On Monday September 23 the announcement came out that Google is now going to be blocking marketers from seeing what keywords people came from when they visited your website. I am a marketer and my first response was “I hate Google.” Mostly that came as an initial reaction and the sense that Google controls too much of the world and wants to just make more money on its AdWords, but it was also because we care a lot about keywords in our internet marketing strategies. A bit of digging by my partner and the voice of reason indicated it isn’t as tragic as it sounds, and we will be publishing a blog about that in a couple of days.
This particular article that seeks to answer the “why blog” question was already underway when that announcement came in. I was sitting in a Great Harvest in Medford, Oregon, on my way to Portland when I read the post. Final destination of this trip is Seattle, Washington, where we will deposit our only child, a lovely young lady, into the hands of the educators at Seattle Pacific University for her freshman year of college. Needless to say, my emotional reserves for change are particularly low this week, so Google just pushed me over the top. Hate is not a normal part of my vocabulary.
So what does any of this have to do with the topic at hand? Why Blog? Well, I had three reasons and then today’s announcement gave me a fourth. Here are my top four today:
1. Because your boss wants an internet marketing strategy and it’s now part of your job description.
Just being honest here, that is how I started. My first thought being…I have NOTHING to say. But, when your boss sets the mark for the entire office then what choice is there? You start researching, start brainstorming and start writing. The shocking part is discovering how much you know that you take for granted in your industry. You really do know more than your potential customers so get past the barrier and get going.
2. Because it is a proven way to increase website traffic and delight your prospects and customers
It used to be that protecting your knowledge was the key to competing in the world. While that is still the case for proprietary data or designs, the fact is that we live in a world where free information is readily available on the internet for just about anything your prospective customers want to know. If you’ve read our blog before, you may have heard us say that 57% of all buying decisions are made before a person ever contacts a company’s sales force. Your sales person no longer holds all the cards so it is critical to establish your value to your prospects, while also delighting your customer base with helpful information about your industry or products. This is a key way to drive qualified leads to your website and ensure that people see you as an expert in your industry.
3. Because you don’t have to be the first to say something, just the first in your tribe
This is a key phrase for you if you are tempted to think that anything you have to say has already been said by someone else, maybe you even think “someone smarter” than you. The fact is that is probably true, but the bigger question is who is saying it to the people YOU are trying to reach? If you know one rocket scientist and she shares with you some simple facts about rocket science, you will likely see that person as your expert on the subject and go back to them when you have other questions about rocket science. Same is true in your industry. There will always be someone who knows more or has said it better or more technically, but you have a unique audience that only you can reach. You have the chance of developing a “tribe” who sees you as their expert on things and that can only happen if you start contributing.
4. Because it is one way that Google approves of in your rankings
No matter how much Google changes algorithms and works to retain its market share, the bottom line is that it wants to serve up results that meet the needs of the people searching. The concept of creating great content that answers questions people are asking will continue to meet that very need and allow your website to be found by prospective customers searching on Google. You may not always know how they found you, but if you are willing to create great content and you keep publishing it, you will keep gaining leads that will turn into customers.
Bottom line….if you are still asking “why blog” then think through the concepts outlined here. They are simple, non-technical reasons why blogging is a consistent and doable strategy for increasing leads and customers.