The short answer is yes, most small businesses can benefit from keeping a blog. While it may feel like you're adding one more thing to an already overburdened to-do list, there are several sound reasons why maintaining a blog makes sense, especially from a small business marketing perspective.
5 Reasons to Start a Small Business Blog
1. Improve search engine results
Hosting a blog on your business website is a simple way to keep the site updated on a regular basis. New blog posts constantly refresh your page content, which is a great SEO practice. While Google keeps the specifics of its algorithms under wraps, it's no secret that the company calibrates its search engine to bring back the most relevant and updated results. Maintaining a blog on your website is one way to keep your site fresh and near the top of search results.
2. Establish your industry expertise
People want to do business with someone they trust. Treat your blog as an informational platform -- not as a promotional tool -- and share your industry knowledge with readers to establish yourself as an expert. When someone is ready to do business, you will be their logical first choice.
3. Leverage social media platforms
Social media can be a free and easy way to promote your business. If you provide compelling or insightful content in your blog posts, people are likely to share your posts and spread the word about your business. Be sure to include social media buttons on your blog so that visitors can easily share your words with others.
4. Create a FAQ database
Your blog can double as an extended FAQ section for your business website. Write posts on how best to use your products, provide buying tips or other related advice. Post links on your FAQ page to provide visitors with in-depth information about your product or service.
5. Gather customer feedback
Rather than lecturing visitors, your goal should be to start a conversation with them. Enable comments to let your customers -- and potential customers -- ask questions and provide valuable feedback. Sure, you might get the occasional negative comment, but addressing criticism head-on can be a great way to create converts.
Benefits of a Small Business Blog
Blogging can be time consuming, but it can also help you raise your company's profile on the Web, establish your expert status, build word-of-mouth marketing, provide added-value to your customers, and create a source of direct feedback from customers. It's a time investment that's well worth the effort.
If you don't feel you can devote time to writing one or two posts each week, consider delegating the task to your employees. Provide them with a byline and empower them to select their topics, although you will want to screen for content, grammar and spelling before posting. You may find your blog is not only a plus to your customers, but a welcome addition for employees who have ideas and information they want to share.
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