You may think that basic information on your small business website is all that you or your customers need. For some companies, that may be true. For others, such as those with a lot of local competitors, more information — or content — on your site can help you stand out in the online crowd and convert site visitors into customers. One relatively easy way to offer that additional content is through blogging.
Beyond SEO: The benefits of having a blog for your business.
At the top of most “reasons to blog” lists is that it can help move your website higher in search engine results. This outcome alone may be all the reason any business needed to get started in blogging, and the positive effect of blogs on search-engine rankings is widely agreed upon among digital marketing strategists. While we won’t go into the SEO/blogging relationship here, it’s good to understand the basic trend: Google is increasingly ranking sites with good, original content higher than those without. A blog is a great way to keep the content on your site fresh without having to frequently rewrite your site’s main information.
In addition to its SEO benefits, you can use a blog to enhance your company’s reputation and more:
1. Make your company more human. Whether you or one of your partners or employees writes posts for your blog, customers can get a sense of the people behind the business. Putting a face on your company’s name can inspire your prospective customers to feel as though they know you, and everyone likes to buy from people they know.
2. Spark a conversation. Apart from a Contact Us page or form on your site, most website content doesn’t invite a response or even make it possible. With a blog that allows commenting, you have the opportunity to talk with your customers. Use it to ask them questions and answer theirs, which can lead to establishing a relationship. If comments are negative, you have the chance to clear up misunderstandings or offer to make things right, which demonstrates your responsiveness and concern for your customers’ satisfaction.
3. Fuel your social media efforts. Don’t have the time or inclination to build up your company’s social media profiles? Let your blog do double-duty and the heavy lifting. Whenever you publish a new blog post, create a quick message about it, add a link to it and post it on your social media account. You’ll not only be adding content to your Facebook page or Twitter account; you’ll also be sending traffic back to your website where visitors will be exposed to all of the content on your site and not just your blog.
4. Build your authority and stay sharp while you’re doing it. Providing information that educates your customers can build your personal reputation as an expert in your field. As the need for topics to write about goes on, you’ll also need to stay up to date with recent developments in your industry, such as the latest technology. Not only will readers of your blog gain knowledge, but you will as well.
5. Appeal to different types of customers. Including too many marketing messages on the home page or main pages of your website can backfire. In an attempt to speak to every possible type of customer, you will likely dilute your overall unique positioning in your market, so it’s better to keep your central marketing messages focused and to a minimum. A blog, however, gives you the space to direct messages to different groups of people. You may, for example, write one post that speaks to consumers who are primarily driven by price, and another post that reaches those who are more conscious of value.
6. Get more customers. According to a 2012 report by Hubspot, 60 percent of companies that maintain blogs acquire more new customers. Creating new channels for conversation, supporting your social media activity and building your online reputation are just a few of the reasons.
Blogging is also a relatively low-cost strategy for marketing your business. The cost of entry is affordable and there are a number of simple-to-use platforms for getting started. We’ll take a look at some of those in a subsequent post.
Yellow Pages United is an independent online national directory publisher. Yellow Pages United is not affiliated with any other Yellow Pages company that might be mentioned in this article and is not affiliated with AT&T or your local directory publisher.