Is Blogging Still An Effective Marketing Strategy?
A few years ago the marketing industry became obsessed with writing blogs and trying to use them for marketing purposes. But with new channels becoming more prominent like video, we want to look at whether blogging is becoming irrelevant.
So historically, there are different ways to look at the role of the blog. Traditionally, blogs consisted of diary-like content to provide readers with information about people’s lives. Developers noticed that there seemed to be a good level of interest in these blogs and wondered if they could be used in other ways.
The introduction of WordPress and hosting companies like SiteGround that allowed blog posts without technical skills, took blogging to the next level. People could now write weekly blogs and share anything they wanted by simply constructing a piece of text and clicking ‘publish’.
As search engines were introduced in the late 90s, people caught onto the idea that the internet would play a key role in making money. As search engines were applying methods behind their prioritisation criteria behind their search results, people become more interested in those details.
Whilst search engine companies work hard to keep their methods under wraps, it soon became apparent that there were ways to influence the standing of a website in the search engine results. One of the first observations was that keywords would have a big impact on results which then, as you would expect, led to people stuffing keywords into their website content.
Since then, there has been huge focus on the science behind search engine ranking. There are now businesses and roles specifically dedicated to SEO and getting rankings up with a profit to be made from this as it generates more online sales leads.
So going back to the concept of blogging, it was identified that search engines index each page of a website, so the more pages within the website from this perspective, the better. Of course there are only so many pages of content that are relevant and useful to describe your business, so you do not want to keep adding pages of business content. However, by writing a blog with useful information (and keywords and other SEO friendly content) you can continue to add pages to your website.
Whilst the algorithm that Google uses to determine search rankings gets frequently updated, the principle of adding blog pages to index higher is still prevalent. What you do need to be aware of is that the search engines have shifted in terms of having a higher emphasis on quality, it would appear. And we say ‘appear’ because we will never know exactly what the formula involves.
However, it does seem apparent that websites with lower quality content, e.g. spelling mistakes, grammar, irrelevant content etc. now get penalised. So all of those people that were just churning out low quality content will have seen a dip in their ranking.
So to answer the original question regarding whether blogs are still an effective marketing strategy, yes they definitely are. They help to get the website higher in terms of indexed pages and also enable good keyword use to attract customers. The other side of creating blogs that add real value is that people searching for the content you create will see you as an expert. They may also share your blogs with their network via social media, expanding your reach solely by creating high quality content. So if you are quite far from understanding such things, taking a few business classes will be a good idea. And something as simple as your logo should be left to the professionals!
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is what will your potential customers be searching for? Once you work that out you can start creating high quality, useful blogs that drive your business forward.