“I’m sure you’ve heard about one of the biggest things to hit the web in the last few years: blogging.” THIS QUOTE IS FROM 2006!
Seriously! Blogging has been a hot topic for over twelve years, yet as a digital marketing company, here at Southern Tide Media, our daily conversations still include, “What is a blog and what does it do for a business website?”
A “blog” (derived from the term “web log”) is basically an engagement and informational log kept on a website. Purpose:
1. Showcasing your business.
2. Communicating to and with clients and community.
3. Feeding search engines throughout the web, so more people can find your business!
Blogs have an informal, conversational style, and readers can join in by commenting on each post. Blogs can be chatty, informative, opinionated and often humorous, and it’s this “human” aspect of blogs that draws many people to them. But the best part about blogs is how accessible they are to everyone. Blogs are a free resource. They are also for both online and offline businesses. You can use blogs to take your products and services to a wider audience, increasing their traffic, leads and sales.
Let’s look more closely at a few of the extremely powerful ways your business can benefit from a blog. With an effective business blog, you can:
- Humanize your business. Because a blog is much more informal than other websites, you can write posts in your own voice and give your business more of a human face. This helps reassure prospective customers that there’s a “real person” behind the website who’ll take care of their needs. It also allows you to inject much more of your own personality into your online business than your main sales site could do.
- Improve your customer service. Your blog can act as a kind of interactive FAQ, allowing your customers to submit questions and you to answer them. You can also provide product updates, how-to articles, and other information of relevance to your customers. Prospective customers who see your blog will be encouraged by your commitment to good customer service.
- Give your target market the information they’re looking for. With its automatic archiving feature–by date and category–a blog is a fantastic content-management system. It’s easy for you to post new information on a regular basis, and it’s easy for your visitors to find the information they want. With a well-written, regularly updated blog, you can become a reliable resource in your industry and build a following of loyal readers who depend on your content. These people will be your best potential customers.
- Drive traffic to your sales website. If you already have a website, a blog can give your traffic levels a real boost. For starters, your blog will attract new visitors that you can then redirect to your main sales website through links and special offers. But an even more effective technique is to use strategic keywords and links to specific sales pages to dramatically improve the search engine rankings of both your blog and your main website.
- Build your credibility and establish yourself as an industry expert. You can give your credibility a real boost by regularly posting valuable and relevant information on your blog. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your subject area, and allow your visitors to feel much more comfortable buying from you.
- Promote your products or services. You can actually sell products directly from a blog, or you can use your blog to mention new products and direct visitors to your sales website.