As business owners in a rapidly evolving digital landscape, we’re constantly bombarded by a dizzying overload of advice for making our web presence more profitable. Every minute, a new buzzword/marketing trend/tech strategy splashes on the scene, each claiming to produce more leads, more “Likes” and more money than the last. It can be overwhelming to choose the solutions that actually work for small businesses.
Don’t get flustered. Start with the online marketing basics. This includes your:
- Online directory listings
- Business blog
We include the business blog as a basic tool because it provides a flexible foundation of marketing collateral. By building a compelling, useful, and regularly updated business blog, you create a stockpile of valuable, on-brand material to draw from for other opportunities across channels. Whether it’s social media marketing, mobile marketing, guest blogging or link building, with a business blog, you’re prepared to make your mark.
That’s why business blogging is not a trend. It’s a basic. Here are 5 more remarkable reasons why business blogging works:
1. Fresh content fuels higher search rankings
Recent Google algorithm updates have changed the methods SEO’s and marketers use to improve site rankings. The new rules vouch for fresh, high quality site content.
The more valuable, regularly updated content a site offers, the better its rankings are likely to be. There’s even a name for this new school of search engine optimization: content marketing.
Blog posts provide the new content your website needs for higher rankings. Every blog post contributes to improving a site’s visibility on search engines (and other platforms), because it is a fresh update to your site presence.
2. Blog posts are easy to share
WordPress, Medium, and other flexible blog publishing platforms make it easy to promote a post across multiple channels of discovery. Through targeted social sharing of a blog post, your website is exposed to millions of potential customers. Informative and entertaining, blog posts are welcomed and engaged by users on social media platforms. Blog posts give your business the informal introduction to your target audience it needs.
Furthermore, with every share on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other powerful platforms, your blog post is indexed for search engines to crawl through and find relevancy. As Lee Odden says, “the behaviors of content creation, sharing and engagement are incredibly rich signals that search engines can use to improve search results, quality, and search user experience.” Blog post creation fuels this powerful behavior.
3. Blogs foster authority online
Many small business bloggers become industry authorities by sharing their expertise online. Blogs increasingly own the spots Google bots rake through for the most useful information to take the highest rankings on search results. More and more, users trust authoritative blogs for answers to their questions.
A business blog is an opportunity for your company to share its knowledge, and gain a following of prospects, industry leaders, and returning customers. Few other marketing formats give businesses a chance like this.
4. Blogs have proof power
Crafted as journalistic articles, how-to’s, engaging narratives, or informative product updates, blog posts help prove the legitimacy of your produce or service online.
Authenticity and trust is easy to convey from a brick-and-mortar; less so on the web. Still, savvy web consumers want to trust a business before committing to a purchase.
Built over time, a blog banks proof: proof of long-standing service, proof of happy customers, proof of real people working on the other side of the screen.
5. Blogs drive sales without pushing or prodding
Imagine this: from a Google search query for removing ink stains from linen, a user clicks on the first result. It’s a laundromat’s blog page with a how-to post for removing ink stains from linen. The user immediately finds the answer she was looking for, and feels encouraged to click on the link at the bottom of the post, which directs to the company website. From there, she sees a promotional package for a laundry service, which she clicks on and purchases. She went looking for a how-to stain solution, and came back with a bargain (and cleaner linen!) The informative business blog fostered a new sales funnel.
Business blogs with valuable content drive sales in new and organic ways across search engines and shared links.
Convinced yet? Let us know what you think of business blogging in the comment section below. Is it part of your marketing plan?
Odden, Lee. “Does Small Business Blogging Really Work?” 16 March 2012. Smallbusinessnewz.com