“I’m just trying to keep it simple. Do I really have to have a blog on my business website?”
That’s one of the first questions I get from new clients in our initial exploratory meeting. Somewhere between, “Nice to meet you,” and “Okay, thanks for your time today,” I get, “Do I really have to have a blog?”
The short answer is yes. Sorry, but yes.
If you want your website to attract customers to your business, you have to have useful content on your site. And it’s useful blog content – not three paragraphs of company history on your “About Us” page – that will drive traffic to your website.
A website without content is just an online business card.
To understand why blogging is important, start by imagining how a potential customer — who has not heard of you yet — will find you online.
- If they don’t know you exist, they can’t type the name of your company into Google.
- If they don’t know the name of your product or the exact wording you’ve used to describe yourself on your website, they can’t type that information into Google, either.
So how do you attract the attention of customers who do not know you? You simply acknowledge the fact that people don’t use the internet to search for sales pitches. People use the internet to find solutions to problems and answers to questions.
“Tapas restaurant with vegan options near a movie theatre.”
“How much money does having tankless hot water heater save in a year?”
“What’s the difference between acupressure and reflexology?”
The sentences above are examples of typical search queries. Google’s job, which it does very well, is to search the entire Web and respond to such queries with the most accurate, relevant and valuable answer possible.
A query like, ““What’s the difference between acupressure and reflexology?” will not result in a link to an About Us page that says, “At Wellspring Day Spa, we offer customers a menu of blissful services to ease the stress of daily life.” Not even close. A searcher who asks Google for the difference between acupressure and reflexology will be rewarded with links to pages containing articles about Chinese medicine that specifically define those two terms. And, if the article containing those definitions happens to be in the blog of a business that provides acupressure or reflexology, then that company’s blog just drove traffic to its website. Bingo!
Any Other Reasons Why I Should Have a Business Blog?
Yep. Your blog is part of your social media strategy. Hear me out before you hit me with, “Do I really need to do any social media?” (That’s the second question I get in exploratory meetings, by the way.)
Social media is where you mix and mingle with potential customers. Think of social media like a big cocktail party; you don’t know everyone yet, but everyone’s a potential customer. If you go to a cocktail party and greet everyone with a sales pitch and a business card, people will start to avoid you. Same with social media. If every post you make on your Facebook page is a version of, “Please visit my website and buy my stuff,” then you’re going to be ignored or blocked.
But if, at this same cocktail party, you hang back for a bit and listen to conversations already taking place, and occasionally offer a witty comment or a dash of interesting and helpful commentary, then suddenly you’re part of the conversation.
And that’s where your blog comes in. First find the community online that’s already discussing the questions you have answers to, then share your (valuable and well-written) blog posts with this community. That creates trust and builds relationships with people who, over time, may become your customers.
How Often Do I Have to Blog for my Small Business?
Research has shown that businesses that blog at least 20 times per month get the most benefit in terms of search rankings and Web traffic.
Do the maximum amount of blogging you can do to a high standard, and then stop.
Ouch. I know, right? That’s a lot of content-creation. And it’s not worth doing if it’s slap-dash and low-value. The only kind of content that is worth creating is the kind of content that your potential customer actually wants to see. Forget about filler. Forget about fluff. That’s a waste of your (valuable) time, and it won’t boost your search rankings or your social media shares.
At Words and Pictures Marketing, we advise clients to do the maximum amount of blogging that they can do to a high standard, and then stop. Some months you’ll have more to say, other months not so much.
Need help generating blog post ideas – or want to outsource part or all of your blogging? We can help with that.