In the article, 10 ways to increase your web traffic, I briefly talked about how a blog can help drive traffic to your website. Large companies have people dedicated to blogging and social media, but how does that fit into a small business owners to-do list? And do you really need to have one? Below I will show you, 3 reasons your small business needs a blog:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Blogs are great for driving more traffic to your website. How? Use your company’s top keywords. The more keywords you mention in your blog that relate to what you are promoting, the higher your search engine ranking will be. This in turn will lead to more customers.
So, what are keywords? They are words that people type in to fine your type of small business. For example, if you are a winery, you want to mention your location, the name of the winery and any other keywords that describe your winery. Such as, do you have a lake? Outside seating? Wedding location?
Tip: To find your top keywords use Google Adwords Keyword Tracker or WordTracker. Plus, the more often you update your website blog, the higher up you will be in the search results.
Part of establishing a brand is building a relationship of trust. Let’s break this down, starting on a personal level. How do you build a friendship with a person? By getting to know them and sharing time and experiences together. How does a company build trust? By creating personal relationships with its customers. Don’t you always want to return to the coffee shop that knows you by name?
Now, how does a company build trust online? The secret is to think of it as creating friendships. You aren’t going to hard sell someone you meet at a networking event, so don’t try to do it online. Then how do you create relationships online? Someone leaves a comment on your blog and you respond. You send out a recent blog post on Twitter and respond to comments or re-tweets. Ask for your readers opinions. As your customers, they can give you insight into what they value.
Tip: Talk about your life and passion for your company. This will lead people to have the perception that they know you. Remember, future clients want to get to know you, as a person, not as some corporate person they can’t picture.
If your company receives praise in the paper or on another blog, what do you currently do with that information? One great way to build trust from future clients is to let others know of the recommendations you are getting from outside sources. This shows you as a leader in your field and increases your reputation as an expert.
Tip: To track what other people are saying about your company, set up Google Alerts. It will send you an email every time your company name is mentioned.
Remember that a blog for your business should be focused on your target customers. The look of your blog should match the rest of your company’s branding – including your website, e-newsletters, social media and print collateral. Plus, it should be part of a larger online marketing strategy for your small business. Still not sure what should be on your company blog? Read What to Write on your small business blog.