You’ve got a great business website. It looks good, has great information on it and really complements your real-life business. But you don’t have a blog on it. Here are nine reasons why your business website needs a blog and without one you could be losing customers.
You’ve got your website all sorted and it looks great. It’s your virtual shopfront, your online selling tool, a place for potential customers to come to find out more about you. It’s your digital business card.
Time to cross that thing off the to-do list. Now you can sit back and wait for the customers to come rolling in.
What, you’ve had your website for six months and you’ve got hardly any traffic?
Hmm… well, how’s your blog going? Is it hitting the right keywords? Is it written in a way that offers helpful information to your target market? Is it written by an experienced professional content writer?
You don’t have a blog? Ahh… well, this is awkward.
A blog is a crucial element to any business website. The days are long behind us where it’s an optional extra. These days, it’s the honey that brings the flies to your beautifully constructed fly trap. A blog is important for a range of reasons.
SEO, or Google ranking
Delivering fresh, relevant content to your website every week tells Google that you are an expert in this subject and have much to say. The more people come to read your content, staying for longer periods, the more Google will believe that you have good content and will help people who are looking for answers. So it will serve your website higher than someone whose website doesn’t have all that additional content and doesn’t have readers coming to consume your content.
Why is a Google ranking important? Well, for example, in my area of expertise (residential real estate) we know that the vast majority of house hunters begin their search online. The goal for real estate agents who have a website and a blog is to make sure Google serves up their website whenever anyone who fits their target market is on the Googling machine.
If your ideal customer is Googling, “How to sell my house” or “How to choose a good real estate agent” you want your beautiful website to be the first one they see, right? You bet.
So, a good, well-written blog helps your website improve its rankings in the Google search results. This is very important.
A blog is an ideal opportunity to connect with someone at the exact moment they are looking for an expert, someone to help them with information. That person can be you! If you’ve got a blog, that is. If you’ve got good, shareable content, someone who is hunting for information on, say, how to choose a real estate agent to sell their home, will read it, learn from it and probably share it with their partner or perhaps another trusted person in their inner circle to seek confirmation that the information is good.
You also have a golden opportunity to be personable! Write with personality, be a bit funny, a bit lighthearted. In other words, be engaging. A blog is relaxed. It’s not formal, structured writing. It’s friendly and warm, as if you were writing to a good friend.
With a big library of blog content behind you visitors to your site will see your area of expertise and the depth of your knowledge. This engenders trust and confidence. Your potential clients are searching online because they want to learn and become educated about something. If your blog helps them on their quest for information and their desire to be better informed, then they’re more likely to choose you when they want to purchase.
Establish your identity
Easily explain more about yourself, your ethics, your fundamental principles, with a blog. Explain how you can help using your expertise and skills. Outline your business, what your products and/or services are and how you can help them. It’s your online business card, in many ways. Your blog is an opportunity to keep a well-crafted, subtle sales pitch ready 24/7.
It is also an opportunity to connect with local issues. For example, if you’re an online retailer and the Australian government is talking about a tariff for overseas retailers who are your competitors, write some blog posts about why this is important and what it could mean not just for your business but for your locally based competitors.
If you’re a real estate agent specialising in an area where there is a lot greenfield development, write some posts about how these developments impact housing prices, using the supply and demand reasoning. Help people deepen their knowledge of real estate issues, and also show you’re plugged in to the community. Sure, not everyone will agree with your argument, but if you have a well-written, well-researched post, you will have supporters and those supporters may one day become your customers.
Catch them early
An element of prospecting that many real estate agents ignore is that most buyers eventually become sellers. So why not attract buyers to your website and help them on their journey to property ownership? If your website and blog are good enough, you’ll have buyers bookmarking your content and sharing it with their friends. Also, if they trust the information you have provided, they are likely to return when it’s time to sell.
