A 2021 Hubspot marketing report found that 89% of content marketers used blog posts in their content creation strategy in 2020. Blogging is an effective marketing strategy because it helps direct traffic to your website, which increases leads. Optin Monster, a website that offers practical tips for conversions, claims that “57% of marketers say they’ve gained customers specifically through blogging.”
Strategically, content marketing blogs that work well are broad enough to appeal to a large audience but remain specific to their business’s niche. It sounds like a contradiction, right? Well, in practice, blogs containing frequently searched keywords on popular topics receive more traffic because of the way Google’s AI indexes sites and ranks them on their search engine results pages (SERPs).
Before you begin blogging, you should develop a blog strategy that serves as a flexible blueprint covering the types of topics and frequency you’ll be posting. Topic flexibility is necessary as it allows you to stay attuned to your audience’s growing interests and needs.
A blog’s primary function is to build brand awareness and credibility, i.e., to sell a brand, not its products. The latter occurs naturally if your blog content is informative and of interest to its readers. A good blog forms part of the marketing funnel and nudges potential leads further along the buyer’s journey.
A helpful analogy is to think of blogging as casting a wide net to attract potential customers. For example, a hardware store might blog about fun DIY projects to do around the house. The types of projects they include could appeal to parents, bachelors, or young married couples. The blog won’t explicitly sell any products, but its call to action (CTA) can mention that the hardware store stocks the products needed to complete the aforementioned DIY projects.
The content is broad, and its angle is smart because it appeals to a wide audience without being overly specific. On the contrary, a blog about drill bits, for example, will certainly pique the interests of some hardware store customers. Still, it’s incredibly precise and limited to a minute percentage of people looking for that specific product. And, of course, your blog should always relate to your products and customers. A hardware store wouldn’t blog about plants or garden maintenance unless it somehow linked to their products in some way.
From an editorial perspective, blogs that are too specific risk losing steam and running into content fatigue. Technically, they limit Google’s ability to maximize search engine optimization (SEO) and don’t increase conversions as effectively as blogs that cover a broader range of industry-related topics.
Long-tail keywords rank and convert better on Google. They are longer, more specific keyword phrases that users are most likely to search when they are closer to the point of purchase. If your blog only appeals to a narrow audience, its long-tail keywords will yield a low search volume.
For example, even if a blog about “best drill bits” is well written and informative, its chances of appearing on SERPs are relatively low, as would be the subsequent traffic to the business’s website. However, if there were a portion about drill bits on a more generally angled blog that offers advice on “best power tools for securing shelves,“ it would rank higher because the topic appeals to customers interested in both shelving and power tools, increasing traffic.
Still unsure about keywords, content, and content marketing? Check out our guide to choosing the right SEO agency.
Google gathers information from web pages, user-submitted content and submissions, book scanning, and public online databases. When it discovers a page, it crawls the page, meaning it tries to comprehend what it’s about. It analyzes the text and embedded videos and images to decide where the page should appear in its search results. Once its AI understands the page, it stores it in a massive database called a Google Index. This is referred to as indexing.
In 2019, Google released the search update, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), which was designed to help it better discern the context of words in searches to produce more relevant results. Consequently, long-tail keywords have increased relevance as the search engine can better distinguish subtle nuances like prepositions. So, the keywords “paint at home” and “paint for home” will render different results. Meaning that businesses need to strategize more carefully around which keywords they use when blogging.
As of 2020, Google improved its Natural Language Processing (NPL) capabilities and released its T5 model, known as the “Text-to-Text Transfer Transformer.” In laymen’s terms, it means that every task Google considers when it comes to translation, question answering, and classifications are fed into a specific framework as input and training to generate a target text, with the eventual aim of delivering specific search results.
When a blog receives high traffic, it signals to Google to crawl and index a website frequently. The more often it crawls, the more statistics is it gathers, improving its understanding of the site. The use of long-tail keywords that drive traffic ultimately leads to increased visibility in SERPs. The trick is to find the right balance of specific keywords within general blog topics.
If your target audience is minimal, you will miss out on potential customers. Naturally, your target audience can’t be everyone, but it’s good to break them down into different buyer personas, i.e., types of people who could benefit from your product(s). A customer may not be interested in purchasing new drill bits, but they might consider DIY shelving or suddenly become interested in hanging new picture frames for which they need hooks. Google’s bots track users’ behaviors, and the more traffic a blog has, the greater audience engagement and the higher ranking the site gets.
All businesses strive to rank on the first page of a Google search. As a marketing tactic, blogging helps; convert leads into customers, amplifies brands, reaches new audiences, and grows a brand’s awareness and authority. However, this isn’t possible if you’re blogging to a small, niche audience. When you capture a broad audience, a segment of that audience can become returning customers. The first step to achieving this is publishing blogs that target a diverse audience, increasing your SERPs’ positions and ultimately boosting conversion.
For additional information and assistance with your content marketing strategy, contact a member of our team today.
Do you want a marketing plan that fits your individual needs? Let us craft a strategy that drives results to your company based on your objectives.
Please fill out the form to the right, and we will contact you within one business day for a free initial consultation.
Unlock a full potential of your website. See which gaps in your marketing don’t allow your organization to scale. Get a complimentary, no obligation marketing performance review.