Small business owners are always wondering about the necessity of running a blog parallel to their website. Many such entrepreneurs have little time and skill to devote towards the generation of high-quality content, which is why they tend to overlook the importance of blogging. However, content publication and marketing is a big part of building an online business, and this article examines a few benefits that can be reaped from the practice.
Regular publication of high-quality, industry-relevant content can help in lead generation, improvement in search visibility, and ultimate sales for all business with an online presence. However, other than just having a blog, where to have the blog is just as important a consideration to make.
Must I Have My Blog Under My Official Business Site?
The short answer is yes; the longer answer will be covered in detail with the benefits outlined in the coming paragraphs. You will see that hosting your blog under a different site denies you certain benefits. Some businesses prefer to use free blogging platforms like WordPress or Weebly because of the simplicity in operation and cost.
It is better to have your blog as part of your website – the can and should be one in the same. (Read “Blog Vs. Website” for a more detailed understanding of the differences.)
Here Are Some Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business
Search Traffic Increase
Blogging, when considered as a function of search engine rankings, is like fishing: if you land more hooks in the water, you’re more likely to catch something. Similarly, by increasing content on your website, more of your pages will be indexed in search results pages. Therefore, your organic search visibility will increase, and it will also increase site traffic.
Each new page that is published is equivalent to dropping another fishing line into the water. You are providing your target market with more opportunities to interact with your brand, so you’ll interact with more of those within your target market. With more blog posts, you increase your chances of ranking for your target keywords.
If you want to personalize your brand, that is, show your brand in a more personal light, a blog post can serve you better than your normal website content e.g. the about us page or homepage. On your blog, you can address your customers’ issues and concerns in a more personal way as well as communicate to prospects what you are excited about regarding the business.
You can use your blog to give the business and your employees’ character, allowing your users to experience you in a way that normal website content cannot. In time, you’ll build awareness, trust and likeability for your brand.
Supplementing Your Social Media Strategy
Without unique, high-quality content to share, it is very difficult to maintain a vibrant social media strategy. Sure, you can share other people’s content that is useful for your social media following, but isn’t it better to use that chance to direct people to your own brand using your own content?
When you share content on social media, you’re increasing direct traffic to your site and building awareness about what your brand is and what you do. This generates actual leads, something that is extremely difficult without timely, relevant, high-quality content.
You can also use content shared on your blog posts to make out newsletters to send to your email subscribers. Then, you can direct them back to your site for more information. This fortifies your email marketing strategy by providing timely content to share.
Building Thought Leadership And Authority
You can use your blog as one of the most effective tools to distinguish yourself both to search engines and to your target audience as an expert and authority in your industry. This provides a chance for you to share your insights and information on important matters affecting your industry.
As you share this information in a timely way, your target will slowly build their trust in you as the source of important information in your field, and they will regularly turn to you to find out what you have to say on various happenings. Search engines will in turn elevate you on results pages, giving you a chance to influence more traffic and gain more leads and conversions.
Driving Higher Conversions
Keeping a regularly updated blog tells your clients and prospective buyers that you are running an active business, and you should put effort to ensure it is properly maintained. In fact, if you cannot keep your blog up-to-date by posting regularly, you may as well dispense with the idea altogether.
Regular high-quality relevant content fosters familiarity, trust and eventually brand loyalty, which will improve your conversion rates and revenue as a result. Research has shown that businesses which run active blogs enjoy better ROI, by as much as 13 times considered year on year for businesses for which blog maintenance is a priority.
Strategy For Inbound Linking
Your inbound link profile contributes directly to search engine ranking and traffic. It is very hard to attract high-quality links if you don’t have a blog where you continually publish good content. People in your field will be looking for great content, and if you don’t have this, then what would they be linking to?
Add new content that doesn’t exist anywhere else on the web to provide a resource for bloggers, authors, journalists, columnists and other contributors to quote. They shall then link to you when they cite your content within their articles. Such links boost your SEO profile and are also a useful source of referral traffic.
Long-Tail Query Ranking
Small businesses have a more difficult time gaining good ranks for short-tail keywords because the bigger market players in their niches target these keywords. However, without blog content, it’s also hard to rank for long-tail keywords because only through blog content can you naturally represent such keywords, hence land in organic searches for queries with related terms.
Blogging also helps you target long-tail queries since these can be used on your titles. These are more preferable because, while they attract less traffic, the high specificity usually means better conversion with the traffic attracted in this way.
Giving your own unique insights through blogging is a very useful way to naturally build brand identity and authority. This way, you can naturally build your traffic, leads and conversions as well as interact with your audience on a more meaningful level. Blogging also boosts your other online marketing strategies and comes cheaper for small businesses that face budgetary constraints.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guest post by Lalit Sharma, an SEO consultant who runs an SEO house called Ranking By SEO. He is specialized in link building and other SEO related activities. You can also find him on Twitter, Google+ and his personal blog.