written by Jasmin Oraa
The challenges facing small businesses today are serious and hard to ignore. So much more for those who are just starting up and are considered new players. They are pressed for time, resources, and people that they tend to do away with strategies that they do not see as equally important, thus hurting their chances to compete with other small players or even the big ones.
This sight is fairly common that maybe even you could be in a similar situation right now, it’s just that you haven’t noticed it. YES, YOU! – you who maybe constantly wondering why other small businesses are attracting more customers and traffic to their sites. You who may have already been comforted by the thought that your competitors might be working on a bigger budget than yours, to later find out that all this time – they are just simply blogging!
Why Create A Blog?
1) It Can Help Boost Your Site Ranking
A blog, as a form of content, helps with search engine optimization (SEO). And as you might have heard through the expert’s grapevine, yes, search engine rankings care a lot about quality content. Oh – and keywords! No one dares forget the importance of keywords.
How search engines’ algorithm works is that it crawls the web and builds an index, in order to come up with a ranked list of websites that they determined as the most relevant for the search user. But in order to be relevant, using specific and targeted keywords for your blogs is the key, otherwise it will be hard for search engines like Google to find you. Keep in mind then to use the language that your target audience speaks when composing a blog.
However, relevance, does not only rely on keywords alone but also on how current your website is. And what better way to keep your site fresh and up-to-date than by blogging?
Google search engine has an algorithm called Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) which checks for spikes of activity or current trends that could signify that a content is relevant and therefore is worthy to be ranked higher. If this is the case, you should be aware of what people are talking about and see if this is something that can be linked to your business.
Do note however that noise eventually dies down decreasing your content’s relevance over time, so ensure to balance writing trending content topics with compounding posts or evergreeen articles that are long lasting and not time-bound.
The image below shows the interest over time results for the search term ‘content marketing’ using Google Trends tool. The graph shows an upward trend indicating that there is an increasing interest for this specific topic, giving you an idea that this topic is an evergreen one.
Test Google Trends yourself to see what interest your industry.
In addition, when writing blogs you are actually building pages for your site. And as you build more pages, you are actually increasing your chances to be found and rank higher on search engines. It’s the same kind of scenario when engaging in networking, because you hand out your business cards to people you meet to help get your name out there as much as you can – with the goal of getting more and more referrals.
And applying this to the marketing scenario, one more blog means one more indexed page which elicits one more opportunity to earn those quality backlinks and to rank for a keyword.
2) It Drives Traffic to Your Website
Unless you are already a well-known brand or that the website visitor is already an existing customer, then there would be no reason for someone to search for your business name and go directly to your site. There should somehow be a mechanism set up where people can stumble upon your site and find out what your company has to offer, without feeling like they’ve been lured into a marketing trap.
And a blog is one of the best mechanisms to get people to actually visit your site. In fact, based on statistics, companies that blog get 55% more website visitors and 97% more inbound links. This is because of the fact that people are constantly seeking for answers on the internet and a blog is one of the most reliable mediums where their specific questions get answered.Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors and 97% more inbound links.Click To Tweet
In the image above from HubSpot, you can see that once companies have published 401+ blog posts in total, the inbound traffic to their website will literally double.
With blogs, people will have more reason to check your site out and to read what you have to say about a certain topic. And if your content contains an original idea and is seen as a valuable resource, then blog writers will refer to your article through inbound links and readers will share your content which can help increase your site visitors.
3) It Helps with Lead Generation
As blogs drive more traffic to your site, it also helps in increasing your leads. Leads, as a marketing term, refers to potential contacts – whether an individual or an organization who shows interest on your products or services. Statistics has shown that small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that don’t.
This graph below shows how an increase in Google indexed pages (due to increased website content, e.g. blogs) contributes to an increase in monthly leads.
Image Source: HubSpot
Do note that companies are able to secure leads through blogs by adopting these practices:
- Using effective and relatable call-to-actions (CTAs) in the body of your blog post.
- Providing perks or rewards when signing up for a newsletter or subscribing to a membership. (ex: free guide, discounts etc.)
- Offering readers exclusive content regarding the blog topic.
- Giving free trials for a downloadable product.
Even if your blog topic doesn’t directly promote your specific brand name, always still find an opportunity to get your site visitor’s contact information as it will help you identify and create your company’s buyer persona, in order to streamline and direct your efforts to the ones that really matters the most.
4) It Helps Increase Conversion Rate
As more people are drawn to your site and converted to leads, the higher the probability of increasing your customer base as well. In fact 57% of companies that blog have acquired a customer from their blog, and in the U.S., 61% of their online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. And if these figures does not get you scrambling to your feet and get your blog rolling, then nothing will.
The truth of the matter is, in today’s modern times, more and more people are turning to information and contents online to learn more about a product. And as blogs provide links and CTAs with helpful testimonials, recommendations, irresistible offers, free trials, guarantees, and a sense of urgency to boot, the task of ‘saying no’ has become harder and harder than it has ever been.
5) It Shows Your Company’s Credibility and Expertise
As a business owner, it is not the number of employees or customers you have or the amount of money that you can invest in your business that makes you an expert or a ‘thought-leader’ in your field, but it is the extent of information and knowledge that you can impart to your consumers. Basically, you have to be aware of the important subject matters that your industry is in, the usual pain points that your potential consumers have and the possible solutions that you can offer them.
And this is how blogging comes into play. Blogs will serve as the voice of your company and the medium for which one can show his authority and expertise. And although a lot of work has to be put into it in order to come up with a blog, one cannot deny how this can also benefit your company as it will keep you abreast of the latest trends, news and changes within your industry and therefore will make you stay competitive in your field. Don’t worry about all the efforts you have to put in because blogging comes with a hefty reward.
As a matter of fact, statistics show that 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading a custom content on its site and that 81% of U.S. online consumers trust information and advice from blogs.
For these reasons small businesses like yourself should consider reputation-building an utmost importance in order to gain the trust and confidence of your potential customers.
6) It Promotes Interaction and Engagement
A blog humanizes your brand and your website, and also helps support your social media presence. With something relevant and valuable to post – it helps maintain and even increase your engagement with your followers. At the same time, social media also helps distribute your blog content to the world, widening its reach and visibility, and thus getting more people to visit your website!
Blogging is also a great way to keep your customers informed and for them to have a way of interacting with you. It is also a way for you to have a content for your email newsletter and get potential leads to sign up. In fact, among those who use e-mail marketing, companies that blog get twice as much traffic from their email than those who don’t.
This is best illustrated by the graph below.
Image Source: HubSpot
But do not just interact solely with your followers and customers, also try to practice networking and interact with fellow bloggers. You can interact with them by following their social media accounts, commenting on some of their blog posts, and sharing and linking some of their works. This is a good way of getting them to notice you and if you are lucky enough, they might even return the favor and share your blogs to their followers too. Remember, having a social media influencer or a big player share your work is an important factor of having one’s work go viral.
7) It Can Be A Good Marketing Research Tool
The common practice applied to every closing of a blog post is to encourage feedbacks and comments from readers regarding the blog topic. This is not just a way to interact with them but also to get valuable insights from them without the need of survey forms or polls. Through blogs, readers can freely express their opinions and provide recommendation which can be very helpful for your business.
In addition, you will be able to gauge on what pages that people are viewing the most, what blog topics people read and share the most and which has the most interaction – giving you an idea where your potential customers’ interest lies.
Blogging and content marketing will truly work wonders for your small business. Our company continues to benefit from it and so does many others. Start blogging now and reap the rewards that comes with it.
Do you see any other advantages of blogging for your business? Let us know by commenting below.