Lots of businesses nowadays have blogs on their websites and use blogging on behalf of their business. What’s the point of having a blog for your business? How does it help?
There’s no one correct answer to that question and I’d like to consider five ways in which businesses can utilise blogging to their advantage. These five approaches to blogging for business aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, there’s likely to be considerable overlap amongst them, as businesses often use blogging with more than one purpose in mind.
To Drive Organic Traffic to Your Business Website
Blog posts provide an excellent opportunity to write keyword-rich content which drives organic traffic to your website. By carrying out keyword research you can determine search terms which are likely to be used by potential clients. You can then create content which addresses the search intent of these queries. As your posts are displayed on search engine results pages (SERP’s), with appropriate meta descriptions, potential clients are likely to click through to your site.
The blog posts themselves should be designed not just to address the immediate intent of the query, but to funnel readers through to your product and service pages. In this way you use the blog posts as an entry point into your website before directing the reader to where you’d like them to go.
To Improve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
When I first launched my business, I was told that having a blog was good for SEO, but I wasn’t told exactly why this is the case. In fact blog posts can help with your SEO in a variety of ways.
Blog posts provide you with the opportunity to expand on content published elsewhere on your website. You can provide much more detail about the ins and outs, describe practical examples and demonstrate solutions. As an example, on my own business website I list and describe the services I offer. Then I have blog posts where I describe in much more detail how to go about resolving certain specific issues, as well as actual descriptions of jobs I’ve undertaken.
Writing longer form, detailed, keyword-rich content on your blog, enables you to garner favour with Google and other search engines. Not only that but posting regularly shows the search engines that you’re keeping your website fresh and up to date. This is also helpful for SEO and ultimately for your rankings in search.
To Provide Useful Rather than Promotional Content
A blog can be used as a means of educating your readership. This means that not only is its purpose to show potential clients how you might assist them, but it also becomes a resource for them. You can provide more than just blog posts, but links to other helpful resources, videos, and free downloads such as eBooks.
As business owners we of course always want to promote our businesses. However, by providing useful content, some of your customers might actually be able to use what you’ve written to solve their problems themselves. This may not result in any immediate financial return for you, but it means that those customers are likely to continue to consider you and your business as a resource. They may well return to you in future when they encounter an issue they are unable to resolve on their own.
If you have a good understanding of the issues and challenges of your target audience, you can produce content which provides solutions to their problems. As you do so you can go into much more depth about topics than is possible on your product or service pages.
As Part of an Integrated Social Media Strategy
Your blog can, and should, be used as part of an integrated social media strategy. For example, you could write a short post on Facebook or Twitter, which is essentially a teaser for a blog post you will publish a few days later. Then, after the blog post has been published, you can use email marketing to link back to the blog post and drive the reader back to your website.
You can also do this the other way around by using your social channels to promote your blog posts. The obvious channels are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but you might also use Pinterest, Tumblr or YouTube. You can also syndicate your content to platforms like Medium to gain wider exposure.
To Establish Authority & Expertise
This last one is the approach which most accurately describes how I use the blog on my own business website.I write my blog posts for current and potential clients and the posts are designed to showcase the range of services I offer. I will often provide more detail on services listed on my home page or service pages and the posts provide me with the opportunity to demonstrate my ability to address a client’s issue.
As an example, I recently wrote a post about Apple Mac repairs. I described various issues which might be encountered on a Mac, together with possible solutions. Shortly after publishing this post I received a phone call from a client having a particular issue with his iMac. He’d read my blog post and was able to tell me, based on my post, that the cause of the issue would probably be one of two things. He was correct and I was able to solve his problem and repair his iMac.
Google’s goal with search queries is to provide expert, authoritative and trustworthy (E-A-T) solutions for people. By regularly producing content which demonstrates expertise, exudes authority, and answers questions my customers are asking, my business generates increased credibility with Google. As a result my website ranks more highly for relevant search queries.
Summing it all up..
So there you have five ways in which you can use blogging for your business. As I mentioned at the beginning these are not mutually exclusive. You may use several of these approaches together. In fact, you may find that even when focusing on one approach, you will also fulfil some of the others.
As a business owner, it’s important for you to have a clear strategy for how blogging should benefit your business. Then write your blog content accordingly, and review it regularly, in order to determine whether you’re achieving the outcomes you desire.
This article was written by Norm McLaughlin. Norm is the founder of Norm’s Computer Services, a local computer repair and IT support business in Brisbane, Australia.