Every day, more and more business owners are finding out that a business blog can do wonders for their websites and their businesses. But that success requires more than launching a blog and publishing posts.
A successful business blog is strategically planned and executed in a meaningful way.
Before launching a business blog, it’s helpful to understand the benefits that your company can reap through blogging. Then you’ll be able to develop a plan specific to your business needs.
Here’s a look at how business blogging can increase traffic to your website and grow your business.
Regular Updates for Google Goodness
Nobody except the geniuses at Google knows exactly what makes the world’s most popular search engine tick. The algorithm that determines where a website ranks in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is top secret. What we do know is that Google gives good love to sites that make regular updates as well as sites with lots of inbound links. By making changes to your website and adding to it, you can earn some hearty Google juice and increase your website’s rank. One of the most effective ways to regularly update your site is with a blog.
Every time someone links to your website, the Google gods smile upon you. There are many ways to get inbound links, but nothing works like good old-fashioned organic linkage. To get that, you need to produce content that interests people enough to want to share it. You can easily use a blog to publish content and then promote it by networking with other bloggers, leaving comments on other blogs, and sharing your content via social media. Links are one of the foremost ways to draw traffic to your website via business blogging.
Keywords and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Unless you have a gargantuan website, there probably aren’t a lot of opportunities for you to plant enough keywords on your site to really gain traffic through popular search terms. Also, keywords can be obvious when they’re packed into a small space, and this renders text that is unfriendly to readers. Business blogging provides infinite opportunities to implement keywords on a regular basis, so you can expand your keyword pool and place more keywords throughout your website.
The online marketplace is increasingly competitive, so it’s essential for business owners to find innovative ways to communicate with customers. A blog gives you a permanent platform that you can use to talk to your customers. Tell them what you’re offering, how it’s important, and why they should buy it from you. Offer specials and discounts to subscribers. Announce new products and run contests or collect feedback from your readers. This empowers you as a business owner and it also puts some power into the hands of consumers, who appreciate having their voices heard and concerns addressed.
The latest trend in politics, pop culture, and business is transparency. Talking about your company’s mission, business philosophy, and professional practices helps build trust and customer loyalty. To practice transparency, you need a way to communicate the inner workings of your business with the public. Business blogging is perfect for that — a blog provides an open forum where you can share information about your operations, policies, and procedures. Some bloggers even publish their revenue information, which is the height of true transparency in business.
If you’re practicing transparency by discussing the inner workings of your business on a blog, then you’re also establishing credibility, which is essential for gaining trust among prospective buyers. Trust is especially important online because there’s a lack of face-to-face interaction. There are also tons of snake-oil sites on the web, which strive to sucker buyers with fake or useless products and empty promises. By establishing professional credibility, you will earn trust and loyalty from the public, and that will lead to more customers.
Publicity and Media Platform
Traditional marketing is expensive. The cost of all those brochures, business cards, and newspaper advertisements adds up. Marketing online isn’t always free, but it can definitely be more cost effective than doing it the old-fashioned way. A blog is a permanent advertisement for your business, a place where you can publish news and announcements, including product launches and specials. You can even embed videos, and if you’re lucky, one of them will go viral, bringing hoards of hungry consumers to your site.
Professional Online Networking
Businesses need other businesses. Professionals must connect with one another, and blogs are great for networking online. You can interact with colleagues and peers whose products and services complement yours and forge valuable partnerships with them, which can lead to growth for all parties. Blog networking is a modern phenomenon but a powerful one. Links, blogrolls, and comments all provide ways for business blogging professionals to interact, get to know each other, and develop lasting relationships.
Get Busy Business Blogging
A blog isn’t an endeavor to enter lightly. It takes some planning and there’s a lot to learn. For starters, there’s the blog design and associated technology like plugins and widgets that make a blog more effective and user friendly. Then there’s the strategy involved, plus the challenge of producing relevant, compelling content on a regular basis. Most importantly, you have to find your audience and figure out how to keep them interested. In future posts, we’ll be exploring all these components and many more.
Melissa Donovan is a website consultant and copywriter. She is also the founder and editor of Writing Forward and the author of over seven books.