The Business of Blogging

Small businesses are overwhelmingly turning to social media to boost their site traffic (and foot traffic) in a cost-effective manner. They tweet and send out Facebook updates regularly, and they encourage customers to “check in” when visiting them in person. But without a company blog, many of these small businesses are missing the boat when it comes to social media.

Blogging is an integral part of a social media campaign and, in fact, nearly any successful modern marketing campaign. Why? Because blogs are the foundations upon which social media is built. That is, without a blog, yes, you can certainly post tips and product notifications, questions and polls, and even links to your static website pages. But only blogging provides the two most important elements in a social media campaign:

1. A regularly updated stream of search engine optimized (SEO) web content your site needs in order to consistently rank well,
2. And a source of informative, engaging material to utilize in your social media postings that will not only interest your audience, but also drive them to click through your site, and hopefully keep them there.

So, ultimately, the business of blogging … is business. How do you ensure that your blog is helping keep you in business? By tracking the metrics. This is not as daunting as it may sound. Essentially, we’re just talking about keeping tabs on your site traffic and analyzing some of the trends we see there.

What To Look For
When analyzing site metrics for a company blog, consider these five basic items first and foremost:

Site Traffic: Look at how many unique site visitors you have and pay careful attention to where they’re coming from. Look also at which pages on your site get the most traffic and think about why that is. Are those pages getting referrals from more outside sites than your other pages, or is the content more relevant to searchers?

Length of Visit: How long are visitors staying on your site? There’s a big difference between a 30-second perusal of a blog introduction and a 30-minute perusal of your whole site. Which pages do people spend the longest amount of time on?

Interaction: Are people leaving comments on your site? Emailing you? Signing up for your RSS blog feed or e-newsletters? Are they clicking on calls-to-action or using on-site coupon codes? Look at each element and measure the value of each by tracking their success at keeping people on the site.

Links: How many outbound, inbound, and internal (to other pages on your site) links do you have on any given page? Are they being utilized? Which ones? Consider why these links are (or are not) working for you.

Sharing: What about social media “shares”? Are people sharing your content via Facebook, Twitter, email, or other media? If so, does your company have a strong presence on the most utilized social networks on your site? That is, if people are sharing your content regularly on Twitter, it’s even more important than ever to ensure that you have a strong company-driven stream of content there and a consistent hash tag for trending.

Social media isn’t a side note. It isn’t something you can hand to the temp and pay attention to when things slow down. It’s a ubiquitous part of modern marketing, and it’s here to stay. Make sure your blog is doing its part for your business by keeping up with site analytics and social media interaction. Need some help? Connect with us for a consultation, and we’ll get you right on track.