In marketing, content is still king. If anyone tries to tell you differently, they’re either lying or confused. That being said, content has changed a great deal over the years, and the kinds of content that are important now are perhaps not the things that you may have thought of as important even a few years ago. Due to the fast-paced nature of the digital communications industry, trends seem to come and go before most people have a chance to get a hold of them. Blogging, however, is not one of those trends and for those of you asking ‘does my business need a blog?’ the answer is unequivocally a big fat ‘YES!’. This article explains why your business needs a blog and how you can get the most out of a blog for your business.
What is a Blog?
It’s more than likely that you’ve come across blogs if you use the internet at all. Blogs are websites, or parts of websites, which are dedicated to content. The blogging industry has boomed over the last ten years and it has become a legitimate business for many people (including myself). The reason for this is that blogs are an excellent medium through which you can communicate a message, sell a product or even change someone’s life and this has made them a huge asset for commercial businesses all around the world.
More than likely, when you think of a blog, you think of a lifestyle website written by an individual within a certain niche. There are endless different styles of blogs – food, parenting, lifestyle, health, exercise, tech and sports to name just a few. These kinds of blogs have become indisposable for product-led companies, as they are a trusted by consumers far more than traditional advertising. It is therefore unsurprising that businesses themselves caught on pretty quickly and realised that not only were third-party blogs useful, but blogs on their own websites could be a huge asset too.
Differences Between Business Blogs & Consumer Blogs
Blogging for business is very similar to your average lifestyle blog, however, there are some very important key differences:
- Your business blog sits as part of your main website
- The central content pillars of your blog should revolve around what it is your business sells or does
- You monetise your blog in a very different way to a normal lifestyle blog (revenue comes from its benefit to your business, not from on-page advertising or product promotion)
Whilst these differences are key when looking at the structure and content for your blog, there are also some important similarities to consider:
- Just like a consumer blog, your business’ blog should be all about what you can do for the customer (service, expertise, advice)
- Your blog should be updated regularly with fresh content
- Your blog should act as a medium through which you demonstrate your authority on a subject
Why Your Business Needs A Blog
For me, there are two main reasons that explain why your business needs a blog. The first of these is the potential SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefit to your business’ website. I always promote SEO as a key part of any digital strategy and blogging is a huge part of that.
The reason for this is that search engines like Google like to see websites that have demonstrated a clear authority on a subject. If a search engine’s ‘bots’ can crawl your website and find relevant, well put together content on the subject that a user is searching for then they are much more likely to put your content in front of that user. Similarly, adding multiple pieces of content to a website enables you to add a great number of ‘long-tail keywords’ to that blog. This is another important SEO ranking factor to enable search engines to identify your content.
Additionally, search engines like to see that a website has lots of interlinking related pages. If you build up a good amount of blog content on your website, which is linked through to other pages on your site related to that topic, search engines can clearly see a journey through your website. It is in their best interest to give their users the most well-rounded experience possible, and a website with a clear journey does that.
The other key reason to consider when thinking about why your business needs a blog is that as much as SEO is important, you are not writing for the search engines. You are writing for your customer and blogs have been proven to improve user experience and increase your chance of selling your product or service. Customers trust blogs implicitly and 70% use them over advertising to discover products. As you can see from the Infographic below, 90% of customers find custom content useful in their purchasing journey. If you don’t believe me yet, check out these other figures which prove why your business needs a blog…
How To Make The Most Out of Blogging For Your Business
Whilst I fully believe that a blog is an essential part of any modern business, I want to stress that there is no point starting a blog if someone in your team is not going to keep it up. Whilst a blog does not need to take days or even many hours out of your time, it does require thought and effort to be effective.
Putting a clear content plan in place for your business’ blog is very important, as it enables you to pre-plan and be more efficient and effective whilst writing. Building a content plan around your key business topics (much as you would build your SEO strategy) is a very good way of creating and sticking to a content plan. This will also make it as effective as possible for your website’s SEO. For example, one of the services that I offer is blogging for business’, which is why an article such as this is so beneficial both for me and for you. Not only do I have the authority and the knowledge to impart this information, but it is relevant to my website and therefore positive for my SEO score.
By thinking of your blog as a core strategic element of your digital strategy, you will be able to utilise it to its full potential and not only make it generate traffic for your website but also generate revenue. Blog content is evergreen, meaning you can use it forever, it’s not going anywhere. If there is one thing that I recommend doing as part of your digital strategy it is to start a blog, and if you already have one, to make the most out of it.