Two things tend to happen when you’ve been managing and writing a blog for years on end: you start to feel like you’re repeating yourself and at some point you wonder whether you have enough content to take a break. It’s tempting to think your library of articles will work for you in perpetuity, but that simply isn’t true. Here are my top 3 reasons you need to keep blogging regularly even if you have published hundreds of articles already.
Relevancy is Important to Your Audience
Publishing articles on your blog not only helps you attract prospects to your website by ranking for keywords they’re searching (more on that below); it also provides a platform for you to showcase your company’s industry leadership and innovation. Blogging about topics your prospects and existing audience find valuable gives you a competitive advantage over a company that’s not blogging because you earn the chance to build rapport and trust with your subscribers. In fact, over 68% of respondents to a Social Marketing Writing survey said that a blog lends credibility to a company website.
Conversely, as Spiralytics found out the hard way, a lapse in blogging of even just 3 months can show you’re out of touch and cause folks to wonder if you’re still in business. Visitors to your website want to see a company that’s in-touch with the industry and their audience; lest it cause them to wonder if you will leave your customers untended too.
Search Engines Like Fresh Content
Relevancy is also crucial to search engines. Google has many mysteries, but the fact that fresh, frequently updated content on your website is a big part of their algorithm is not one of them. We’ve seen this first hand with some of our own clients who’ve taken their foot off the blogging pedal.
Case in Point:
A company we work with that had been blogging 2-5x per week for nearly 7 years got busy (hey, it’s understandable) and cut back to blogging roughly twice a month. Over the course of the next two years, their website traffic steadily declined: total visits fell 43% and organic traffic (visits from search results) fell a whopping 50%. When they started blogging again roughly once a week, traffic rebounded. Within 90 days they were back at those pre-pause traffic levels.
Stopping Impacts More Than Your Blog Views — Including Lead Gen
As the case study above illustrates, halting your blog affects more than just blog views. Not only did their organic search traffic drop by half, their overall traffic did nearly the same thing. This shows how important fresh website content is to your search rankings. Every blog you publish looks to a search engine like a new page on your website, so it’s one of the easiest ways to increase your indexed pages and keep your website fresh in Google bot’s eyes.
Beyond search traffic, if you’re not blogging, you’re also losing nurturing opportunities. Blog subscribers expect to receive emails from you when new articles are published — they want you to stay in touch! Also, seeing a new relevant article may spark subscribers to make a repeat trip to your website and thus helps re-engage existing leads. It also puts your fresh downloadable content in front of them, since a best practice is to include a highly relevant call to action for a content offer in each article. In short, your blog has a strong correlation to the conversion rates of other parts of your site. Lastly, new articles provide more opportunity to earn backlinks, so without them, you’re losing referral traffic and domain authority.
Fresh Out of Ideas or Time?
Maybe you’re just tired of blogging; I get it. The good news is there are definitely ways to supplement your new articles with historically optimized posts, and also ways to fill your ed cal with less effort. Here are just a few ideas:
- Optimize and republish top-performing articles from the past. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 50% new content though (e.g., one new and one optimized article per week). This also provides great opportunities to optimize past posts using new and more relevant calls to action you’ve created since its original publish date.
- Harness performance data to make your life easier. In other words, do more of what’s working. If you’ve got 3 years worth of blog data, analyze it to identify top-performing topic categories and then write more articles around that topic.
- Create templates to streamline the process. A template format works great for things like legislative updates, trade show recaps and other recurring topics in your industry.
- Invite guest bloggers to write for you. This not only takes some of the burden off your team, it also brings a fresh perspective and voice to your blog and provides the opportunity to earn backlinks and leverage the author’s social networks for promotion.
Long story short, it’s never a good idea to stop your B2B blog for a lengthy period of time. Doing so will hurt more than your blog views; it’ll damage your reputation on Google and in your audience’s eyes, and it will have a negative impact on the overall lead conversions from your website. So do yourself a favor and keep on keepin’ on, business bloggers!