Two of the most common marketing challenges business owners are are faced with are generating new leads are driving more website traffic. The good news is that there's a simple and inexpensive marketing strategy which can help businesses solve both problems: starting a website blog.
An increasing number of forward leaning companies are using thoughtfully crafted blogs to grab the attention of current and prospective customers, and for good reason: when effectively leveraged, blogging generates dramatic results. Consider for example the following blogging metrics:
- Consumers love blogs: more than 80% of internet users are frequent readers of blogs
- Blogs boost SEO: on average, for example, a website blog increases indexed webpages by more than 400%
- Blogs are lead magnets: businesses that blog generate almost 70% more new leads that companies without a blog
- Blogging is one of the top 3 content marketing strategies: the other two are videos and eBooks
- Blogs drive site traffic: companies that blog on average generate 55% more traffic to their websites
Why is blogging so effective?
As Forbes correctly notes, blogging works because blogs help customers, answering their questions, solving their problems, and helping them make more informed buying decisions:
"You might write articles…which can help establish your authority in your industry. And if customers have questions, they can refer to your blog posts for answers. Further, a blog can spark a conversation between you and customers or potential customers. One of the most common reasons that a business might create a blog is to drive traffic to their website, and for good reason—businesses with blogs receive 55% more traffic than businesses without blogs. This gives you the opportunity to advertise your company's products or services, attract new customers, and boost your company's bottom line."
Not all blogs are created equal
Those metrics are impressive, but it's important to remember they reflect average marketing performance. Said differently, some business blogs deliver even stronger results, while others aren't nearly so successful.
Of course, every business is different, with different customers, different goals and different marketing challenges. That said, the companies that achieve the best results from blogging tend to be those which follow best practice blogging strategies, including the following five:
1. They make it about the customer
Spoiler alert: your blog isn't about you—it's about your customers. They come to your blog to answer their top-of-mind questions and solve their protracted problems.
That doesn't mean you can't talk about the strengths of your natural therapy business. What it does mean is that those strengths should always be presented as a means to solving a customer's problem. For example, if you own a yoga studio, you know there are prospective clients who would consider joining if they only knew more about the physical and mental health benefits of yogic practice. A well-crafted blog that touts these benefits—and shows that your business is best able to deliver them—helps your prospective customer and creates trust and authority for you, the kind of trust that drives site traffic and generates quality leads.
2. They choose smart topics
This is another way of saying the businesses which are most successful with blogging are the ones that know who their customers are and what they care about. Unquestionably, the best way to find out what prospective clients want to know is to listen to your current customers. They can tell you what questions they had before they decided to work with you, and how the answers to those questions induced them to contact you.
If you're a massage therapist, for example, odds are there are prospective customers who've thought about massage, but wondered if it can really help them relax, reduce anxiety or sleep more soundly. A well-written blog about the proven benefits of massage therapy can remove their doubts—and leave them wanting more information about massage, and about your business.
3. They blog consistently
There's really no hard and fast rule for how often or how much you should post new blogs. Some marketing research indicates companies that blog 16 or more times a month generate about 3 times as many leads as those that blog 4 or fewer times. But, as noted above, every business is different, and no one knows your customers as well as you.
However often you decide to post new blogs, it' critically important to be consistent. You don't in other words want to post 5 blogs one week, and then post nothing for a month. Remember that visits to your website aren't generally a one-off experience. You want visitors to return to your site again and again, and that means they need to know what to expect each time they come back.
4. They use keywords strategically
Consumers find what they're looking for on the internet by typing words and phrases into search engines such as Google. Search engines respond by scouring the entire internet to find the content that best answers their question or helps solve their problem based on the words they type. Those search phrases are called "keywords."
When you correctly incorporate these keywords into your blog, you increase the likelihood that your website will appear higher in search engine results. It's important that you choose the right keywords for you natural therapy business, that they flow naturally with your blog copy, and that you don't overuse them (a practice called "keyword stuffing" which can be penalised by search engines).
Get help when you need it
A smart, well designed blog can help you generate more leads, boost conversions, increase profits and take your natural therapy business to the next level. However, blogging and as well as other marketing and business strategies can also be both complicated and confusing, especially if this is your first go at it. That's where we can help.
IICT is a professional industry body that provides membership, insurance, resources and tools and support to a global community of complementary therapists working in 1,100+ modalities. We give our members access to an extensive online library of informative articles and videos help them grow their natural therapy business.
Discover the many ways IICT help you save time and money on your insurance and provide professional recognition and credibility. Join IICT here or contact our team to find out more about becoming a member.