Why Every Small Business Should Blog
by Chad Lane, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer
If your company website lacks a blog, I urge you to add one. In my experience, a good blog generates enough value to your business to make it worth far more than the effort. By simply adding an article to your blog at least once a month, you can increase interest in your company and build yourself a stronger position as an authority. It also helps with SEO.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, there are some compelling reasons to maintain a blog for your small business:
- Small businesses with blogs see 126% more growth in their leads than small businesses without a blog.
- More than two-thirds of people who use the internet also read blogs.
- After reading recommendations on a blog, 61% of U.S. consumers made a purchase.
The reasons that blogs generate this increase in interest and business come from the value two completely different entities place on your content, specifically:
Google and other search engines
Let’s look at these two angles.
Google Values Blogs
Google values content that accurately answers the questions of people making searches related to products like yours. They also love content that gets lots of interaction with readers. This interaction can include comments, likes, shares and links to your articles.
When you continue to add a volume of new, useful, relevant content that inspires interaction with your visitors, Google will start to value your content more highly than similar sites with less content and interaction. Your site should, then, tend to appear higher in search results than competing sites.
Here is some insight into how Google works. It and other search engines use advanced computer algorithms to present the best search results to those making queries.
Let’s say you own an accounting practice in St. Louis and regularly publish blog articles with tax-saving tips. When an online user in your area searches “how can I save on my taxes?”, Google’s algorithm takes your business location plus the user’s location and intent into account to serve search results that strive to precisely answer the query. If your blog has more relevant content than the competition, your article should place more highly in search engine results and yield more click-throughs to your site.
People Value Useful Information
As you can see in the statistics cited above, people use blogs when they are making decisions. The purchasing public has learned that they don’t have to purchase products in a blind manner and then be dissatisfied with them. Blogs offer them the chance to get educated before they purchase products or services they are interested in.
There are blogs with product reviews, blog posts of the “ten best” products of any type, advice on how to select products—it goes on and on. The higher the price tag of your products and services, the more information people want before they buy.
Your blog is a chance for you to interact with your prospects and educate them as they are on the runway up to a purchase. You get to present yourself as an authority in your field. Posting one article after another that raises awareness about your product or service establishes you as an expert and that makes it much easier for people to buy from you.
The Desire for Trust and a Positive Experience
People visiting your blog who have a positive experience can anticipate having a positive experience when they do business with you. They’ll also gain familiarity with your company by reading your articles. And if the articles help them in their business or life, they’ll trust what you say and your offerings. These factors all contribute to acquiring new customers.
This pattern of behavior applies to me just as much as to anyone else. When I need groceries, I drive to a particular grocery store about four miles from my home. This store is part of a chain and that chain has another store that’s almost in my backyard. The one four miles away is a little friendlier, cleaner and more relaxed than the other one. I know where everything is in that store. So I drive farther for a better shopping experience.
How to Blog
Here are a few tips on how to get the most from your blog:
- Don’t think of blog posts as advertisements for your products, services or company. Think of them as a chance to provide useful, educational information. Answer the questions your customers commonly ask. But refrain from any big sales pitch.
- Add a new post to your blog at least once a month.
- Make each article at least 300 to 500 words long. If you can write longer articles, that’s even better. Longer articles—1,500 or more words—are the most popular and most favored by search engines.
- Once each post has been published, put it to work. Send a short teaser email to your email list. Post links to your social media accounts. These actions help drive people to your blog and your website.
We’ve helped many businesses increase their leads and sales with blogging. If you need help getting a blog started for your company, contact us and let’s talk.