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If you run a small business, chances are you are wondering if blogging is worth the time and effort. The short answer is a resounding YES! Blogging on a frequent basis is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to enhance your inbound marketing efforts, drive traffic to your site, and attract more perspective customers.



Statistics from Hubspot's 2014 Inbound Marketing Report highlight the importance of blogging. According to the study, 57% of companies who have a blog reported acquiring a customer from their blog. In that same study, a survey of marketers revealed that 81% of businesses say that their business blog is useful to critical for their business.


The Case for Small Business Blogs


Here are some of the most important benefits of having a blog for your business:

1.  Boost Search Engine Optimization-Search engines love fresh content. What better way to provide frequent content than with blog posts. By blogging consistently, you give Google and other search engines new content to index and you create opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to increase your visibility on search engine results pages (SERPS).

2.  Develop Relationships with Potential and Existing Customers-Blogging allows you to connect with your site visitors. This can be accomplished by asking your readers questions at the end of your posts to get the conversation going or by simply allowing comments and feedback. By reviewing and responding to readers’ comments, you can create a rapport with your audience, build trust, and gain valuable insight into what your customers are looking for.

3.  Establish Your Business as an Industry Leader-No matter how small your business is, you can build trust and clout within your industry by providing valuable, expert information in your blog posts. Over time, you become a “go to” resource for helpful, informative content, which can ultimately lead to higher customer conversion rates. This is especially important for small businesses looking to gain credibility to compete with larger companies.

4.  Connect People to Your Brand-Blog posting allows you to show a personal side of your business that perspective and current customers won’t see through outbound marketing techniques. Blogging gives others a sense of the corporate standards, vision, and personality of your company.

5.  Create Opportunities for Sharing-Every time you blog, you create an opportunity for your audience to share your blog with others. Whether they link to your blog post, tweet it, or email it to others, it’s free marketing and it further validates you as a credible business.


Insight 1: Your blog is not about you, its about the problems your ideal customers want to solve.
Many businesses get a big, fat “F” when creating their first business blog. Why? Because they blog about themselves, not their ideal customers.

We expand this concept in more depth in our digital marketing strategy and inbound marketing blogs, but to elegantly summarize:

Unfortunately, your customers don”t really care about your business, they care about solving their own problems and answering their own questions. Plain and simple.

An effective business blog is not a news feed about your company. If you would like to share news about your company, start a news feed or a newsletter, do not post it on your blog.
A blog is a place to share insights about your industry and the solutions your general products or services can provide to your ideal customers.

Step 1: Understand what your ideal customers’ problems and questions are, and how your business provides solutions.

Insight 2: There are millions of people searching for your products and services all the time. Make sure they find you.

Getting your website found really comes down to one word: Google.

It”s Google”s job to offer you the best content on the internet in relation to your search terms. If you want to rank highly in search results, you need to make it easy for Google to do their job.
First, Google needs to figure out the intention/goal of the search to provide the searcher with relevant content.

Is the searcher looking for a guide, an article, a comparison, a product? Google can deduce this by the way a searcher asks a question.

For example, if you search for “why is blogging important for business”, Google may infer you are looking to read an article about that question. If you search for “how to start a business blog”, you”re probably looking for a guide or tips about blogging. If you search for “hire a business blogger”, 
you”re looking to pay someone to blog for you. Google knows what type of content you are looking for by inferring intention through search terms.

Second, based on the intention, Google wants to provide the searcher with the best websites on the internet with relevant content.

So hows does Google decide which website is best? There are many factors, but the two big ones are: relevancy and authority. 

Relevancy: how closely does the content of a web page match the exact query of the searcher.
Example: If someone searches for, “how to start a business blog”, and your page is titled, “how to start a business blog”, and the article contains a how-to guide about starting a business blog, Google can confidently display your site as relevant to the intention of the search.

Authority: the rating Google has assigned to your website based on overall quality.
This rating consists of many factors: website design, ease of navigation, inbound links, and much more. For the purposes of this article about the importance of blogging, we will focus on one factor: “pages indexed”.

In a nutshell, the more pages you have on your website, the more authority your website receives. And guess what? Every blog post counts as a different page. So each time you publish an article, Google adds another page on your site index and bumps up your rating. Awesome.

Step 2: Take the top questions your ideal customers have and write articles that directly answer them. These questions are your keywords, atoledo and they should be long and targeted (learn more about creating a keyword strategy here). Once you have that down, blog as much as possible.

Insight 3: Give your blog readers a reason to deepen their relationship with your company.
So you”re now a master at identifying your ideal customers, understanding their problems and how they try to solve them online, and writing targeted articles that provide them direct, relevant value. So what now?

Just getting visitors to your website does not directly translate into more business. Because of this, your boss is going to start grilling you about why the time you spend blogging is valuable. And to be honest, blogging is not important for business unless you have a way for your blog visitors to convert into contacts or leads – meaning capturing names, email addresses, phone numbers, or any other type of personal or contact information.

Therefore, you need clear calls to action on your blog that ask your readers to: subscribe, download a free ebook, schedule a consultation, download a coupon, etc.
This is the link that directly connects your blogging efforts to your ability to generate leads and sales. Its all about the calls to action.

Step 3: Create calls to action on all your blog posts that are relevant to the article, giving your readers a strong incentive to convert to a contact.

Insight 4: Use the intelligence you collect from your blog to generate customers.
Once a visitor lands on your blog and becomes a contact, you can get a great idea of what type of person they are, what their problems are and how you can further solve them.

You can nurture your contacts into leads and customers by sending them more relevant content based on their now apparent wants and needs.

For example, if someone searches for “why is social media important for business”, then they subscribe, then download a free ebook about redesigning a business website, you know that they are doing research about creating a really effective digital presence.

You can then offer them the opportunity to have a free consultation about creating a digital marketing strategy. Here, you can assess their needs and see if you are a good match to do business together.
Once you get good matches, they become customers, and you can put a monetary value on your blog by seeing how many customers were generated from each post.

Step 4: Analyze the website history of your blog readers and send them more great content until they want to chat or buy something. Don’t push or annoy them, just keep providing value until they are ready. 

Knowing about these insights is essential to understand why blogging is important for business. Now you know how to make it an effective tool for your own company. Don”t forget to subscribe to get more articles about modern business and digital marketing!

From a practical standpoint, blogging just makes sense. With minimal effort and expense, you can build credibility, boost search engine rankings, increase website traffic, and foster relationships with potential and current customers. This is an opportunity no small business should pass up.

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Mithilesh Joshi