The first goal of any website is to create visitors. Without traffic to your website, there is no way to get potential customers to learn about your product or service in an online environment in which you control the message.
Since traffic to your website is so crucial, you’re probably trying to figure out new ways to get people to visit you online. New research has found one way. A blog. A recent study by HubSpot shows that businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than those that do not have a blog. The results of this study makes one thing clear, businesses that blog are likely to have far better marketing results online than businesses that don’t.
What is a blog?
For business owners, a blog (originally called a “web log”) is a marketing tool that allows you to easily add content that appears online. If you’ve ever used a social media tool like Facebook, then you can more easily understand a blog. That’s because Facebook has an easy-to-use online interface that allows you to add “posts” that will instantly appear on the web (with your most recent posts always at the top of the page). A blog works the same way.
Can a blog be your website?
It can. In fact, this website/blog is completely built on the free WordPress blogging platform (ie. program/software). There are other content-management platforms that will also allow your website and blog to be as one, including free open source programs like Drupal and Joomla. If you can find a local web person that knows these platforms and you can count on that person to help you when you have problems, then this is the best alternative for combining a website and blog.
You may have also heard about Google’s “Blogger.” This is a very simple blogging platform to use. However, Google’s “Blogger” has a huge drawback because it can not be part of your website. The importance of your blog being part of your website, rather than a separate entity is that it will not maximize your website’s SEO (search engine optimization). Sure, you can have your website at www.acme.com and your blog at www.acmeblog.com and have them link to one another. But, the greatest benefit is to have your blog located inside the main file/folder structure of your website, so that your blog can be found at www.acme.com/blogname. This way your website and blog do not compete against one another in the search engines, which can dilute your results and ranking in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
What Should You “Post” on Your Blog?
- Tips that are relevant to your business/industry that will be helpful or of interest to customers and prospects.
- Links to articles you’ve found online that would be helpful or of interest to your customers and prospects.
- Company news and information.
- Teasers for your sales, promotions, and events.
Let’s touch on the reasons why having a blog as part of your web presence is so crucial.
Search Engines Like Google Love Fresh Content
Getting noticed in the search engines is where most of your web traffic should come from. Problem is, if you don’t update your web pages often, Google begins to see your website as lazy…and Google doesn’t reward lazy websites. Having a blog attached to your website and adding a new post (article, tip, company news, etc…) every couple weeks will keep your site looking more active in the eyes of Google, and will allow you to get higher rankings in all the search engines.
More Keywords = More Traffic
The more keywords that are relevant to your business category (that people may include in searches), the better your opportunity to show up in search engines. Just by the nature of the content that will be part of your blog posts, you’re sure to trigger more opportunities to be part of search engine traffic.
Positioning Yourself as an Expert
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in, if your customers and potential customers see you as someone who can provide helpful information about your industry, they’ll be more likely to do business with you than your competitors. Having a blog allows you to share your knowledge, opinions, and expertise relevant to your industry.
Having a space online where you share your expertise and company news gives you the opportunity to build one-on-one and long-lasting relationships with customers that browse your site.
No Cost Brand Building
There are way too many alternatives that you can spend your money on to promote your business and brand. Having a blog is one of the rare marketing tools that allow you to do it for free.
Having a website is half the battle toward creating an online presence that will generate more interest in your company. Incorporating Internet marketing tools will take care of the second half that actually build your business online. One of those marketing tools you’ll need is a blog.