Writing Quality Blog Articles Is Time Consuming - What's Your Time Worth?

Articles That Get Found Online Require Specialized Skills Including,

Keyword Research ✫ H1 Title Tags ✫ Calls To Action ✫ Image Size ✫ Alternative Tags ✫ Page Formatting ✫ Keyword Insertion Rate ✫ Internal Linking

Anyone can write blog articles but if you expect your blog to attract clients, you need to invest a considerable amount of time to understanding how to blog with a marketing intent. Blog articles that are seen in search results by prospective clients require specialized marketing skills and a dedication to remaining current. (Google changes its algorithm 150 times a year on average). So, I ask again, how much time do you want to invest in one marketing tactic in one area of your business? Here is quick synopsis of a few of the compulsory skills needed;

An in-depth understanding of keyword research, educational copywriting experience, Search Engine Optimization expertise, website UX design and graphic design talent, analytics interpretation skills, and a wholistic understanding of the whole marketing and sales funnel dynamic. 

SEO Blog Writing - Why Getting Found Online Matters

When looking for a service, where do you conduct research? If you're like most people, 68% of people, you said a search engine. This is why every architecture, interior design, landscape and design-build firm should have a blog. Regularly posted articles provide the greatest return on investment and are the single best way to market your business and attract prospective customers. Blogs make marketing scalable by enabling a single post to reach tens of thousands of prospects over time and they do so at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising. A relevant, educational, well-written blog will help you reach a new audience outside your circle of word-of-mouth referrals. Unlike traditional advertising, blogging has the following attributes;

  • A single article can generate more web traffic than a years worth of print advertising

  • Blogs convey professionalism, establish authority, and position your firm as the experts

  • Articles help convey your brand's uniqueness and define your firms design aesthetic

  • Unless your a major media corporation, Google page one search results are almost always blog article webpages with over 1200 words

How do we know all of this? Experience and data. We have consistently increased the number of prospects coming to our clients' websites through blogging. We track popular content results of our blogging based on search terms using analytics software.

One Client's Blogging Results

My first full content marketing client–website build, blogging, lead capture, drip emails–saw marketing results that resulted in a 15-20% annual growth year over year during the six years we worked together. The result of this growth allowed them to purchase two competing companies to expand their reach beyond their original service area.

Visitor Data For One Year 8-29-17 through 8-29-18

  • Total Unique Visitors For One Year - Entrance Pages 651,499

  • Unique Visitors Top 50 - Entrance Pages

    • Blog Page Visitors 523,495

    • Regular Pages Visitors 19,630 (Home, Services, Contact, Etc...)

    • The Single Top Blog Article Resulted in 66,366 Visitors

  • Total Number of Pages Viewed For One Year - 767,700

  • Total Visitors Who Came Through Search Engines - 550,260 (90.2%)

Blogs Support Advertising

If your firm runs print advertising campaigns in magazines like Boston Home, Design New England, New England Home or the home magazines in your region, you can improve the value of those advertisements by ensuring you get found online using blog articles. Print advertising is like white sugar in your diet. It is a quick boost of energy that fades fast. To take advantage of that increase of awareness before it disappears - usually a week to ten days after it hits the newsstand - you should have content in place that gets your website found in search engines and provides the wayfinding needed to advance the buyer's journey.

Publishing blog articles that answer the most frequently asked questions your prospective clients ask during the sales process is the key to attracting new potential customers and starting them on the path towards using your services. Keep in mind that unlike advertising, blog articles are evergreen content that will live online forever and keep attracting clients for years to come. When a blog is regularly updated, its value as a lead generation source multiplies far beyond the value of any other form of marketing or advertising. A blog's value increases when used as part of a content marketing strategy that includes regular email outreach. 

Why We're Better At Blogging For Business Than Our Competitors

  • We're specialists with a great interest in architecture, homebuilding, remodeling, and design.

  • We’ve created a system that encourages you to share your unique voice and point of view.

  • We care more about your relationship with your audience than your typical agency.

  • We write high-quality evergreen content that educates and supports prospects.

