I recently had a conversation with another blogger and they were sharing some of their client’s concerns with me. “My client isn’t seeing an immediate impact on sales from the blog and they are panicking”, my friend said. That is a valid concern, if you have a business blog and it’s not doing what you expect then you need to evaluate what the issue is.
Your business has a blog for a reason, is it to drive traffic to the site, serve as an influencer or as a soft way to sell your business or company?
In my friend’s case her client was using the blog as a sales driver. The client was getting very few direct sales from the blog and they are freaking out. This particular client has other social media channels, but they were under the impression that a blog would massively enhance their SEO, which would then drive up sales.
In 2007 that might have been true. Back then a blog was one of the biggest factors in driving SEO traffic to your website. Shortly thereafter link farms and other shady characters got into the act and Google has reworked their search algorithm many times.
The most recent algorithm change came in November 2011 and really shook up the way blogs are ranked. Google’s Caffeine Web Indexing System introduced new criteria and weighted more current and updated sites higher than those that aren’t. If you update your blog a couple times a week or daily then you like the new changes that Google implemented.
If you’re using old content (or warmed over content), low word counts or black hat type blogging tricks then your site has been penalized. It’s my guess that my friend’s client was only posting once or twice a week, with only a paragraph or two of uninspired content.
The blog is still important to SEO, but instead of it being disproportionately high, it’s just a key element to a well rounded social media approach.
So do you blog for traffic, influence or sales? Your blog shouldn’t do any one of those solely. Sometimes your blog will build traffic, provide information about your knowledge of the subject matter and other times it will assist you in a sale or two.