Why Does Your Business Need a Blog?
So maybe your business currently doesn’t have a blog – and maybe you don’t intend to get one either. You have enough to do running your business; sending out orders, attending to customers, paying suppliers, trying to keep up with social media and looking after payroll – these are just some of the tasks that ensure you don’t get much time to yourself at the end of the day. Especially if you’re a start-up.
But actually, NOT having a blog could be holding you back. How so? Well, for starters, a blog is a great way to add new content to your site on a regular basis; and Google loves nothing more than fresh content. Keep Google happy, and you should start seeing the benefits for your business.
A blog is good for Search Engine Optimisation
The reason it’s important to add new content onto your blog is that it will help push your website up the search engine results page (SERP). And what business doesn’t want that?! Google will recognise that your website is relevant and up to date and so will likely be more useful and helpful to web users. But a blog post cannot be thoughtlessly written in a hurry, or copied from elsewhere on the internet. It should be SEO-optimised by including keywords and by being interesting to read with no repeat content. Organic quality over quantity is key here.
A blog can be repurposed for social media
Some businesses struggle to think of fresh content to upload onto their social media channels. It can be hard to keep up, but once a blog post is written, snippets of the content can be used multiple time to update your business social media channels. It can also be a great way to direct your social audience to your website by providing a link to your blog (and a line of enticement about the post) on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn page etc. Accompany the link with an eye-catching image and some would-be customers may just be curious enough to click through – Especially if your article is interesting and relevant.
Blog traffic can provide good leads
Potential customers (and existing customers, of course) reading your blog can be encouraged to click onto a particular page, product or service on your website by providing a link to it at the bottom of the blog. This is what marketers call a ‘call to action’ or CTA and could be something like ‘get 10% off our new summer range here’. When the link is clicked it takes the web visitor to a page where he or she provides their name and contact details to sign up to the site and receive their discount. This then gives you another potential customer to contact via email, newsletter etc. Links can also be added to keywords throughout the body of the blog post so you can direct readers to the exact product or service you may be talking about. For example, we may write an article talking about our fantastic website designers in Milton Keynes.
A blog expresses your tone of voice and industry knowledge
Having a blog is a great opportunity to express your brand’s personality and tone of voice. It can be a means of creating a bond with your audience, gaining trust and expressing how knowledgeable you are about your sector. If you’re an estate agent, for instance, you can give landlords and tenants information about the industry, such as new legislative changes, or security advice etc. It shows you are a company/individual who knows what he or she is talking about and cares enough about their blog followers and customers to share it for their benefit too. Many authority-type figures use this to impressive success on the social media channel LinkedIn, in particular.
A blog is another great social channel for your business
Producing a great blog post that people find amusing, informative or just sheer brilliant – for whatever reason – can be PR and Marketing gold. Why? Because the person reading it may just love it enough to share your blog post with their connections on social media and they, in turn, might do likewise – and before you know it, you’ve increased your brand exposure, audience and website traffic, all through one post.
Blog posts never go away (unless youdelete them)
Once you’ve written a blog it’s available via search engines for years (and it’ll also be there in your own blog archive for new customers to check out, whenever they like). For many businesses, blog posts – whether your own, or back links from someone else’s blog, are far more valuable than print adverts, as these can be scrunched up and put in the recycling never to be seen again. An online article will, instead, be around for ever – if you want it to be.
Tips on blogging for your business
Blog length. So now that you’ve heard the benefits of having a blog, you may be wondering what and how much to blog about? You’re definitely not alone! Just about every small business blog owner feels this way. If you don’t particularly enjoy writing then it can seem incredibly daunting, but it needn’t be. You’re not writing an essay, after all. Blogs can be as little as 300 words and as much as 1000 (any longer than this and you’re pushing it in terms of your reader’s attention span). From an SEO perspective, you want it to be at least 700 words really.
Blog content. Your blog could be an interesting series of facts about your business, sector news, or helpful posts for customers e.g. how to style your products. If you’re a restaurant then a fab recipe you’re currently using with enticing images could be just the ticket. It can be tempting to use your blog for strictly advertising purposes every time. But don’t. It’s boring for customers to continually read about what you stock or offer (they can find this on your website, after all). By all means, use the blog every now and then to mention a product or service, but do it as part of an interesting and general post where what you sell is only a part of it. Each and every blog post needs to provide genuine value to the reader.
Inserting keywords into your blog post. Use your blog for inserting SEO keywords and phrases, but don’t get carried away and ‘key word dump’. One keyword or phrase every 100 words is a good marker, but just as long as the keywords fit into sentences naturally and the article reads easily. If you fill the article with hundreds of repetitive keywords then Google will penalise you by dropping your website down the search engine rankings for looking like spam. Don’t forget to add keywords to the alt tags of your images too!
How often should you blog? One blog post per week is a good place to start, however two is better, but what is more important, is consistency. However often you want to publish a post, it is better to do it on the same day and at the same time for each article. This is a big help for your readers in knowing when they can expect your next article.
Ideally, you should pre-plan your content and think carefully about what value you are adding to the reader’s life. Keep the reader in mind at all times and this should help with your SEO and audience reach, retention, leads and website clicks. If you need help managing your company blog, get in touch and we’d be happy to help.