Why blog? Has anyone ever explained in simple English why blogging is good for your small business?
Last night I had a meeting with a small business owner who has just set up a new website, which included WordPress blog.
He had been correctly told the following by his web designer, marketing professionals and a copywriter that:-
- Blogging is important,
- Blogging is essential,
- Blogging will increase visitor numbers to your site,
- Blog posts will get you more customers.
One question burning inside was why blog?
What he wasn’t told !
It was never explained to him how to achieve the above list of benefits. He was sent links explaining what I consider semi-professional instructions on more advanced blogging, not entry level information that was imperative to assist him.
Key parts of blogs
Most blogs are very similar and have the same core components, some have more; but they are not initially important for first time bloggers
Title – Probably the most important part, this should be relevant to the whole post and include the main keywords.
Content Area – This is where the whole document is written. It enables you to format text and add pictures, very similar to Word or most word processors.
Categories – These provide the option to add your article to existing categories; or create a new one. Categories enable visitors to easily find other related information by clicking the category link on your page.
Tags – Tags are similar to categories but are usually one word rather than a phrase, like categories these are clickable to find related information
The main focus was how will blogging help my company?
As I stated his website was a professional representation of his company, ideally optimised for people searching for his core services and products. The blog is an extension of his site, I explained blogging in terms of example posts and how they would get more search engine visitors.
Target More Locations
Most websites have products and business address on them and will perform well when searching for Product in Town or County. To expand your audience you should include in your blog details of jobs, sales or installations in other places that you don’t mind supplying to. All have to do is describe your service, add photos if possible and mention the place name in the title and text.
Modifications or Bespoke Variations
Sometimes your products are used for more unusual purposes or have bespoke modifications, if you blog about what you did and why, you may gain new customers looking for something similar. You cannot put everything on your product or services page, this blog post is all about the differences.
Most companies pride themselves in supplying quality products, thus mentioning things like cheap in the main site is counter productive to your company. No one likes cheap – much better cost effective, or low cost. I suggested creating an article on the pitfalls of purchasing a cheap version of his product, this will then appear when potential customers are searching for cheap product without saying your product is cheap.
On this post you should feature some of your lowest cost products with prices. The site visitor’s definition of cheap may match your pricing, or they may be tempted to up their purchasing budget after reading your article on why not to buy cheap.
You may have other ideas for posts on your blog depending on your business. If you blog as though you were speaking more natural words and phrases (the words and phrases you hear and use every day) it will be included in your content, and will lead to 2 things
- You will receive visitors from searches you have never targeted. You will naturally use more descriptive words when writing like you speak. But when writing a product specification for your main site it is usually more formal/technical.
- People reading your blog will recognise there is an actual person writing this, who knows his stuff and works for your company. Natural blogging can create a good rapport with potential customers before you have even spoke to them. Copy writers are good, but often the natural touch will seal the deal.
Link bait is when you create an article purposely for people to share or link to. These are often loosely related to your niche knowledge and often humorous, off the wall or graphical.
A made up example of this could be a computer company creates an article on the 10 best computer chairs, the chairs will be reviewed on all merits and have an honest opinion.
Then the post would be sent to companies that supply these chairs, especially number 1 chair. These suppliers are likely to share your blog on their large social networks and if you’re lucky will link to your blog.
But how will this help my site?
After understanding how blog posts will help you to potentially get visitors from a broader range of searches, the question is how will this help my main site get visitors?
- Because you are now creating articles related to your main product or service, and will continue to do so. Search engines will identify you as an authority/specialist/guru in relation to your main products or services. This can lead to increased performance in search for searches related to you.
- Blog posts are often more interesting or informative than your main site pages, which will lead to more people linking to, or sharing your posts. You should always share your posts on the social networks you use, this can lead to a cascade of sharing, possibly reaching a new customer or someone who links back to your post. Social network shares may also influence your search position and links from other sites defiantly do. So if your blog gets your site shared or linked this will benefit your whole website.
- As your blog grows, some posts will acquire links some will not, but because all pages are somehow linked the popular posts this will pass authority to connected pages. Every page is connected to your main site pages and a few categories or tags. This means the main pages in your site navigation will always gain authority from every post. Increasing authority will help your main pages rank in search, even without people linking to your main pages.
- Blogs can accept comments on each article, these should be monitored. You will often get good feedback, people sharing new knowledge with you and the opportunity to build relationships by answering questions via comments. Some comments or questions on your blog can answer the question, what should I blog about next?
Why Blog ? Conclusion
Blogging is important for most websites, it should be done naturally with knowledgeable people sharing their knowledge. You may not be a journalist, good with spelling or writing but using a word processor with spelling and grammar checker you can create some unique, informative content. Ask as colleague to proof read, I always ask my brother as he loves to wind me up when finding fault, but I always get a good perspective.
You should only blog…
- About things you know.
- If you do not have time, never post a rushed blog for the sake of it
- When you have something new to say.
- When you’re in the mood, it shouldn’t be a chore.
Reviewing Blog Performance
You should also keep an eye on your visitor statistics, if you haven’t got a web stats program I usually use Google Analytics WEBSITE (Just decided on my next article, putting Analytics on your blog) you can then find out…
- Which of your posts were popular,
- Which posts generate new visitors from search engines,
- And many other useful pieces of visitor information.
You should also install the SEOMOZ toolbar DOWNLOAD. Once installed, if you visit each post, the toolbar will let you know if there are any links to the post. If you click on the links open site explorer will open and give you details of the links to this page.
After reviewing the stats for each page, and links to each post, you can use your judgement to see which of your posts performed better. This can help you make decisions on what to write about in future and the style of posts that work for you.
GOOD LUCK AND GOOD BLOGGING
This why blog article was written by us but checked by Rapier Public Relations for general quality, readability and how we got the message out. For more information about Rapier see their website below.