6 Ways Blogs Help Businesses of Every Size Compete Online
A static website that doesn’t regularly offer new information is the online equivalent of a headstone in a graveyard. No matter how fancy or attractive its design, it basically just features your name in fancy letters and shows a list of what you can do. A fixed website can’t help you actively compete in today’s digital landscape the way it did way back in 1999.
Adding a blog and keeping it updated with useful posts is how small businesses stay relevant and competitive online. Businesses with blogs earn 67% more leads than those without, which is one reason marketers consistently rank blog posts as one of the most important forms of content for businesses.
New blog posts draw interested eyeballs toward your website, attracting new customers and ultimately increasing sales. Research shows 61% of consumers have made a purchase based on a #blog post. Click To Tweet
Also, 70% of consumers learn about a company through articles rather than ads.
That’s a lot of consumers relying on blogs. Many of them are undoubtedly your customers.
A couple caveats for maintaining a healthy blog must be kept in mind: Blog posts must be relevant to your customers’ interests, and they must be published consistently. Keep reading to find out why along with six more ways regularly creating fresh blog posts can help your business stay out of the online graveyard.
1. Blogs earn new business by educating and entertaining customers.
People zip past TV commercials. They block online ads and delete emails without reading them. They generally don’t call up a company’s sales department and ask to be pitched to.
When people want to find out about something, they go online to learn. Online research almost always involves reading blogs. Almost half (47%) of consumers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
Blogs give people information they actually want.
People want answers. They want solutions. The want to be entertained. Blog posts are written specifically for your customers to educate, inform and delight them.
A HVAC company can write blog posts showing how to check a house for air leaks or illustrating ways to conserve energy. A restaurant can post holiday recipes. A tax consultant can write about how a new law affects homeowners. Every business can write about trends and fundamentals of their industry.
Don’t be afraid to lighten up and add humor to entertain your audience. Surveys of over 12,000 consumers worldwide reveal that 70% think humor makes a company more relatable, and “making people laugh” is the top reason people share online content.
2. Nothing Says “I Care” Like a Blog Post.
Many of your blog posts will be directly related to your business, but blogging also gives you a chance to show you care about more than simply selling your products or services.
Blogs give you an online space to promote a cause and show you care about a variety of interests. The HVAC company can write about forest conservation efforts around the world. A law firm could write about how TV violence affects crime rates. A pet store could post about the need to create more parks in the community.
The possibilities are endless. Once you’ve established a blog on your website, you’ve given yourself a voice in the world. Click To Tweet It’s a human voice that people can relate to. It shows there is a real person who cares behind the company’s name.
3. Your blog differentiates you from the competition.
A static website lists the same services or products as every other business in your industry. Very little can truly differentiate your business from all the others without a blog giving you a place to talk with and relate to your customers.
Your blog is a place to demonstrate what makes you unique – and better – than others in your industry. If you’re staying true to your mission and educating others about issues that matter to them, it guarantees your blog will be different from your competitors’ blogs.
Your blog will be different because you’re different. Revealing your human side through your blog allows people to feel a real connection with your business that can’t be duplicated by other businesses. When your writing resonates with readers, you forge a genuine connection with them that builds trust.
4. A Blog Establishes Credibility.
A static website doesn’t do much to showcase the depth of your skills or the breadth of your abilities. A blog gives you the opportunity to discuss the latest news, developments and insights in your industry while also highlighting your knowledge and experience.
People learn they can trust your business because you show through your posts you know what you’re talking about.
A word of caution: Having a blog with the last post dated two years ago is perhaps worse than no blog at all. The internet is riddled with outdated websites for businesses that went belly up years ago. If your last post is outdated, it looks like you belong to that tribe. That’s not an association you want people to make.
Recent blog posts show people you are active and ready to engage. They show you’re listening and you care. Blogs are a powerful communication tool. Not using a blog is like whispering your sales pitch next to competitors who are using megaphones.
5. Consistently Producing Fresh Content is Great for SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you make your website found before all the others online. Using relevant keywords and earning backlinks are couple of the many factors that affect search engine rankings.
Every new blog post is another opportunity to use relevant keywords, especially in headers, titles and tags. Search engines match keywords to people’s search queries. The more quality content your site possesses that use keywords your customers search for, the higher it will rank in search results.
Your web pages and posts don’t show up in search results until Google indexes them. Websites with blogs have up to 434% more indexed pages than those without.
Google and other search engines are always hungry for new content. That’s why it’s so important to continue publishing new posts on a regular basis. As you do, you are letting Google know you are a relevant business with helpful information.
For most small businesses, “a regular basis” may range from twice a week to once a month. Blogs are still helpful even if you only post once a month. (They’re just not as helpful as posting more often.) Older posts can be easily updated with new information and republished, which efficiently increases the ROI.
Quality also matters. If you are adding information that benefits other people and businesses, they will link to your posts on their sites. These are called backlinks, and they are a huge factor for boosting your rankings.
6. Engaged Readers Share Posts and Attract More Site Visitors.
If your online ad gets 100,000 people to visit your website, but none of them make any effort to engage with you in any way, the only thing you’ve accomplished is lightening your wallet.
Blogging is a proven way to draw the people who are actually interested in your products or services to your site.
People who find helpful information are motivated to share it with others. Sixty-four percent of people regularly share content with others.
Interesting, useful blog posts get shared with family and friends who then also learn about your business. People who read your posts that other people share are more likely to become paying customers because they came to you on their own.
Your business is more than just a name and list of services. Your website should do more for you than just look like an online epitaph. Establishing a blog and regularly publishing fresh, high-quality content is how you prove your value to customers and make your website work for you. Blogs breathe new life into websites!
If you’re worried about being unable to write and keep up with a blog on your own, read my article Why You’re Not the Best Writer for Your Website to see how hiring a copywriter can help.
Have you recently started a blog on your small business website? If so, have you seen any of these benefits? If you’re thinking about starting a blog but haven’t made the leap, what’s holding you back? Please use the comments section below to let me know what you think about blogging for your business. I love hearing from readers!