There are still many businesses that don’t have blogs on their websites. And there are many more that do have blogs, but don’t take the time to update them. A blog can be a great asset to your website and can help you generate traffic and leads. If you’re still unclear as to how a blog can help you, here are five good reasons to get your blog updated today.
#1 – It Helps To Drive Traffic To Your Website
Every company with a website wants to drive as much traffic to that site as possible. The fight for traffic is never-ending and often exhausting.
There are several ways you can attract new visitors to your site including:
- Direct Traffic – Direct traffic comes from people who already know your name and your website. They may be potential customers who received a business card or saw an ad for your website somewhere, but the overwhelming majority of direct traffic comes from people who have been to your website before
- Paid Ads – Banner ads and pay-per-click advertising are a way to drive new traffic to your website. But these methods can be very costly and time consuming, and it takes a solid understanding of paid search to be able to achieve a good ROI.
- Social Media – When you have a strong following on social media, you can generate traffic to your website based on what you post. But again, those who follow you on social media are likely already customers. When those customers share your posts with others, they are helping to expose you to potential new customers. The key to making social media work for you is by sharing useful, interesting, and unique content.
- Search Engines – When people seek out answers to questions, or they search for the specific types of products and services you offer, they will visit your website if it’s a good match.
Paid ads are another topic for another day. But blogging is the glue that holds together your social media and organic search efforts.
Your main website content probably doesn’t get updated that often. And you probably don’t have a lot of those “static” pages to work with, anyway. But a blog is an area that can be updated as often as you’d like. And each time you generate a new blog post, you’re giving Google a new page to crawl. The more pages you generate, the more often your site will get crawled. And the more pages there are to crawl, the better understating Google will have about just what you do. When search engines have a firm handle on what you do, they can better match you up with users who are searching for your services.
Blogging also helps you with your social media presence. When you post new content, your social media manager has new material to work with. And when your blogs are especially useful to your audience, they will be more likely to share that content with their own followers. As your presence grows, you’ll begin to generate more traffic from social media.
#2 – Blogging Can Generate Leads
It’s not enough to simply drive traffic to your website. You want new visitors to hang out a bit and learn more about how you might be able to help them, and thus create a new lead. How do you do that? Well, first, your blog posts should address specific needs and problems of your potential clients. But more importantly, each blog post should contain a call to action. That might be:
- A free e-book or report
- Access to a free tool or a free test drive of your product
- Fact sheets
- Anything that someone would be willing to exchange a small bit of personal information in order to receive
You’ve probably downloaded lots of free information from websites over the years. What types of things have you exchanged your own personal information for? The key to making these freebies work for you is to make the information compelling enough that someone wants to trade their info for it, and to eliminate as many barriers as possible to them receiving it. Your sign-in and opt-in forms should be extremely simple. Name, email, website, and maybe one or two other vital pieces of information. You don’t need to collect a full dossier. And if users are forced to enter their entire life or business story to get your freebie, they just won’t do it. Keep it simple.
It’s important to understand that this is not an instant recipe for thousands of new leads. In fact, the first few months that you implement this, your new leads may come in at a slow drip. Each month review what you did. See what worked and keep making adjustments to improve your lead-generating statistics.
#3 – Blogging Positions You As An Authority
Remember the old saying about “showing” rather than “telling.” Your main website copy tells visitors a lot about your products and services. But it typically doesn’t show them your expertise in your industry.
Your blog is a place where you can really get into great detail. You can showcase exactly how you do what you do and how you help your clients. That doesn’t mean your blog should talk about you. But if you understand the main problems and points of pain among your potential customer base, you can develop informative content that helps them work through those problems.
And you don’t have to look to your marketing department only for blog posts. Your sales and customer service team can be great sources for material. And it helps them when dealing with customers. A CSR who can direct a customer to a post he authored can help him show that customer that he truly knows what he’s talking about. And a sales rep who can answer objections with a blog post that she wrote and published goes a long way to help her establish trust with prospects.
Your blog is a place to fly your flag. Prove to the world that you, your products, and your services are as great as you say they are by generating truly helpful and informative blog content. Your visitors will share it with their decision-making team, and perhaps even with colleagues in the same industry who may be able to use your services.
#4 – Your Blog Works Even When You Aren’t
If you write and upload a blog post at 9:00 on a Monday morning, that post doesn’t end there. You can generate traffic to your website every hour of every day for years based on just one post. I have a client who wrote a post three years ago about Twitter. Now, think about how much Twitter has changed in three years. Know what hasn’t changed? It is still the #1 most-visited page on their website. Three years later.
That might be the most wonderful part about blogging. It creates so many new doors for people to enter your site. And those doors never close. A few well-written and well-timed posts can create returns for weeks, months, and even years after they are written.
#5 – It’s Your Very Own Testing Grounds
A blog is a great place for you to test new material. You can introduce new ideas, and test new services without having to spend a lot of money on a huge roll out or user test. You can see which of your ideas resonate with your audience and which ideas fall flat. All without too much extra effort on your part.
It’s A Crowded World Out There
The blogosphere is crowded. And most companies have a blog, even if they don’t update it very often. It is critical that you don’t just publish blog content because you “have to.” You should publish blog content to become a resource for your potential customers out there who you may not even know exist yet. In order to cut through the buzz, you have to come up with interesting ways to tell stories. Solve real-world problems. Make your content interesting and useful enough that readers feel compelled to contact you and to share your content with others.
Blogging takes effort and energy. But when you put that effort and energy to good use, your website can start producing the ROI that you always hoped it would.
Are you just starting out with a business blog? Have you yet to get started? What are some of the hang-ups keeping you from blogging your way to traffic and leads?
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