Blogs were initially launched as a kind of online diary or journal where individuals would keep an account of their day-to-day activities, but the idea took off big-time. Today, blogs are among the most common types of websites. Blogging offers something for everyone, from professionals to celebrities, and from small businesses to large corporations.
Adding a blog to your business website can open up a world of opportunities. In fact, a business blog with quality content can be one of the best online assets that your small business can have.
Please note that when we talk about the benefits of a business blog, we are talking about business blogs which are regularly updated. Simply setting up a blog, posting an article or two, and then forgetting it is not going to take you very far.
The main purpose of a blog is to create and post on a regular basis unique and helpful content that will be of interest to your target audience. Here’s how a blogging routine can benefit your small business:
1.Build Trust & Credibility:
E-commerce has come a long way, but there’s still a sense of mistrust when it comes to placing an order online. Customers are suspicious because they can’t see or interact with the real people behind the website.
Your business website will look a lot more credible if you have a blog that is regularly updated with on-topic, helpful content. You can use your blog to show that there are some real, professional people behind the website, and that those people really care about their customers.
Many small businesses make the mistake of judging the blog’s return on investment (ROI) by looking at the direct sales they are getting from the blog traffic.
However, that’s not how content marketing works. Instead, you should be using your blog content to foster relationships with your potential customers.
For example, if you run a cleaning business, you need to write on topics like “Benefits of Pressure Cleaning” or “Cleaning Your Residence the Organic Way.” The idea is to engage your target customers and build relationships so that they will come to you when they are in need of your products or services.
3.Get to Know Your Customers:
Blogging should never be a one-way street. You are not supposed to write one post after another without ever trying to engage your readers.
Don’t just write for search engine robots; write for your target audience. Ask questions, trigger discussions, conduct polls, and encourage them to share their opinions through comments directly on the blog or on social media. When they do, you will be able to extract a wealth of information and insights from their responses, which you can then use to improve your products or marketing campaigns.
4.Stay Abreast of Current Trends:
Launch a blog and you will soon realize that coming up with fresh topics for new blog posts can be a true challenge. You will need to regularly research your topics as to be able to contribute with distinct insights and tips.
The content creation process will require extensive research because your reputation is at stake. You can’t risk making factual mistakes while writing on a topic that is directly related to your business. So the benefit of blogging and researching for your blog posts lies in the fact that during the process you’ll stay up-to-date with the current industry news and trends, which is not always the case with busy SMB owners and management.
5.Blog for SEO Benefits:
Search engines are in constant need of quality content that they could serve to their users. A website that produces good quality content on a regular basis is the perfect candidate for their go-to list.
And let’s not forget that content happens to be the mainstay of natural link building. Google wants the links to be “editorially placed or vouched for.” Fresh, high-quality content is one of the very few reasons that can make people refer to your website.
If you are creating lots of high-quality content (and promoting it as well), you will start to get some natural backlinks from bloggers as well as mentions in social media.
Lastly, a static business website will usually have around 10 – 12 pages on average. This small amount of content will hardly get any representation in the search results. Having a regularly updated blog allows you to have a lot more pages and keywords for search engines to target.
6.Target Long Tail Keywords:
Online users show four different types of search intent: commercial, informational, navigational, and transactional. However, as a business owner who is focusing mainly on attracting new customers or leads, you’d better pay close attention on the following two keyword types:
- Commercial keywords – these keywords are mostly used when users are about to purchase a product or service. For example, if you are running a real estate agency in Detroit, you will be interested in people who are using phrases like “buy property in Detroit” or “best real estate agency in Detroit” as their main search queries.
- Informational keywords like “how to buy a home in Detroit” or “property prices in Detroit 2015” don’t really indicate purchase intent. However, online users searching for “property prices” or “home buying guide in Detroit” can very well be your potential customers, therefore, you need to engage them.
Again, your blog can help you target potential customers making these searches by writing insightful blog posts on these topics.
7.Share on Social Media:
You need to have content (articles, infographics, and videos) that you can promote on social medias. It will hardly serve any purpose if you are just sharing others’ work on networks like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
One of the best uses of your social media marketing budget is to create share-worthy blog content which you can distribute on social media channels. Additionally, if you are proud of your content, you might want to invest in paid advertising campaigns which strictly target your potential customers.
8.Convert Your Site Visitors:
We have already talked about trust and relationship building; two strong factors that can help you convert visitors into customers, and customers into regular clients.
Remember that very few visitors will make a purchase on their first visit to your website, so you need to have a secondary conversion goal (e.g. try to convert your visitors into subscribers first). Use your blog content to encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter or to download your latest eBook. This way, you can follow up with these visitors and eventually convert some of them into customers.
9.Create Long-Term Assets:
The best part about maintaining a blog with lots of good quality content is the long term nature of the related benefits. As mentioned earlier, blog posts allow you to rank for some long tail keywords, so you will keep getting organic or referral traffic through these posts for a long time to come.
Here’s an infographic that shows how small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without. Furthermore, according to this resource company websites with blogs get 97% more back links in general.
10.It’s Incredibly Easy:
Adding a blog to your website is so incredibly easy that there is really no excuse not to blog. Take WordPress, for example; this powerful content management system (CMS) will take only minutes to set up and just another hour or so before you’ve mastered its basic features.
Are you still outweighing the pros and cons of adding a blog to your company website? Well, don’t! There are indisputable benefits of having a sturdy on-site content management strategy that will get you more referrals; that would eventually increase your organic traffic, that will attract more leads, and more converted customers. Don’t waste valuable time; start engaging with your target audience and it won’t be long before you see the fruits of your labor.