Potential Customers - Blog - Website - LeadsMost businesses have a website, and many have invested a lot of time, effort and money into building it. We sometimes hear these business owners ask “Why do I need a blog? My website has all the information on it that my customers are looking for.”

First, it’s time to stop looking at a blog as something separate from your website. It’s not something extra that you have to do. It’s simply a tool that helps you add fresh, relevant content to your website whenever you want to, without involving your web designer or IT department.

Second, the content on your website is static. Which means it rarely changes. It may be everything you think your customers are looking for, but as it ages, the search engines lose interest and your site won’t perform as well in search results. Google has made it abundantly clear that they give preferential treatment to websites that continually add fresh content.

Third, your website may have great information on it if people are looking for your business online by name. But if they’re searching for you by what you do and where you do it, your static website content may not be helping you.

Definition: Inbound marketing is the practice of using useful, relevant (non-advertising) content like blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, videos, infographics, SEO and social media and more to attract customers to your business. Your customers find you.

It differs from traditional marketing where businesses try to find customers through building their brand awareness, buying into advertising and promotion, and interrupting the consumer.

Hubspot surveyed 972 marketing professionals to create their report, 2012 State of Inbound Marketing, and here are some very interesting statistics about the benefits of blogging on your business website:

  • 81% of survey respondents said their company blog is “useful” “important” or better, while 25% rated the company blog as “critical” to their business.
  • When compared to social media, respondents ranked the company blog as more critical or important than LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, StumbleUpon and Digg. 60% of marketers ranked the company blog as critical or important, and the next highest channel was LinkedIn at 45%.
  • 57% of companies with a blog have acquired a customer from their blog.
  • 70% of marketers indicate that they blog at least weekly.
  • Inbound leads cost per lead 61% less than outbound leads.

The publishing network, Blogher reports in their Women and Social Media study that:

  • 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog.
  • And 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
  • There were a total of 2,071 women included in the study.

In Technorati’s survey of 1,231 consumers, as part of their State of the Blogosphere 2011, respondents said:

  • Blogs outpaced other media for inspiration, product information, and opinion. They won out over traditional media in all categories except news information.

Companies using blogs are reporting success at generating leads. Consumers are reporting that they read and trust blogs for the information they use in making buying decisions. In order to stay competitive in your market, and perform well in the search engines you need to be regularly posting fresh content on your website. Isn’t it time you started using a blog?

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