Thoughts + News
Why Comments for Business Blogs are Useless
“Social media gurus” absolutely LOVE to talk about engagement.
You’d think it was the key to world peace the way some espouse it’s benefits.
However if you asked any of them to actually define what engagement is, or how it relates to driving your business goals, they’ll look at you like a deer in headlights.
Instead you’ll get inane answers like “tweeting” or “leaving blog comments to become part of the community”.
That stuff sounds nice. But it doesn’t pay the bills. And in almost every single case we see, you end up burning more time and effort than it’s worth.
Here’s why, and what you should do instead…
3 Reasons Why Comments for Business Blogs Are Useless
Engagement is the “missing link” between strangers and loyal customers. It’s the process you MUST go through in order to build trust with someone after grabbing their attention, and before persuading them to try your service or product.
No engagement? No sales. Simple as that.
But blog comments are a red herring. Sure, they look and feel like engagement. But for most people, they’re not helpful at all. So over-prioritizing this vanity metric and trying to make it go up will have unintended consequences on the rest of your marketing effort.
If you sell social media advice/tools… to people looking for social media advice/tools… using social media, then it might actually be important!
Otherwise, everyone else needs to dig a bit deeper.
For years, I’ve not allowed blog comments. And that’s because the majority of blog comments (like 99%) fall into one of these three categories:
- Shallow praise. (i.e. “Great content!”)
- Blatant spam.
While the first category is nice, you don’t need it, and it doesn’t really help you. Let’s be honest… if you’re REALLY good at what you do, then most people who try to give you feedback (a) don’t know what they’re talking about, or (b) don’t have the same level of knowledge, skill and experience you do (therefore they aren’t in the position to give you feedback). If someone SERIOUSLY is knowledgable and feels compelled to leave you some feedback (which disappointingly only happens 1% of the time), then they can send you an email through your Contact form.
The second two categories are frustrating, absurd, and a complete waste of your time and attention to deal with. How anyone thinks that blog comment spam links is still a good idea in 2014 blows my mind. And don’t get me started on Trolling. Just check out this study which talks about how online behavior exhibits such wonderful traits as Machiavellianism, narcissim and psychopathy.
What You Should Track Instead
If engagement is essential to sales, but blog comments are a waste of time, then what should you look at to measure or gauge how you’re doing?
- Tip #1. Basic Engagement Metrics: Go into Google Analytics, and look at some basic behavior metrics like your Bounce Rate (should be lower than 60-70%), Time on Site (should be higher than 2 minutes), and Average Pages Per Visit (should be higher than 2+).
- Tip #2. Pre-Conversion Actions: Are people signing up for your email list, or submitting information into a Quote Request or Contact form? If so, then what’s the rate (% of people actually signing up vs. just seeing the page)? Should be at least 5-10%+.
- Trip #3. Conversion Metrics: Finally if you have a transactional-type business (as opposed to consultative sales), with products or lower priced services for sale on your site, then are you selling anything? And again, what’s the rate? Should be at least 2%+.
How Do You Improve these Things?
Once you start digging a little deeper and figuring out how you’re really doing in the engagement department, you might find that you need to do a little better.
And that’s OK! Almost every business (including ours) can and should do better in the engagement department. Because too often we get overly focused on bringing in more money and making sure operations are running smoothly, while neglecting to make sure our clients or customers are being truly satisfied.
So how, specifically — using real strategies and tactics — can you start implementing this today?
Take 10 minutes to read the following two blog posts, and be prepared to take some notes.
- The “Missing Link” Stopping You From Making Sales Online
- Want More Sales? 3 Easy Ways to Create Customer Loyalty
Good luck! And if you fall into that 1% who has genuine feedback or a serious question, then we’re more than happy to talk! We usually respond to our Contact form within 24 hours.