A question we have heard more than a few times here at Web Presence Solutions is “I have a business website, do I need a blog?” Our frequent answer: “Yes, you should have a business website blog.”
Sure, blogging can take time, planning, subject matter knowledge, a bit of passion, and some insight on your intended audience. But the business benefits can be dramatic.
“Does my business really need a blog?”
A blog with a growing amount of quality content that is published on a regular basis will help increase website traffic, build visitor engagement, foster authority and trust while providing a strong source of content for social media, email marketing and inbound links.
In the bigger picture, a blog, and the content it contains, is a business investment. In creating quality blog content you are actually creating a valuable business asset.
In the online world a common phrase is “Content is King.” For good reasons. The ongoing creation and sharing of website and social media content to increase engagement, deliver value to visitors and drive conversions is a key factor for online success in 2015 and beyond.
Here are six key reasons for you need to have a business website blog. The list is followed by detailed explanations of each reason, along with insights on where the business value of a blog comes from and how you can leverage your blog content for your business.
The Six Key Reasons for Growing a Business Blog Are:
- Boosting Website Traffic
- Increasing Visitors engagement
- Building Authority and Trust
- Creating Content for Social Media Sharing
- Developing Content for Email Marketing
- Building Inbound Links
Benefits of A Business Website Blog
1. Boosting Website Traffic
A blog is an excellent way to attract new website visitors and grow the number of potential customers to your site. This will occur in a number of ways:
- Promoting links to your blog posts via social media and email marketing.
- Getting more search engine traffic due to ranking for more diverse keywords used in the blog posts.
- Expanding your email lists by encouraging people to sign up to receive regular email updates from your blog.
- Increasing the number of returning visits from people who come back to your site to read new blog posts.
- Gaining new website visitors from people who received a shared a link to a blog post from a friend or colleague.
- Improving overall search engine visibility by creating a growing body of regularly updated website content on an expanding number of topics.
Studies have confirmed the impact of a blog on increasing website traffic. The question really is, “How many new potential customers will a blog bring to my website that would never have visited without a blog.” The answer: “It depends.”
The number of new and returning visitors to your website and blog will depend on the quality of your blog content and whether it provides value to your visitors. Create well-written, interesting and engaging content that is relevant to your target market and people will come to your site to read it. A percentage of those people will return in the future as new blog content is published.
Be sure to check out our post “Writing Quality Blog Posts – 12 Excellent Resources” containing tips and resources for developing quality blog content.
Increased website traffic will also be a function of expanding the visibility of your blog content. A variety of promotion tactics can be used for building blog post visibility including:
- Directly promote your blog and blog posts within your other website content.
- Share your blog content via social media
- Share your blog content via email marketing.
- Build visibility for your blog content with new and existing customers.
- Create interesting, relevant and useful content your readers will want to share.
- Create content that is structured to make it easy for the search engines to find, understand and display.
- Make it easy for website visitors to share you blog posts.
Our earlier blog post, “SEO Isn’t What It Used to Be” touched on the benefits of quality website content: “As part of a current SEO strategy businesses should be creating content to provide value for visitors not search engines. Quality content with depth, information and value to visitors engages readers and drives return visits, conversions and sales.”
2. Increasing Website Visitor Engagement
Engaging visitors on your website is a key element of online success. Engagement leads to satisfied visitors, longer visits, return visits in the future, increased conversions, more sales and more customer referrals. A blog can be a key part of this engagement strategy.
Only 1-3% of people who visit a website for the first time are actually ready to purchase during that specific visit. Providing reasons for a visitor to return helps build conversions and sales. New content in the form of blog posts can create repeat buyers by re-engaging customers with new content via email marketing or social media.
The days of “just get someone to the website and take their order” are gone. For any business that wants to be truly successful on the Internet in the long run visitor engagement is key. Engagement leads to conversions, which lead to sales. Quality content is the glue fostering engagement
Keeping people engaged on your website and social media properties will allow you to develop a stronger relationship with visitors, customers, prospects and partners. This will increase conversion rates, and bring visitors back to your website and social media properties on an ongoing basis.
3. Authority and Trust
In a nutshell, a blog shows people that you and your business know what you are talking about. It gives your business the opportunity to provide more insights and perspective on your products and services, who you are and how you do business.
