When we’re planning a new website for a client, the usual question comes up.
Us: “You want to include a blog, right?”
Client: “No, we’re not the type of business that really needs a blog.”
Wait, what? When we hear this answer, it always makes us pause.
Because in our marketing minds, EVERY small business needs a blog.
Not convinced? Read on to learn why blogs are still good for business.
Isn’t blogging dead?
Far from it. Yes, it has changed, but blogging is still popular and very relevant. But it’s no longer the only channel getting attention. Now it competes with social media, podcasts, video and even self-publishing.
It’s also a big part of the business marketing toolkit. So much so that 92% of content marketers use blogging in their marketing strategy (SEMRush, 2021).
But the biggest selling point is that companies that blog get more visitors to their websites and 67% more leads per month (SEMRush). Let’s break down how this happens.
Why bother with a blog for a small business?
To get found on Google
Site visitors aren’t the only ones reading your blog posts. Google is too. The big G sends its computer bots to go through all of your site pages. If it finds new posts, it’s a sign your site is active and updated – both good things in Google’s eyes.
The more activity it sees with new posts and links, the more likely that Google will rank your site higher in searches. And that, my business friends, is how you get more visitors (and prospects) to your website.
To answer questions & get more attention
“How much does a fiberglass pool cost?”
That question is part of a now-famous example of how blogging revived a business.
Marcus Sheridan, the owner of a pool company in Virginia, was in danger of losing his business after the last recession. He had to cut all of his advertising, so tried a free company blog instead.
In this blog, he answered questions pool companies rarely answer online. And it worked. His business appeared at the top of local searches for questions like: “How much does a fiberglass pool cost?” and “What are the problems and issues with fiberglass pools?” This brought him a lot of attention.
His company is now a multi-million dollar business and he still updates the original post that started it all.
And guess what? Even though this success story happened in 2013 and appeared in the New York Times, there are still many business owners today who are hesitant to discuss prices online.
Blogging with exact pricing isn’t even necessary. You can offer a price range. As Marcus said to the NY Times, “Google’s search engine doesn’t really care if we answer the question. It’s just looking for companies that are willing to address the question.”
To showcase your expertise
No one knows your product or service like you do. Showcasing your knowledge and experience online will tell readers they can trust you as an expert who provides helpful advice.
You may have heard the saying: People like to do business with those they know, like and trust. Building that trust online is the first step to gaining their business.
To promote your business
Social media, emails, videos—there are a variety of ways to promote your business. Your blog can act as the centerpiece for them all.
Think about it… when you post a message on Facebook, where do you link to? Your home page? Every time? If fans see the same link often, they won’t click. Same thing with email.
But a title like “New color trends for home kitchens” or “How to get the most out of working with your contractor” might entice them to click and learn more. Getting that click is half the battle.
Overall, it’s much easier to promote your product or service in a non-salesy way in a blog post. It can be part of an educational article, for example, or in how-to tips. And once it’s on the blog, you’re free to share it in various ways (and multiple times) on social, in emails, on podcasts, videos, etc. The sky’s the limit.
To help you sell
One client, a consultant, had mini case studies on his blog. Every time he sent out a proposal to a new prospect, he also sent a link with a message, “Here’s an example of what we did for a business in a similar industry.”
The case study often helped win the business as much as the proposal.
This is to show you that a blog doesn’t have to focus solely on educational articles. It can include case studies, customer stories, your company history, Q&A, new product/service announcements and even video or photo showcases. Any content that can help you educate and promote can be a great candidate for your blog.
While blogging is still very relevant, the key to using it today is to focus on quality over quantity.
Remember, this is a long-term strategy. And while our devices and the internet might change in a few years, the questions we ask about products and services won’t. Make sure you’re answering those questions and consistently updating your site.
Need help starting a blog or keeping it running? Send us a message.