Lets Hear It For The Blog!

12th Nov, 2010

As you might guess I’m a fan of blogging, not only do I write this one, but I also have a personal one too. I’ve provided tips on how to set up and maintain a business blog in the past and I have even looked at how blogging compares with Facebook and Twitter. I do understand the power of blogging. However when most businesses look towards social media blogs are often forgotten about or glossed over.

They require an investment of time and effort, much more than just 140 characters or a simple two line status update. If your business doesn’t blog, you are not alone. Only 87 (17.4%) of the Fortune 500 companies maintain a blog. It’s low number for a set of firms who would have the resources (in terms of cost, time, manpower, content opportunities) to employ an individual to maintain one. In comparison to the use of Facebook amongst the same set of companies, I ead an article last year that stated most of the Fortune 500 companies have a Facebook presence.

Blogs are one of the least fashionable social media channels. But here’s some recent research that might get you rethinking how important the blog can be in online marketing.

Hubspot: Websites With Business Blogs Generate More Traffic

This study from Hubspot, conducted amongst over 2100 customers. It found that those with an active business blog received 6.9 times more organic search traffic, and 1.12 times more referral traffic than customers who did not blog. The frequency of posts also affected traffic. Those with more content, posted on a frequent basis received more organic and referral traffic than those who did not. As you can see from the chart below, those blogs with a higher total number of posts published received more visitors.

A lot of this is common sense. More blog content related to the business you are in means more keywords being associated with the business, which means better ranking in search engines. This better ranking will lead to more organic traffic as your website will be closer to the coveted number one position for a search term. Similarly the more content you have on the site, that is posted frequently then the greater potential reach your website will have. This increases the chances of people finding it and linking back to it thus growing referral traffic (although promotion through Facebook, Twitter, RSS, email subscribers and Linked In would also do now harm here).

I would have liked to see stats on length of visit and pages per visit in comparison between the two groups as logic would dictate new fresh content should be able to keep people on a website for longer and have them return more frequently. Also a major plus in the favour of blogs is that their content remains ‘searchable’ unlike say a Tweet or a Facebook status update, which can be lost within a few hours of posting. Also blog content remains property of the blog owner and not reliant on the services of a third party like Facebook.

Let me leave you with some inspiration for your blogging efforts. This is from the Wall Blog in the UK a list of 10 highly effective branded blogs, well worth a read.