Almost every business needs a blog. Whilst many large businesses have mastered and continuously use blogs to improve their online presence, small businesses often struggle to find the time (and motivation) to dedicate to a blog. If you want to improve your website presence, engage visitors and build your database, blogging should be very high up your priority list!
Let’s narrow it down to the top four reasons why blogging is vital to your business:
- Blogs drive traffic to your website
- Blogs help to improve your SEO and SERP
- They can help position your business as a credible authority & industry leader
- Allows you to create and maintain customer relationships
Blogs help drive traffic to your website
Let’s highlight the breadth of the internet, the opportunity and the extent of competition. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that there were around 14.7 million internet subscribers at the end of June 2018. Note the use of the word “subscribers” – meaning people who pay for an internet plan. The actual number of internet users in Australia is reported to be almost 20.7 million. In Australia, eBay had a whopping 404.67 million visitors in just 6 months (between January and June 2018), JB Hifi came in at just over 74 million, followed by Bunnings (68.87m) and Woolworths (53.65m). These numbers are incredible, and indicate just how much time we spend online.
So why am I sharing these numbers with you? Ultimately it is to prove just how prolific Australian’s are with internet usage. We spend a massive amount of time on the internet each and every day – using pretty much any device we can lay our hands on. Blogging can be an inexpensive way to attract traffic to a website as a result of improvements in search engine ranking, social media sharing, etc. In turn, this increase in website traffic can improve the inbound marketing efforts you are running, and get a lot of prospective customers to your website.
Sensis reports that 79% of people now use social media – in fact, 94% of social media users are active on Facebook with an average user spending around 10 hours per week on the site! Instagram also sees a large amount of users at 46%. The simple task of sharing blogs to your social media channels will allow you to leverage avid social users and drastically increase the potential to attract visitors to your website.
Improves Search Engine Optimization
The truth will always remain that search engines like Google are hungry for fresh content. For your website to be ranked highly in searches, it simply must have fresh content. Whilst content takes many forms (pages, products, etc), adding relevant blog posts on a regular basis is one of the easiest and most cost effective methods of adding fresh content. But – yes, there is a but – there is absolutely no point in adding content to your website if it is not relevant, nor if it is not search engine optimized and include your keywords.
There are a huge number of websites vying for the number one spot on search engines, meaning that there must be something special about your content. How do websites achieve first page listings? They have continuously and consistently used search engine optimization tactics throughout their website and online channels, including their blog posts.
In its most basic form, SEO is lacing your blog post with keywords which are simply those words that internet users usually search for on a topic, product or service. When someone searches for that topic, the search engine trawls the internet for the best content that includes those keywords, and then showcases the results by relevance and quality.
It is also important to note that increasingly shoppers are turning to online research prior to making a purchase decision – even to the point of going online whilst browsing in store.
82% of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they are about to make in-store…. And 45% read reviews before making a purchase – Forbes
Your website should not only include detailed product descriptions, reviews and testimonials, but also content (like articles and blogs) that will improve your site’s search engine ranking for your products/services. So – if Joe types in “best price for 65 inch TV” whilst standing in JB Hi Fi looking at TVs, your website comes up first!
A quick insight into keywords
The first thing you must do is find out what keywords are relevant to your brand, the products/services you offer and the blog post you are writing. Tools such as Google’s keyword planner, SEM Rush, Uber Suggest and KW Finder can all help with this. Once you have identified your keywords, include them appropriately in your blog post, ensuring they flow naturally within the content of the article.
Demonstrate credibility and industry authority
Regardless of your business type, blogs allow you the opportunity to demonstrate both credibility and industry authority. Writing blogs on any topic relevant to your business in an informed and authentic way will not only bolster your search engine rankings, but also give visitors the opportunity to see your expertise and knowledge in your area. The result of this is that people are more likely to buy products and services from those businesses that seem to be an industry leader, whether the business is big or small.
Inclusion of an extensive library of articles and resources supports the various logos for associations, memberships and certifications undoubtedly showcased on your website. Additionally, making some of this content only accessible after an email address has been provided is a great way to build your database too!
Create and Maintain Relationships
Blogs provide an opportunity for your brand to engage with visitors and deepen the connection with your customers and prospects. Customers like to be informed, and blogs allow the opportunity for you to educate your visitors and also build trust as a reliable source of information. Allowing your visitors to comment and interact with you via your website is equally important.
It is important to remember that blogs should not be used in isolation, but rather form a part of a complete inbound marketing strategy. Essentially, inbound marketing is made up of four key steps – attracting visitors (using blogs and other content), converting those visitors into leads, closing the sale and then delighting the customers thereafter.
Less than 4% of website visitors are ready to convert – Monetate
People often start browsing and researching opportunities online well before they are ready to commit. They may not even know if they are serious about selling their home or not.
This is where inbound sales and marketing comes into play. It’s all about nurturing and building relationships, so when the visitor is ready to make a decision (aka convert) your business is top of mind!