We encourage every client we work with at Webolutions to have a blog on their website and publish content on a regular basis. This recommendation is sometimes met with a certain amount anxiety and uncertainty. What should I say about my business? How often do I need to do it? Why is this important?
Blogging gives you and your business an easy and virtually free way to publish content that tells your story and make it available to the world. We reviewed easy ways to develop your content marketing strategy last month. Let’s look at why having a blog is a smart move for your business website.
It’s your homebase. Your blog should become the main place you publish any new content. Share a link to your blog on your Facebook page or your eNewsletter and send that traffic back to your site. This practice will bring more visitors to your site and create a searchable resource of content your readers can use long after an eNewsletter has been deleted from their inbox.
Site growth. One of the measurements search engines use to determine your placement in search queries is the size of your site. A 200 page website with great content will often be given a higher placement in search results compared to a two page website that also has good content on the same topic. If you publish only two blog posts each month, in five years you will have grown your site by 120 pages.
It’s your own publishing platform. You probably have more to talk about that you realize. The award you just won from the industry trade group you’ve been a part of for years is a great topic for a blog post. Your donation to a local charity to help them purchase some new equipment they’ve needed is another perfect blog post. Did you just return from a conference? Take an hour and write a recap of the sessions you attended with your key takeaways and you’ve got a blog post that demonstrates your insider knowledge and expertise.
Fresh and dynamic content. Another consideration used by search engines is the age of your content. The world is changing at a remarkably fast pace and search engines look for new content on your site as a sign you and your business are growing and changing right along with your industry. For example, you may have written a cutting-edge whitepaper on social media five years ago that talked about MySpace with a brief mention of an upstart social networking site for college students called Facebook. A blog would give your business a channel to comment and track the growth of Facebook as they overtook MySpace and demonstrate your evolving social media knowledge.
Building relationships. A blog gives you ways to add value to your readers’ lives without having to be all business. If you run a golf course, add a section to your blog with wedding planning tips to talk to all of the brides in your area looking for a great outdoor wedding venue. A plumbing company could talk about home décor ideas in addition to the latest in plumbing technology to drive home how their business makes clients’ homes a happier place. A kitchen remodeling company that offers a selection of great party planning instructions and recipes will give their clients a fun reason to show off their new kitchen to their family and friends.
So where should you get started? If a blog isn’t a current component of your existing website, look into what it would take to add one. Where the blog is located is an important decision. It’s best to make it a sub-directory of your site (www.yoursite.com/blog) instead of creating a separate entity if you can. This will give your main domain name credit for all of the blog pages you produce.
The next thing to do is set a recurring appointment on your calendar to spend some time reading and staying up-to-date with other blogs in your area to understand what is currently being published. This appointment will also make creating content something you’re doing on a regular basis. It will get easier if you get into a “groove” and you’ll start to get a feel for what topics make the most sense for your business. Soon, you’ll be blogging and published like a pro.