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18 September 2018
Why South African Businesses Should Blog
During my time as an SEO, I've had to review hundreds of websites literally. No, seriously hundreds of them and each one poses a new challenge in getting them to rank well and attract search traffic.
During the audit process, I would look at technical issues that impact visibility, crawlers and all that jazz. I mean everyone should have a technically sound base to work from if they plan on taking SEO seriously.
If you had to ask me what is the most common issue plaguing South African websites today when concerning SEO? Then I would have to say is a gross lack of content.
South African websites lack substance
If we look at the standard website produced by a freelancer, an agency or a DIY user, it usually focuses on covering the basics.
- Who we are
- What we do
- Our products and services
- Our happy customers and testimonials
It's a template straight out the box that any UX designer would present or any decent predesigned WordPress theme would have.
It looks good, it loads quickly, and it tells clients about your business. These aspects make for a good website but are far from a great site. It doesn't tell me why I should opt for your service instead of the others listed in Google or my Facebook newsfeed.
These sites are only looking to convert users who are at the end of the decision-making process, with very few being in that frame of mind. Since these sites offer nothing but end funnel content, the traffic is slim an most of it comes from paid media unless you're in a unique niche or you're a big brand.
It's natural to see a 1-2% conversion rate for local South African sites, and when looking at only SEO; the conversion rate is far lower.
Providing an experience
This is the reason why I recommend and often fight for the cause of having a blog, even when business owners don't see the value in blogging or feel that content marketing isn't part of their mix.
I will always advocate for some compromise in getting content added to the site.
Having a technically optimised site is excellent, but it's not going to reach new business without giving them something to look at other than what you sell.
The South African digital landscape is still in its formative stages with localised content being heavily underserviced. While businesses in developing nations need to focus on creating superior content to that of competitors, South African companies need to start creating content.
Websites that start early will have the first-mover advantage, which will help them collect data and iron out mistakes that will leave competitors scratching their heads once they wake up to this seemingly infinite source of traffic.
The benefits of having a blog for your South African business
Having a blog provides your business with an opportunity to set itself apart from competitors and also extend the gap as you continue to create content while your competition lies and waits or relies solely on paid advertising.
Giving users a reason to use your site outside of the fact that they need to purchase your goods and services actually encourages them to well, purchase your goods and services. The longer a user is kept on-site, the more frequently they return to a site the more likely they are to use the other services that site provides.
International CRM tool Hubspot has done studies that state “Businesses that blog average 55% more website visitors and 70% more leads than those that don’t.” so the proof is there that content is still very much king online.
Make your message more attractive
Instead of the same tired old sales message blogging allows you to creatively present your product or service in a way that you have not explained in previous attempts. It gives you an opportunity to speak directly to a certain customer need or want and why this product or service meets these specific expectations.
Show that you're an authority in the space
Instead of seeing a blog as a way to give away trade secrets, rather see it as a way of showing you know what you're talking about. A blog is a great platform to keep clients updated on the latest developments in your field, what you think if new improvements or trends in the industry and provide a voice for your business and present yourself as an industry leader.
Creating a complementary marketing channel
Blogging opens your site up to a whole new world of site traffic through the various long tail and semantic keywords. Keywords that you're site would never have ranked for and attracts users who to your site who perhaps have never heard of your brand before and were simply researching topics of interest. You can then use this traffic to profile users and attract the ones who are your target audience back into your funnel with paid advertising such as remarketing.
Puts you in the mindset of the customer
Blogging forces you to put yourself in the mind of the customer, the way they see your product, the questions they would ask and helps you build a closer relationship through content. Some clients would much prefer to have their questions answered on their own terms instead of having to speak to someone and producing content that answers these questions will also reduce the decision making time and effort needed to get a consumer to purchase from you.
Reduces your CPA
Relying on paid marketing channels for traffic can quickly become costly and while you can continuously optimise your campaigns you can only reduce your costs to a certain level based on your competitions bidding strategy. Leveraging content marketing helps to bring in qualified traffic which can be reached through other means like email, social media, remarketing and helps reduce your cost per click as well as cost per acquisition over time.
Making blogging a priority
Now that you can see the benefits a blog can bring to your lead generation site selling services or your eCommerce site selling products, isn't it time you set aside some time and effort to put together a content strategy that will take you into 2020 and beyond? You owe it to yourself and your business to persue every avenue that could provide growth and while it may seem roundabout and obscure content marketing will continue to play an important role in digital business and digital marketing.
Protip! If you want to know how you can monetise your blogging or find new business opportunities with your content then check out our post - How To Turn Your Blog Into A Business
Tell us your content marketing story
Have you been frustrated with returns content marketing? How have you been using content marketing? Share it with us in the comments section down below.
Are you looking to promote your business?
South African Business owners can create your free business listing on nichemarket. The more information you provide about your business, the easier it will be for your customers to find you online. Registering with nichemarket is easy; all you will need to do is head over to our sign up form and follow the instructions.
If you require a more detailed guide on how to create your profile or your listing, then we highly recommend you check out the following articles.
If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts on business blogs.
- 10 Sites Bloggers Can Use For Self Syndication
- How To Use Demarketing To Drive More Leads From Your Blog
- 10 Tips That Will Set You Apart From Other Bloggers Online