Should your business stop blogging for SEO?
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something that may be a little controversial…
Not every business will benefit from a blog. In fact, I think that some businesses should stop blogging right now.
Is yours one of them? Here’s how to tell:
– You’ve asked team members to be accountable for X blog posts a month. The problem is, no-one writes their assigned post – and the blogging is sporadic and spotty. You don’t have the cash to outsource, and it’s just not getting done internally.
– You’re a small business with no time to handle the blogging in house (nor do you have any idea what to write about.) Plus, you don’t have a budget to outsource blog post writing to a good SEO writer.
– You’ve done everything right and have been blogging for awhile. Yet, your blog posts aren’t generating traffic nor are they meeting your conversion goals.
“But Heather,” you may say. “Isn’t blogging a good thing for SEO? And isn’t blogging good for demonstrating a company’s expertise?”
Well, yes. But…
In a perfect world, every company would blog their hearts out and create high-quality content. The thing is – most companies don’t have a “perfect world” scenario going on. People are busy, budgets are tight and some industries don’t naturally lend themselves to blogging (for instance, a local roofing company.)
As I’ve mentioned before, your Website doesn’t need more SEO content. It needs the right content that connects with your readers and encourages the conversion you want. If your blog isn’t meeting those metrics, it’s time to move on and find another avenue. This doesn’t mean that you’re off the content creation hook. What it does mean is you approach your content in a slightly different way.
Here are some ideas:
– If your employees aren’t blogging (but should be,) get everyone together and ask for feedback. Is it because they don’t know what to write about? Or is writing one blog post taking hours of time (which can be typical for non-writers.) If you have a clear idea of the real problem, it’s much easier to figure out a workaround.
– If you have a blog, but you’re not sure what (if anything) is wrong with it – consider bringing in an outside expert to review it and make suggestions (I do this during my SEO Content Reviews.) It may be that a few tweaks is all you need to transform your blog from blah into bodacious. It’s amazing how much easier it is to blog when you have some specific, actionable tips to work with.
– Consider other ways to reach your readers. For instance, it’s easier to write two or three high quality articles every month than to stick to a very demanding, five days a week blogging schedule. Additionally, if you’re a B2B company, consider producing a white paper every month (or every quarter.)
– Is someone in your company a video whiz? Try video interviews and post those instead. It’s much easier to summarize a video and post that than write a blog post from scratch. Plus, video has its own SEO benefits as well. Just make sure that you don’t rely 100 percent on video posts without offering some text.
What are some of your company’s current blogging challenges? Have you thought about turning to other forms of SEO content generation? Let me know in the comments – thanks!
Wondering if there’s a way to make your blog even better? Check out my low-cost and high-value SEO Content Review.
I wrote a very similar article about this for veterinarians. It is called “why veterinarians shouldn’t be allowed to blog”. Check it out: http://bit.ly/Ve4aEZ
Oh and I forgot to say good post :)
I disagree. Every business should blog no matter how bland that business is. It is more a question of how often and quality.
A roofing company for example can show they are ‘flesh and blood’ and promote the results of a days work including the rest time and fun.
Writing can be more difficult because not everyone has that gift. Therefore picture blogs are the way to go for small businesses that are unable to articulate.
There is always a way to sell a business regardless of finance, content or personnel. It is unlikely though that most of the business owners of the businesses we are discussing would consider these things anyway (let alone read this).
@Carl- thanks for the interesting point. You’re right that there’s always a way – but I’m also thinking of small business owners that are “Internet challenged.” For instance, I know a local stylist who NEVER goes online – she doesn’t even use email (I know – amazing, right?) Could she drive more traffic/business with a blog of some sort? Sure. But she won’t do it (I’ve tried.) :) Nor does she have the cash to outsource.
I’ve suggested Twitter as it’s easier and faster – she can do it from her smart phone (and yes, she’s still learning how to work her phone!). We’ll see how it goes…. :)
Many businesses start blogs with the best of intentions but then after a few weeks, months, etc. they let blog responsibilities fall to the side. If you are going to have a business blog you need to keep it active over time and be committed to it. You’re right, an inactive business blog or one that only has low quality posts isn’t worth having.
I’d be inclined to agree that blogging isn’t right for every business.
Take the example of a local roofing business that Heather mentioned.
