The Importance of Having a Blog on Your Website.
by: Digital Darcy
Having a blog on your website is something that I recommend to all business owners who work with me. Not only is having a blog with relevant content a great way to position your business as an expert in your industry, but it consistently puts fresh content on your
Keep reading to learn more about blogs, why I recommend them, and how they help increase the online presence of your business.
First, A Few Quick Definitions
What is a blog?
A blog is a section of your website that consists of a collection of informative articles that are written to regularly provide relevant information to your audience.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing includes a variety of organic (unpaid) marketing like social media content, blogging, video marketing, email marketing, and more. It differs from paid advertising in that generally the only expenses associated with it are the time and cost it takes to create and share it. Having a diverse content marketing strategy can help you build your online presence and increase traffic to your website over time.
What is a search engine?
Search engines are Internet platforms that give users a convenient way to search for information. Google is the most popular, but other examples are Bing and Yahoo. As you publish fresh content to your website, search engine crawler software finds the content. Over time, the more relevant content you have on your website, the more it will show up in relevant search results.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consists of a variety of things that work together on your website and/or blog that help you increase your visibility in the search engines. It is important to have a basic understanding of SEO as you write your blog posts, so you can incorporate relevant keywords and other best practices into your writing. If you are hiring a writer to help you with your blog, you will also want to make sure they are familiar with SEO fundamentals.
Why Blogging is Good for SEO
As I mentioned already, blogging puts new content on your site consistently. The search engines like to see this because it shows that you are a relevant business that shares value with your audience.
If you launched a website a few years ago that has not been updated much since then, you are less likely to have high visibility in the search engines as a competitor who is publishing a new blog post each month.
Consider some of the websites you have visited lately. Do you look for a recent date somewhere when you go to a website, to make sure the business is still open and that the information is current? Yep – those search engine crawlers do the same thing!
I’ve had some business owners tell me that they think blogging is a waste of time because their customers don’t read them. That may be true, but if your posts contain proper keywords and SEO strategy, they will show up in search results and lead potential customers to your website that way.
An Example of How it Works
For example, let’s use a women’s shoe store as an example. A year ago, your store published a blog post all about how to find the perfect pair of boots for winter. Last week (nearly a year later), a potential shopper went to Google and typed, “I need new winter boots.”
Your blog post showed up near the top of her search results, and she clicked on it. She may not have read it, but she then clicked on the “Shop” button on the top menu of your website, and she bought a new pair of boots.
Congratulations, your blog just generated a sale from a brand new customer!
Publishing Blog Posts Consistently
One important thing to keep in mind if you are considering having a blog for your business is that you MUST post consistently. If you commit to having a blog for your business, you need to create a schedule that you can implement and maintain over time. One thing you don’t want to do is start a blog and be consistent for a few months, and then let is fall off your to-do list and become outdated.
So, how often are you going to publish a blog post? Once a month? Twice a month? Every week? As you consider this, keep in mind that I usually allow 4-6 hours per post. This includes writing the content, adding the photos, formatting and posting it to the website, and promoting it on social media. It may be able to be done faster than that, but just keep in mind that once you finish all of the pieces, it usually ends up taking more time than you anticipate.
For new blogs, I usually recommend publishing at least one post per month. If you can stick with that consistently and have additional ideas, you can always publish more. It’s better to be realistic about your plan than it is to fall behind schedule.
Writing the Posts
Blog Post Topics
Something else that business owners often tell me is that they don’t know what to write about in their posts.
My answer? No matter what service or product your business offers, there are lots of topics you can write about that are relevant. The first step is to think about who your target audience is, and what information will help them. What does your company offer, and what relevant topics can you write about that will help your customers?
A few examples of topic ideas:
· Insurance Agent – a home maintenance checklist, health tips, a checklist for purchasing a new vehicle, information about choosing the right health plan, tips for lowering your homeowner’s insurance, and FAQs about life insurance.
· Real Estate Agent – decorating ideas, curb appeal tips, mortgage information, paint colors, home buying tips, and home selling tips.
· Restaurant – easy recipes, holiday entertaining, chef feature, table centerpiece ideas, equipment suggestions for home cooks, and party planning tips.
· Handmade Items – simple tutorials for DIY projects, process posts highlighting the product for sale within the post, tips for shopping for handmade items online, and craft show booth layout ideas.
Once you start thinking about your business in this way, the ideas will start flowing!
Don’t Forget Your Call-to-Action
The primary purpose of blog posts is for them to be informative, yet informal articles that don’t directly sell your products or services. Blog posts are NOT a sales page. However, you should always include a call-to-action (CTA) of some sort within your blog post, usually at the end.
For example, if a real estate agent writes a blog post featuring curb appeal tips, the CTA at the end could be something like: “Are you looking for more curb appeal tips as you prepare to sell your home? I’d love to help you through the process. Give me a call today!”
You Can Hire a Writer
Another common argument I hear from business owners as to why they don’t want to start a blog is that they either aren’t a very good writer or they don’t have time to write blog posts regularly.
If this is you, know that hiring a writer for your blog posts is always an option. I write blogs for several of my clients, and I work with them along the way to learn about their business and what it has to offer. They also always have the opportunity to edit the posts before they are published.
So, just keep in mind that your blog posts don’t have to be written by you or your staff members, though you may be surprised to find that you have a great writer on staff already. Ask around the office! College interns or high school students may also be great resources. Also, your blog posts don’t always have to be written by the same person, if you have a few staff members who want to share the project.
Even if someone’s writing isn’t perfect, there are proofreading and grammar apps available that can help clean up the copy before it’s published.
Can I Help You?
If you have any questions about any of this information, or if you want to discuss any writing needs you may have for your blog, you can find me at DigitalDarcy.com.
Bio / About the Author
Darcy Geho is a content marketing strategist at Digital Darcy, where she helps small businesses with social media, email marketing, website and blog content writing, and consulting/strategy services. She believes that your digital marketing strategy should have a consistent blend of organic social media content, an email list with regularly sent campaigns, and a consistently updated blog on your website. Darcy helps her clients implement and maintain a combination of these, based upon individual needs. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and pets. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, food preservation, and nature walks.