Keeping your website fresh with regular content on your blog can sometimes feel a bit like trying to swim whilst wearing lead boots. If you’re not a natural writer, posting blog content every week can be one of those tasks you just keep putting off. The trouble is, when you keep putting it off, and your last blog post was three months ago, you’re going to suffer in terms of SEO. Your traffic levels will drop, your audience will dwindle, and your Google ranking will sink.
Google likes fresh content. That’s a simple, unavoidable truth. I worked with a client recently whose last blog post was twelve months ago, and she was wondering why she wasn’t getting much traffic to her website. She didn’t want me telling her that it was the lack of blog posts that was the culprit, but after I’d finished explaining it, she got it. I hope that by the end of this article, you’ll understand the importance of regular blogging, too.
The thing about websites is that when people land on your site – whether through organic search or PPC or typing in your URL – they’re looking for something. What they’re looking for depends on your industry, product or service, but regardless of the specifics, it’s the content of your website that matters. Of course, design and UX are important, too, but content is king. Not just any content, either. Content that is engaging, relevant – and, most importantly, regularly updated. Regularly updated websites give people a reason to return to your site – which is good for business.
3 Reasons Why Regular Content is Vital
1) It Helps Search Engines
It’s no coincidence that I’ve listed this as the #1 reason why you need regular content for your website. It’s important. Really important. There isn’t some magic formula for working out how Google’s ranking algorithms work (oh, how we all wish there was!), but regular content is most definitely high up in the mysterious algorithm.
Regular content shows Google that your business is valuable, relevant, and up to date. Publishing unique content on a frequent basis allows you to prove to Google that your site is an authority in your industry and receive a higher search rank as a result.
2) It Shows That Your Website Is Alive and Current
It’s not just Google who appreciate regular content on your website. Your visitors do, too. Going back to my client with the blog last updated twelve months ago, imagine that you’ve just landed on her website. When you see that the last post was a year ago, what are you going to think? I’ll give you a clue. You’re going to wonder if her business is still operating, and you probably won’t stick around on her site for long. Time is too precious to waste on a website that may or may not still be in business.
Some business owners claim that not updating their blog shows their visitors that they’re too busy to write content for their site. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Sure, some people might think that. The majority won’t. And that’s a risk you shouldn’t be willing to take.
3) It Helps You Reach New People
Blogs don’t just appeal to Google and reassure customers that you’re still in business. They do way more than that. See each blog post you write as another opportunity to share your knowledge, your experience, your personality and your company’s ethos. When you write blog posts that are properly optimised with the right keywords (no keyword stuffing, please!) can get your business noticed by new visitors and potential customers.
Another potential means of reaching new audiences through blog content is producing high quality content that’s interesting and innovative and which gets noticed by influencers. If someone with a massive social media or website following posts a link to your blog content, the results can be huge. You’ll get a high-quality backlink, and visitors who take seriously the recommendations of influencers. It’s a win-win situation.
4 Top Tips For Creating New Content
1) Produce Relevant Content
Giving your audience relevant content can sometimes seem like walking a tightrope. How can you be sure that the content that you’re producing is the content that your visitors want to read? There are two aspects to getting this right every time, leaving you free to worry about more pressing matters (like the client who hasn’t paid the invoice you sent two months ago).
The first thing you need to do is make sure that the majority of your posts relate directly to your particular area of expertise. Your visitors want to find the content they’re looking for on your website. If you’re a home interior designer, and they’ve searched for a home interior designer, they don’t want to arrive on your blog and find that you’re writing about rescuing cats, for example. It’s not that they don’t like cats – it’s just not what they’re looking for!
Secondly, there are some occasions when it is okay to go off topic. It was the World Cup recently, and the nation was captivated by the whole thing, so it would have been okay to write about the World Cup then. Now, not so much. Writing about current events or things that have grasped the nation’s attention are fine – in moderation. Look at what’s trending on Twitter for ideas – but don’t focus on writing off-topic content. It’s okay occasionally, not regularly. Also, make sure you’re not trying to force your own agenda with off-topic writing. Readers really don’t like that, especially the younger ones.