  • We use search engine optimization tools that ensure your articles get found online.

  • We understand that blogs are early in the sales process and use a soft sell approach.

  • We don't write fluff blogs that are mostly images, with little copy, and leave your reader wanting more.

  • We're a full service agency with the capabilities to use blog articles as one part of a multi-channel campaign.

Many built environment professionals have misconceptions about blogging. The biggest is that business blogging is about you. It's not. It's about attracting and engaging prospective clients by answering the questions they submit to search engines. Writing blogs about Pantone's Color of the Year, Frank Gehry's water leaks, or yet another post and boast blog about the greatness of your latest building project is a wasted effort. Write blog articles that explain your pricing model, discuss your chosen aesthetic and why, illustrate the value of a renovation both in terms of quality of life and monetary return and in general, educate and demonstrate your value. These are article topics that work towards a business goal. 

In addition to misguided topic choice, there are tactical strategies behind blog writing that most staff members tasked with blog writing disregard. The following top-level questions should be answered and implemented if you are writing a blog for business purposes. A word of caution, though, Google dictates many of the attributes below, and they can change at any given moment. 

Blogging appears to have the most substantial impact on performance. Marketers who emphasize blogging are 13 times more likely to have increased return on investment year over year.
— Hubspot, State of Inbound
  • Is the title engaging and does it include highly searched yet, attainable keywords?

  • Have you used the correct number of characters in the title?

  • Is internal link placement in line with strategic goals?

  • What is your articles keyword percentage?

  • Do you include long tail keyword phrases?

  • Do you know your ideal blog length and diminishing results?

  • Have you written an enticing meta description?

  • What number and size of images should be in an article?

  • Best format options to promote reading?

  • What is the distribution plan using social media and email channels?

  • What is your blog frequency by persona and marketing channel?

We Write Blog Articles That Work!

A blog is the best way to get found online in search engines, and they are the first step towards attracting new clients. Annually, the investment in blog articles is 40% less than the cost of a half-page print advertisement in a single home magazine. A blog will attract prospects forever, acts as a brand ambassador on your website and says more about your firm than could ever be conveyed in a half page advertisement. When advertising, a blog will help your website get found in search engines through the use of keyword phrases that are about your service offerings. Once an advertisement is seen the next step most prospects take is to search for your firm online. If you don't have enough content rich pages on your website, then your competitors will come up in search engine results. Blog articles can attract, engage and encourage potential clients to look further into your firm at a lower cost and to greater effect than advertising.

A Word Of Caution On Gallery Blogs & Priority

75 percent of marketers generated positive returns from content marketing.
— AdAge

Our clients rightfully keep an eye on the bottom line but there have been times when they have hired Summer interns to save money or used on staff designers to write blog articles in the Winter when business slows up a bit. This is almost always mistake. It's one thing to have a marketing person on staff who dedicates themselves to learning the intricacies of blogging as part of an overall marketing strategy and another thing altogether to give such an important task to someone with little experience. Blog articles drive potential customers back to your website in greater numbers than any other marketing tactic. Period. When executed properly, blogging is more effective than social media, online advertising, print advertising, email newsletters, and direct mail.

Blog articles written without without researching keywords, a proper SEO format, internal and external links and an over reliance on images have minimal marketing value. 

Gallery Blogs

I often get questions on blogging trends from existing clients, potential leads, and during speaking gigs and it often goes like this; "I like the look of those gallery blogs on (Better Homes & Gardens, Architectural Digest, Pop Sugar, Etc...). They have just a few lines of text under a bunch of pictures. Why can't we do that?" Well, its the fastest way to invest a lot if time without having much to show for it. Why? Google looks at the text on your website not the images (yet). No text, no results. It's really that simple. Large media companies can get away with this sort of blog because they have a built in audience and the attract visitors through other means. Remember, they sell advertising. You are selling an service that is typically needed only a few times in a lifetime. Don't just show them nice pictures, convince them that you are the one for the job with an 800 word blog with links to your work. This approach demonstrates evidence of your skill set and professionalism.