Blogs first came on the scene back in 1994 through a site called links.net. It wasn’t until 1999 before “weblog” was shortened to just “blog” and it became part of the lexicon of the new digital age.
Blogs started as a type of online diary, but quickly evolved into a way to impart information of all types in an easily updated format. Today, they have become one the most powerful pieces of any business marketing plan.
Small and medium-sized IT businesses can especially benefit by using a blog as the core foundation of their marketing strategy because of all the benefits blog posts bring, and at a much lower cost than paid ads.
How Blogging Can Help You Grow Your Tech Business
If you just stick your blog up and forget about it, you’re missing multiple benefits that a blog can bring to your IT business. Here are eleven important reasons you should pay attention to blogging and why it should be the bedrock of your marketing plan.
1. Establishes You as an Expert
When your website visitors can visit your site and get an article on “Top Google Search Tips” or “How to Take Advantage of Virtual Desktops at Your Company,” in addition to the technology advice, they’re learning that you’re an expert in your field.
By writing on subjects of value to your customers and potential customers, you’re building trust with them and establishing yourself as the expert “go to” IT guru in your area.
92% of customers are more likely to purchase additional products/services from a business they trust. (Salesforce)
2. SEO Benefit Over Time
Search engine optimization takes time, but the time you put into optimizing your blog to show in keyword searches is well spent and can reap you some nice ranking rewards in the future.
SEO is like planting seeds, you’re preparing the soil, watering, and nurturing so that you can get rewarded in the future once that seed takes root and grows.
Blogs give you the opportunity to get better rankings by continually adding fresh content to your site, and utilizing more specific keywords for each post, than you can if you’ve only got your main website pages to work with.
Websites that include blogs have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
An example of good blog SEO practices is: If you service both Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, you could use some blog posts to sprinkle in a keyword like “Tacoma IT services” and other blog posts could use “Seattle virus removal” as a keyword.
Blogs give the opportunity to make a more robust site and SEO structure giving you more of a chance to show up in the coveted page one spot of a google search for your local area.
3. Reference Content for Customers
How many times do you answer the same questions for your customers? A blog gives you the perfect customer service tool that you can use to direct customers to more information than is on your main service pages.
If a business lead is wondering if they should work with you to switch to Office 365, direct them to that blog you wrote about “Key Productivity Tips for Office 365 for Business.” If you get the same question often about what to do if you’ve clicked on a phishing link, instead of writing the same answer over and over, just shoot them a link to your blog on the subject.
Blogs help you with customer reference content in two important ways:
- Customer support questions
- Sales content to help convert a lead to a client
4. Blogs Feed into Your Other Marketing
When you post fresh blogs to your website, that content is a foundation upon which you can easily build other marketing (for much less time than if you did it from scratch!).
You can take one blog post and reimagine it in multiple other ways that can help you reach more people and drive more traffic to your website. By piggy-backing off your blog, you get more marketing out with less effort.
Blogs can be a foundation for additional marketing content such as:
- Social media posts
- eBooks/lead magnets
- Email newsletter content
5. Lead Generation
Blogs help businesses generate more traffic to their website, and thus more leads from that traffic. When you’re posting about your blog in multiple places, like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. with a link back to your blog post, people will naturally explore the services you’re offering, especially if you have a well-placed call to action within the blog post itself.
Companies with blogs produce 67% more leads each month than those without them. (Codeless)
And according to HubSpot, the more you blog the more inbound leads you generate. Their statistics show that websites that post 16+ blog posts per month get about 4.5 times more leads that sites that post between 0 to 4 monthly blogs.
And guess which size companies benefit the most? Their data shows that smaller businesses see the biggest benefit from blogging when it comes to lead generation.
- Businesses with 25 or less employees that published 11 or more blogs per month generated nearly double the leads of companies publishing 6-10 times a month.
- Businesses with 26-200 employees that blogged 11+ times each month generated about 2.5 times more leads that those blogging 0-3 times monthly.
- Businesses with over 200 employees posting 6 or more blogs per month generated about 1.75 times the leads of those posting 0-5 monthly blogs.
