If your business – local or worldwide, small or large – does not have a blog, then make that one of your online marketing goals for this year. No matter what your industry, chances are there is something interesting you can write about and share with an online audience. In this post, we’re going to look at how to determine if your business needs a blog and the benefits of having one. By the end of this blog post, I think you’ll see the clear reasons why every business should have a blog.
Should Your Business Have a Blog?
First off, you may be thinking that your business doesn’t need a blog. Here are two easy questions to ask yourself when deciding whether your business needs to be blogging.
- Does your business have customers or potential customers?
- Are your customers or potential customers online?
- Do your customers or potential customers read online publications?
If you answered yes to the above questions, then you can answer yes to whether your business needs a blog.
Benefits of Having a Business Blog
Next, let’s look at all of the potential benefits of having a blog for your business. Chances are at least one of the following will appeal to you and your business goals.
One of the best reasons to have a blog on your site is for your customers. There are several ways to approach blog content creation when it comes to customers.
- Create content to attract potential customers. Want to increase leads for your business? Create content geared towards your potential customer base. For example, an analytics software company can create content that highlights the benefits of analyzing their website visitor data. This will get the reader thinking about analytics. With a lead generation form in the sidebar or at the end of the post, the business can easily capture this reader and turn them into a lead.
- Create content to help current customers. Want to keep the customers you have? Use your business blog to keep customers up to date on industry news, news about your products and services, or support information.
- Create content to share with your subscribers. Potential and current customers alike will appreciate your business’s emails more if they are full of valuable content vs. full of advertisements.
- Sharing blog content is much more accepted on social media than advertising. You’ve probably heard the 80 / 20 rule – only 20% of your social media updates should be about your business. If you make that 20% a link to your valuable blog content instead of a promotion, you will gain more followers who are really interested in following your updates closely.
- The more people who share your content, the more your business will gain social media exposure. If you use the official Twitter retweet button on your blog posts, you can set it up to include your username. When people tweet your blog posts, they will get a message to follow you on Twitter. You will also get recognition from their audience. Likewise on Facebook, if you update your page with your latest blog post, fans can share that update which will link back to your page, thus giving you the chance to increase your Facebook fans.
- Content has the potential to go viral. It’s not often that a business can share a link to a product page on their website and get hundreds to thousands of shares on social media (unless you’re Apple releasing a new version of the iPhone). Great content, on the other hand, almost always has the potential to explode on social media.
Search Engine Optimization Benefits
Search engines (particularly Google) love websites with great content. Your blog can help boost your search rankings in the following ways.
- Blog content tells Google your business has a quality website. Google has been working hard to rid search results of low-quality sites. One of the things they look at in determining whether a website is good or not is the website’s content. Hence, having unique, quality content on your website’s blog will let Google know you deserve to have better rankings in search.
- Blog content can help you rank for long-tail keyword phrases. Let’s say you have a pet supply store. There are only so many keywords you can target with your homepage and product pages. With blog content, you can go further. Use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find extended phrases for your main keywords. Instead of just targeting dog grooming, you could have content that targets dog grooming tips, dog grooming tools, do it yourself dog grooming, and many more terms. The people who search for those and find your content might become customers of your store.
- Blog content can help you dominate search results. One of the best ways to acquire new customers is by always popping up. If your potential customers are searching for information about specific topics, and your blog comes up every time, you’ll be in the forefront of their mind when they need related products or services.
Last, but not least, having a business blog can do wonders for your online reputation.
- Become a leader in your industry. If your business blog produces valuable content, then you can use that content to position yourself as a knowledge leader in your industry. SEOmoz, for example, is a well-known resource for SEO information. This leads tons of people to their website where they get a chance to sell a premium membership to their SEO tools.
- Dominate search results for the right reasons. Aside from popping up to potential customers, you’ll want your blog to rank on the first page of search results for your business name to push down any potential negative results including bad reviews or bad press.
- Be the first resource people go to in the event of a crisis. If your business has a crisis (product recall, service outage, public scandal, etc.) then you will want your customers to know that they can come to your blog for the latest news. To establish this mindset, you have to be vigilant about publishing fresh content and news on a continuous basis on your blog. This will prevent people from relying on outside sources for news you should be handling.
Hopefully these reasons are compelling enough to convince you to start your business blog today. What reason is the most appealing to your business?