Most of us have heard that blogging for business is good. Or that if your company has a website, it needs a blog. Often, not much is said beyond that; why you need a blog and what it should do. That’s partially because what a blog should do is dependent on what want it to do. If you’re going to take the time to write content for your business blog, it’s worth figuring out what the goals of your blog are.
Afterall, if you don’t know where you’re heading, how will you know when you get there?
There are many reasons you might want a blog for your business. Improving the search ranking for your website (SEO), customer engagement, content marketing, additional assets for wider digital marketing and positioning your company as a thought leader in your sector are a few common reasons for business blogging.
The goal – or goals – you choose will dictate how you go about creating content and building your strategy. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons for blogging so you can decide what kind of blogging you want to do and if it’s right for you.
How to Improve Search Rankings with a Business Blog
This is one of the most common aims for business blogs. Search engines rank websites on a number of different factors. Quite a few of these factors relate to content, the words used on the website and how relevant the content is to the searcher’s intent.
That’s why SEO and blogs go hand in hand.
A blog is the perfect answer to meeting many search engine results page (SERPs) ranking factors because the content created has the potential to be relevant, include the right keywords people use when searching for information, products or services, and keeps your content current.
However, for a blog to be a useful SEO tool, the content needs to be consistent and good quality. The reason for consistency is that the internet LOVES fresh, new content. Things change quickly in our always on, always connected world. Your business services and products probably don’t change much from week to week – so your core website pages remain the same month after month.
What people want to know and the pertinent topics around your core products and services do change. By regularly adding a blog post, you keep your website fresh and you let Google, Bing, and Baidu (the world’s top three search engines) know that the information you’ve published for the world to see is current.
A business blog should cover all of the subjects related to the brand. Don’t go off topic and start blogging about unrelated things. If you run a holiday cottage and publish blogs about your yachting trip around the world, the blog is unlikely to help. A blog should cover topics that are relevant for your business goals. This improves your credibility in the eyes of search engines, is helpful to your customers, and will naturally include the keywords that people use to find services and products like yours.
Boosting Customer Engagement with a Business Blog
Before people make their buying decision they research. A massive 81% of shoppers in the US do research online before making a purchase. It’s even higher in the UK since 2020, at 84% with convenience outstripping other deciding factors such as price or how quickly someone could get their hands on the goods.
A blog is an excellent way to grab the attention of new customers researching products before they buy. To do this, try matching blogs to the various stages of a customers journey towards making a purchase. Build awareness with broad educational articles. Help customers weigh up their options through the consideration stage with guides, pros and cons and deeper dives into product details. Evaluations of the options available can assist by simplifying the decision stage too.
Creating content that helps customers with their purchasing decisions builds trust between them and your business. This increases your chances of being the choice when it comes to spending their pounds.
There’s no need to put a link to ‘contact us today!’ at the end of each blog post. Simply create engaging, helpful content. Genuine content, designed to help people understand and make a purchasing decision is an excellent sales and customer engagement tool.
Blogs that engage your customers – and potential customers – have the added benefit of keeping people on your website longer. This helps the SEO goal too. The longer people spend on your website, the more credibility you build in the eyes of search engines. Win-win!
Content Marketing Needs Blogs
It needs other content too – social posts, landing pages, e-books, video helps and audio can too. There’s a LOT involved with content marketing but in almost all cases, blogs will be at the core. Blogs are one of the chambers of the successful content strategy’s beating heart.
Content marketing builds your backlinks (good for SEO again), brings traffic to your website and leads to your business. It has a lower cost than traditional marketing but is 13 times more likely to generate leads. It’ll take some work, but it will also attract your ideal audience and nurture the relationship with your business. OptIn Monster tells us that blogs can also double your email traffic.
Successful content marketing relies on a clear strategy and then (obviously) content that works to fulfil your strategy’s aims. To put a content marketing strategy in place, you’ll work through the following steps:
- Your focus and goals – who you want to reach, how and the benefits you’ll deliver.
- Milestones – How you know you’re on track and that your content is working, this could be more enquiries, more sign-ups, or more website traffic. It could be all three and then some. The key is to make sure they’re measurable so you have hard figures that show you’re on track.
- Define your audience – If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, they’ll never hear you. And don’t try to tell me it’s everyone either, because that’s a cop-out. Your product or service isn’t for everyone. Define your audience and you have a better chance of reaching, engaging and attracting the customers you want. Buyer personas can really help.
- Check your position – Figure out what you’ve already got, from sales decks to images, blog posts to how-to videos. List it, categorise it, find the holes and note what needs filling. Figure out what content matches which stage of the engagement journey and what works – if you have the stats.
- Fill the gaps – When you know what you have got, you’ll know what you need, or at least you’ll have a very good idea. It can also help to do some topic research and brainstorming to come up with a list of subjects you can cover with your content and also the types of content you might need – blogs, clips, audio recordings, guides and more.
- Lay it all out – Put everything down in a content calendar so you know what to create, when and what to do with it once you’ve created it. It could be that you write an article and publish it to your business blog, but you shouldn’t stop there – share it and repurpose the content to get the most out of your efforts. That can mean anything from sharing in social posts to using it in emails and newsletters. It depends on the answers you came up with in steps 1 and 2.
- Time to get busy – Now that you have your plan and your calendar, it’s time to implement. Create the content you identified needing, distribute it as you intended. Keep a regular cadence and keep an eye on what’s happening too.
- Analyse and tweak – Don’t create content in a bubble. Keep an eye on those milestones and the metrics that let you know if all this work is moving you towards your goals. If it is, keep at it, if it’s not moving fast enough, tweak it according to the information you are getting back. Keeping an eye on your analytics is key to adjusting for success.
Becoming a Leading Light in Your Industry
What business doesn’t want to be recognised as experienced and expert in their industry? Blogs that demonstrate you know your stuff are thought leadership pieces. These build your credibility amongst your peers. They also build trust and authority with your customers.
Thought leadership pieces are your chance to voice views about hot topics in your industry, share your experience about how your company got to where it is today, or network with complementary businesses to offer insight and elevate others.
Industry analysis is also another key area for thought leadership blogs. You’ll need to have a certain level of credibility in your space already and you’ll need to make sure you’ve done your work – research your topics and know your stuff to the core.
You can build a great community around your business with thought leadership pieces, stand out as the company to watch and build trust in your products along with the way you work and your company’s values.
Just as with blogging to improve search rankings, customer engagement, or as part of a content marketing strategy, blogging to become a thought leader in your space will need a little planning. A business blog had many benefits. It’s important to identify what you want to get out of yours and then methodically follow the clear steps to success. Consider your goals, consider who you want to reach, why and what benefit you’ll bring with your blog. Remember to analyse your stats and adjust your course as necessary. That way, you’ll hit a bulls eye faster.