One of most frequently asked questions here at Be More HQ is whether or not a blog is an essential part of a business’s website. On the whole, we tend to say, ‘Yes!’ Not only is a regularly-updated blog a great way of improving your site’s SEO, it’s also an opportunity to share what you’re passionate about and position you as an expert in your field.
Remember who your audience is- your customers!
They mystical Google algorithm is a beast which needs to be pleased. One of its major updates a while ago meant that just using keywords wasn’t enough anymore. The search engine is geared towards ‘intent’, which means you need to focus your thoughts on what your audience, or customers, are intending to find and engage with.
This means that while you might find the detailed code of the app you’re developing, or the technical side of the print machinery you use, interesting, your customers will probably not. They want to know about outcomes- how will the app help simplify their lives? What can you offer that means they can turn around a print job in hours rather than days?
Whether you’re selling a product or a service, what your customer is looking for is a solution. As well as showing that you’re keeping up with whatever is latest in your field, you should demonstrate how this translates into good news for your customer. Save your pieces on specialisms for your niche industry magazine- one day they might end up on Have I got News for You!
Being able to write well helps…
This is where we will advise clients to think carefully. If you love to write you’ll have no problem sticking to a blogging plan or schedule, but if the very idea brings you out in a cold sweat you should either look to outsource or put your energies elsewhere in your business.
We’re not talking about perfect prose here; there’s plenty of wiggle-room for minor mistakes in a small-business blog. But laziness or sloppiness, or, even worse, confusing or boring content, can make your business look lazy, sloppy, confused or dull.
If long-form writing isn’t your thing, but you’re decent behind a camera (ahem, unlike me) it’s just as valuable to put your energies into an Instagram profile. You can share your thoughts and ideas with your customers and your profile can easily be connected to your website. Or, maybe you feel more at home on Twitter where potential customers can find you as the guru expert on a particular subject.
However, outsourcing can be a great way to get fresh relevant content onto your site’s blog without you having to get to bogged down in it. Content provided by an agency can be closely guided by you, or you can leave idea-generation to the agency and just turn your attention to where it’s really needed.
Don’t take yourself too seriously
A business blog is a place where you can really show the personality of your brand. Let’s say you’re a financial services company who have to stick to some pretty important legilstion when it comes to describing what you offer your customers. On your blog page you can relax a bit and show a slightly more informal side to the business.
If you are able to welcome your customers to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business- how you make things or what makes you tick- you’ll be reinforcing the fundamentals of your brand and building trust. This, combined with the expertise and problem-solving function we mentioned earlier, can go a long way to turning a potential customer into someone who’s ready and willing to pay for what you offer.
So don’t be tempted to be too formal; inject a bit of personality into your blog and let people find out a bit more about you.
Blogging takes time and patience
We always get our clients to work to their budgets and spend the time and money on the things which are most likely to generate a return. It’s better to have an up-to-date website and relevant look than a fantastic blog which nobody’s going to read.
But, on the other hand, a blog not only drives traffic to your website all by itself, it can also provide you content to inform your social media posts. If you promote your blog via your social channels you enrich your followers’ experience with articles and other content. Without a blog to promote on social media, you’re missing an opportunity to drive high quality engagement with your audience.
Looking for help with regular blog-writing for your business?