For any small business, starting a blog can be an important way to stand out in a crowded field or industry. Here are just a few of the benefits that you can obtain by starting a new blog.
Get closer to your customers
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, but how well do you really know what your customers are thinking and saying? A blog provides a way to get closer to your customers and understand their preferences, habits and behaviors. Every time you update your blog, you will receive commentary and feedback from customers.
Moreover, if you integrate basic analytic packages for your blog (such as Google Analytics), you will have the ability to see very important information about where your visitors are coming from, which pages they are visiting and which Google search terms are bringing them to your website in the first place.
Improve your website’s SEO ranking
As you can already see, Google is an important element to consider when launching a blog. If you want your business to become more visible and appear on the first page of search results, one way of doing that is by launching a blog. That’s because Google’s search algorithm specifically looks for websites that are updated regularly and that are attracting a lot of new activity.
Since blogs are updated regularly and can attract a lot of customer activity and feedback, many SEO experts recommend adding a blog to a pre-existing website. This is an important point – while your blog can easily be created as a standalone website, it works most effectively when integrated into your current website.
Create a new flow of customers
If you update your blog on a regular basis, you are not just making it easier for Google to find you – you are also making it easier for new customers to find you. That is why you should base the content of your blog on what customers are already looking for in search engines. For example, if you are a hardware store, think about the types of home improvement projects that customers are asking about or searching for online, and then develop content that is based specifically around those queries. Again, it’s all about being smart and tactical with how you use your blog.
Become a thought leader in your industry
Within any industry there are “thought leaders” – the types of people who seem to be ahead of new trends, who are asked to speak at business events, and who are generally considered to be experts in their field. When you launch a blog and carefully grow and cultivate your audience, you have the potential to become a true thought leader. Every time you are asked to speak at a local business event, community event or trade show, you are essentially generating free PR and marketing for your business, too.
So what’s the best way to proceed with your blog? My advice is to hire a professional web developer to set up your blog so that you can focus on telling your story and developing great content that will attract new customers.