A website is incomplete without a blog. When it comes to building and enhancing your online presence, building a business website should be one of your first steps. A website enables you to rank higher on search results, drive more traffic, increase engagement, and generate leads and conversions.
But without a blog, ranking your website on the first page of search results is almost impossible. Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages, according to TechClient. If you’re uncertain about whether you should have a blog or not, here are five compelling reasons why you should have a blog.
What is a blog?
A blog is a part of a website where helpful information, such as news, events, updates, tips, tutorials, etc., is shared consistently to engage website visitors. It acts as an informational journal, providing visitors with helpful information.
When you walk in a shopping centre or a corporate building, you’ll often come across a notice board (or pinboard) that consists of public information, such as news, upcoming events, and more. A blog is like a notice board of your website. You can use it to share valuable information to inform, educate, and delight your customers. And if used strategically, a blog can be your lead generation machine and help you generate high-quality leads consistently (more about it later).
Let’s quickly discuss blogging as well. Blogging refers to the process of continuously updating your blog by adding new blog posts and other forms of content. Updating your blog can boost your SEO, help you rank higher on search results, and drive more traffic to your website.
Here are some approaches to updating your blog:
- Create and share blog posts yourself
- Hire a professional content creator or marketer to manage your blog
- Accept and publish guest posts.
You can also mix up the three approaches to keep your blog up and running.
Why does your website need a blog?
Now, let’s come to the question of the hour. Why should you care about having a blog on your website? Let’s look at a few reasons.
Share valuable information and establish thought leadership
Whether you’re a business owner, CEO, senior leader, or entrepreneur, establishing thought leadership can add immeasurable value to your business. The benefits of thought leadership apply to both B2B and B2C companies.
The decision-making process is complex, especially in the B2B landscape where multiple decision-makers are involved. Even in B2C, customers refer to numerous sources and conduct in-depth research before making a purchase. Establishing thought leadership enables you to align the problems your consumers are facing with the solutions you provide. Thus, when customers look for a solution to their problem, you’ll be the first name to come to their minds.
This leads to brand affinity. Your audience gets to know you better, which drives engagement, shortens the buying journey, and streamlines lead generation and sales.
Blogging is a valuable way of building thought leadership. In this era of digitisation and tech-boom, there’s so much happening in every industry. By sharing useful, relevant, and valuable content that informs and educates your consumers, you can present yourself as an expert and thought leader. Here are some tips to follow if you want to leverage blogging to establish thought leadership.
- Focus on helping your consumers, not selling to them.
- Create high-quality, original, and relatable content.
- Be dependable and consistent.
- Use a wide range of content forms, such as text, videos, infographics, etc.
- Put your expertise and experience to work.
- Guest blog on leading industry websites.
- Stay in touch with your readers by answering their questions and engaging them in comments.
Keep your audience updated
Another significant benefit of blogging is that it allows you to keep your audience in the loop about your business. Let’s say you’re a local landscaping services provider, and you’ve started offering home cleaning services as well. Homeowners who need landscaping may also require home cleaning.
How’ll you inform your customers about the new service? Some ideas that may come to your mind are showing ads in newspapers, distributing brochures and flyers, putting up billboards, and more. While these tactics work, they all have a couple of drawbacks.
First, you can only reach a limited local audience. Suppose you provide services in all areas of the city or various cities. In that case, you’ll need to distribute more flyers or brochures. This will increase your marketing costs. Second, you can share a limited amount of information on print advertising materials. What if your customers have questions regarding your new service?
A blog resolves both these hurdles. Since it is online, your consumers from everywhere can see it and get the latest updates. You can explain your new offering in-depth by answering all the possible questions related to pricing, insurance, certifications, and more.
What’s more, you can link your blog to your offline marketing materials to offer your consumers an omnichannel experience. QR codes enable you to bridge this gap. You can generate a customised QR code using a QR Code Generator, link it to the blog post, and put it up on your print materials like brochures and flyers. If people who come across your print materials want more information, they can scan the QR code using their smartphone to read the blog post.