This logic translates across all fields. It is a common strategy to start your buying decision with online research. Do your customers ask some simple questions when they’re researching or about to buy? Capitalise on that by creating blog posts that answer those questions. Attract them to your website with information and answers to their queries.
Impress customers with quality
If you only take one lesson from this post, let it be the importance of high-quality blog posts. If you’re not an exceptionally good writer yourself, then you must hire a professional content writer. Before you think to yourself, “Ah, this is Felicity’s sales pitch,” just hear me out.
What’s the difference between:
Let’s eat, Grandma
Let’s eat Grandma.
Simply put, punctuation saves lives. And if you aren’t quite sure what the joke is, then you definitely need a professional blogger.
A professional content writer, or a professional blogger (yes, I am one) is someone who knows how to structure a blog post for maximum readability. It is someone who can convey concepts quickly and simply, translating the complex into the understandable and the high-level into the mainstream.
If your blog posts are poorly written, poorly punctuated, poorly proofread, then your readers will drift away and not come back. Why do all the work of setting up a website and a blog, along with all the social media channels, if you’re going to fail at the last hurdle? What a waste of time and money!
A good professional blogger will also help you find topics that are relevant to your ideal customer. And they’ll be able to provide content quickly and to a very high standard.
The halo effect will see that the good juju you accumulate with your highly polished and professional blog will extend to your brand. What does that mean? Well, it means that if you have an outstanding blog, with many interesting and informative posts, the customer either consciously or sub-consciously will associate high quality with your brand. Bingo! You’ve moved them another step down the sales funnel and one step closer to a purchasing decision!
And one final reason for hiring a pro blogger – do you really want the hassle of writing a blog post every week? Four hours you spend writing a blog post could be four hours spent prospecting for new leads. Just outsource the stuff you’re not an expert in and focus on the things you are an expert in.
Social media benefits
A regular blog gives you content to share on social media, that other hungry beast that takes up your time and energy!
If a new blog post lands, say, every Wednesday, you can get at least two social media posts, possibly three, out of each one.
For example, if you’ve got a blog post, “How to prepare Queenslander homes for sale” then Thursday’s Facebook and Instagram posts could be: “Got a Queenslander home that you’re looking to sell? Here are some tips that will help.” Post a link to the blog.
On Saturday, or the following Monday, you could post: “Vertical join walls (VJ) can be tough to sand and paint. Here are three helpful tips.” And post a link to the blog.
This is an altruistic reason, a reason that doesn’t give you any benefit at all, but a blog can help educate others. Once again, let’s look at my area of specialty, which is residential real estate. There is considerable legislation and governance around real estate, most of it state-based, but with some federal overlap. The rules change regularly. And when you combine that with the fact that, generally speaking, people dip in and out of real estate fairly infrequently you can see that an educational blog would benefit the real estate customer. For example, in Queensland the Government gives first-home buyers money so they can buy a house. This grant, called the First Home Owner’s Grant (FHOG), was once $7000 and could be used to buy an established home or to build a brand new home. Then the Government changed the eligibility criteria so that it could only be used to build a new home. Then the grant was increased to $15,000. Then it was increased to $20,000. And then, on July 1, 2018, it reverted to $15,000.
You can see a lot of information and quite a few blog posts in that information. A blog is an opportunity to be genuinely helpful and share your knowledge and expertise.
Finally, a blog is important because it is delivering fresh, new content to your website every week. This is great for customer retention. Keep people coming back for more information and regular updates.
In conclusion, top reasons for business blogging
A business blog is an opportunity to attract potential customers to your brand. It’s a way to start building a relationship long before your customer sends you an email or calls you. A blog will help you establish credibility with your potential customers, because you can demonstrate a depth of knowledge and expertise.
You can inspire confidence before they even meet you. And once they’ve become a customer, you can keep them coming back by updating your library of authoritative and helpful articles.
A blog is an opportunity to add another marketing channel to your mix. It’s a powerful and compelling sales tool when used correctly, so don’t let your website go to waste without adding a great, well-written blog!