Blog. It’s a weird word with a lot of meaning. Historically, blogs have been perceived as a digital journal for an individual to voice opinions, thoughts, or stories, and this definition holds true today, for some blogs. For example, I have three personal blogs that I update regularly and they are just that, an online journal of my life.
But, I also have a professional blog designed solely to display my skills and services to the internet. I use it to market my skills and display my knowledge. This concept of the professional blog is becoming a regular occurrence for many businesses with an online presence.
But why? Does it behoove your business to add a blog page to your website? What content should you include, and how often should you update it?
First, ABSOLUTELY, you should have a blog on your website. Groomers, caterers, graphic designers, even hosting companies (like this one) can benefit from a blog. There are several reasons the blog page will benefit your business.
1. Traffic: You can increase traffic to your site by posting relevant or interesting content to your site’s blog. Short posts full of interesting material, graphics, and media will draw more people to visit your site and see what’s going on. If they are interested in what you have in your blog, they will explore the rest of your site to get to know your company.
2. Social Media: Posts that are widely viewed are often shared on social media. You can cheaply and easily promote your site, or an upcoming event, or your brand simply by having a post go viral.
Twitter and Facebook are two of the most prominent social media outlets, but if you use videos, YouTube is a great addition to your social media repertoire and if you use a lot of images, Pinterest is one of the fastest growing sites on the web.
However, don’t stop there, use social media to your advantage, Google+, Reddit, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon are other options to broadcast fun and interesting information about your business to a seemingly endless variety of demographics you wouldn’t be able to reach anywhere else.
3. Search Engine Optimization: The big SEO. The reason we put our sites online is to be viewed, and strong search engine optimization is a way to introduce your website to like-minded people.
Your strongest asset to both increase your rankings and the frequency of being crawled by search engine bots? Content. Simple as that. There are other factors in optimizing your site for search engines, but number one, focus on your content. Interesting, keyword rich, relevant content will increase your rankings in your field.
However, there are some aspects of SEO worthy content that are best given by having a blog. First, regular and frequent updates. The more you update your site, the more it will be crawled. Because you are continually updating your content you are showing search engines that this site is active and regularly monitored, thus increasing your ranking.
Next, linkability. Remember when I mentioned a post going viral or driving traffic to your site? This means your content is interesting and something people will read and share. It’s linkable. It’s easy to find, and interesting to read. This will help increase backlinks and simultaneously improve your search engine ranking. We call this a win-win.
Finally, a blog gives you more space to talk about a wide variety of topics that relate to your business. Through this, you can also have a variety of keywords that you may not have been able to fit on your static pages. This will introduce different aspects of your business to people who may not have searched for you previously.
Now that you have a blog, what content should you use? Well, anything will work. Give a short tutorial, maybe an image of one of your recent projects, or introduce some of your employees. Let people get to know you and your business. Open up the personal aspects of what you do. This will give your readers someone to connect with. It’s a blog, so there is more freedom and range in your topics.
Have a restaurant? Give some cooking tips, recipes, or video tutorials. Work in finance? Have some of your experts offer budgeting tips, savings advice, or opinions on the current economy. Work in construction? Review the brands you use, show images of projects as they start, are in development, and the when completed. Any of these topics will bring interested parties to your site, and better than that, if they find something interesting they are likely to pass it on and keep coming back to see your updates.
So, how often should you update your blog. Ideally, you should update with a new post as frequently as possible. Weekly or daily is best, but monthly will work as well. Also, try to keep your updates on a regular schedule. Don’t forget, every time you update your blog you should submit your site to search engines to be crawled!
Go out, add a blog page to your site and introduce yourself to the world. Show the personal side of your company or show off all that knowledge you have on your field. Open your site to the online community and draw new customers to your business!