Bob the business owner built a website, but he didn’t know what to do with it once it launched. He wondered how to attract leads to his site. Google only knew he existed when a few specific words were used in a search. He needed something more. He didn’t know it yet, but Bob needed a blog.
Most business owners have at least considered starting a blog on their website, but many don’t know how to get it going or even what it should look like. Some try posting a blog sporadically about company news. They get zero results and quickly give up. They think blogs don’t really work and this is proof. Sound familiar?
Those business owners couldn’t be more wrong.
When potential customers have questions or want to research a product, they go to Google looking for answers. Articles posted to blogs drive traffic to websites because Google finds those sites and moves them up in search results—making them visible and leading prospects right to them.
Someone will answer prospects’ questions and gain their loyalty and business. That someone could be you. The best way to tap into a vast potential customer pool is to start a hard-working blog on your company website.
Need some convincing? No problem. In this two-part series, I’ll show you exactly what a blog can do for your business and how to do it right. Be sure to follow this blog so you don’t miss Part 2.
There IS a right way and a wrong way to use a blog
To begin this discussion, we need to define what a business blog really is. I’m not talking about a personal blog full of: “Hey everyone! I ate this for breakfast and this is how I felt about it.” Only a tiny audience will care about that type of blog (or maybe no one will care). Nope, that’s completely useless to a business.
A business blog is also not the place to talk about the day-to-day minutia of your business or your staff. Nobody outside of your office cares whose birthday it is this week. Nobody cares that you repaired the green on the eighth hole. It doesn’t improve or change their life in any way. Don’t post upcoming sales either. That should be in a different location on your website.
This isn’t about you. It’s about your clients and prospects.
Think of a business blog more like an online business magazine, full of great articles that provide information and a bit of entertainment to your readers. They want to get their questions answered. Answer them. They want information that helps them in some way. Provide it to them. Sometimes they want to giggle a bit. Why fight it? Give them a reason to smile.
Whatever you do, create content that puts your customer pool first and adds value to their lives. Focus on them and you won’t go wrong.
What is the purpose of your business blog?
This question must be answered before starting a blog. If you don’t know the purpose you want your blog to fulfill, it will be aimless and ultimately, useless.
There are basically two purposes behind creating a business blog: to attract leads that create sales, and to retain current clients. Your blog can do both, but depending on several factors, it will focus on one purpose more than the other.
How often you post new blogs, what you write about, and how you promote those posts determine to a large extent who your blog is geared toward. Let me give you two examples.
Example 1: Business A
Business A wants to focus on driving leads to their website and building an online following. They know this is a good way to increase sales over time. To accomplish that goal, Business A has chosen to post once a week on the same day each week. They post informational articles geared toward questions their current clients ask and general information around their particular type of business. They make sure the information they create is useful to their readers.
Posting at the same time each week creates a consistent, predictable timetable so readers (and Google) know when to expect new content. This is important for search rankings as Google weighs frequency and consistency of new content quite heavily when deciding how to rank websites in searches.
Business A also posts quality content using search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Google notices quality content and pushes their website up the rankings. Guess what? The prospects Business A wants to attract will see those regular posts and click on the content.
Taking the next step, Business A promotes their blog on social media sites to reach new prospects. This critical step exposes their content to those who may not be searching for them on Google, but the prospects’ interest is piqued by what they see in their social media feed.
Example 2: Business B
Now we’ll turn to Business B. They write a post once a month, post it to their website, and send it in an email to current and past customers. They write about the current state of the market their business lives in and what they see happening in the future. This is a common strategy among businesses attempting a blog. So, what does it do for them?
This strategy focuses almost strictly on current and past clients. Why? Posting only once a month does little to boost their SEO efforts. Google will be less likely to move them up in search results because it wants to see fresh content posted more than just once a month. This limits Business B’s reach to new leads online who can build their business.
Furthermore, the information posted in this example only appeals to a small number of people—those looking for that particular piece of information at that specific time. It doesn’t build trust or interest with potential clients. It leaves them out in the cold. Brrr.
In contrast, Business A’s efforts keep current and past clients interested in their product or service. They continually build brand loyalty by staying in front of those clients who have already purchased from them. Business A knows it’s easier to keep current clients than win new ones. With their blog churning away, they can now do both.
Don’t be Business B
By now you can see the difference in the two examples I used. Business A provides consistent, quality content and promotes it on social media. They understand the purpose and direction of their blog. They get it.
Business B flounders around with no real direction or understanding of how to make their blog do its job. They haven’t defined its job. It can’t do its job without a purpose.
Don’t be Business B. Take the time to decide what you really want from your blog. And if you’re still not convinced a blog would benefit your business, read Part 2 to learn more reasons to use this dynamic lead generator.