Having spent over five years working directly with Essex businesses we can be sure that a good quality blog is a great way to promote a website. However, this raises a question – if you don’t have a blog, will your business suffer? The short answer is yes, it will! Today we’ll look at the benefits of blogging in 2017, and share a few tips on how you can make your business blog much better, just by using data that is already at your fingertips.

There are essentially two aspects to marketing your website: offsite marketing, in the form of paid advertising, social media and email marketing, and on-page marketing, in the form of content optimisation and blogging. Offsite marketing can deliver direct traffic to your chosen product pages, however, it comes at a cost and is short-lived. Blogging, on the other hand, is a long-term strategy that helps grow your website as an authority.

While not having a blog won’t harm your site in terms of SEO, you can be sure that your competitors will be making good use of one, so ignoring it will leave you lagging. Also, a good blog does far more than just boost the SEO of your website. It helps to establish your business as an authority, and you as an expert. But, the key question is, what should you write about on your blog?

Use Your Marketing Data To Drive Visitors

A business blog has two roles to fulfil; first, it is the voice of the business – your blog is a way to communicate with your prospective customers, clients, suppliers and all other parties. Use it to give your business a voice and a face, it is essentially a way to talk directly to anybody who expresses an interest in your business. The other role is to help grow your business by promoting new products, announcing seasonal deals, providing details product or service explanations, case studies and professional reviews. This all helps drive more traffic to your all-important product pages, as well as boost your SEO presence, by ensuring that your most important products are well-linked from your most popular and most shared pages.

So, where does the data come in? We need good quality business data to ensure that our SEO keyword strategy is spot on. Without data, we can only guess what readers and searchers are after. The easiest place to gather data is from your own web analytics, and also from Google Search Console, which is why these are two of the most important SEO tools.

We can also gather data from tools such as SEMRush, which can tell us what keywords and phrases competitors are focussing on in both paid and organic search.

Data can be gathered from many other sources, but gathering the data can take time. Another good source of data is social media – if you operate your own social media pages, examine all interaction with your fans and followers to discover what they really want. Remember, the most important part of marketing is simply understanding what the market wants and matching your own products and services to those desires. If you have several years of communications, questions and reviews from existing customers, you can easily find out what people are really interested in.

Gather More Data

If you have a large social media following, you can gather fresh new data by asking your audience for feedback. For example, if you sell a product, you could create a poll asking what features your customers find most important in a product, its size, colour or longevity. People do not tend to naturally answer these questions, so turn it into a prize draw, offering something in return for answers. This will then not only gather some vital research data, which can be used to craft future blog posts but also help further promote your social media pages.

Turn Data In Fun Facts

The business data you have gathered could be of interest to others, but, few people enjoy looking at numbers on spreadsheets. Turn your data into interesting facts – if anything controversial comes out, focus on this in a blog post. For example, data on the use of dating apps shows that many people start using them at midnight, which suggests this is a time when people start to feel lonely and in need of some company. Often, this is combined with the fact that they may have had a few drinks earlier in the evening. Some shrewd dating sites, along with some adult services, use this information to better target their audience, by promoting content across social media during the night.

Make your data visually appealing. A blog post that provides graphs or maps showing buying trends is much more accessible than a long report detailing all the facts in minute detail. This sort of data, when turned into a blog post, can attract media attention – especially if you then do a little outreach to inform people of your new blog post.

Sharing Your Data

So, once you have gathered your data and turned it into a visually appealing and informative blog post, which is designed to drive relevant traffic to your products; you can then share this with your market. As mentioned, sharing it with relevant media outlets, from local newspapers to bloggers and social media influencers who can help spread the news is a great idea, but also use paid advertising to reach out to more people. In time, if your blog posts are really engaging and informative, they will start to attract more organic traffic from Google and other search engines.

The process of gathering marketing data for the purpose of keyword research is a complex and time-consuming one, which is why it is always a good idea to outsource this to a digital marketing agency. If you need help in gathering relevant data and turning it into engaging blog posts that can be shared with your market, get in touch with FSE Digital today.