May 17, 2018
You’re convinced that you need a website for your business because you understand that even if you have a brick-and-mortar business, most people begin their searches for local businesses online. As a result, not having an online presence for your business could limit the numbers of clients and customers you could have.
However, in addition to a website, your business needs a blog.
What’s a blog?
Think of a blog as an online journal that’s updated with some frequency in separate posts. Blog posts are usually displayed in reverse chronological order. Unlike website content which is static (most website content stays generally the same), blogs are meant to be regularly updated; as a result, blog content is referred to as dynamic.
Don’t let the description of a blog as an online journal scare you: blog posts don’t have to spill personal secrets to be valuable! Read on to learn three reasons why your business would benefit from a having blog.
A blog lets you showcase your expertise as you educate your readers
If you read the blog post about why your business needs a website, you’ll recall the Marketing Rule of 7 which states that a prospect needs to “hear” your message at least seven times before purchasing your product or service. Imagine if you added a blog to your website that was dedicated to educating readers about aspects of the products or services that you sell. In an occasional blog post (i.e., not in every post), after providing lots of value to the reader on the topic you’ve written about, you could invite your reader to visit the sales page for a product or service that’s related to the topic of your blog post.
This blog post could then serve as one of the (at least) seven times that prospective customers need to hear about your product before buying it. As a business owner, you have to be creative about how you market your offerings on your blog because you don’t want to turn off prospects. When done well, blogging should lead with value, and all blog posts should not lead to a sales page because your reader will soon get sick of that.
Blogs allow you to go into detail about aspects of your products or services in a way that you can’t on social media (and probably shouldn’t in email)
With the exception of Facebook, the two main players in the social media game—Instagram and Twitter—put limits on the length of your posts. A blog post is a perfect place, therefore, to go into detail about your product or service. Blog posts are also searchable in a way that your social media account isn’t, so this makes your blog an even better place to keep useful content that your existing or potential customers may need. Finally, social media has the reputation of being a fast-moving place where visitors are scrolling through, catching up on what they missed. As a result, social media may not be the best place to keep detailed content; that kind of information should be on a blog.
In addition to publishing unlimited numbers of words on your blog, you can also embed pictures, videos, presentations, and other media; all of this makes a blog post quite versatile. You could, of course, do the same by email, but while most people don’t expect to receive 1,500-word emails from you on a regular basis, they would read the same content in blog post form. This highlights an important aspect of content marketing: knowing the best platform to share different types of content.
Regularly updated content on your blog helps with search engine optimization (SEO) for your website, making it easier for your brand to be found online
One thing that I’ve observed from doing countless Google searches is that websites that are regularly updated seem to rank well in search results; it’s like Google’s saying “Here, try this result: it’s super fresh!” From this, I’ve concluded that a blog that’s updated frequently (my recommendation: at least once per week), will get Google’s attention over a static website with no blog and therefore few recent updates. The huge caveat is that your content must be good for Google to endorse it.
How does Google know good content from the not-so-good? Among other things, we tell Google by our actions. Let’s say you do a Google search for “DIY copy editing”, click on the first search result, hate the look of the editor’s website, and immediately leave before reading their (likely helpful) blog post. Google’s algorithm may record that experience something like “Hmm, that web page doesn’t seem to be a good one for those search terms because the searcher didn’t stick around. Maybe we shouldn’t rank it as the top result anymore.” Unfair, right? This is why you should make sure your website’s design is attractive, or at least, not an eyesore!
Moving on, you then click on the second result, find a gorgeous website, and stick around to read the blog post and other blog posts relating to the initial post that brought you to the website. Google records that experience as a good one for the second website because you stayed and clicked around on the site, earning that website Google brownie points.
SEO is the art of structuring your website and writing in a way that search engines—such as Google—like. There are website templates that optimize SEO, countless blog posts and videos if you want to DIY your SEO, and you can also hire someone to improve the SEO of your website and blog posts. What I’ve found from 15+ years of blogging is that good content wins the day because people read it and that tells Google that your website is legit. SEO is a long-term strategy so aside from optimizing blogs posts as you go along, I usually don’t recommend spending too much time on SEO unless you’ve exhausted all other means of attracting people to your website, including writing quality content.
The takeaway message is straightforward: write good content on a regular basis, use basic SEO principles to make sure that your blog posts get seen when someone searches for the relevant keywords, and over time, make those sales! Don’t underestimate what a blog can do to help your website rank well for what you sell.
Elevate My Writing is a copy editing service for online business owners. You’re the expert on what you do; my job is to take what you write about what you do and polish it so that you make the right first impression and present your brand in the best possible light!