I own a successful sewing-supplies company which caters to hobbyists involved in sewing, quilting, and embroidery. I’ve always prided myself on providing excellent service, prompt delivery, and top-quality products, all at reasonable prices.
In short, I tried to operate the sort of company that I’d enjoy doing business with and I thought this was a foolproof plan for success. However, I was unable to market my services to the same number of potential customers as my larger, better-known competitors. I found it impossible to compete with companies that were pegged at the top of the Google rankings.
I wasn’t prepared to resign myself to a vanishingly-small piece of the marketplace. Instead, I decided to look around for better ways to get my message out to prospective customers. My website was not attracting the hits that I needed to keep the business afloat (at least in its present form) and I knew I needed to draw in customers and fast. I put aside a decent sum of money as an advertising budget and made a commitment to myself that I’d do my best to get my company some exposure.
Banner advertising was all the rage at the time. Against my better judgment, I sunk a fair amount of my advertising budget into the purchase of a couple months of ads on a few heavily-trafficked quilting forums. Predictably, the click-through rate was abysmal and I didn’t come close to recovering my investment. I found out that ad impressions mean nothing, and my potential customers don’t pay any more attention to banner ads than I do. I knew there had to be a better way.
Bloggers motivated by the chance to get paid for what they love to do – blog about products and services – seemed to be a natural way to get the word out while increasing my site’s page rank. Best of all, unlike banner ads, blog advertising services were more permanent. I’m now aware that the information and links don’t disappear after a short period of time; instead, they drive traffic to my site as long as the blogs remain on the web.
I decided to sink the rest of my now-depleted advertising budget into blog advertising. It didn’t promise immediate eye-candy like banner advertising, but I was fairly certain that the long-term results would be to my liking.
Sure enough, I began to see my Google rank increase bit by bit. Gradually, I was making it into the first page of search results for a half-dozen important keywords. I always knew that I offered the very best services to my customers, and now my Google results were correspondingly good. I felt like my company was finally getting the recognition that it deserved.
My Google page rank increased by three points in slightly less than a month. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was more than enough to get me on the first page of search results for most of my keyphrases. The traffic to my website more than quadrupled. This was a revolutionary change for the better, and it was all brought about by a modest investment in the blog advertising.
In addition to the massive increase in traffic to my website, I discovered another benefit to blog advertising. A significant fraction of the visitors who clicked through to my site came not just from Google, but from the blog advertisements themselves. They were much more likely to visit multiple pages on my site, and equally as eager to spend money. I found out that while the number of visitors matters, if they come to my site ready to buy, they’re all the more valuable.