Open up a new channel of communication
Customers love options. The more channels they have to interact with your brand, the more likely they are to stay loyal and become brand advocates. Brands that offer omnichannel experience notice a 91% higher year-on-year customer retention.
When you set up a blog, you open a new channel of communication for your customers. It becomes a community where they can interact with your brand and other like-minded individuals. Moreover, it becomes a knowledge base where customers can find answers to their queries. Data from Forrester shows that customers prefer knowledge bases over any other self-service channel.
Leverage content marketing
Suppose you want to build an online presence and leverage digital marketing to the fullest. In that case, you need to implement a robust content marketing strategy. Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focusing on creating, publishing, and distributing valuable content for a highly targeted audience.
The purpose of content marketing is to attract and develop a highly engaged audience that translates into marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and conversions.
The first step towards implementing a content marketing strategy is to pick the right channel. Blogs are one of the most effective channels for content marketing as they’re free to set up and offer the potential to reach a global audience. Content marketing using blogs can help you generate leads, build an email list, and drive conversions.
If you’re not sure how to get started with content marketing, here’s a step-by-step process to follow.
- Clearly define your path, channel, and goals
- Identify your audience
- Craft your voice and tone
- Map out a content strategy – blog post topics and other types of content you’ll share
- Evaluate your progress
- Stay agile and adapt to the results
Implement SEO to rank higher and drive traffic
If you have a business website, but it doesn’t show up in search results, the chances are that it’s poorly optimised. While Google uses over 200 indicators to crawl websites up the search results, a website with little to no content has bleak chances of showing up on the first page.
Check your website and see how many pages it has. Most likely, you won’t see any more pages apart from the home page, service page, contact page, and perhaps a products page if you sell something online. Ranking higher on search results with these pages is difficult.
When you set up a blog, you add a new page to your website every time you publish a blog post. And since a blog post includes more content than other web pages, you can optimise it using the right keywords, internal linking, image ALT texts, and other techniques. Doing this repeatedly on multiple blogs will boost your website’s SEO performance, resulting in higher search engine rankings and traffic.
When your website ranks higher on search results, it’ll get easily found. This will lead to more exposure, better brand awareness, more leads, and more sales, bookings, or appointments.
How to set up a blog for success?
Now that you know the importance of a blog for your business website let’s look at some effective tips to set up your blog for success.
- Get started with the right platform: If you already have a website, you can skip this step as you’ve probably already chosen a website management platform. If not, WordPress and Wix are powerful platforms to get started.
- Find a niche: The niche you write on will depend on your business and the products/services you offer. If your business doesn’t belong to a specific niche, find a niche closest to what you offer.
- Write about what you like: Pick any book on blogging, and you’ll find this tip everywhere – write about what you love. When you write on something you’re excited about, you’re more likely to stay consistent.
- Provide value: While writing what you love is crucial, you need to keep your audience’s needs in mind as well. Ensure that the content you share is valuable and helps your audience in some way. This boils down to understanding your audience well.
- Focus on distribution and marketing: Creating high-quality, informative content isn’t enough. Focus on distributing the content you create using platforms like social media and email.
- Leverage social media: Social media can be an effective source of traffic for your website. Be sure to share the latest blog posts on your social media profiles to get referral traffic.
- Use the right plugins: Choosing the right plugins is the key to getting tangible returns from blogging. Plugins for SEO, email, forms, and compression are good to get started.
- Make commenting easy: Interaction and engagement should be your priority when blogging. Make commenting easy and encourage interaction by asking questions and feedback.
- Monitor analytics: Keep an eye on your website analytics to see how your blog is performing. Based on the analytics, you can take the necessary actions to improve your blogging performance.
- Inspire action: Lastly, remember that your blog is a marketing tool. Don’t miss the opportunities to collect email addresses or drive a sale.
Conclusion: Start your blog today
As SEO continues to get more competitive, blogging can give your website the essential boost to crawl up the search results. A robust blogging and content marketing strategy can help your business in myriad ways, from increased brand awareness and thought leadership to more leads and sales. Therefore, adding a blog to the website is something every business owner should prioritise.