A blog (a contraction of the words web log) is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject. More recently “multi-author blogs” (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, interest groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other “microblogging” systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Now you know the Definition lets talk about the benefits of blogging.
As businesses in the market continue to grow their online presence, they frequently look at other internet marketing opportunities of which they can take advantage. One of those options is a blog for their website. The initial reaction of creating a blog for many companies is one of excitement … Until they sit down to think of what to write! Blogging for businesses can be difficult if you’re unprepared, but it’s not impossible.
Today, before you even sit down to write a blog post, you need to understand what the benefits of blogging can be for your business. So we’ll start by looking at five of the top benefits blogging can have for companies.
For most companies, the purpose of their website is to bring in new customers. Whether it’s by providing them with information on the company’s products or services, or if the business allows for customers to purchase products directly from the website, the ultimate goal of the website is to drive new business. Blogs play a crucial roll in this as well. Blogs can be set up directly within your website’s domain (for example, www.danny.co.nz/blog) or off your company’s web domain (for example www.dannyblog.co.nz), with both having their advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed later. In either case, the purpose remains the same; to have a feed of new content which talks about your products or services and gets people interested in using YOU to meet their needs. With this being the ultimate goal, here are additional benefits of a blog for a business.
As mentioned, a blog is a great way to get visitors to come to your website. Whether the blog is on- or off-site, you will still want links pointing back to your main website directing visitors to products, services, contact forms, promotions, and more. A blog will also help bring in different kinds of customers, as well. It can benefit long term website visitors by encouraging them to keep returning for new blog content, and engaging them in a community around your brand. A blog also helps to capture new visitors (and potentially new customers!) by continually adding new “pages” or content around different topics you write about on the blog. Blogs remain a great way to attract visitors using search engines looking for information on specific topics, and when you provide that information, your blog and website become a reliable source for customers.
Keep Your Website Fresh with Blog Content
When companies first launch their website, all of the pages and content look fresh and interesting to search engines. This “freshness boost” helps you soar in rankings when people are searching on your products or services. After time however, that ranking boost can decrease when your site becomes stagnant. To counteract this, you can go through and rewrite content for pages you may have already worked on, add new pages on products, or refresh meta information. This may not always be prudent, however. Instead, having a blog on your site that is consistently updated alerts search engines new activity is occurring on your site on a regular basis, encouraging their search engine robots to continue coming back to the site and indexing all of your pages. Essentially, blogs and new blog posts keep your site fresh, and your rankings on the upward trend.
Branding Yourself as an Expert
Having a blog is another great way to position yourself and your company in the market as an expert on any given topic. Having too much content describing a product or service on your web page can be cumbersome. On your website, you want people to get pertinent information and then continue on to a conversion point like a contact form or a purchase. Blogs allow you a location to cover all of this information you wanted to share, and allow you to do it in different ways. You can write long posts with expert analysis on one topic, or share information through pictures or video on your blog as well. You can even cover current events and hot topics in your industry, which will help position you as a reliable source for information with thoughtful analysis. Once established, you and your company become a go-to destination!
Preemptively Address Customer Questions
Blogs are also a great way for businesses to answer questions customers may have. Consider some of the most frequently asked questions coming in over phone calls or emails. Could some of those be answered in a blog post? If so, do it! The chances are new customers coming in are asking those same types of questions as well, and answering them in a place like a blog means the customer will be able to come to you better prepared to complete a transaction. The added benefit is the content you provide answering a popular question acts as an opportunity or destination page for people who are asking the same question through search engines, but don’t know you exist. In essence, you’re providing an answer before they even know the question!
Easily Showcase Company Highlights
Whether you’re throwing a special promotion during a month or have a new product you want to highlight, you may not have an ideal spot for this information directly on your website. Chances are, you’ve built out your website to remain fairly static in highlighting major components about your company. So where do you put time sensitive, temporary bits of information? Blogs remain a great spot for these pieces. As mentioned, search engines will ndex them in their list of results for people looking for information, you can highlight that blog story at the top of your blog home page, link to it from other sources (on-site, social media, email campaigns, etc.), and much more. Think of it as a great location to stockpile all the information you want to share, but you may not have a great place to feature it.
And these are just the basic highlights! Blogging for businesses can be rewarding when addressed. There are always more questions on what businesses should write about, benefits of on-site vs. off-site blogs, and much more, and we’ll try to dig into more of that as we go. In the meantime, check out all of our previous blog post topics by clicking on our “Blogging” category title, or browse the rest of our blog to see what other helpful internet marketing tips you can find. Enjoy!