From the florists to the fast food restaurants, stores to the salons, and even care homes to the casinos, the whole world is blogging. More than 128 million people in the U.S. are regular blog readers – that’s a whole lot of potential sales to leave to your competitors. Small businesses which blog get 126% more lead growth than those which don’t.
Whichever industry you’re in, and whether you’re targeting customers, clients or businesses, your unique expertise means you’ll have something to say. If you already have a website, simply add a blog area to it or ask your developer to do this for you. Alternatively, you could set up a standalone blog using a platform like WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr. Even if you can only commit to one or two posts a week, a regular input can transform your online visibility.
Optimizing Your Website
A site blog is a great way to optimize your website for search engines. Google favors websites with fresh content, and the blog becomes a place which can be frequently updated easily, without disruption to your main pages. If your competitors have a blog and you don’t, it’s highly likely that your site will rank below theirs when potential customers search for related terms.
Increasing Site Traffic
In addition to increasing traffic through search engine optimization, great blog content can increase visitors to your website in other ways. People searching for advice or inspiration in your field on Google may stumble across your relevant blog posts. They’ll then see your website, when they may not have otherwise. This increases brand awareness, and may even lead to social media shares and even more website traffic.
For your blog to increase the number of visitors to your site in this way, your content must be original and serve a clear purpose. The great news is you know your business better than anyone, so it won’t be difficult to come up with something amazing. How-to guides, photographic inspiration, the latest industry news, upcoming events or new products all work really well as topics.
Making Business Personal
Small businesses have an advantage on the big boys in that they tend to offer a more personal, friendly approach to service. Your blog is the perfect place to reflect this, and should always sound human. The visual design of your blog should be consistent with your branding, but try taking a less formal, more conversational tone in your posts.
Expand your network by engaging in chat in the comments section, subscribing to other relevant blogs (just make sure they’re not direct competitors) and sharing your expertise. You can seek also feedback from subscribers, making it a great market research tool.
Setting up and maintaining a blog isn’t that difficult, and offers unlimited free PR. The question shouldn’t be why blog, but can you afford not to blog?