Businesses will either start with a website and move to social media, or will move in the opposite direction. The next logical step is to move into business blogging. Some businesses start a blog with a clear purpose, others aren’t quite certain. While there are many posts online with content suggestions, I believe that it is equally important to know how your blog can benefit your business. With an overall benefit at front of mind, then businesses are in a stronger position to develop a blog. Here are some of the high-level reasons you should have a blog.
- Search Engine ranking
Search Engines will give your website a higher ranking if it is regularly updated. A great way to ensure this is by writing a regular blog post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to write a daily blog – in fact my other business only posts one blog a month and it’s on page 2 of Google (without any paid promotion).
Blogs are fantastic vehicles for your SEO keywords. Pepper your blog posts with a variety of one keyword or a smattering of a variety of them. The fantastic thing is that you can test either approach for attracting customers. A word of warning, don’t bog your blog down in keywords; the Google Algorithm is wise to these tactics and will penalise you with a low search result.
I previously mentioned how internal links can benefit your site. By linking between blog posts and/or products you drive the search engine deeper into your website, opening up more pages and improved chances to return a positive search result.
Blog are a great way to educate your customers. Tell them your favourite ways to use your service or product. Talk to them about the feedback you have received. Let them know what the most popular item is. People love to know that they aren’t alone in using your products and to learn how others benefit; you might just solve a need with something they already own.
You can use them to demonstrate functions, benefits, or points of difference. In a competitive environment, points of difference can make a sale. It may just be you sharing little hints, but these are points of difference when others in your marketplace simply sell. With an increase in online sales and increasing imports, service is making a return and customers will often value this more than price. Many customers look for value for money; if you offer an additional service you increase the value of your item.
Make sure you remember to put your customer first, don’t make it a massive sales pitch. When writing a blog, ensure you are outlining ‘what’s in it for them’. Many blogs, and books, are written from the industry’s perspective and what will help the person selling the item or service. If your aim is to educate, you need to put your customer first, it’s about what they want to know, know what you need them to know. How will X make things easier, cheaper, more cost effective, or quicker? Time is a big issue for most people, if you can show them a time benefit, you are on a winner.
- List building
Don’t underestimate the power of getting directly in to your customer’s inbox. I often have a Pavlov like reaction to the ping of a fresh email landing in my inbox, and I can guarantee that I am not alone.
People generally scroll through social media, just as they scroll through email. You won’t always have them opening your emails, but if they do you won’t have to compete with sidebar ads and associated distractions. Emails can be flagged for follow up, they can be filed and easily retrieved, and emails offer the opportunity to personalise.
Emails offer the opportunity of a back-up plan. They give you a way to distribute information if social media falls or your website crashes. You can inform them of outages, changes, and promotions (who doesn’t love a sale alert by email).
Email lists allow you to target customers who WANT to receive your information. They openly agreed to receiving your message, so they are open to it. They have given you a little personal detail; they have opened a door into their private world and invited you in. It’s a more personal connection, which helps you to build a more direct relationship. It’s these relationships which lead to sales.
By asking customers to subscribe, by email, to your blog you open up a direct line of communication. Email lists are a powerful, direct marketing tool which your customer opens up to you. (tweet it) Don’t waste it and don’t overlook the power of adding it to your marketing strategy.
Write to Right also provides proofreading and editing for blog posts. Please consider our services as part of your ongoing web profile. Our proofreading schedule is available on the site.
Blogging is just one way to improve your search engine ranking, find out other ways to get your website to page one on Google by filling in the following form.