Should Your Business Have a Blog (in 2020 and Beyond)?
Since the early 2010’s, marketing evangelists have been telling businesses that they NEED a blog but where does one start to make sense of whether or not it will actually work for your business? And does it make sense to have a blog 10+ years after the hype of web 2.0 has died down? The short answer is yes – as long as you know the investment required and are willing to stay on top of it.
Hopefully, this post will provide some insight into whether or not your business should have a blog in 2020 and beyond.
Why blogging still works for businesses (even post 2020)
Blogging extends your reach on multiple levels across the web. It allows you to publish content that conveys your unique ideas and business principles. Each individual article has an opportunity to rank in search engines for a multitude of queries that people might be searching for related to your business.
What makes a blog relevant even post-2020, is the fact that there are still great opportunities to obtain organic (free) traffic via what’s referred to as “Longtail search queries”. Even with Google offering less space for organic content to appear on obviously commercial intent searches, there are still plenty of opportunities to be had via the more obscure searches that people tend to perform when they are researching.
An example of a commercial intent search as Google understands it would be someone searching for a service with the phrase “near me” included – something like “auto repair near me” or “landscaper near me”. These people are typically ready to buy in the very short term. Obscure (longtail) searches tend to be people researching in the early stages of making a purchase. This is the perfect time for your webpage to make an appearance and showcase your expertise on the subject matter.
Blogging isn’t as fast-paced as it used to be, but it’s still a lot of work
Back in the day, the going advice was to blog frequently and capitalize on Google’s need for fresh content. Today, not so much. Google has shifted emphasis to quality over quantity over the years; So you are far better off writing evergreen articles (these are articles that won’t be outdated soon after they are published) that are well researched and stand the test of time.
One of the things that I often tell clients is to think about the questions they are asked about most often and create well-written articles that cover that subject matter from end to end. If your business is one that services a geographic area, try to write with the area you serve as a focal point as well.
An example of this for let’s say, a swimming pool contractor in Los Angeles, would be to first think through the questions you find yourself answering most often and then apply a localized theme to the answer. So most pool contractors might be asked “what are the maintenance costs for this type of pool?”. To make the most of this type of article you would want to answer the question phrased as “what are the maintenance costs of a gunite pool in Los Angeles?”. This will naturally cause you to think about how your location might impact the upkeep and you will write in a way that is more targeted to those you serve in your area. You would probably want to discuss differences in the hotter areas that you serve and the colder areas you serve. Over time, you might rank for “pool maintenance cost Los Angeles” and a variety of similar queries for the other areas you mentioned in your article. This is also a good example of an evergreen article (as I referred to above) that stands the test of time.
Know who your ideal customers are and plan your blog posts around their needs
Deciding what to post on your blog can be daunting, but it’s much easier when you know who you are talking to. Think about your ideal customer – what are the common questions they ask before they buy? What are things they struggle with overcoming before they buy? Knowing these things can help you craft content that provides answers to your prospect’s questions and most importantly will give your brand exposure to the right people. It’s alot easier to write when you can picture who you’re talking to and why.
It will take time to get traffic (and see an ROI as a result)
Depending on how old your website is and how much credibility you’ve already gained without a blog, will help determine how quickly you might start seeing a return. There are always exceptions to the rule, as we’ve seen cases where a new website publishes something groundbreaking and instantly gain traction. However, the norm is that blogging creates a steady increase in visitors from organic traffic. How fast the increase happens, is directly related to how often you publish new and useful content to your blog.
Deciding whether or not start a blog for your business comes down to a few key points:
- Are you willing to stick with it long term? It can take time to get traffic to your blog if you are just starting out (especially on a new domain). Are you willing to push forward even if you don’t see instant traffic gains?
- Can you define your ideal customer? If you can’t do this, it will be hard to develop a voice that will get you measurable results.
- Are you able to keep your blog updated? Over time, things change and the content will naturally need to be updated. Even the best-planned evergreen content can end up referencing outdated links, images, or information. You will need to review your blog posts from time to time and update them as needed,
Starting a business blog has real benefits and can make an impact on your ability to generate traffic and gain visibility without having to pay for it long term. However, starting a blog without proper planning will mean a long learning curve and lower returns. Ultimately, the decision you make regarding whether to blog or not should be focused on the long term and not a quick return.