Jason Falls (found via Chris Brogan) highlighted a Digiday post that begins to bury the agency blog. The money quote from Sam Weston (Director of Communications at HUGE, a digital agency) is:
Brogan follows up his mention of the article with tips on how to make your agency/company blog better, and if you’re looking for additional tips, Dianna Huff has a few of her own (Chris and Dianna share the view that less can be more).
Nobody reads agency blogs, and there are so many out there it’s impossible for people to keep up anyway.
While “Should companies blog?” and “How companies can blog better" are related, the answer of writing a “better blog” doesn’t necessarily mean a company should blog. A person might find a better way to jump off a bridge...but that doesn’t mean they should jump off a bridge.
As such, here are two questions to ask yourself before your company decides to start blogging (or discontinue).
Who is coming to my blog?
A B2B blogging platform named Compendium published data a while back that showed a significant majority of traffic coming to company blogs was first-time viewers to a site. It’s interesting data to say the least, but is it applicable to your particular site? A quick run through the analytics that come typically come free with your blogging platform can confirm this for you. I’d guess that in the years since that information was published, more folks have started coming to company blogs to find out if the company is up to date on what it is that they’re selling.
Understanding whether your blog is driving traffic, or reinforcing your company’s ability to position itself as a thought leader, is an important piece of whether or not your company should have a blog.
What impact is my blog having on search engines?
We should all understand by now that PR can have an impact on a company’s SEO campaign and that integrating PR/Company blogs into the company’s web marketing campaign can be crucial to effectiveness for both. But, specifically speaking, the question a company should ask when they’re debating whether or not to blog is what impact the blog is having on the search engines. And the question is twofold:
Is the blog showing up highly and generating traffic?
This one is obvious and simple to answer based on analytics.
Is the blog showing up highly if someone searches for my brand?
If someone searches for your company and your homepage is the first result but your blog is the second, it may be worth maintaining the blog just to keep that second result in search engines. Having multiple results on the first page of a search query tends to offer consumers a peace-of-mind/third-party validation for companies.
The answers to these questions should determine whether your blog is one that’s worth keeping. If you’re finding that the blog is driving traffic or helping in the sales process, by all means, carry on. However, if the blog isn’t attracting people and search engines to your site, and isn’t providing any enhanced credibility, (and you’ve read up on how to blog more effectively), then maybe it’s time to pull the plug.