One of the biggest parts of an effective inbound marketing plan is content creation – i.e. blogging. It’s just so much work to create and maintain a decent blog. First you have to come up with topics, then do keyword research for them, and then find the time to sit down and actually write your posts. God forbid someone leaves a comment. Now you have to go back and reply so you stay engaged with your readers.
Is all that work really worth it?
The short answer? Yes. One million yeses.
The long answer? Keep reading to learn how to increase organic traffic through blogging.
How Do I know it’s Worth It?
As one of the best inbound marketing agencies around (sorry, I’m biased) we partner with new clients all the time, and our clients tend to stay with us for a long time too. I went back and looked at the organic traffic for three of our veteran clients to see just how much blogging has impacted their business and website traffic over the years.
A Technology Company
This client began working with us several years ago. They published their first blog post on July 1st of 2013. In August of that year, their website had received about 5,400 hits from organic search. Pretty decent, right?
If not for blogging and regular content creation, their organic traffic would have stalled out. Perhaps it would have climbed ever so slightly over the years, but for the most part, it would be about the same.
Fast forward exactly three years. It’s August of 2016. They’ve been creating and publishing content on their blog several times per month the entire time. What do you think their organic traffic is at? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
They had 19,317 organic visits in August. Hot damn! That’s a 252 percent increase in three short years.
So, is blogging worth it for them?
A Commercial Construction Firm
This client began working with us back in early 2014. Their first blog was published on March 12th, 2014. At the time, they had zero visits from organic search. Or so few that it might as well have been zero. In August of 2014, they had 372 organic visits. Not much, but better than a few months prior. They kept at it, and pushed out new blog posts a few times each month for the next couple of years.
Let’s fast forward again to August of 2016. They saw over 1,600 organic visits. That’s a 330% increase in organic traffic in just two years. Crazy!
So, is blogging worth it for that client?
A Local Healthcare Practice
Here is the pièce de résistance of organic growth for blogging. This client posted their first blog back in May of 2013. For consistency sake, I’m going to look at traffic in August so we have entire years to compare. Their site had exactly 900 organic visits in August of 2013. Like the other two businesses, they’ve been creating and publishing new topics a few time per month ever since.
So what does August of 2016 look like, exactly three years later? Their site had 6,985 organic visits. They went from less than 1,000 to nearly 7,000 in just three short years. That’s a 675 percent increase in organic traffic. In fact, they had more organic visits in August 2016 than their entire website had from all sources (Organic, Direct, Social, Referral, Paid, Email, and Other) in any single month, prior to June 2016. That’s quite the feat.
So, is blogging worth it for this client?
More traffic is all well and good. Who doesn’t want more traffic to their website, right? The real question here is this:
What did that increase of traffic actually do for the business?
In August of 2013, the technology company had two contacts and one customer from organic search. In August of 2016, they had 166 contacts and 46 customers. Mighty impressive.
For the commercial building company, they had four contacts from organic search in August of 2014. August of 2016 had five contacts. Now, before you start jumping down my throat saying it wasn’t worth it for them, what if I told you that an average customer value is well over a million dollars in revenue? That extra contact now has the potential to become a million dollar customer. And so does every other contact generated over the last two years. Yes. It’s worth it.
Now for the healthcare practice. August of 2013 brought in seven contacts and five customers through organic search. In August of 2016, organic delivered 17 contacts and 13 customers. At first, it doesn’t seem all that impressive given how drastic their traffic increased. However, when you consider those contacts and customers never would have existed otherwise, it changes things.
Let’s take this a step further and pretend each patient is worth $1,000. That’s $5,000 worth of patient revenue in August of 2013. Had this client not done any content creation to increase organic traffic, they’d still be hovering around $5,000 in patient revenue from organic search each month. So over the next three years, they’d have about $180,000 in patient revenue. That’s five patients per month for 36 months.
But, that’s not what they did. They created content through blogging and generated over 550 customers in the last three years. Again, using our math for simple illustration, that’s $550,000 in patient revenue from just organic traffic. And those are only the people who converted on the website. We don’t know how many customers found a helpful article via a search engine, browsed through a few more, and then called the clinic to make an appointment over the phone.
Add it All Up and What Do You Get?
This post just focused on the organic growth through maintaining a blog. Add in the growth from social, email, direct, referral, and paid traffic and you’ll get a powerhouse lead generating machine that cannot be stopped.
It’s never too late to start. No matter the size of your business, you can see these kind of results, too. It won’t happen overnight, or even over six months to a year. This kind of growth takes time, patience, and discipline. It requires dedication to learning the ins and outs of your buyer persona so you can craft brilliant content that speaks directly to their pain points. Offer solutions to their problems. Answers to their questions. If they have an itch, your content needs to scratch it.
I’m passionate about making things happen for our clients, thus generating real and quantifiable results. As the Technical Marketing Manger, I have the joy to touch nearly every aspect of our clients’ inbound marketing efforts. From social media, to blogging, to PPC to lead nurturing, and email marketing. I love generating new ideas and then watching them come to life. In my free time, I brew my own beer with my dad and brother, play with my kids, go on dates with my wife and occasionally get a little gaming in.