Why blog for business? The benefits are multiple and often businesses do not realise the importance.
Using a blog, businesses write valuable content to teach an audience. A blog is a way of reaching out to people and converting them to clients. We call this inbound marketing.
On the same domain, a blog will support a website. Using a blog business owners write about their industry. Posts can be geared around researched key terms. Online exposure is expanded.
Why should I blog?
Blogging for business will:
- Support a website by providing Google with the quality content it craves.
- Improve the overall SEO on a domain.
- Grow brand awareness.
- Build a trusting audience and form relationships with strangers.
- Develop a voice to influence an industry.
- Provide valuable content to share across social media networks, again improving the domain’s authority.
- Become an online customer service hub.
- Help to find out more about an audience, using analytics.
The network of posts can be channelled for different key phrases around an industry, that can be found on search engines and shared over social media. We call this search engine marketing.
Is a blog a website?
Kind of. They can be programmed and structured very similarly.
A website gives specific, easy to find information on products and services.
A website is structured so that users can find direct information about a company, product or service. It is critical that a website is easy to navigate.
A blog is an information hub with multiple entries called posts. It is an area in which potential clients can read informative industry articles written by someone knowledgeable about the topic, or a ghost writer.
A blog can be extensive and can capture potential customers using a myriad of posts on searchable subjects relevant to a business. That way lots of keywords and phrases can be utilised; ones that might not be used in the website.
Content marketing with a blog
There are subjects and topics related to a business service or product that people look up every day. Businesses must capture that user on the search path.
For example, a florist would like to sell flowers. The florist creates a website and optimises a page for ‘flowers Oxfordshire’.
There are hundreds of florists in the Oxfordshire area, all competing for that same phrase. It is a high competition phrase.
What would work well for the florist is to rank highly for other searches first, ones that are less difficult to rank for like ‘fresh flower delivery Oxfordshire’ or even answer a question like ‘how to send flowers’.
The posts would do better on Google search result pages, as there is lower competition.
Posts that do well support other posts and pages on the domain, allowing them in turn to be ranked more highly.
Overall, Google ranks the site higher if there is valuable content that their users want to see.
Using a blog to build brand awareness
Back to the florist used in the example.
A user searched for ‘how to send flowers’. Coming across the post, written by our florist in Oxfordshire the user finds what they are looking for and disappears.
High bounce rates are actually quite common, as we live our busy lives.
A business owner feel despondent; what did they write the post for? Why didn’t the visitor buy flowers?
Buying doesn’t work like that now. Competition is high, we all know we can find whatever we want at the click of a button.
What happened here is that the florist helped the user out. By providing the audience with fantastic content that answered a question, the brand sticks in the mind of the user.
Most users will have visited a website more than once before they think about purchasing anything at all. The conversion to buying takes time and consistency.
Reaching out to them is the job of the blog, along with your social media.
Be sure to make your logo and company name prominent on photos, videos and illustrations you share.
Trust building using a blog
One of the advantages of using a blog, is in trust building and creating new relationships.
The customer’s decision to buy is 57% made up before they even contact a business. Buyers no longer pick up the phone to discuss what is best for them. They learn it all online.
Consistently helping an audience during their decision making process could mean the sale.
Many visitors will explore a blog or website more than once before they have trust in the brand. Once they trust the brand, they return and eventually may buy.
Develop a voice to influence an industry
You may be the most well equipped, knowledgeable person in your industry, but if people don’t know about you they will not get in touch.
The advantage of using a blog is that you can be heard. Write down your opinion, facts and insights in blog posts. Show the audience the depth of your knowledge.
By keeping expertise to yourself you are damaging your business. Find your voice and a passion for your business, teach your audience what they need to know.
Advantages of using a blog alongside social media
If a business has not got valuable content to share across its networks, what can it share?
If you are only sharing articles written by others, you are losing traffic to your own domain.
Producing good content, and providing it to followers builds trust, builds on brand awareness and makes your networks a lot more interesting. Your posts can be built into your e-newsletters and shared amongst a subscribers list.
A blog can be an online customer service hub
Using a blog to answer clients questions can actually save time. Answer the question online, then send them a link to the post. This way you drive traffic, and you have the information online, in a customer service area that can be sent to the next client.
A blog helps your clients to plan the steps they should take next, involving you in the task, especially as they already trust you.
Find out more about your online audience
No business starts an online presence knowing their exact audience. Some may have an idea of who to target or the outline of an ideal client, but solid results often bring surprises.
- Google looks for the same thing that a user looks for. They strive to produce the most relevant, beneficial results possible for the person doing the search. So if your blog post is providing the answer to a question it is more likely to get ranked highly.
- Each of your posts should be informative and well over 600 words. Take the time over them, like you would take over a potential client.
- Do not write short, invaluable posts without first thinking what your audience would search for.
- Research your key terms first, so that you are writing around a topic that people are looking for online.
- It is fine to write an opinion post, as long as you are able to support your opinion with evidence.
- Optimise each post, and use other media like images, info-graphs and video to support your written material.