Far different to a personal blog, a business blog is a highly effective form of marketing. Done well, it can be a game changer for a business, improving search engine ranking, social media reach and brand awareness. As a result, businesses can increase traffic, grow email lists and boost their sales. Here, we’ll look in more detail at why your business needs a blog.
1. Rank higher for keywords
Everyone knows the importance of putting target keywords on their website. Placing them in URLs, page titles, meta descriptions and in the content is key to letting search engines understand the subject matter of your pages.
However, for small websites, the opportunity you have to use those keywords and related subject words is limited. If you are a florist, for example, and offer wedding flowers as a service, you may only have one page on which to write about that service and include your ‘wedding flowers’ keywords. This might not be sufficient to get you to rank highly in search results.
However, if you write several blog posts about wedding flowers, search engines are going to notice the fact that there are more keywords and see that this is an important element of your business – especially if the blog posts link to your wedding flower service page. Doing this can have a tremendous impact on your site’s ability to rank highly for the keyword subjects you blog about.
2. Rank higher for freshness
Publishing blog posts on a regular basis means your site is always going to have fresh content and this is exactly what search engines love. In order to provide the most up-to-date and relevant search results they can, search engine algorithms seek out websites with new content. As old content can be stale or, even worse, inaccurate, sites that constantly update with blog posts have an increased chance of ranking better. Indeed, the freshness of content is a ranking factor for Google and other search engines.
In this sense, a blog is particularly good news for businesses with small websites where the main pages seldom need updating. If your pages don’t change over time, a blog is the ideal vehicle to publish something new.
3. Have more content appear in search results
Most businesses websites have very few pages: homepage, about us, contact us, terms and conditions, privacy and a few pages about their services. This limits the number of pages that your site has to rank well.
The great thing about a blog is that each individual post is indexed by search engines and has the possibility to appear in results. If you have a six-page website and then add a blog post once a month for a year, you’ll end up with three times the number of pages that can be found by a searcher.
4. Improve brand reputation
In any business, there is professional expertise that potential customers are looking for. Finding out what these people want to know and writing about it is a terrific way to show them that your business is an expert in its field. ‘How to’ blog posts are an ideal vehicle for doing this: ‘how to unblock a sink’, ‘how to ice a birthday cake’, ‘how to grow tomato plants’. Write enough of these posts over time and eventually, readers will see your website as a ‘go to’ place to get expert advice and this can have a significantly beneficial impact on your brand’s reputation.
By seeing you as knowledgeable and trustworthy, visitors are much more likely to revisit your site time and time again and buy from you. At the same time, your posts have an increased chance of getting liked and shared on social media, helping you to extend your social media reach and grow an even wider following.
5. Promote your services or products
One of the biggest benefits of blogging is that you can promote your own products or services in the content of the post. A homebrew supplies company, for example, could write a post explaining the best way to brew a particular type of craft beer and then add a link in the post showing readers where they can buy the right ingredients.
Do remember that successful blog posts are not ones which focus on products and services, that’s the job of the landing page. The aim of a good blog post is to answer readers’ questions or solve their problems, e.g. what’s the best way to brew best bitter or unblock a sink? This is how you extol your expertise, help the customer and promote your products or services at the same time.
6. Grow your email list
Of all marketing channels, email marketing remains the most successful. It has a higher conversion rate than PPC, CPM, direct mail and print advertising and the costs are minimal – it can even be done for free. As a result, it offers the best ROI of all marketing techniques.
The one thing businesses need to run a successful email marketing campaign, however, is subscribers: without them, you have no-one to market to. One of the benefits of having a blog, especially one that provides expert tips, solutions and how-tos, is that people will willingly subscribe to your email list so that they never miss one of your posts. Once they have signed up, you have a marketing opportunity at your fingertips – every time you email a link to your newest post, you can send them an offer or discount at the same time.
7. Get important feedback
It is possible to set up blogs so that readers can leave comments at the end. Often the comments they make can give you very useful ideas. They may ask questions that help you to think of other, potentially popular, blog posts or they may inquire about products or services you don’t currently offer but which could potentially open up new markets. To generate this type of feedback, simply ask the readers a question at the bottom of the post.
As you can see, a blog can provide many benefits for your business. It can improve your search engine rankings, grow traffic and email lists, enhance brand reputation and increase sales. Blogs are easy to add to websites and you only need to spend a few hours a month putting a post together to get the ball rolling.
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