The SEO Benefits Of Blogging For Your Business

Has your business committed to a blog? Or have you given up? Or are you yet to start? Perhaps you’re reading this because you’re thinking of starting one. If you can get an understanding of the way blogging can help boost your online presence, you’ll see it’s all but essential.

Context

Blogging for small businesses works on various levels, although many small businesses are yet to get a proper handle on the benefits of blogging.

Some small businesses are stuck with static websites. But if you have chosen well you’ll be able to integrate a blog with your main website.

Today’s internet is orientated towards social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the rest). Blogging allows you to create content that’s timely and develops the personality of your business. Developing a blog, if you can make time to blog regularly, creates content that can easily be shared.

This will help you generate links and attract traffic to your site. Google is increasingly positive about ‘fresh’ content. Blogs are ideal for this. Continuously updating a static site can lead to all sorts of problems not least your structure can get out of control. And the more posts you add in theory you increase your chance of being found. You can use a standalone blog but its even better to integrate a blog with your main website.

There are some caveats of course. Keep the structure of the blog simple so that the urls can be easily read. I prefer urls that make sense to the reader. Blogs should encourage interaction with visitors but don’t always either because of the tone of the content or the content itself. Blogs allow for comments (and trackbacks) but if you’re worried about keeping control they can be disabled until you get the hand of it.

Blogging Makes Business Sense

In many ways your blog becomes the voice and face of your business. The hardest part of blogging for business can be making the regular commitment to write. In a small business it’s simply something you add to your job description. If you have employees perhaps you can train someone to write your content. The other alternative is to use the services of a writer.

There are various blog writing services (like mine) but they are worth nothing if you don’t have any input. It’s important your blog is grounded in your business and marketing objectives and is written with your visitors in mind. Don’t use every post as a direct selling opportunity – it will be boring to read. Be helpful, be informative, be amusing.

Getting Started

If you are used to writing brochures or proposals it can take a while to get used to writing for a blog. Follow a couple of business blogs you like. Trying to find one in your sector or one the same size. Don’t forget large businesses can have an army of writers so don’t get dispirited by the amount of volume they put out. Make your posts count.

Blogs don’t need to look fancy. It’s much more important people can find what they are looking for. If you blog regularly, you’ll develop a bigger web presence. Generally speaking blogging little and often is better than writing long posts once a month. Try to be as conversational as your businesses sector allows. There are obviously different conventions in different sectors. And don’t forget about client confidentiality. Don’t worry about having to produce original thinking in every post.While the content has to be unique the topic doesn’t have to be and it’s often your opinion or experience that counts.

Boosting SEO With Blogging

Your blogging efforts will be more useful if you take account of the following guidelines.

Use Clear Objectives To Guide Content And Tone

Just because blogging is s fluid platform, ideal for time sensitive information that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be well organised. Your blog should expand and support your other online objectives. For example, if you see yourself as Edinburgh’s leading supplier of golf clubs, your blog should reinfore this rather than focusing on another geographical niche.

Supports Your SEO Efforts

A blog that supports your other SEO efforts will help your website to get found by searchers. Also if the content is interesting it should attract links. Getting links is harder than it used to be but social media is a great ally of small businesses.

Updated Regularly

Website content may not change much from year to year but blog content enables you to publish new content on a regular basis. Google likes fresh content. There’s a vast number of sites and blog for Google to index and rank. You can bet fresh content tells Google your business is alive and kicking. Also regularly updated content gives visitors a reason to keep coming back.

Make Your Experience Count

This isn’t a reference to peppering each blog post with phrases such ‘in our experience’ though of course you can if you want. Rather a blog isn’t factual. It will be informed by your knowledge of the business and it’s sector so that you can offer a perspective unique to your business.

Play Down The Hard Sell

A blog may be an extension of your shop window but that doesn’t mean it should be used as a constant feed of hard sell posts. By all means show people new products but the tone should be more along the lines of ‘What do you think?’. A blog is a good way to ask for customer input, publicise special offers or competitions even. Be creative in your presentation of ‘selling content’.

Engagingly Written

You want people to like you. People speak of ‘compelling’ content, but blogs need to engage the reader. Ideally the readers of your blog won’t just include existing customers. People rarely buy things in a linear way. They may visit a site a number of times.Therefore your blog is an important element of winning people over and being included on someone mental checklist of future suppliers.

Make It Conversational In Tone (have a voice)

A blog is written in a conversational tone. It’s about as far away from writing a brochure as it’s possible to get. If you’re new don’t be afraid to let your audience know. Very large companies can afford to keep a stiff upper lip. A small business, especially if you know your customers by name, doesn’t have to.

Linked To Social Media

Sharing your blog contents on Facebook and Twitter is one way of driving visitors to your website. But users of social media don’t like to be ‘sold at’. Think instead of content that’s helpful or funny or unusual. Consider that your blog acts as a bridge between your website and social media, between your business and it’s customers.

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