Regardless of whether you run an ecommerce store, or a bricks and mortar business, chances are your only just starting to hear about SEO and the benefits a blog can bring to your business. Sure, the site may rank well in search results, but a great blog is a marketing powerhouse that many businesses fail to employ.
As Ramsay from blogtyrant points out, blogging is essential to keeping your website high in google’s rankings, and should definitely be a part of the marketing strategy for any small business, be it online or not.You can find a great list of business blog to emulate over at hubspot.
What Are The Benefits of Hosting a Business Blog?
Although a business website may look aesthetically pleasing, it may not have too much in the way of content other than the stock that is on sale. This is fine for customers who wish to shop, but this alone is not going to get the full potential out of your site to drive traffic and create leads.
Hosting a blog alongside the website allows you to create a deeper relationship with your customer. This in turn will see the customer instil more trust in the business and will therefore be more likely to make a repeat purchase.
Hosting a blog can also keep customers abreast of new company updates.
What Content Should Be Used For The Business Blog?
When it comes to content, there is no generic rule of thumb in which direction a company should go.
For example, some businesses rely on heavy imagery alone, so having pages full of text may not fit it with audience expectation. Thus, a business has to ensure that the content is relevant.
If you can ensure high quality content and high relevance, your blog will allow you to inculcate loyalty and trust into your visitors, making them come back to your site to consume knowledge as well as your products.
This point is worth going in to in more depth so below I have listed 3 key areas great blogs can target to drive more traffic and increase leads:
- Viral content
- Brand advertising
- Product videos
- Tool guides
- Case studies/interviews
Lets look at these in more detail
A blog allows you to create entertaining content and show it to your potential customers. Sites like BuzzFeed, and Upworthy receive a huge amount of traffic because they are funny and entertaining. Equally, these sites enjoy a significant social media presence as the entertaining, easily clickable content the produce is so eminently sharable.
Once you have created some entertainable content, never forget to post it across your social media channels. Users of Twitter, Facebook and Google+ will grow an affinity for your brand if you make them laugh.
We live in a world where knowledge is power. Giving your customers unique and original information they couldn’t receive elsewhere is therefore a sure-fire way of receiving traffic and leads.
On this very blog for example we aim to provide new and valuable information to small business owners, online sellers, and bitcoin investors. Neil Patel’s blog and the Lendacademy blog are two further examples of great sources of information out there.
This part of your blogs’ content will create your leads. Once your educational and entertaining posts have secured a decent amount of traffic, your ability to persuade visitors to purchase is crucial.
This is where endorsements, reviews, ratings and case studies come into play. These pieces of content will help convey the quality of your product and the advantages of owning it.
Top Tip: Keep a sign up box visible on your blog at all times.
The content should also be well-written. There is very little point in creating a mediocre article to the blog that tells the reader very little. Again, this will only see the subscriber list of the blog lower, those subscribers could have been potential customers.
What Blogging Platform Should a Business Use?
Choosing a platform is like choosing a house, in that it has to offer a business the facilities it needs.
There are a number of platforms that can be used, in fact some can even be used alongside each other. There is a lot to consider when deciding on the blogging platform for your business.
WordPress is by far the easiest and most widely used CMS, and I strongly recommend using it for your business blog.
In general terms, WordPress is the most solid platform when it comes to functionality and flexibility for a business, but depending on your needs, alternative platforms such as Tumblr can be reviewed.
How Does a Business Host a Blog?
The question here is; should you root for a blog hosted on a subdomain or subdirectory. Subdomain’s look like this www.blog.example.com whereas subdirectories look like this www.example.com/blog.
This small difference in your URL can play a huge role in the ranking potential of your site and the traffic which comes with it.
How To Optimize for SEO
One of the key reasons for starting a blog is the possibility of improving your websites’ overall SEO. By creating and publishing new content, you can rank in the Search Engine results pages for new but highly relevant keywords. As an example, let’s assume you run a flower shop with a flourishing Online presence. You have connected your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts, and your trying to identify which keywords you already rank for.
It is very tough to rank for multiple, loosely related keywords with the same page, so you decide to do some keyword research in order to find keywords relevant to your site, but for which you are not ranking. Your research shows that you are ranking for “flowers in Berlin” but not “flower arrangements in Berlin” which is a highly relevant keyword.
Your blog gives you the opportunity to write and publish a blog post targeting this keyword. If your technical SEO is in good working condition and you manage to build some links to your blog post, it will begin to rank in Google and other search engines. As a result you will receive more organic traffic and more revenue.
Engage With Customers Old and New
The fact that a company is hosting a blog can be celebrated with a mention on social media, along
with a link to the blog. Customers will then visit the blog, and as soon as they find something of interest, they will share it via social media again.
What this does is get your blog in front of people who may not have seen it in the first instance.
If they see something they like, they may want to see what else is on offer. With some clever link placing, they can be directed to your company website within seconds.
Your Business Blog Could Be Seen as an Industry Expert
As previously mentioned, blogs centered on a business have to provide content relevant to the brand. Posting regular updates featuring news within the industry will see others follow your blog as they yearn for the same information.
Industry updates can be easily sourced online and curated with a link back to the original source. Having solid, factual data in one location means that followers are more likely to stick with your blog, rather than search three or four different blogs.
It also means that the reputation of the business spreads, thus creating an opinion in people’s minds that your business blog is the source for all relevant information with the industry your business operates in. It can also instill customers with a lot of trust towards your business.
Create Greater Customer Satisfaction
The modern age gives customers access to businesses when they don’t wish to wait on the phone. Having an active presence online gives customers easy access to a business when they have a question or complaint.
Dealing with such communications effectively not only ensures that the customer is satisfied, but they are more likely to highlight such engagement online, which in turn could expand a business’s customer base.
Offer Discounts and Special Offers via the Business Blog
While no business should be offering discounts all the time, embracing blogging as part of your marketing strategy could see the sales of a business rise tremendously. The formal nature of a blog can allow a business to post pictures and updates of its latest stock.
Once customers make inquiries about the products, a business can offer a special discount for readers of the blog.
Although offering a discount could be seen as reducing income, the benefits could be the number of new purchases made that wouldn’t have occurred otherwise.
With the correct amount of content and customer engagement, a blog can be seen as a worthwhile investment for any business, especially as one can be set up free of charge. Any business making a blog part of its marketing strategy can only expect to see positive results.
Learn more about creating a successful marketing strategy for your Online Business.
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