The enhanced levels of detail and information provided in blog posts allow you to position your business as an authority in your niche or industry and someone that is trustworthy to deliver the products or services you sell. The more that visitors trust and respect your business, the more likely they are to buy from you, now and in the future.
Unlike other forms of social media, a blog can provide greater amounts of information through longer posts. These posts are easily accessible on your website for future access unlike many social media sites where items can quickly be buried by new posts, tweets, pins, etc.
The broader format of a blog also creates the opportunity to educate and provide greater details and information on your products, services and business. These longer pieces of information don’t always fit effectively on a specific Products page, Services page or About Us page.
4. Quality Content for Social Media
Blog posts are great for including in your social media strategy. Well written blog posts on relevant and interesting topics will:
- Provide shareable content for your social media campaigns.
- Build visibility and brand awareness through other people sharing your content via different social media channels.
- Drive traffic to your website and blog post pages through direct links from social media sharing.
Your blog content will also provide quality content to help grow your social media presence. Once a new blog post is created it can be promoted through all your social media channels. On Twitter you can come up with several different Tweets about each blog post and send them out a few (several?) times a day for the first few days, then once or twice a day for the next few days.
As your blog grows you will have an expanding number of posts that can be shared on an ongoing basis via social media. It is not unusual to see people share a quality blog post that was written 1-2 years earlier.
The strategies and sharing frequency will vary depending on the social media platform. However, your blog assets will provide ongoing opportunities for extending and expanding your business visibility and brand awareness while also continuing to bring visitors to your website.
Your blog can help feed your social media accounts and your social media accounts can deliver traffic to your blog.
Here is a resource to check out for some very useful insights on promoting and sharing your blog content: “11 Things to Do After You Publish a Post”
5. Email Marketing Content
Some businesses wrestle with the question of “Where can I get quality content to use in my email marketing campaigns?” Another common refrain is, “I don’t want to always have to send out discount offers just to have an email campaign.” A business website blog is an excellent source of content for email marketing campaigns.
A snippet of a blog post along with a link to the full post can be added to other email marketing campaigns. Email campaigns can also be created that only include blog posts snippets and links of content from your blog.
Consider an email campaign around “Five Recent Items from Our Blog.” Or built around 4-5 items from a specific category of the blog. And there is always the end-of-the-year opportunity to do the “Top 10 Posts from Our Blog this Year” email campaign. No discount coupons or codes required.
In addition to providing content for use in emails your blog also provides an excellent opportunity to grow your email list. Delivering real value through your blog content will directly increase the number of visitors who will sign up for your email list. Especially if you make it easy and obvious for visitors to sign up for blog updates.
6. Inbound Links (and Traffic) to Your Website
Quality blog content provides an excellent opportunity to build incoming links to your website that can generate additional website traffic and visitors (sales prospects).
Beyond visitors reading blog posts when they come to your website, visitors will also share content through social media, by emailing a link to a friend or business contact. There is also the potential for another writer to include a mention and link to your blog post in a blog post on some other website.
The opportunity for developing a growing number of inbound links will be directly influenced by how well you do in promoting your blog posts. Sharing your posts with a link on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and other social media platforms will build visibility, incoming links and website traffic.
Having of social sharing buttons in your blog will also encourage people to share your content directly from your website. Including social sharing buttons in your email campaigns will encourage subscribers to share your email content.
Blog posts also provide a significant opportunity for your website to rank for a wide range of keywords relevant to your business. As the number of posts on your blog increases so do the number of new keywords that search engines will find within your blog posts. Over time your blog posts can begin to gain higher rankings for a broader array of less competitive long tail keywords. This will generate more links and bring more traffic to your site.
We’ve touched on six reasons for having a business website blog. The most significant reason is to provide value to customers, sales prospects, and business partners. In the process you can tell more of your business story in an indirect and subtle way.
Your blog content will create more reasons for visitors to return to your website while developing content for other channels such as social media and email marketing. The investment in your blog will become a long term business asset.
It may not seem that way after only seven or eight blog posts, but by the time you have thirty or forty posts on your blog the value will be quite obvious.
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