The short and simple answer to this question is yes. But for those who need a little more convincing, our six top reasons below will convince you about the powers of blogging for a small business and, before you know it, you won’t be able to stop yourself from tapping away at those keys.
(Before we start, it’s worth mentioning that we’ve touched upon some of these points briefly in a past blog post of ours – ‘What is blogging and how do you do it?’ – but this time, we wanted to delve deeper into the actual benefits. Incidentally, we recommend you take a look at that post after reading this one, for some great tips on how to get started.)
1. It’s a great way of keeping people up to date
If you’re introducing a new product or service, you can announce it with a blog post. If you’ve just taken on a new team member, you can introduce them to your customers with a blog post. If your business has won an award, you can tell the world about it in a blog post. If you’re attending an event, you can advise people with a blog post.
You get the idea.
Basically, anything that’s newsworthy for your company that you think people will be interested in reading, no matter how big or small, writing about it in a blog post is an alternative way of getting the word out there.
Whilst you could argue that you can do all this on social media, you can’t guarantee that everyone from your target audience is using the same social platforms you are, or even using social media at all!
2. Engage with your audience in a different way
Whilst your other website pages should be informative and maintain a certain level of professionalism, a blog is meant to be an informal environment where you can adopt a more natural approach and a laid-back tone of voice. It’s a different, more sociable method of communicating with your customers where you can play around with your brand’s personality. Similarly to social media, you can use a blog to remind customers that there are real people behind your brand.
3. It shows how active you are
There’s nothing worse than going on to a business’ blog and seeing that the last post wished everyone a “Happy and prosperous 2012”. This is a big turn off for some people; if you haven’t cared enough to update your blog for the last three years, you could take the same lazy approach towards your customer service for all they know.
Even if you only manage to blog once a month, regular posting will still reassure people that there is activity going on behind your brand name and that, if they need to pick up the phone to talk to someone, chances are you’ll be there to answer.
4. You can target long tail keywords
Now, let’s take a look at the advantages of blogging from an SEO point of view.
If you’re selling flavoured coffee for example, chances are most of the pages on your website will contain key terms such as “buy instant coffee” and “flavoured instant coffee”; these are the pages that are aiming to draw visitors actively seeking to purchase your product. But with your blog, you have more room for creativity and subsequently, you can target long tail keywords (e.g. terms containing more than three words) that you might not necessarily be able to do on the other pages of your website.
5. You essentially create a resource
And, because you have this room to play around with long tail terms, you can create a resource for people. Sit down and think about what content you could produce that’s vaguely linked to your products or service. Sticking with the coffee example, you could provide recipe ideas using coffee, an infographic detailing the most popular coffee drinks around the world or even tips on the best way to wake up in the morning. Creating content like this will attract fewer visitors, but these people will now perceive you as a good resource; they could then explore your website a little further and may even contact you about your products or service. Even if they don’t take that next step straight away, the next time they come across your brand, they’ll already be aware of you and will remember that you provided them with a great resource when they searched for “iced coffee recipe with instant coffee”.
6. It attracts Google
Google assigns a certain amount of time to visit your website and crawl the content. If you’ve posted a couple of blog posts since their last visit, Google could then decide that, because you’re producing content more regularly, they in turn should visit you more regularly to view it and place it in their index. The more Google comes back, the more likely they are to list your content in their search results for specific queries.
So, blogging for a small business – should you do it? Absolutely! Even though committing to a blog may seem like a large feat, we promise that, if it’s done correctly, it will start to pay off. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes; if you were them, what would you like to hear about? Remember, you are the expert for your company and your industry. If you can make this come across through your blog, people will begin to trust you and recognise you as an expert, meaning they’re extremely likely to come to you and invest in your product or service.
So now you know why you should be blogging, the next step is to take a look at how it should be done.