2) Make It Regular
We’ve already gone over why you need to have regular content – let’s now look at how you make sure your content is regular. The best way to do this is to develop a content strategy. That’s not as complicated as it sounds, by the way. Your content strategy can be as simple as having a list of what content you want to publish and how frequently you want to publish it. You could have a calendar of your topics and schedule.
The way you set up your content strategy is up to you, but you can stagger your topics so that there’s variety and variation. Some people like to schedule posts well ahead of time and set them to automatically publish, which can be helpful at busy times. If you have a team of content writers, you probably want to have a structured strategy, so everyone knows what they have to write and when they have to publish it. There are some great apps that can help with this aspect.
3) Use Clear and Simple Language
You know that old acronym, K.I.S.S, right? Keep It Simple, Stupid. Well write it on a post-it note and stick it above your desk to remind you. When you’re writing content, you do not want to bewilder your audience with loads of techno-babble or jargon. There’s no better way to alienate your audience than to make them feel stupid. If you have to use jargon, write about it in a way that would make sense to your Grandma.
Writing style is important. Use plain language, short sentences and avoid passive tense. Apps like Grammarly can help you get this aspect right. You want to create engaging content that works for web readers who tend to skim pages rather than read every word. It’s good practice to break your content into short paragraphs and use lots of headings. This makes skimming even easier for your readers.
4) Share Widely
Whether you love or hate social media, it’s a great way of getting your content in front of a whole load more people. Another method you might want to use is email lists, sending your blog content out to your subscribers to keep them up to date and remind them that you’re there.
Facts and Figures About Blogging
We’ve pulled together a bunch of facts and figures that help you put into perspective how regular blogs on your website can be good for business.
1) People Love Reading Blogs
This is a fact that’s backed up with figures. Lots of figures. Take a look:
- 77% of internet users say they read blogs – which means that there are over 37 billion blog readers!
- Over in Finland, 59% of students read blogs. Taking the student population in Finland into consideration, that’s around 755,200 students!
- 55% of readers only read a post for 15 seconds or less. Remember to be concise and get your important info at the top of the post.
- 23% of all internet time is spent on blogs and social networks. That’s a lot of hours to fill, so you can see why blogging is good for your website.
- People read around 10 blog posts per day.
2) Blog Benefits in Numbers
Here’s some figures to show the benefits of blogging for your business:
- In terms of SEO, businesses who blog receive up to 97% more backlinks.
- 94% of people who share blog posts think the blogs they’re sharing are important. This creates a domino effect of sharing that builds your brand awareness.
- Businesses who blog have reported an average traffic increase of 55% due to blog posts
- 92% of companies who blog more than once a day gain customers from their blog. More blog posts = more customers!
3) Blogging Essentials in Numbers
Setting up your blog posts to maximise the benefits is important, so we’ve put together some of the key information you need to know:
- The ideal title length is 60 characters.
- Titles with 6-13 words get the most traffic.
- Titles with 8-12 words get the most shares on Twitter.
- Subtitles should never include H1 tags!
- Blog posts with images get 94% more views.
- Users spend 10% more title looking at images than text.
- 1 image per 350 words is ideal
- Content Advice
- Introductions should be short and concise.
- The ideal post length is 2100 words (an average 7 minute read).
- Most of the top 10 Google results are for posts with between 2032 and 2416 words.
- Posts under 1500 words are more popular with Twitter users.
- Days and Times
- Monday is the day that gets the most blog traffic.
- Saturday gets the most comments.
- 77% of users read blogs in the morning.
- 58% of men read in the evening.
- The best time for page views is Monday between 8am-11am.
- The average blog gets the most traffic around 11am.
4) Blogging for Business Facts
- 82% of B2B companies are blogging.
- 42% of marketers use blogging as their main strategy.
- B2Bs are advised to publish a minimum of 1 blog per week, on the same day.
- Small businesses that blog report 126% more lead growth compared to non-blogging businesses
- 61% of consumers in the US make a purchase based on a blog post.
Content matters, and regular content matters even more. Don’t put off publishing regular blog content on your website just because you’re busy. You’re never too busy to invest in your business and generate more revenue.
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You might be interested to read more about writing and blogging and you can find more helpful posts in our writing category here. We also have a Beginner’s Guide To Blogging that explains the basics of blogging.
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