Blogging has changed a lot over the last 15 years since the activity was first made popular through publishing online diaries. I created my first blog in 2004 and I spent hours coming up with a clever name and choosing a template on Blogspot. Every week or two I’d post something incredibly embarrassing like a poem or short story and would send it out to all four of my readers (mom, dad, wife, sister). My blog was eventually taken over by my wife and she posted monthly updates about our growing family, full of baby pictures and our near death experiences as new parents.
In 2008 I started a second blog with a close friend. We had a shared interest in premium cigars and we setup a blog to review cigars and interview industry leaders. At this point, the internet had exploded with blogs about any subject you could imagine, and scores of people were finding this information through search engines, ushering in the power of the peer review.
To our surprise, our little cigar blog took off and we quickly attracted 60,000+ readers a month, received free products to review each week, generated monthly advertising revenue, and eventually sold it to a cigar retailer in Florida who acquired the blog to boost their Search Engine Optimization and increase visits to their online retail website.
Today, blogs have changed dramatically and they hold a very important place in the success and growth of your business. In this article, we will discuss three reasons you should start a blog on your business website, and I’d like to share a few tips to help you get started.
#1 – A Blog Will Improve Your Search Engine Optimization and Drive Traffic to Your Website
The main reason most businesses start a blog is to improve their ranking with Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Most business websites have a small number of pages and the content on those pages rarely changes, which means there is very little new information for the search engines to find. Creating fresh, relevant content for your website on a monthly basis is the most effective way to drive organic traffic to your website. Here are a few reasons why:
- A blog provides an opportunity to write in a way that is similar to how consumers are searching for your services online, which is typically less-formal than the static pages on your website.
- Once a blog is written, it’s important to share the article through all of your other promotional channels – eNewsletter, email signature, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. These channels offer opportunities for your article to be shared and offer added exposure and new visits to your website.
Let’s pause for a moment, because simply having a blog won’t guarantee traffic to your business website. You have to make sure you are writing about the right topics. This is why setting a blog strategy is so important. Once you determine your monthly topics, be sure to use language with an SEO focus to improve your ranking.
#2 – A Blog Will Improve Your Client Retention and Increase Referrals
Improving client retention and increasing referrals is the life blood of any business, and you may be surprised to know how helpful a blog is at improving both of these. As business owners, we understand that the more interaction you have with your clients the better, and keeping your story and your services in front of them through a blog keeps you at the forefront of their minds. With a blog strategy in place, you’ll be covering all of your services and emphasizing your value propositions, which will provide a well-rounded view of your company and demonstrate how you can be of continued service to your client. A blog that includes resources and helpful information will also provide a reason for repeat visits to your website.
If you are creating interesting and insightful material, you will also be creating shareable moments that will extend your message to new audiences and lead to new clients.
#3 – A Blog Will Establish You as an Authority Within Your Industry
In today’s sales cycle, consumers spend more and more time researching their needs online and they are likely considering multiple vendors to service their need. As they spend time online it’s important to realize that your website is the front door to your business and it should be well maintained and attractive. Once they open the door, your website should educate your consumer and explain why they should choose you over another vendor.
A blog that is practical, insightful, and relevant to your field will create a strong impression and demonstrate a keen understanding of your industry. A blog also helps create trust with the potential client – they are researching services that they are likely unable to provide themselves so they want to ensure they can trust your abilities to perform the job well and in line with their expectations.
Now that we’ve highlighted the importance of a blog, here are a few tips.
- Blog regularly – the more the better but a starting goal should be one to two times a month
- Maximize the use of your blog articles – it should become your primary message for the month and be used in your other promotional channels.
- Establish a strategy so that you cover all of your products and services – don’t hyper-focus on one area of your business
- Establish a voice for your company and use it consistently (we wrote about this here)
- Create a call to action in each article
- Link to pages or past blog articles within your website that provide expanded content on that subject
- Answer your customers’ questions through your blog articles. If your clients are having questions then it’s very likely your leads are as well.
Through this article I hope I’ve demonstrated the value in starting a blog on your business website. It carries the potential to transform your online ranking, improve your client relationships, and become a leading authority within your industry. The hardest part is getting started and staying consistent, but it is time well spent. In fact, I believe it is the most valuable online activity you can do for the growth of your business.
Need Help Getting Started?
If you don’t have the time or expertise to craft monthly articles, we can help. Our team of copywriters write articles each month for many of our clients and would love getting to know you and your business. With each client we create a blog strategy, utilize SEO best practices, and craft articles that will boost your online ranking, improve client retention, increase referrals, and help establish you as an authority within your industry. Contact us today to get started.