22 Nov Why is Your Blog Being Ignored?
So you’re a small-to-medium-size business owner who took all of the sage digital marketing advice offered by the experts and started a blog on your website to boost SEO and drive leads. But now you’re several months into it, and have yet to see any ROI. The needle doesn’t seem to be moving. Are the experts wrong, or is it you? While you may suspect it’s the latter, don’t give up because you think that a business blog is a waste of time and effort! You’re good at problem-solving – otherwise you wouldn’t be a business owner (or manager). Just as with every other aspect of your enterprise, you need to step back, take an objective look and analyze the situation – then make the necessary changes.
A Discouraging Statistic
According to a 2020 survey by Orbit Media Studios, a total 21% of 1,279 survey respondents either didn’t know if their blog delivered value, or believed that their blog was delivering disappointing results. If you feel likewise, any one – or all – of the following may be the reason.
Why Blogs are Ignored
“One of the most common reasons for a failing blog is that it doesn’t focus on the very people companies are trying to reach. A blog should be a platform for educating, informing and engaging prospects and clients with content that is focused on their interests. Many blogs feature little more than repurposed press releases, company news or posts that discuss inwardly-focused topics that are irrelevant to clients and prospects … The purpose of your blog should be to educate and inform buyers through every stage of the client lifecycle, not to sell your services and products.”
Our blog post “What is Quality Content?” – explains this point regarding content that’s relevant to the needs of your prospective customers.
“It is written to the wants and needs of the target audience, giving people answers to questions and/or useful information they can immediately or quickly incorporate into their life. Our blog post for client Adams and Son Plumbing – “It’s 4 ‘O Clog! Here Are the Top 4 Causes of Clogged Toilets” – provides practical advice on how to avoid this particularly expensive (and unhygienic) plumbing emergency. A major SEO benefit, of course, is that others will link to your content because it has information worth sharing.”
One particularly remarkable example is that of Marcus Sheridan, a.k.a. “The Sales Lion.” Running a fiberglass swimming pool company, Sheridan and his two partners were facing ruin during the 2008 economic crisis. So he taught himself the principles of inbound marketing and started a blog based on a simple premise – anticipating and answering people’s questions about fiberglass pools. Not only did he save his business, Sheridan became a marketing phenomenon, renowned as one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world. His book, “They Ask, You Answer,” was ranked by Forbes as one of “11 Marketing Books Every CMO Should Read.”
The moral of the story: Sheridan not only knew his industry, he knew what people wanted to know about the practical aspects of fiberglass pools in order to make an informed buying decision. As a result, he was able to generate leads through his website and convert those leads into customers.
It lacks a content strategy and goals – If you’ve started a blog just because everyone says it’s the thing to do, you may not have considered creating a content strategy. As Asimos points out, “Without a roadmap that dictates who you’re writing for, what messages you’re trying to convey and what you’re trying to accomplish, your blog is much less likely to achieve success. Understanding how your blog fits into a larger content marketing strategy is crucial and will greatly impact everything you do on your blog.”
“A strategy may sound like a simple solution – but it works. Sixty-five percent of the most successful North American bloggers have a well-documented content marketing strategy. Among the least successful bloggers, only 14% write down a strategy and 39% admit they don’t have any strategy.”
In addition, if you don’t set goals, objectives and metrics for your blog, you’ll be unable to measure how well your blog is doing – or not doing – and what you need to do to improve its performance.
It lacks quality content – We again refer to our classic blog post – “What is Quality Content?” – for the fundamentals of the type of content that your target audience finds useful, engaging and actionable. This is a common pitfall for small-to-medium-size business blogs, as few have the resources to hire a team member dedicated to this task.
In rare cases, a business owner or partner has a talent for solid blog post writing – as is the case with the previously mentioned fiberglass pool maven Marcus Sheridan. But this is the exception.
As Asimos observes, “However, many business blogs simply lack substance. While the topics and titles might drive interest, the actual blog posts fall short of delivering tangible knowledge and benefit to the readers. And lackluster writing, spelling errors and keyword abuse also plague many blogs, and therefore erode the credibility of the blog (and your company) and keep visitors from returning.”
Poor search engine optimization – While it may not immediately pop into mind, poor SEO is a leading cause of business blogs being overlooked. Even if you have high-quality writing and provide information that’s useful to your target audience, it does no good if they can’t find it because your blog post pages rank so low in the SERPs (search engine results pages). Engaging in archaic practices like keyword stuffing (repeating keywords like your business and town name throughout your copy) will work against you, and actually get your website penalized by Google.
Instead, write toward user intent. Most people searching for a service, product or restaurant online will enter a phrase – such as “Mexican restaurants near me” or “best protein powder for health.” And remember to write descriptions for images and videos, which search engines can’t “see.” Optimizing for voice search is also recommended, as 62% of people in the United States ages 12 and over use voice-operated assistants.
Even so, Google frequently changes its algorithm, usually without warning or explaining what the changes affect. This leads to the fact that SEO is an art and science in and of itself, so expect to see this again at the end of this blog post, under Our Blatant Self-Promotion subhead.
Inconsistent postings – The key to a successful blog is posting on a regular basis. This not only improves SEO by “telling” Google and other search engines that your website has fresh content, but by encouraging members of your target audience to keep coming back to see what’s new. You can post fascinating content, but if you go for a few months without posting, interest will drop off. Depending upon what makes sense for your business, you can post weekly or monthly, but whatever the frequency, it needs to be consistent.
Make Your Blog Work Harder and Smarter – Our Blatant Self-Promotion
Being ignored is never good when you’re working to increase awareness of your business, build relationships with prospective customers and drive leads to your website. If you find that you need to make the investments in your blog that can move the needle, Virtual Stacks Systems is ready with experienced content writers and SEO specialists! Contact us today to learn all we have to offer, and get the recognition your business deserves!