active blogs simply drive more visitor traffic. The reason for this is actually very simple. Search engines love content and they love content that gets updated on a regular basis even more. By having an active blog, you are providing the search engines with reason to visit your website on a regular basis and more data to include in their search results.
The Banner Blog is responsible for a material amount of traffic to our website. The visitor traffic we receive because of searches on the major search engines also drives a large number of visitors to our website. The more visitors to our website, the better chance at converting those visitors into customers. Even when we aren't converting those visitors into customers, the branding impressions continue to grow. All that branding recognition makes the selling process easier because when the time is right and people are ready to buy, our brand stands out from our competitors.
The bottom line is that having an active blog will increase traffic to your website, provide additional brand impressions and lead to greater sales opportunities. Knowing that, is there really any reason not to blog?
Time Is a Factor When it Comes to Business Blogging
As with any marketing activity, and blogging clearly fitting that criteria, time is money and the time spent blogging has to be taken into consideration. Therefore, before embarking on a blogging campaign, it's important to formulate the amount of time you are going to blog and what the costs versus the return will be on that investment. Here's an easy formula for determining the cost of blogging:
Number of Blog Articles Written Per Month X Time Spent Per Article X Cost Per Hour = Total Monthly Investment
For example, if you plan to write 4 blog articles per month with each article taking one of your employees 1 hour to write and that employee earning $25/hr., your formula is as such:
4*1*$25=$100.00. In the scenario above, producing 4 blog articles per month results in a soft cost of $100.00. Over the year it comes to $1,200. Figuring out the return requires determining how much each customer is worth. Once you've done that little bit of math, you can make a well informed decision on the value of blogging.
Journalists are the New Marketers
Not everyone is a great writer and sometimes, small business owners simply have too much on their plate to even devote 4 hours per month on blogging. So what's a person to do? Many companies are now starting to hire journalists in their marketing departments. The reason being is that journalists can produce a lot of high quality content quickly that the search engines and readers both will love! WIth the newsprint industry suffering, a lot of good writers have become available at affordable prices. David Meerman Scott, of Web Ink Now was ahead of the curve when suggesting that marketers hire journalists more than 3 years ago.
About the author Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him plussing on Google+, as well as tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.