For small businesses, posting to a blog on your website can be a very useful tool to let people know what’s new with your company. It can also be overwhelming to keep up with! Entrepreneurs and small business owners ask me all the time (through clenched teeth at times) “do I really need a blog?”
Well, as you might guess, it depends. I think it’s a great idea, purely from a content creation standpoint. If you start with a blog post as your core content (ie the main piece of shareable information you create on a monthly or weekly basis) then you can repurpose that in your email marketing and across your social media networks-with the end goal of pushing traffic back to your website.
While I’m a fan from the content creation side, blogging is also hugely beneficial when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) So, I asked my friend Rebecca (Bex) of www.bexmarie.com to tell us how having a blog can really boost your traffic.
Take it away, Bex!
Hi, I’m Rebecca (affectionately known as “Bex”) and I make beautiful, handcrafted websites for makers who sell beautiful, handcrafted products.
As Stacey noted above, having a blog is going to help you with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a popular buzzword, and you’ve probably heard that it’s something you should do, but you might not know why or what it actually means. To simplify it for you: SEO is a general term for any actions or activities you do with the intent to gain traffic to your site from search engines (like Google). SEO is the strategy you need in order for your website to be listed in search results.
In order to get this magical traffic from Google onto your website, you need to show up in the search results, preferably within the first few pages. Of course you know what the search engine does (in theory). It takes a person’s search query, does some secret voodoo, and then spits out thousands of results. The goal of the search engine is not necessarily to spit out results that match the search terms exactly, but to answer the underlying question the user is asking.
Content is one of the top 3 ranking factors that Google uses when displaying search results. And when I say content from the perspective of SEO, I’m talking about text content…since search engines are text-based (ie you type in words into the search box and Google ‘reads’ text on websites to determine if they are a good result). A blog is a way to create consistent, quality, text-based content on your own website.
Now, it’s important to know what keywords to target to get good traffic to your site. Good traffic would be your ideal customer, where your products/services solve the problems of the people who you attract to your website. That is how you use SEO to get actual business. You attract your ideal customer by writing content to answer their questions and address their needs and concerns. After they read your post and are satisfied with your high quality answer, they are more likely to click around and explore your site more (TIP: have a great “call to action” at the bottom of each post!).
In addition to content, “freshness” is also very important for SEO. “Freshness” refers to how often your site is updated and how new your content is. Blogging is great for SEO because it hits both of those factors. Pages on your site are content too, but they are not typically fresh, new content. By publishing blog posts, you’re creating fresh content for your site.
>> If you want to increase search engine traffic to your website and provide helpful quality content for your ideal customer, then yes, you do need a blog.
>> If you plan to drive your own traffic with your social media marketing or email marketing efforts alone, and you don’t want traffic from search engines, then you don’t need a blog.