Are Blogs Outdated?

Home contractors, you'd be right to say blogs to self promote your business are dead and indeed outdated. Today's blogs are very different from yesterday's.

You've likely been seeing blogs for many years now. Sure, they've been set up in different ways - some that take you to what looked like a new page and some with the usual Blog tab in the menu bar. From those initial days, several years ago, you heard all the rage with this phenomenon and likely for many reasons. A way to break down the details of one or a specific group of projects, self promote a special, recap an event - to name a few of those reasons. But maybe you never heard anyone getting more leads from it - just brand recognition. So you stuffed this trend under the rug as a time sucker useless activity.

Yes, that does define the style and purpose of many blogs in those pre- inbound marketing times, especially for small businesses. And we here at Halstead Media would agree wholeheartedly, that this style of presenting only that type of info in a blog is indeed outdated. Not useless, but usually not helpful in getting more traffic or leads - which is the key purpose of having a website (would you pay for a storefront location and not expect customers?!). As a home services professional, your work does sell you more work (if you have right photography and the right story behind it) and you should show it off! You have many options in displaying your work on your website and sharing recaps of events. And yes, your blog definitely needs include some of these! There is more to the non-outdated blog.

A blog in today's world brings traffic, leads, and customers. That is the difference between your 2007 blog versus today - and you can thank the changes in Google's Algorithm and you can thank searchers. Let's be honest, content, that is of high quality, improves the experience for searchers. In fact, if you conduct 5 Google searches right now, you'll find that most of the results on the first page take you to a blog post or article. 

Related: The Difference Between a Blog on Your Website and Inbound Marketing

If you don't have a quality blog, your chances of landing you a first page result become less likely for problem related searches, such as "improve backyard space in XX state," or "increase family living space." Your competitors will win all of those search results. 

So what makes a quality blog? There are a lot of variables. In summary, you want to include information that is relevant to the buyers journey. Buyers go through multiple steps before contacting you. Provide them content that they are searching for throughout this journey. Terms like "new deck" or "new pool" are not even close to sufficient content. Think about the problems that lead them to decide on this "new pool." Such as "how to make the best use of slope in backyard." Most importantly here, stop using your blog to self promote your work, specials, and events. Include some posts on these - but keep in mind, your blog isn't about you.

All this requires keyword research for your area. What kinds of environment specific searchers does your target customer do? Don't guess it! Prove it. "how to make the best use of slope in backyard" might be it, but if a keyword research tool tells you that only 5 searches a month are made for this - its not actually helpful. This will require you to really know your customer and what their problems are, do the digging.

Finally, blog posts on your site can't average 100 words. There is no minimum or maximum per se. Just keep in mind the platform. It's not Facebook - you need real, useful, information in there. Take as long as you need to supply the info, but if it can be shared, in entirety, on a social media platform, it's too short!