A common question I get from clients is, “Why should I blog? What’s the point?”
What follows is by no means a technical discussion of the issues or the finer points of SEO ROI but, rather, the simple explanation that I offer to clients.
Blue Dragon Eggs
For the sake of this discussion, let’s pretend that you have a brand new business that sells blue dragon eggs. Your web professional builds you a gorgeous new website with all the bells and whistles, complete with a storefront and, hey presto! you are ready to sell blue dragon eggs at the discount price of $5,000 a piece (blue being a particularly valuable color.) You wait and wait, but no business comes. You type “blue dragon eggs” into Google to find that there are 48 other businesses in the United States selling blue dragon eggs. How is anyone supposed to find you?
Without getting too technical, Google and other search engines have a vested interest in making sure that anyone searching for a particular commodity gets sent to the very best website possible for that item. Of course, we’ve all seen the paid ads that show up at the top of the search results, but growing evidence seems to suggest that people often ignore those ads and move down to the first item below the paid content. What floats to the top is determined by a whole host of factors on your site that lead to search engine optimization, or SEO. These factors may be site speed, SSL, the number of visitors, links to your content, etc. The list goes on and on. If you are interested, you might download The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors. But right at the top of importance is whether or not the search engines recognize your site for providing the best content their users are seeking. In other words, are you an expert in the field?
Without getting too technical about keywords and long-tail search phrases and all that good stuff, this basically means that the better your site meets the needs of what people are searching for, the higher up it will rank on search engines, and the more people will find your store to buy their eggs. Tricks for this abound, which I will cover in another article, but to keep it simple, let’s imagine that the more times you write about blue dragon eggs – not just about the fact that you have them for sale, but maybe how to care for your dragons once they hatch, maybe the 5 best recipes for blue dragon egg omelettes, maybe you’d write about your cross-country trips in search of blue dragon eggs. Whatever you create in your blog that creates value for site visitors shows the search engines that your site is an important one and, gosh-darn-it, people like you. You will begin to climb in the rankings.
Return on Investment
So you experiment with blogging. You’re a busy entrepreneur, so you hire a blog writer to ghost-write your content at the rate of $100 a blog post, one blog a week. Tracking your conversions with Google Analytics, you learn that your site is seeing an average of 500 readers a month, and you are climbing in the rankings. Of those 500 readers, 40 follow the link to your blue dragon eggs product page. Of those 40, 4 decide to purchase the eggs. At the going price, you’ve just spent $400 on a ghost-writer to get $20,000 worth of business from happy buyers, at a profit of $19,600 a month. What a deal!!!
This example is, of course, in no way connected to any business I’ve ever worked with. But you get the idea. By putting a dollar value on specific actions taken on the site and measuring whether or not your blog posts are getting people to take those actions, it’s fairly simple to decide whether or not your blogging efforts are paying off for you.
If you’d like to talk about how blogging might help with your own site, just let me know on the contact page.
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Freelance Web Designer
As a freelance web designer, Andrea specializes in custom WordPress sites for small to medium-sized business and nonprofits. An experienced designer, writer, and artist, she enjoys finding the exact solution to best fit a client’s expression, and loves teaching others how to maintain their own sites.