When people bring up blogging, many think it’s the digital version of “Dear Diary.” Others see it as someone with a grudge, sitting in their parents’ basement, typing out their fury for the few readers they have. Yet still others see it as a bunch of nerds and ex-journalists trying to seem important and cutting edge. But, what is blogging, really – and why does a company need a blog?
While some of those stereotypes are true, the truth is that many businesses of all sizes are not only creating websites, but they’re also maintaining blogs to go along with them. From pizza shops to software developers, everyone’s got a topic of the day they’re willing to write about for whoever will listen. Why?
Well, there are a few reasons why blogging is so important to a business.
First, it can position the business owner and/or staff as an expert in their field. Customers are no longer opening the telephone book and calling the company with the biggest ad; they’re going online and they’re savvier searchers than ever before. In the overcrowded online marketplace, people are looking for someone who knows what they’re talking about – someone they can trust.
For example, say you wanted to hire a roofer for your home. You go online and find several roofing companies. Are you going to choose the one that has a website that looks like it hasn’t been looked at since 1996, or will you choose the one who seems to be so passionate and knowledgeable about roofing, he writes about it at least twice a week?
Of course, not everyone is a Shakespeare. If you think a blog is right for your business but you don’t want to take the time or effort to put fingers to keyboard, that’s where we come in. We will speak with you about your products or services, research the industry, and deliver polished, professional, and passionate pieces you can be proud to include under your brand.
Another reason why blogs are important is search rankings. One of the many metrics a search engine like Google uses to determine the rank of your website is how recently it’s been updated. It’s why, for example, chances are that roofer’s website from 1996 won’t show up anywhere near the top of the rankings.
Having a blog on your website is a natural way for your site to stay current for search engine algorithms to notice. And by providing quality content – another metric they use – it will have you ranking even higher once it sees that your site has an ever-growing body of work that’s related to your URL, company name and keywords.
Keywords are another factor on the plus side of blogging. Despite what you’ve seen in your email spam, repeating a word 146 times does not get you high up in the rankings. In fact, search engine algorithms are programmed to ignore these kinds of “false positives.” Your SEO must be as organic as humanly possible in order to climb your way up the rankings.
Blogging is the best way possible to get your keywords onto your website without making your site read like it’s a bunch of gobbledygook.
Blogging also allows for interaction with past, present and future customers. There are two ways to achieve this – one is by engaging in blog post comments, and the other is by inviting people to subscribe to your blog.
With comments, it’s a way to humanize your brand and let people know that there is a “face” behind the company name. With subscriptions and RSS feeds, interested people will get your blog posts delivered straight to their inbox, to keep you top of mind – on their own terms.
You can also use your website’s blog as a way to inform readers of company news, offers, new products or services, and industry trends. It’s like an automatic newsletter that’s archived for easy searching, or your own press release distribution service.
One of the things that many people forget about when they’re blogging is links within each blog post. If you’re writing about a certain topic, you can use keywords in your post as hyperlinks to other websites or blogs that have to do with that word. Again, it’s all about the search rankings.
Speaking of links, blogging also allows you to get your link “out there” by creating a blogroll. A blogroll is simply a list on the sidebar of your blog that features other blogs you are interested in. If your suppliers, colleagues or others in your industry have blogs as well, you can ask for a link exchange where you each have the other’s blog on your blogroll. Again, this helps with ranking – the more places that link to your blog, the better.
Finally, blog posts serve as an excellent bridge between your website and any social media you might be using to promote your brand. By having social media widgets on your blog page and having links to your blog posts on social media updates, you’ve created a two-way street as well as an automatic way to continually link your website without simply, well, linking to your website over and over again!