If you’ve clicked on the link and you’re reading this, then you’ve likely already got an idea of why your business needs a blog. Most businesses nowadays have their own, and the main reason why is simple: having one makes your business easier to find online.
Most inbound marketing or SEO specialists will tell you that having a business blog is about increasing the size of your digital footprint. The internet is a vast, immeasurable expanse filled with so much text, so many photographs, GIFs and videos, that your business’ website – without the proper help – could, so easily, find itself buried under a mountain of memes and cat videos.
And that simply can’t happen. Your website is your soap box, your stage. It gives your business a profile. It builds your business the opportunity to communicate its message and promote the real objects or services that you sell.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is arguably the best reason to have a business blog. It’s certainly why all the globe’s biggest and most recognizable brands, despite being household names, have created their own business blogs. They can’t not be on the first page when someone Google’s their sector of industry. What would that say about the strength of their brand?
But there are, of course, smaller and medium sized businesses who are also building their own blogs. They do so well, for a number of reasons and to great result. This article will explain the various reasons why your small business needs a blog.
Almost all of the globe’s most recognisable brands have a business blog. They haven’t all got it labelled on their website as a blog but no matter what inventive rename they’ve come up with – ‘business insights’ and ‘featured content’ are often used -, you can be sure it’s there.
And, as has been mentioned above, they’ve done so because of SEO. Search engine optimization; the process of getting your website to the first page when someone googles what it is that you sell. This is done in a variety of ways: from subtle design changes to your website’s user experience, to renaming all your image files.
But the best, the most tried and successfully tested, way of boosting your SEO is with keyword plugging. And the best way of getting your industry’s keywords on your website is by creating content that features those search terms. Hence theblog. The globe’s huge brands will often have a team of writers and collaborators creating content daily. Their blog entries are numerous, well-padded with keywords and constantly updated.
If you own or operate a small business, it can seem daunting writing a blog for a number of different reasons. How daunting that is becomes even more so when you consider that the aim is to help your business shoulder its way in between some of the industry’s biggest names. You might find yourself asking, ‘I’ll never manage to outmuscle these huge companies with teams of writers, so what’s the point in trying?’
The statement ‘blogging isn’t just about SEO’ would have raised eyebrows just five years ago. Blogging used to be about engaging with an audience. It was an honest, personal interaction between those with information they wanted to give and those that sought it out.
Blogging wasn’t about SEO at all back then.
It’s testament to the incredible corrupting power of capitalism that profiteering has managed to co-opt even this honest pastime to its agenda. But that doesn’t mean blogging isn’t still useful and often used in the way that it was originally conceived.
So, you don’t have an international client base comprised of millions of repeat buyers. That doesn’t mean that your business doesn’t provide a useful and exciting product. You know better than anyone that your business provides something valuable to the people that know and love it.
You also know, as a human being rather than a customer, that you occasionally need reminding of what is good for you. We all do. So, keep your patrons in the loop. A blog entry might not always translate into a sale but, to those that read it, it will increase your profile and maybe even bring them a little happiness.
If you operate a bar, hotel or restaurant, your blog can be a great way to keep regular guests updated as to what’s happening while they’re away.
If you sell clothes, jewellery, operate a hairdresser or beauty salon, a blog is handy in ensuring your following know of any new products or fashions.
Charities and rescue shelters often need a mouthpiece to keep their patrons and well-wishers in the loop about how well everything is going. A blog can do this with personality and a human touch.
Another reason you, as a small business owner, might want to have a blog is because the product you provide warrants a little explanation. There are many brilliant but misunderstood services and goods available to the world that do not get the sales the genius of their idea warrants simply because potential customers don’t understand exactly what is being sold.
We had the privilege recently to work with a small tech start-up that has developed a piece of software which promises to revolutionise carbon emission accounting. It’s a great idea and is well designed to solve one of modernity’s most pressing issues.
Their product is niche (even if it shouldn't be), it is also B2B. The purpose of their blog was, therefore, geared less toward reaching the first page of the casual internet user’s search page. They wanted their blog to explain their fairly complicated piece of software to executives that might find it useful.
If your business provides something specialist, then a blog can be a great way to educate your potential customers on the particularities of it. Sometimes, often even, a little extra information is all that’s needed to turn interest into a sale.
And that’s completely fair enough. Its all very well saying that SEO isn’t everything. Having a blog that imparts personality and shares knowledge is lovely but it would lose its loveliness pretty quickly if your business doesn’t make any sales.
So, you’re probably looking for some industry secrets on how to get the best out of blogging. Or else, you’re going to use your blog to educate and engage potential customers but you’re thinking that you might as well do some keyword plugging along the way.
If that’s the case, then here’s my advice. First, read this article on how to effectively structure your blog and this one on how to tweak your website to do better on an SEO front. And secondly, be tactical. Think hard about what you would google to find your own business and then think about the next classifying term that’s most appropriate.
Longtail search terms are the key for small businesses. If you’re a dog grooming company that focuses on quality over price point and operates out of Manchester, don’t fill your articles with just ‘dog grooming’. Try ‘bespoke dog grooming company Manchester’, or ‘luxury dog grooming company Manchester’.
Always remember to get the term ‘company’ into your blogs. Business owners often forget that their potential clients are looking for the service provider instead of just the industry.