The benefits of a blog to small businesses
More and more frequently businesses are using blog posts to convey information to their customers. We’re doing it right now in fact – how very meta. From increasing SEO to improving brand awareness there are many benefits of running a business blog.
A primary reason companies start a blog is to benefit from the organic traffic that comes with one. Blog posts are a great way for you to produce content that has been optimised for search engines. A blog post carefully created with search terms in mind can lead to visits to your website from people searching for content about that topic. This increases brand exposure and awareness.
Posting blogs also increases the number of indexed pages on your website, and more indexed pages means more opportunities for search engines to guide people to your website.
After you’ve got people on to your site through the blog post, you’ll want a next step. You can use blog posts just as a way to improve brand awareness, or as a more indirect method of selling a product, or as a way of generating leads. If you’ve got a consumer to read your blog post – be that through a search engine or social media – then it’s suggested that you make that visit count.
Including a lead-generating call-to-action somewhere within the blog post or the design of the blog itself helps you get something out of that visitor. You can encourage them to sign up to newsletters or mailing lists by giving them something in return. Getting an email address means that they become a more overt sales target further down the line, and a blog is a good way of targeting for that.
If you start to produce optimised, shareable content that gets a good amount of traffic to your site then you can use this traffic data to create personas of your customers. There are various analytics tools (we use Google Analytics) that will help you build customer profiles from user data. This can help you target your content marketing, and your products to your audience. If you see that your audience is mainly male, or mostly mid-30s, then there are certain steps you can take to tailor your content towards these personas.
Google Analytics lets you see the age, gender, location, and even interests of your audience. If you see that your audience is interested in technology, then a blog post on technology is likely to result in better viewing figures.
Authority and trust
However, it’s important to remember that your blog is a representation of your business, and so you must keep your blog posts relevant to your field. Google rewards results from websites that are seen as being an ‘authority’ on the subject of the search term. For example, you won’t find any film reviews on the Fasthosts blog even though 5% of our audience are classified as ‘movie lovers’ by Google demographics. Instead, we post blogs about technology, because we’re a technology company.
Becoming an authority on a subject is beneficial for search results, but also beneficial for sales. Say a Google user searches for ‘how does a compass work’ and your company – that happens to sell compasses – has produced a perfect blog post that answers that question, is optimised for the search term, and is built on an authority because your business sells compasses.
‘How does a compass work’ gets a surprising 4400 searches per month, and your blog answers all of those questions. And from then on, if that searcher wants to buy a compass, then they’ll have it in their mind that your company sells compasses, so you’re the first place they’ll go.
A blog gives you another place to market your new products. The design of your website may not allow for much room for product description, but on your blog you can go into as much detail as you want. You can describe the individual features and benefits of your projects, that you may not have had space for on your website.
Small businesses are increasingly understanding the benefit of a social media presence, and a blog goes hand-in-hand with that. Being active on social media creates a two-way conversation between a business and its customers, it can be used as a way of providing support, marketing, and as a way of humanising your brand. Sharing your blog posts on social media increases this conversation.
A blog is becoming a vital component to the growth of small businesses, and a properly implemented one can lead to more traffic, more customers, and more sales. Consider completing your blog with a .blog domain name.