4 Reasons You Need a Blog

Last week, Google announced an algorithm update. The importance of fresh content increased last week for 35% of all Google searches (announcement). This latest algorithm update doesn’t focus on the quality or source of your content, it focuses on the timeliness of it.

For B2B content marketing, here is the most notable aspect of this update: the importance of freshness is related to the search query, not the content. I often hear marketers say their older content is still relevant. However, if Google determines recency is relevant to the search query, that won’t matter. Your content will be pushed down in Google by more recent content.

If your business does not have a blog yet, this change is one more reason to consider creating your blog. If your marketing includes thought leadership, it is even more important, as search and inbound marketing are (or at least should be) important marketing channels.

Here are four reasons why a blog may be the best way for your business to create fresh content:

Simple Content Formats

A blog expands the type of content you create, and a 300 to 750 word blog post is much easier to create than a white paper or technical document. The ability to embed video, slides and more into a post further simplifies creation for some people.

Lower Technical Requirements

Creating content today is often technical, requiring video production, layout, or other more specialized support. Blogs remove many of the technical barriers to publishing content, with no design or technical assistance needed for most posts.

Content Updates are Natural

On a blog, revisiting a topic over time is not only appropriate, it is a great way to continue a discussion. In contrast, product and service pages are often more difficult to modify, and continuing to add new pages creates a confusing user experience and navigation structure.

Comments Drive More Content

Comments and conversations driven by blog posts are often the seeds for additional content. Content in any form can drive discussion, but blog capture and centralize more of the discussion and also keep it on your site, where it becomes additional content for search. (Note: I have seen search traffic on names or phrases that have only been used in the comments on this blog.)

Of course, a blog isn’t the only way to produce fresh content, but with the latest changes from Google, blogging is an option any content marketer should seriously consider.

If you are considering starting a blog, I recommend Stanford Smith’s posts on PushingSocial for tips and inspiration covering everything from writing to promotion to tools.

Your Turn

Is fresh content a priority in your marketing? If so, how do you produce fresh content? Share your views in the comments are with me on Twitter (@wittlake) or, in the spirit of a post about Google, on Google+.

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About Eric Wittlake

I am a digital and B2B marketer with a background in online media and analytics. I work with B2B clients on media and integrated marketing programs at Babcock & Jenkins. You can connect with me on Twitter at @wittlake or in the comments here on my B2B Digital Marketing blog.

  • http://www.ayantek.com Barry Clifford

    It seems like the harder we run, the harder we have to run just to keep up. So now I have to not only keep on top of optimizing my site and all its pages to meet the changing requirements of the Almighty Algorithms, but I have to churn out information just for the sake of churn? I’m not sure this is a healthy development, and it definitely puts the advantage in the hands of larger companies.

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      Hi Barry,

      Thanks for commenting. I think the challenge here is not running harder, but always finding the new course. For instance, the Yellow Pages seems to be getting thinner and my local newspaper has a fraction of the content and advertising it once did. With Sirius Decisions (a B2B sales and marketing analyst firm) predicting more than 70% of all leads will come from inbound marketing in just 3 years, some other activities are becoming less important and should free up dollars and resources for creating content and connecting directly with your audience.

      Appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective and let me know if you want to connect offline to discuss further.

  • http://newstrategist.ca Jonathan Barrick

    I see your point Barry, but you could make that argument whenever any new communication channel comes in to the mix. I’d bet there were countless ad men back in the late 90′s who were throwing their hands up in frustration saying ‘Now I need a website too! Aaarrgh!’.

    You don’t need a ton of resources to add a blog to the mix, nor do you need to blog every day, or even every week. Some companies get by with a bi-weekly or even monthly update, which still accomplishes the goal of getting new content out to the web on a regular basis, and satisfies the search gods (for the time being).

    It may seem daunting at first, but everything new usually does. Once accustomed to a new routine, we always adapt and carry on as we always have. Start small, but stay consistent, and it’s not so overwhelming.

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      Jonathan, I completely agree. Also, although new doesn’t usually replace old completely, it often replaces it in part. Time (or money) that used to be spent on other marketing activities can likely be redirected to publishing information that is valuable to your customers and prospects. Sure, it helps Google. But more importantly, it is what you probably always wished you had the opportunity to do more of anyways.

      Thanks for adding your perspective and responding to others here, I appreciate it!

  • http://tylerwardisbored.com Tyler Ward Is-Bored

    I am so glad that I clicked on this link. I have a personal blog that drives traffic to my business. I tried to make a business blog as well but it didn’t get as much traction. I was considering getting rid of it but now I have all the more reason to keep it. Thank you!

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      Glad it helped!

  • http://www.velocitypartners.co.uk Doug Kessler – B2B Marketing

    Yep. The freshness update keeps the pressure on. Must keep blogging.
    Soon there will be people having breakdowns because their hard-earned Google rank is slipping.

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      I’d rather see breakdowns over the hard-earned Google rank than all the recent breakdowns we’ve seen after falling Klout scores. Thanks for contributing content here in the form of a comment! :-)

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  • Ashylebs Victor

    Sincerely everything just seem like speaking in tongues to me because I don’t even know how to create a blog which I really need. Can I be put through this? Please….Thanks…

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      Creating a blog on one of the free blogging platforms and making it a subdomain of your site may be the easiest solution (it will be something like blog.yoursite.com). You can do this on wordpress.com, there is some information about it in the wordpress.com support site here: http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/map-subdomain/

      Hope this is helpful.

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  • http://smbizblog.com Carter Schimpff

    Great article, Eric! And you’re absolutely spot on about the SEO implications of blogging. I think in the next year or so we’re really going to see the old methods of link building and on-page optimization become completely negated in favor of content creation/content marketing (like blogging) and “social voting” (+1′s, “Likes”, etc.)

    • http://B2BDigital.net Eric Wittlake

      Thanks Carter. I’m not reading to write off link building and good on-page optimization, but I certainly believe social will have a bigger and bigger influence. Blogging actually works on both sides. It is content that is easy to share, tends to receive inbound links, and on-page optimization in a blog should not be particularly difficult (although I clearly still have more to learn about it).

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!