6. Improves Conversion Rates
Blogs turn your website from static to dynamic. Since you’re always adding content with a blog you give people a reason to come back to see what’s new. Adding content to your site regularly also lets visitors know that you’re actively engaged, which many will translate into “will be responsive.”
Education is an important first step in the sale process, people need to understand what you’re selling before they’re ready to contract your IT services, and blogs give you the perfect way to educate your visitors on a wide variety of topics related to your business.
According to an article by Forbes on “The Top 10 Benefits of Blogging On Your Website,” the return on investment is better for companies that blog, with those that emphasize blogging as part of their marketing strategy seeing a 13X increase in ROI year after year.
7. Helps Generate Links Back to You
Good inbound links to your website are one of the key components that help your site rank better in search engine results. Creating quality content can draw bloggers, authors, journalists, and other content writers to your blog who may reference your content in their articles (just look at the backlinks we’ve referenced in this blog!).
And not only can those backlinks help your site’s SEO, they also drive referral traffic and bring you new visitors that can turn into new and recurring sales revenue.
8. Can be Shared Over and Over Again
A nice benefit of building up your blog content on your site, is that that helpful information is there to be shared over and over again. It doesn’t just go away or have an expiration date, like a single postcard mailing campaign.
And actually, the longer your posts are up, the more they may be helping you. As posts have a chance to be indexed by search engines, draw visitors, and gain backlinks, they can end up driving more traffic than newer posts.
In HubSpot’s analysis of their own blog lead generation, they found that 90% of their blog-related leads were coming from posts that had been up 30 days or more. The time it takes for a post to garner good search rankings was a big reason for this. Of their top 10 blogs that generated leads, people were getting to their blog via organic search.
So, using our seed analogy with SEO, give those blog posts time to blossom and they’ll keep bring you visitors over and over again in the months and years to come.
9. Reaching Decision Makers
Anyone following up on leads knows that not every lead you get is the decision maker. Sometimes the person researching business IT services is bringing back suggestions to their boss, who is the one that makes the final decision of who to go with.
Blogs offer up non-sales content that many decision makers prefer over advertisements. According to “The ROI of Blogging” by Stratabeat, 80% of those making decisions for their business prefer learning about a new vendor, product, or service over a series of articles versus through an advertisement.
Blogs allow you to reach those looking for solid, fact-based information by writing about topics of interest to them.
Adding a blog allows your website to give you the best of both worlds, service pages selling your offerings and less “salesy” information through your blog posts.
10. Make Your Business More Relatable
Do you ever visit a website that is just strictly talking about the product or service, but doesn’t have much personality? It’s hard to relate to a local vendor if you’re only reading dry promotional text, that doesn’t tell you anything about them or their business more personally.
Blogs give you a way to open up and inject a little personality into your website, while still keeping your product and service pages professional and targeted to your particular audience.
When you are injecting more of your personality and company values into your blog posts, you’re branding your business. Why take the time to do branding by being relatable?
- It increases customer loyalty
- Improves your business image
- Helps you stand out to someone shopping IT shops
- Helps customers to connect to you on a more personal level
11. Promote Local Business Engagement
Blogs give you the ability to highlight fellow local businesses in your area, building symbiotic relationships that can help you both gain more business.
For example, if you blog about the newest donut shop that just opened up in your town and how they offer free Wi-Fi, that donut shop might see the benefit of local businesses coordinating their marketing efforts and allow you to put business cards at their place and refer business to you.
Using a few blogs here and there to highlight businesses in your area that sell non-competing products or services that your customers might enjoy brings more value to your own clients and can also gain you some valuable cross-marketing relationships with your fellow local vendors.
Blogs Aren’t Going Anywhere… So, Use Them
If you do an online search for just about anything, there’s a good chance a blog (or three) is going to come up on the first page of results. Blogs have shown over time that they have staying power and aren’t going anywhere, and they continue to be an important foundation for any business’s marketing strategy.
Let us know how your blog helped your business marketing efforts. Share your story below.