A large number of companies are familiar with the process of starting a blog, but few have experienced the challenges of maintaining and growing a blog for more than a year. Understanding long term benefits is key to sustainable business blogging. One of the most notable benefits of publishing blog content, especially if optimized, is the compliment to search engine optimization efforts.
TopRank’s Online Marketing Blog recently conducted a survey with 326 Corporate, Agency, Small Biz and Independent marketers. Long time readers of Business Blog Consulting understand the SEO value of blogging, however, we wanted to check in with marketers with a variety of blogging experience to see what their experiences have been firsthand.
95% indicated blogs are used as part of their search engine optimization efforts
87.4% successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging
90% cited blogging as important, significantly important or a primary SEO tactic
Blogs are started for many reasons ranging from corporate communications in a newsroom format to conversational posts from executives or subject matter experts. When it came to SEO benefits from blogging, the top choices were:
- Creat new optimized content
- Linking from blog posts to optimized web site content
- Attract external links
- Increase crawl rate / frequency
- Community building for content/links promotion
- Content Syndication
The timeframe between starting a blogging effort and seeing results is a very common question for companies considering a blog as part of the marketing and communications mix. In the TopRank survey, respondents reported seeing SEO results fairly quickly:
94% of bloggers reported seeing measurable SEO benefits from blogging within 12 months
54% of respondents start to see SEO benefits from blogging within 3 months
After timeframe to see results, the next most common question about building a case for a corporate blog are the results. Adding a SEO effort to a corporate blog allows companies to increase the outcomes and reach of the content published. The top benefits from blog SEO included:
- Increasing company site traffic
- Increase company leads/sales
- Inbound links
- Referrals from the blog
- Lead generation from the blog
- Improved web site rankings
- Increased blog traffic
Starting a blog purely for SEO reasons will make content sustainability difficult in the long run. A blogging strategy must meet meet other goals as well, especially those that involve engaging customers or interactions with readers. Other success measures from blogging include:
- Increase overall online exposure. They wonâ€™t know about you if you donâ€™t say anything, participate
- Contribute to companyâ€™s bottom line goals in at least a semi-direct way
- Branding and owning SERPS
- Increase quality of site traffic
- Improve visibility and prominence in search engine results is by far the most important, itâ€™s all about search
- Incease visibility and demonstrate the company is â€œup to dateâ€
Convincing management that a corporate blog or any kind of blog is not always easy. Nor is long term creation of content and promotion. Many of the comments about obstacles to blogging centered around time, resources, measurement and a lack of awareness.
- 67.2% cited resource issues as the most common objection to implementing a blog
- 42% cited content sourcing issues
- 35% didn’t see the benefit of blogging
- Regulated industry or legal issues got in the way for 19.3
Is blogging here to stay? 92% of respondents feel blogging will continue to be an important content optimization and marketing tactic for the next 3+ years.
Read the full results of the Blogging and SEO Survey here along with a large number of comments from respondents on measuring success and SEO applications of blogging. Follow @leeodden on Twitter for more insights into Social SEO and Blogging.