For a small business, having a website is a must. Even if your business isn’t the kind that lends itself to selling services or products to customers online, a website is still vital. It’s your placeholder on the web, acting as a promotional tool, a point of contact and enquiry, and a repository of information about your business and what it can offer to potential customers.
But if your business website consists of static pages, you’re missing a trick – in fact, you’re missing several. That’s why every business website should have a BLOG – and here are the top five reasons WHY:
It allows you to promote your products or services
Blog posts are the perfect vehicle for selling what you offer. You can inform customers of new deals, products or services you offer, make them aware of products or services that complement those they’ve already purchased, and sell in context. For instance, if you run a holistic therapy centre, you could write a blog post about therapies that could be helpful for a specific condition, or recommend a set of treatments that complement each other.
It allows you to share content
Related articles, customer experiences, news, product information, testimonials, reviews, answering queries, offering suggestions on how to use your products or combine your services… the list of potential topics for your blog posts is endless. This variety will attract browsers who are likely to be potential customers, and they may help to retain your existing customers by adding value to their customer experience.
It can improve your search ranking
Search engines generally take more notice of new or regularly updated content, on the basis that this indicates regular curation of content and a vibrant website. While many of your site pages will remain more or less static from necessity (your ‘contact us’ page, for example), your blog will provide an easy way to ensure that fresh content appears regularly. Blog posts are also easy to share on social media sites and via email or RSS feed, which makes them ideal for our next purpose:
It helps you network with others in similar or complementary industries
Your blog posts will attract these visitors, who will hopefully comment or share your post and may also make direct contact as well. They may have expertise you can learn from or a service you could use, or vice versa. If it’s appropriate, you could set up a working partnership, perhaps with reciprocal advertising and discount offers for customers. Maybe you could invite them to write a guest post on your blog – which may in turn lead to a reciprocal invite for you. This gives you a chance to spread your message and brand to a whole new audience.
It allows you to interact with customers and get feedback
Blog posts are a great way to stay in touch with existing customers and attract new ones. They can quickly and easily interact with you or respond to the topics you’ve discussed by leaving a comment on your blog post. Make the most of this feature by ensuring some of your posts ask questions of your readers or directly invite them to share their similar experiences. You can also show the more human side of your business in blog posts, and customers respond well to that more personal touch – it helps to forge a connection.
So if you don’t have a blog, now is the time to get organised and start one up. You don’t have to post every day and your posts don’t have to rival War and Peace for length, but try to start a manageable but regular regime of posts so that subscribers know what to expect.