Tracking the return on investment (ROI) on a blog is notoriously difficult. It’s rare that someone will simply read a post and then make a purchase. Instead, blogging is part of a bigger marketing mix that works together to move potential customers or clients along the buying journey towards that end goal of working with you.
However, there’s no getting away from the fact that blogging takes a level of investment. And, being a business, that means you want to get as much positive output from that investment as possible. So how can you maximise the ROI on your business blog? Here are five things that will definitely help.
It may not be easy to correlate your blogging activity directly to your revenue. However, there are other ways to measure its success. But in order to define success you need to have goals.
Here are a few goals you might have for your business blog:
- Raise brand awareness
- Establish expertise
- Drive website traffic
- Gain press exposure
- Boost search rankings
- Generate leads
- Get sign ups
- Create your tribe
Having set your goals, you can measure whether you are achieving them by tracking specific data such as follower numbers or web stats to see how successful the blog is and whether you’re getting a good return on investment.
Optimise your content
Are improving your brand’s Google ranking and organic search key goals for you? Then you have to take the time to do your keyword research and optimise all of your blog content in order to boost the ROI.
- Using appropriate keywords – without “keyword stuffing”, which Google sees as spammy and will also ruin the quality of your content for your readers.
- Putting keywords in the best places. Google rates headers and subheads (H1 and H2 formatted text) more highly than body copy, so these are priority when it comes to incorporating your key words.
- Making use of the meta description. This is the first insight people will have into your post on the Google search page after the title, so make sure it convinces them to click through and read the full post.
- Using alt text for your images. This allows Google to ‘see’ what your images are about and use them as part of its algorithm for deciding whether your content is relevant to a particular search.
- Using internal linking. By appropriately linking key phrases to other parts of your website, people should stay on it longer, improving your bounce rate i.e. showing Google that people do find your content useful and stay to read it rather than clicking away.
And that’s just for starters. There’s a great article on search optimising your blog content on Hubspot here.
Share widely and often
Relying on organic search alone is never going to bring you maximum eyes on your blog. To get a decent ROI you need to have a solid social strategy and make sure it’s being shared everywhere your audience hangs out. Growing your mailing list and actually sending posts directly to people’s inboxes is even better.
Don’t just share each post just once either. Given how much noise there is out there, you might have to appear on someone’s feed half a dozen times before they take the bait. And if you write evergreen content (which is simply content that is always relevant rather than time dependent) then you can reshare it a year or more later to get maximum value from the investment you’ve put into creating the content in the first place.
FURTHER READING: CTAs, body copy and pull quotes: copywriting lingo explained
Repurpose your content
As I said during the blogging panel I spoke on at Girl Tribe Gang Live earlier this month, getting people to your website is like “wringing water from a sponge” – you have to really squeeze your content to get every last drop of value out. So even if you’re sharing your blog posts to the max, if you only ever use that one written format then you’re missing a trick.
Recording your post as a podcast takes minutes and instantly gives you access to those people who don’t have time to sit and read but do listen to podcasts on the go. Research shows that almost a quarter (23%) of people have listened to a podcast within the last month, with a fifth (21%) of those having only started listening in the last six months – showing that it’s on the rise.
Likewise, recording a video captures that segment of your audience who prefer to take in their content in this format. According to the annual Hubspot survey, “Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video learn about a product or service.”
Drive specific actions
Although blogging is less about selling and more about providing valuable content to your target audience, you will naturally still have “increase sales” as your ultimate end goal. This means that your blog should help people move along the buying journey, wherever they are on it. By doing this, you feed your pipeline and maximise the return your blog brings in.
It could be that someone has never heard of you before, so the blog is attracting them and getting them to the first step: Awareness. Or perhaps they know of you but now you’re ready to capture their Interest, the next step on the buyer journey.
At each stage, you need to get clearer and clearer about your call to action. Early on you could suggest your reader shares the post if they’ve enjoyed it or read another post (you can see that we do both of these things). Once you’ve got their interest, you might want them to sign up to a newsletter or take a look at your services page. And there could even be times when you encourage them to get in touch, book a workshop or actually buy something.
By following these steps and giving it a little time – because blogging isn’t an overnight fix (in fact, there is no such thing as a silver bullet) – you should see that your blog is driving results that justify the time and effort your put into it. Be consistent, focus on creating real quality and value for your target audience and you will drive a return on your investment.
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