Unless the business is based in a large urban area, it is unlikely to have a great deal of competition in local search. So, provided the site is well optimized from the start, it should take relatively little on- and off-site optimization effort to maintain high or top ranking in local relevant keyword searches.
For this reason, I would say that the idea of someone blogging their heart out for a local roofing company would be completely over the top.
Nevertheless, the importance of keeping a website fresh with interesting and relevant content should never be ignored.
Therefore, in view of the two points above, I’d be curious to know what other copywriters in this group would advise small local clients such as these.
Thanks for your comment, @Kevin! Yes, I’m interested in what other copywriters would advise, too. What’s worked for your clients…?
Great article. Thanks for the read!
I was wondering though, is it possible to do SEO without a blog? I mean, not all businesses are suited to have a blog right?
I’m a newbie and I’m interested in learning SEO.
SEO existed long before blogging. The thing to remember is that Google tends to reward sites with excellent, “fresh” content. Plus, blogging is a way to showcase your expertise and show prospects that you know what you’re talking about. If you aren’t blogging, consider other ways that you can produce content. For instance, you could write an article a week (or hire a firm to help you.) That would help give your site some content, and you could track the ROI…
Thanks for your comment!
I have to disagree with the arguments given to stop blogging. :-)
If you’re not motivated to write, don’t know what to write about, or are not successful at writing – all these don’t mean stop blogging. It’s like saying if you don’t know whom to sell to anymore, stop selling. Business blogging is one of the several marketing tactics and its reason of being is to engage in deeper conversations with clients. If you don’t see its benefit as a marketing tactic, then yes, stop blogging and use other tactics.
I think most (small) businesses get stuck at blogging because they forget the initial reason: connecting with potential/existing clients and generating interesting conversations.
@Monica – great points, thanks!
The small biz clients I know who get “blogging stuck” aren’t writing or technology-savvy. Writing a “quick” blog post could take hours (and depending on their writing skill, it may not be very good.) If you hate email and you’re afraid that you’ll “break something” every time you go online, uploading a post would be scary.
What would you suggest for these folks? For instance, Twitter for many folks is a much less scary “thing” – as is Facebook. And it’s still a way to connect with prospects. Or would you say that blogging is the only way to go?
By and large, Heather, my relationship with smaller clients ends once I’ve written their static pages. Hence the reason why I’d love to what know other copywriters advise as an alternative to blogging in such situations.
Nevertheless, I do remind clients that, once their new content goes live, promoting their online presence doesn’t end there.
One tip that always seems to resonate well is the concept of continually building backlinks and pathways to their site.
Whereas social media doesn’t always make sense to them, the idea of getting listed on good-quality online niche and general directories nearly always does.
Absolutely love this post. I frequently have clients contact me through my site because they want business blogging services. In some cases that’s all they want.
I always ask them why – I want to know why they are focused on blogging. In most cases it’s because that’s what they hear about. Blogging seems to have the most visibility as a viable service from a marketing stand point.
When I get those clients that want to tackle everything from website content to content marketing I always tell them to hold off on ordering the extra content. The performance of the website along with their target audience (discovered through our research phase) is a big indicator on what we should be doing from a content marketing standpoint.
It doesn’t make sense to commit to (and order) 2 or more blog posts a week if your customers aren’t interested in that many, the topics would be difficult to produce in that quantity and your site doesn’t need that heavy of a content push in order to stay relevant and visible.
I’ve had some clients that, through the performance of their new copywriting and the research, we find that a blog would be a waste of marketing dollars so instead we put those funds toward PR, or video, maybe social outreach in other forms.
Heather – in regards to your last comment about clients who are afraid to take on the technical stuff for whatever reason; our goal with blogging/social media is sharing relevant content. If someone is stuck and can’t produce the content, I always recommend curating stuff that’s relevant. Through that method, if they take the time to put their own spin on it from time to time they can lend their perspective to it and still generate a little credibility and thought leadership among their audience.
If they’re worried about breaking stuff in a blog like wordpress, and don’t want to use the email function to make new posts, then there’s always sharing via social media. Making “notes” on FB works well in that regard.
I’m also a big fan of eBooks and try to direcy clients to offer mini eBooks and whitepapers where possible. For someone that is long winded (*raises hand*) and just can’t compile thoughts into a short post, blog or tweet, an eBook is a great medium to put a lot of great content in place and give it away to their community/audience every month.