Does your business have a blog? If not you could be missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with your customers and improve your website’s ranking on search engines.
Whether you need to convince yourself about the plus points of blogging or cajole someone else at your business to give it a go, this quick list of benefits should help you make up your mind.
1. Connect with your customers
Some marketers might put SEO as the number 1 reason for blogging – and they might be right – but for me, the most important reason to blog is to give your customers more.
The average website will have some basic background info, detail about services, how to buy and contact details. This is all great and very useful, however, in this age of mass information, people want more than that before they commit. They want affirmation that you are the right choice for them. Potential customers will likely check you out on social media, look at reviews and Google you to see what comes up.
You can make their decision easier and give them confidence by including a blog on your website with posts to:
- Give customers all the extra information they need – use your blog to answer FAQs and to provide user guides (e.g. for a venue ‘Everything you wanted to know about booking your wedding with us’)
- Enhance your brand – show your brand’s personality and values in the blog (e.g. for a business with strong links to a charity you can go into detail about what you do and why)
- Demonstrate your human side – unless your business is a huge, well-known brand you can’t just rely on name or reputation. You need to work hard to show that you are a real, reliable and trustworthy organisation. Blogging on relevant social topics can help with this by putting a face (or faces) to a name (e.g. meet the team posts or a blog about a charity run you are doing as a team)
- Prove what you do works – blogs are a great place for case studies or personal stories from happy customers, evidencing what you say on the rest of your website.
2. Improve your ranking on Google – SEO
Google ranks websites in search results based on a number of factors, including expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. What better way to demonstrate expertise and ensure you can be found for the right keywords than with a blog.
Many websites are lacking in the keywords that their customers are searching for – e.g. for a solicitor, if you don’t include enough keywords around ‘making a will’ then you won’t be found online for that topic. Writing a blog with some helpful advice on how and why to make a will gives you the opportunity to use various keyword phrases on the subject and for your blog to get picked up by Google.
To ensure your blog is SEO-friendly:
- Do some keyword research in advance – do you know what customers are searching for? What words are they using?
- Plan blog posts that answer customer questions and cover topics that include these keywords (e.g. for a beauty clinic you might blog on a specific treatment, including its brand name, explanations of what it is, how it works, the results it gives)
- Include your keywords in your title and sub-headings
- Spread your keywords and phrases throughout the blog – but don’t overdo it and make it sound fake or annoying!
- Where relevant, use keywords in your image alt tags
- Include links to other useful content on your website and a call to action that directs people to buy, find out more or contact you.
See ‘How to write web content for SEO’ for an in-depth look at this area.
3. Create opportunities to share
We all know how powerful social media is and we regularly hear the stats about the growth of Facebook in local search. Most businesses are now on social media (and if you’re not – crack on with it!) but it can be hard to come up with new, interesting and appropriate posts.
Sharing a blog from your website is perfect social fodder as it ticks so many boxes:
- Providing interesting, useful content – tick
- Directing people to your website – big tick
- Positioning you as an industry expert or knowledgeable business – tick
- Giving followers a reason to share – free marketing – tick!
So what’s the catch?
Are you convinced yet? Even for the most sceptical and old-school amongst us, you have to admit there are a lot of good reasons to give blogging a go. Especially for new or small businesses that must prove themselves and use every marketing tool going to get established. But what’s the catch?
Well, there isn’t one really. You just need to apply some thought, planning and commitment to blog regularly and remember to promote it afterwards. The key word here being ‘commitment’. It does take time to blog and you will need to ensure that what you are writing is good quality content that looks pretty and enticing.
If you can do all of that then what are you waiting for, you are on to a winner! If you would like to blog, but don’t have the time, skills or energy to do so then get in touch for a chat about how I can help by writing blogs for you.