What do you offer on your website? Contact information? Product and service listings? Maybe some nice pictures? Of course it does, that's what websites are for!
But, do you have a blog? If not, you should.
A regularly updated blog stocked with original content is just as essential for your business's website as any of the other things I mentioned above. A good blog will not only drive traffic to your site, but make your business better as a whole. How? Read on for four reasons your business should be blogging.
#1 - It will get the traffic moving
A good blog is an indispensable tool for building your website's SEO index. After all, a static website is a boring website. If the only thing you update on your site is the occasional product change or news update, you're not giving people any reason to check in on your site and its only going to slide further and further down Google's charts.
Original blogging that is interesting, answers questions, or solves problems gives people a reason to come to your site. It gives you a platform to comment on different events, share ideas, and be a vibrant force in your field. It also gives other sites a reason to backlink you, driving your traffic up and increasing your visibility on Google.
Well written, interesting blog content has an "evergreen” quality. They pay out over a long term. When starting a blog it is easy to get discouraged if you don't see many hits or comments on your first few entries. Don't sweat it, and don't stop writing, those blogs haven't even started working for you yet. Once you have content up, it's ranked in a search engine and as your content base grows and expands, those old posts will still generate hits for you on an ongoing basis. Especially as you backlink and refer to previous posts in new ones. In this way, a blog isn't a quick shot in the arm like a commercial or a broadcast over social media, it's your website's roots, the life-giving arteries that will draw customers and eyeballs to your site for years to come.
Not everything you write or publish on your website is going to be pitch perfect, evergreen material. That's okay. The more you write and publish, the more chances you'll have at finding that content and the better you'll get at sniffing it out. The important thing is to keep at it and regularly produce content.
#2 – A good blog will help you understand your customers by engaging them
Blogging will give you and insight into your customers that you have never had before, both directly and indirectly. When you post a piece of content that resonates with your customers or potential customers and they take the time to comment on it, that is a connection that you never would have had before. Positive or negative, those comments will help you understand your customers concerns, interests, and what they love/hate about your business.
But it doesn't just end with comments, which can run hot and cold on any site. By diving into your websites analytics, you can find out what topics drew the most eyeballs and the most attention, even if not many people commented. This can often have surprising results! You may find out that your latest product is being met with a collective shrug while something you posted months ago on a whim is still generating hits on a regular basis. With this information you can refocus to capitalize on what your customers care about, or retool your current efforts to better match their interests.
#3 – Blogging will make you better at your business
Whether you are creating your content in-house or using an outside contractor to help generate content, regularly generating blogs will force you to become a savvier, more informed operator in your field. If you committed to regularly creating weekly content for your website, you'll need to stay on top of your game. As you write (or commission) through the easy stuff, the basic ideas, and the low-hanging fruit, you'll be pushed further and further to find more topics to write on. You'll find yourself branching out, finding new ideas, going deeper and deeper into old ones, always working to find the absolute best content you can.
It's an odd example, but I think of the comedian Louis C.K. He broke free of a nearly career ending slump by tossing out all of his old material (an act he spent over a decade perfecting) and starting from scratch. The next year, he did it again, and then again. Now he has a Emmy award winning show on HBO and is one of the most respected and influential performers in his field. He explained "When you're done telling jokes about airplanes and dogs, and you throw those away, what do you have left? You can only dig deeper. You start talking about your feelings and who you are. And then you do those jokes and they're gone and you gotta dig deeper.”
Now, maybe your business's blog writing effort won't be quite as profound, but the idea is the same. When you regularly publish content, when you sit down and force yourself to come up with new ideas, new perspectives, you can't help but grow yourself.
#4 - Blogging will help build your name
By building a strong backlog of killer blog content, you make your business more than just another competitor in the field, you make it an authority. When customers find themselves frequently linked to your blog, or get interested in what your articles and take it upon themselves to explore your previous blogs, it solidifies your reputation as a business that knows what it is talking about.
A good blog does more than advertise your products or help your Google metrics. By building a well of content that will answer your customers questions, engage them, and even entertain them, it makes your business a name people can trust. Trust directly translates into leads and sales.