When looking for a product or service, my first plan of attack is usually to take to the Internet. I type in a few keywords and search for nearby businesses that best fit my needs. Instead of visiting every store on the map, I prefer to browse their websites to see which one I like the best, and even if it is a semi-conscious decision, I can usually tell if I will patronize a business within a minute of visiting its website.
I am not alone in this.
Businesses face the difficult task of grabbing and keeping customers’ attention every day. They also need to be visible in search results to even be considered as an option. While many factors go into building a brand, one effective and straightforward way is to create a blog on your website.
Blogging is not just for digital natives and tech companies. A well-produced blog can help all sizes and types of businesses drive traffic to their websites and build relationships with consumers. Frequently updated content not only improves visibility, it shows your brand’s commitment to its audience. While a blog should be a channel to build your brand, it is not a soapbox. Readers will skip over content that they find too promotional or preachy. Advertising is an entirely different animal, so keep the product-centric topics to a minimum in order to maximize the benefits of your blog.
Maintaining a web presence can help to build your brand into the industry leader you always knew it could be.
If you’re not sold on the idea of starting a blog, or you think it doesn’t apply to your business, consider all the benefits blogging can have:
- They can give you authority in your industry. If you offer helpful tips and honest information on industry topics, readers will learn to trust your advice and see you as a thought leader.
- They can serve as a public relations tool. The Internet is buzzing with customer feedback, reviews and conversations about every business known to man. A blog is an effective way to join the conversation about your business’s product or service.
- They can help to create a community. Blogging is a conversational form of communication that lends itself well to answering trending questions and encouraging a conversation. Your audience will feel connected and appreciated. Forming an online community demonstrates that you are a trusted resource.
- Increase search engine visibility. Search engines feed off of fresh content, so a regularly updated, keyword-rich blog will greatly improve your organic search results.
- Humanize your brand. People want to buy from people, not brands. By giving the business a personality, you can differentiate it from the competition and foster trust.
Creating a successful blog takes time and commitment. The content needs to be creative, engaging, of high quality and consistently produced. While maintaining a blog is not an easy task, it can be extremely beneficial to your business. Companies that have a frequently updated blog can expect to show up in search traffic far more their competitors that don’t blog, and in our digital age more clicks leads to more business.