OK, you have a website for your small business. But do you have a blog? If you think having a website for your business is enough, think again! A blog can breathe life to your website by allowing you to create fresh content to engage search engines and readers alike, creating an atmosphere of community, approach-ability and friendliness for your business website. Here are compelling reasons why you need a blog on your small business website.
Increase Your SEO Score For Your Website
A blog provides opportunity to get fresh content on your website. Without fresh content, Google thinks you are out of business or not the “Vibe” of the web. Google-bots continually crawl through the web looking for new content. If you don’t have new content, Google won’t visit your site. It’s thinking, “been there, done that.” Bringing fresh content to your site invites Google and other search engines to visit.
For example, when I first created this blog, I configured it so Google would not crawl my site until I was ready. Because of that, I had absolutely no visitors. Once I changed the configuration and invited Google in, my site started getting traffic. As I added more content,more traffic. On the contrary, my old blogs that I had, suffered decreased traffic as I stopped posting to them, even though Google knew about them. Why? Because Google already crawled my posts. There was nothing new for it to crawl.
Fresh Content Means More Key Words Linked To Your Site
Consider the Google-bot as Pac-Man. If there are dots, Pac-Man will keep going, eating every dot it can find. Likewise, Google-bots are hungry for new content. Every time you post something new, Google-bots sniff it out and consume it, index it and get it ready for your readers. Even further, every post that has a unique key word gives you more avenues to reach your customer. Not all customers think alike or have the same specific problem at the same time. The more problems or needs you address with your blog the more opportunities you have to reach searchers on the web.
The danger zone is when you don’t post for long periods of time. Google and readers alike will think you are not active, maybe out of business. Keep it fresh post regularly about an array of issues that concern your customers. In turn, you will have an audience that keeps coming back.
Help Your Reader Solve a Problem
Not every one of your potential customer’s has the exact same problem, vision or niche. When you write about a gamut of issues your customers may be facing, you are likely to reach more customers. We are all complex human beings just as we are. No one person has the same repertoire of experience, yet we all have similarities. You can reach more people that you can help by posting about a variety of topics. Are you a Brick-and-mortar business? Don’t underestimate the power of the blog. If you are in a big city, you can bring your customers together. Live in a rural area? If your business is on a main highway, think of all the customers you can reach as they search for businesses in your town as they are passing through.
For example, I live in rural Northern Nevada and when travelling to Southern Nevada there are many small towns that look like ghost towns. But imagine if one (and I know one) had a website and blog! Many of the businesses have signs that have been there forever and when you pass the business, you honestly cannot tell whether it was open or not, let alone actually stopping at it. But with an active blog and website, I sought out a business, a Bar-b-Que house at our halfway point. And to our surprise the food is great and the atmosphere is great! Without a blog showing me they were in business and active (due to current posts) I would have never stopped. How did I find it? “Restaurants Near Me.”
Piques Readers’ Interest About Your Business
Blogging can bring customers to you out of sheer curiosity. As I said before, I live in a smallish town and we have many small businesses and not very many chains. Every once in a while I search the web looking at the local businesses in my area to see if anything new has popped up or to check on current businesses in my town. Which ones do you think I actually visit? The ones that have an active blog and pique my interest.
Shows You are a Viable, Thriving Business
When I traveled to New York City, my husband and I searched Yelp for Gluten-Free Restaurants. We found some and since we really like to walk, decided to walk to one. When we got there, we found it was closed down. So imagine if you were the restaurant that had an active blog and had posts about gluten-free items on the menu and your commitment to serving people with food allergies safely. When I visited your website and found current posts in your blog that not only got my appetite up but also showed me your business was a viable, thriving business and that I could trust that you cared about my allergies, I would have went to your restaurant instead of wasting my time walking all that way to a closed restaurant.
Educates Your Customer
In today’s market with the mass amount of information at our fingertips, consumers are demanding information now and are not willing to wait. Why because if you don’t provide the information they want, they will go somewhere else that does with a mouse click. So imagine your potential customer visiting multiple sights that do what you do, but you don’t allow them to learn about what you do to compare to others, they may simply eliminate you without calling.
Consider this example. Jeff the small business man is frustrated as he sits in his home office at 11:30 pm trying to get out his payroll. He googles “how to speed up my payroll work.” He finds several sight that might meet his need, but your site has no way for him to educate himself and at the late hour, he cannot call. So, he clicks on to other sites. He finds one that gives him specific information about what the business does and even has a comparison chart with a competitor. Most importantly the post has embedded in it a sign up now form. Sick of his situation and ready to take action, he signs up and left you in the dust because you didn’t provide any education.
Creates Opportunity for Contact
Given the example above, you now have a website that educates Jeff about how you can help him solve his payroll problems. However, although you have lots of information, you have no way for him to contact you except a telephone number. He is interested and makes a mental note to call tomorrow during your business hours. However, once he is back at his place of business the day-to-day operations keep him from calling, therefore he never learns about your business and how you can help him solve his problem. Opportunity missed!
On the contrary if there is at least three ways that he can contact you or sign up right now, at 11:30 at night, he has started the process of solving his problem and can go about his work feeling like help is on the way, and you, have a viable lead.
Creates Opportunity for Your Potential Customers to Build Trust
Jeff may decide that he doesn’t want to commit to anything yet, but is intrigued by your helpful posts and wants to engage more with your business, so he subscribes to your email list. Now you have a viable lead that you can campaign to and reach out to (not always a sales call) to keep your business at the forefront of your potential customer’s mind and endless opportunities to prove you are trustworthy.
Creates Opportunity To “Prove Your Worth”
Having an opt-in freebie can help you build your email list but can also help you prove your worth. A worksheet, quiz or e-book can give you the opportunity to prove to your reader that you can help them in a tangible way, because you just did so with this great freebie. Now they have a positive impression of the quality of work you will provide and will be open to more ideas and engagement with you in the future.
Having a blog on your small business website is a great way to bring search engines and readers to your site regularly, giving you the ability to educate your readers and turn them into customers. A blog can show you are a viable, thriving business and reach even the passerby who might not have even thought about your business as they traveled through your town. A blog can set up introductions so you can be in contact with your readers and build trust and prove your worth that may result in a new customer.