3 of the most important blogging benefits for business
If you’ve heard that people are using blogging to grow their business online, but are struggling to connect the dots on exactly how it works and how it will benefit your business, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to understand the exact reasoning behind creating a blog, but when it’s broken down, it’s easy to see the blogging benefits for business. This blog post takes you through step by step to understand what we believe the 3 main benefits of blogging are, and whether or not you should try it with your business or seek out inbound marketing services for help.
Blogs answer common questions for your customer
You probably spend a good portion of your sales interactions with prospects going over the same information. Why is your product or service better? How is it used? Answering the same technical questions about your product or industry over and over is exhausting, and a waste of time. The answers are vague enough that you won’t want to advertise them in your general marketing, but important enough that you want to make sure that a serious buyer would have access to them.
One of the great blogging benefits for business is that blogging allows you to post on your website about these topics in enough detail to act as an in depth sales resource that your customer can reference at their own pace and at all hours of the day. Having this information accessible online is also necessary to increase how many leads you convert to customers. Today, 57% of the purchase decision is complete before a customer even calls a supplier, meaning that if substantial information about your product or service is not online, you may find yourself fighting an uphill battle to change the mind of a potential customer who has mostly made up their mind before contacting you. Your website needs to act as an initial salesperson to make sure you don’t discourage potential customers when they are doing their pre-purchase online browsing.
Having all sales information for your product available on your website in an easy to understand document with a conversational tone just makes sense. You can even use online content to streamline your personal selling by emailing blog content to a customer as a way to clarify phone conversations, share it on social media to increase awareness, and even use it as a resource when training new employees.
Blogging makes it more likely that visitors will end up on your website
Another big way that blogging benefits your business is by helping your website to show up on the Google search results pages. People are making Google inquiries all day everyday, and the information that they find from these pages determines what they choose to purchase. The way to increase the likelihood that your blog will appear in Google search results is to make sure to include keywords in the text. For example, if you want your blog to show up for companies who are looking for “how to build a website”, you would create a blog post that includes the keyword “how to build a website.”
There are a few things to keep in mind regarding keywords. First of all, since there are only 10 organic results that show up on the first page of Google, keywords are very competitive. This means that trying to rank for a common keyword, like “dentist in Portland” will be very difficult. However, long-tail keywords are specific keywords that a more specific group of people are searching for, and these kinds of keywords are easier to rank with. For example “invisalign specialist in Portland, Maine” will be easier to rank with and more worth your effort. There’s also a higher likelihood that someone searching for something specific is closer to making a purchase decision, so long tail keywords are almost always the way to go.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Google is smart, so don’t try to “trick” the system by creating a blog post with the keyword jammed in there 25 times nonsensically. Quality content trumps keywords every time, and Google will actually penalize you for bad content. Best practice is to use the long tail keyword 2-3 times in the blog in a way that is natural and makes sense.
Remember, most of the buying process now takes online before talking to a sales representative. So being helpful at this stage in the buying process can go a long way to earn a customer’s trust and business.
Blogs are the online version of friendly sales reps
Another one of the main blogging benefits for business are that blogs help you close the sale by giving your customers access to the right information at the right time and by improving your company’s visibility with Google. They also help set the tone for your company, and serve as the “online personality” of your company in a way that goes beyond a well-designed webpage.
Your blogs are a place where you can set the tone for your company, where you can tell your customers who you are and what you stand for. Considering your online reputation is becoming synonymous with your company reputation, it is important to use all of the tools at your disposal to tell people what you are about. If your blog is inspiring, inclusive, and educational, you will leave your customers feeling positive about your company and enable them to build a personal connection with you. This is an opportunity to humanize your company in a way that is difficult to do on your website.
Blog posts also are a source of original content that you can share on social media to keep your business in people’s newsfeeds, and to lead them to your website. It is fine to share other people’s content on your social media page, but it should be balanced with sharing your own original content.
How to get started with blogging
If you’re considering starting a blog or building out a body of sales content online but don’t know where to start, it helps to create a content strategy first. If you’re more of the DIY type, getting started with a keyword research tool like the Keyword Explorer from Moz can help you identify topic opportunities that could work for your business. If you prefer a more full-service approach, Form + Function offers inbound marketing services to help you create a content strategy and produce top-quality blogs, eBooks and sales collateral to help you turn your website into an effective & engaging lead generation machine.