Raise your hand if you’ve asked yourself this question a million times in the last few years: Do we still need a company blog?
My hand is up there, too. Because with Facebook and Twitter and all the other social media platforms we actively use, it feels like we’re connecting with our audience, creating great content, and building communities the same way we used to with blogs. So, do we really need to keep cramming blog posts into our jam-packed editorial calendars?
In my opinion: We do. Here are three reasons why.
1. Blogs Sit on Your Website
The main purpose of your social media platforms is to drive traffic back to your website, right? In order to do that, you’re probably creating a ton of content each week for those platforms. The idea is that hopefully that content is exciting enough to entice your community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to visit your website—but there’s no guarantee.
Your blog, on the other hand, sits directly on your website. So if you do a great job of keeping it compelling and updated, people will access it directly. Not only does this increase the chance that people will buy something from your site (because they’re not getting distracted by their Facebook feed!), but it also increases the amount of time people are staying on your website, which is an important metric for enticing advertisers.
2. Long-Form Content
I may be a content romantic, but I think the introduction of social media has forced us to say things too quickly and efficiently. Let’s be real: If you log in to Facebook and see a post that’s more than three or four sentences, are you going to read it? Probably not.
But some topics and musings need more than a few sentences to be fully explored. And as a company full of interesting expertise, personalities, and views on your industry, you should have a place dedicated to just that. On a blog, you’ll have more room to expand on those thoughts—and readers will come expecting (and wanting!) lengthier content.
A few years ago, if you were looking to boost your search result ranking on Google, SEO-savvy marketers would have likely told you to stuff your website full of descriptive tags and metadata that you wanted to be associated with your brand. For example, if you ran an eco-friendly fashion company, you’d want to cram the backend of your website with tags like “eco-friendly fashion,” “fashion conscious,” and “eco fashion.” If you had these tags in a ton of places on your website, Google would offer up your website when someone searched for one of those terms.
I recently sat down with a few SEO experts to understand how the landscape has changed, and they told me this: That old method doesn’t work anymore. Google caught on, changed its algorithm a gazillion times, and now, the most effective way to increase your search ranking is to give your community relevant content that they will engage with and share. It is both that simple and that hard.
What better way to offer up great content to your community than through a blog? It doesn’t necessarily have to include more content, or even keyword-heavy content—just content that your readers genuinely love and want to share with their own community. (BuzzFeed, for example, likely has killer SEO stats.)
If you’re feeling inspired to start cranking out blog posts again, remember to update regularly, so people who are checking back are rewarded for their efforts. Where it’s appropriate, include a question or call to action at the end of your post to entice your audience to share their opinions and experiences. Then, pay attention to what’s happening in that comments section and make sure you jump in on the convo—it’s an awesome opportunity to engage one-to-one with your community about the things they really care about it.
Which is the whole point of this blogging thing, if anyone asks.