Blogging is nothing new, and the benefits are well documented – yet many businesses are still resisting the pull of what is undoubtedly one of, if not the most, powerful online marketing tools available.

So why are so many still resisting, or getting it so wrong? I believe there are three key reasons:

Miseducation of the potential benefits and how to achieve them, and confusion about where a blog fits into the marketing mix (social or search?)

Commitment to managing a blog and creating excellent content.

Improper implementation and optimisation means that many blogs simply go unnoticed, or just aren’t being utilised properly.

Like all other (unpaid) online marketing activity, blogging will not produce results overnight, but the long term benefits can be huge.

Blogging and inbound marketing

Attracting visitors to your website is an ever evolving challenge, and the term ‘SEO’ is becoming increasingly difficult to define as there are so many contributing factors, both on-page and off-page.

Many ‘old school’ SEO techniques which we all used to know and love are now less effective than they once were, as are many of the traditional outbound, or ‘intrusive’ marketing techniques (direct mail, email, cold calling etc.)

Businesses really need to recognise and accept these changes and start thinking with an inbound marketing mind-set: they need to earn the attention of their audience, and a blog plays a huge part in delivering the messages required to achieve recognition through this process.

Web visibility

Competition for search engine visibility is immensely fierce at the best of times. This means that for small, relatively unknown brands, SEO can feel like fighting a losing battle.

But Google is changing.

A recent study conducted by Searchmetrics suggests that news integrations within Google increased by 70% during 2012. Further more they also found that news makes up 6% of the search results displayed on Google.com.

These news results are now also being drawn from a much wider range of sources, including blogs.

Google has been pulling blog content into its news results for some time now, but this increase further demonstrates just how important it is for businesses to publish fresh and engaging content on their site.

If you want to take advantage of Google’s increasing news integration, check out the Getting into Google News page for some helpful guidelines.

Time to take blogging seriously

Here at Browser Media we’ve been banging the blog drum since before who knows when, and our recent transition to an ‘inbound marketing agency’ further demonstrates our belief that earning the attention of audiences through quality, engaging content is well and truly the way forward when it comes to online marketing.

Businesses need to start looking at blogging as a serious marketing tool, rather than a bolt on social network, because the potential is so much bigger than most realise.