TOTALLY FAB OR TIME WASTING FAD?
It’s ironic I suppose, reading a blog on the subject of whether a business blog is beneficial. The answer is obviously in the affirmative.
But with all activities you need to weigh the pros and the cons. And from a business perspective the fact that writing a blog is time consuming is in itself a big detractor.
Will putting the effort into writing a blog see a return on investment?
THE HISTORY OF BLOGGING
According to Google, the word blog originated in 1999 when a bloke named Peter Merholz shortened the term weblog for his own website.
Seventeen years later – the term is now pretty common language with the majority of businesses and people maintaining their own. In fact, some entrepreneurs are making themselves a pretty little packet with their own personal and professional blogs.
So really just because everyone has one – should you consider jumping on the bandwagon and creating one for your own business?
After all, any subject you could write about has probably already been written (just google!) so why even bother. Your just adding to the noise right?
BLOGS DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE
Everyone wants more traffic to their website because generally more traffic equals more leads, more leads equals more sales and more sales equals more money. (You get the point!)
For new customers who don’t you exist and need to find you the most used method today searching via a search engine. The biggest of course being Google.
So, Google (like other search engines) has an algorithm to find the most relevant information from the some 644 million active websites in the world.
These mathematical equations generally look for keywords, the most relevant information and the most popular.
Blogs help with the relevance part of the equation. By writing useful, information that answers common questions and uses keywords, Goggle will be able to assess whether you as a business are relevant to this particular search. The more relevant the search engine finds you the higher in the list your website will appear.
How to be found by a Search Engine
Here is some advice by Google and Bing on how your website can stand out:
- Produce regular content (blogs being a key tool) written primarily for users, not for search engines
- Write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content and ensure your site is useful and information rich (again a blog is useful here)
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link
- Use keywords both within your content and URL’s but ensuring that the writing is both descriptive and user friendly
- Don’t bury your content inside rich media such as Adobe Flash Player Create keyword-rich content and match keywords to what users are searching for. Produce fresh content regularly.
(With regards to popularity you will need to show that one your website is continually maintained thus regular blog updates) and is rated by others as useful (this is where your content marketing strategy comes in to play).
BLOGS ESTABLISH YOUR AUTHORITY
Now regardless of your industry, prospective customers to your website want to basically know the same things:
1. Do they deliver what I want?
2. Do they know what they’re doing?
Once a search engine has delivered a visitor to your website it’s up to you to ensure they know the answer to these questions are YES and YES.
A blog helps you establish your authority in your area of expertise.
By writing blogs on the topics that respond to the needs of your customer base you’re showing you have the expertise to deliver.
Topics don’t have to be complicated or even original. For instance, if you’re an accountant you may want to write on how new tax legislation will impact small business; if you are a real estate agent you may want to write about how to best present your home for sale.
By establishing this authority, providing “free” advice and building continued engagement people are more likely to enter into the sales process with a sense of loyalty and trust, as well as being better educated about their particular needs.
Don’t worry if you’re writing about topics that your competitors are already covering (let’s face it, it’ll be hard to avoid). What is important is that the information you are providing is correct, the format is original and in your own words (no plagiarising) and the content reflects your brand and experience.
BLOGS ARE THE GIFT THAT KEEP ON GIVING
Now blogging – unlike say a print newsletter that goes only to existing clients – has a long shelf life. As long as your website is active and continually updated that blog (that you spent only a couple of hours writing) is continually attracting prospects to your website.
One day from a share on social media you may receive 20 visits and 5 leads, the next day 15 visits and 2 leads and so on. As the popularity grows (remember it’s one part of the Google search equation) it starts to gain a ranking so over time it can continue to bring in website visitors when they are on a search for relevant topics.
If one blog doesn’t show immediate results – it wasn’t a waste of time – rather it is a tool that is still continually working and that is one more brick in building the foundations of your authority.
BLOGS CAN GENERATE LEADS
So now that you have traffic coming to your website, people are reading your blogs and engagement is being built. Here’s your opportunity to convert leads.
At the end of each blog put a call to action on there. For instance:
- Put your contact details at the bottom with a request to contact you for further information
- Put a quote button that encourages readers to request a quote for your service
- Provide a template for them to download which they have to enter their email address to gain access to – thus building your marketing database
All these are a tactic that encourages the visitor to provide relevant information so you can contact them, continue to build engagement and hopefully obtain a sale.
SHOULD I HAVE A BUSINESS BLOG?
So again. Yes, you need a business blog. It’s good for business. But it needs to be regular, well written as well as tie in with a larger content strategy.
So if your to-do-list is completely overflowing consider the option of outsourcing the work to someone who has the time and expertise.
The cost of getting one professionally written can be returned tenfold when regular blogs start generating the benefits listed above.
DO YOU NEED A BLOG FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
CONTACT ME TO DISCUSS MY SPECIAL BUSINESS BLOG PACKAGES!