Why You Should Create a Blog For Your Business
(Image by Adesh Saxena, www.flickr.com)
These days it seems like everyone who can open a web browser has its own blog. In fact, some blog content is generated entirely on-the-go from tiny handheld smart devices! So with such a saturated market, your very reasonable question might be, "Does the world really need one more blog?" As you will see in this post, the answer is entirely up to you. Because the one thing this world does not yet have is a blog about your company, your business, your unique products and services. This post will offer you 6 key reasons to create a blog for your business.
1. You want more website visitors
Even though some very popular and successful blogs are written anonymously, there likely has never yet been a blog written and launched where the author was thinking, "Gosh, I hope nobody reads this blog!" This points back to the core value proposition a blog offers your business. A well-written, timely, engaging blog can attract readers, who then want to learn more about your company and will check out the rest of your website.
2. You rank higher in the search engines
Even though Google keeps changing its algorithm just when everyone starts to figure out how the last one worked, the fact remains that writing a blog for your business can help you move up in the search engine rankings. The key here is something called SEO, or search engine optimization. SEO revolves around selecting keywords your prospects and customers are most likely to enter into their browsers when they are searching for information or shopping online. The more of those keywords your online content contains, the more likely search results are to contain your company's web link.
But here you might be thinking, "Why can't I just put those keywords into my website pages instead - why do I still need a blog?" Here's the second piece of the search engine ranking results puzzle. Search engines also favor websites that are generating new content frequently. A blog embedded into your company website allows you to do that without having to constantly re-write your website content. Here, you can just work the keywords your customers use into your blog post content and let the search engines do the rest!
3. You can keep casual visitors on your site longer
Did you know the average casual web "surfer" (visitor browsing for information online) today will spend an average of just 6 seconds on your webpage before moving on? That is not much time to capture their interest and get to know them! Most "surfers" are browsing for information - maybe they have a question they want to answer or a problem they want to solve. If they don't find what they are looking for nearly instantly, they will move on.
A well-written company blog can help you capture their attention AND keep it. How do you do this? First, you can use your blog to launch surveys to find out what questions potential customers have and what problems they need to solve. Then you can build future blog posts around those topics. You can offer "freebies" right from your blog content, such as do-it-yourself instructions to solve problems, product samples, research white papers about questions your visitors have, discounts and coupons and other goodies. Here, simply asking for your visitor's email address allows you to keep in touch and send them their freebies. Now you can start to build a relationship with each visitor that may eventually turn into a sale!
4. It helps visitors learn to trust you.
Have you ever been browsing online, looking for information, and felt concerned about whether the websites or blogs you were reading were really legitimate? Sure, the information seemed good, and maybe it even answered your question or solved your problem, but who are these people or companies? Why should you trust them? Here of course, you are hoping your business and your brand speak for themselves on your behalf. But even if they do for current customers, visitors and prospects still need to build trust before they will buy from you.
Your blog is the vehicle to begin building that trust. Blogging authoritatively on timely topics shows you keep up with the latest current events and research. Sharing white papers shows your company is involved in research and development in your field. Offering freebies displays your confidence - your business is successful and you will be here for the long-term, so you can afford to give small items away for free. Asking questions and conducting surveys and polls shows you are actively seeking to create customer-centric products and services that meet needs and solve problems.
5. You can save money by blogging
What? Blogging helps you save money? How does it do that, when you now have to either divert a current staffer's attention to blogging and responding to comments, or you have to go out and hire someone to blog for you? Blogging helps you save because you can use your blog as a platform to test out big new ideas, advertising and marketing strategies, campaign slogans, product and service concepts and other potentially expensive company ventures before you make the commitment to invest fully into them.
In this way, when you create a blog for your business, your blog becomes an ongoing focus group comprised of current customers, interested prospects and casual visitors, giving you a great cross-section of feedback on where your company should focus its efforts.
6. You can strengthen your own brand and message
When was the last time someone asked you to describe your company in one sentence - or worse, in just a few words? Does thinking about having to do this on the spot make your brain freeze? The more you blog about what your company does and the products and services you offer, the more confident you get when those "on the spot" opportunities arise to make a sale.
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