If your website were a house of worship, then your blog would be the coffee hour that follows your weekly service. Your blog gives you the chance to step out from behind the lectern, grab a cup of joe, and engage one on one with your audience. The only things missing are the pastries.
What Is a Blog?
Short for weblog, a blog is a regularly updated page on a website where each individual post gives the reader more in-depth coverage on a single product, topic, or concept. Blogs tend to be written in a more casual, relatable tone. And they usually provide some type of opportunity for a two-way conversation, such as through a feedback or comments section.
Should I Have a Blog on My Website?
Including a blog on your site is certainly not mandatory. But, hey, you don't have to turn the "Open" sign on your shop's front door to face outward at the start of your business day either.
Your website is the face of your company, and every component on it should be working hard to bring in and nurture new and long-term customers. A blog is just one more tool--and a very powerful one for that matter--that can help you accomplish that end.
what does a blog do? On the most basic level, a blog provides you the opportunity to educate potential customers about products, services, or general topics that are common in your industry. And the sky's the limit on the topics you could blog about. Why you could even write a blog educating your customer base about What Is a Blog?
What Are the Benefits of Having a Blog?
The beauty of blogs is that they are multi-faceted tools. They can simultaneously improve your SEO rankings while also showcasing you as an expert in your industry. They can bring new visitors to your site and turn them into customers. And all the while, they can let you show your more personable side.
Remember how we said a blog lets you provide more in-depth coverage of a topic? Let's take advantage of that and break down those benefits with a bit more detail.
They Help Improve SEO Rankings
The more fresh, relevant blog content you create with long-tail keywords, the more opportunities there will be that you show up on search engine results pages that will drive traffic to your website. Additionally, the higher your click-through rate (the number of times people click on your web articles) the more search engines see your content as a legitimate and trustworthy source, and the higher they place you on results pages.
The funny thing about success is that it breeds more success. It isn't easy and it won't likely happen overnight, but once your website starts consistently ranking in top search engine spots, other businesses in your industry will see your site as a trusted source and start linking to it as well. And that only drives more traffic to your site.
You Can Use Them to Step Up Internal Linking
Once organic traffic reaches your blog page, you have an immediate opportunity to control where that traffic goes. Not only can your blog page generate leads through the CTA at the end of each article, but it can also help navigate visitors to products or services pages through internal links contained in the article's content.
They Let You Show Off Your Expertise
Let's say you own a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning company. Put yourself in the shoes of potential customers, and you can probably come up with a whole list of questions about your industry, products, or services that they'd want to have the answers to if they were considering an upgrade or new installation.
Potential blog posts, in this case, could answer such questions as "Why Is My A/C Making Noises?" or "How To Select the Best Water Heater for Your Home." On their surface, blog posts may be completely informational, but taken overall they serve to establish your company as an authoritative resource. A first-time visitor to your site may not be ready to become a customer, but if he encounters well-written, informative content, he may very well remember and come back when he is ready.
Blogs Can Strengthen Your Social Media Presence
Blogs written specifically for social media sites like Facebook or Twitter can reach a whole new audience you may never have known existed. Just keep in mind that writing for social media is different than writing for the web. You'll need to create eye-catching headlines with engaging content that begs to be shared.
Low Cost/High Return On Investment
According to a 2014 report by HubSpot, a developer of software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service, marketing companies that emphasize blogging are 13 times more likely to get a positive return on their investment.
If you're on a tight budget, a blog is a low-cost way to generate traffic to your site, engage readers and create leads. In fact, your biggest investment will be in the time taken to produce good content.
I Don't Have a Blog - Am I Missing Out?
Websites are fabulous marketing tools, but whether they're viewed on a laptop or a mobile device, they're still just two-dimensional. In addition to the above-listed benefits, a blog gives your website a voice and a personality. It gives it a bit of flesh and bone. It makes it human.
Adding a blog to your website is the closest you may ever get to sitting down and enjoying a virtual cup of coffee with your visitors from around the world. A blog gives you a chance to build relationships--to talk, share ideas, and possibly learn a little something from each other. And that can be a real asset when the competition gets tough.
Now if only someone would bring the pastries.
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