3 Big Reasons Blogging Matters for Small Businesses

Small Business owners, we have some good news and some bad news…

The good news is, launching a website for your business is as affordable and accessible as it has ever been.

Even the smallest of startups is now able to craft a website that makes them at least look competitive to the big players in their industry.

The bad news?… EVERYONE is doing it.

That’s right, it appears almost everyone who manages a business has heard our good news, meaning websites are looking cleaner, more organized, and more professional than ever before. Even for small businesses. With powerful CMS like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, business owners can partially manage websites on their own if they hire someone with some solid web skills.

These are all good things, it means that the playing field online is starting to level out, so much so that Google search algorithms are slowly updating to favor local, smaller businesses who keep a strong web presence in their area.

But it also means that throwing up a new website and letting it accumulate cobwebs is no longer an option. It needs to stay updated, both in code and in content.

Plain and simple, you need to blog. Here are 3 reasons why blogging matters for small businesses in today’s marketplace. If you skipped down past the rest of the article to get here, no problem – these could very well save your company.

Connection

You can strip a blog post of all of it’s researched keywords, splashy images, calls to action, and links to call, and you’ll still have the main goal accomplished — a connection with your audience (if you don’t have this, you’re blogging wrong). At the end of the day, a good blogger is engaging in a conversation. This conversation, if done correctly, will not only educate your community on the topic that your business falls under, but will plant a seed in their minds as to who their local expert is should the time come that they need it.

Here’s an example: Joey is in the market for a new bicycle. He knows of two bike shops in town, but for different reasons. The bigger shop has a billboard that he passes on his way to work each day, It has the name of the business, a picture of a bike, and the address. The second shop is a bit smaller, but his biking friends suggested he follow their blog a few weeks ago. They offer tips on how to change a flat tire, where the best local bike paths are, and why wearing a helmet is important. Which shop do you think Joey will choose?

8 times out of 10, the bloggers win. It’s because of that connection you can make simply by keeping the conversation alive week after week.

Conversion

High conversation rates aren’t unobtainable for small business websites, you just have to work for it! Blogging is the easiest way to bump these conversion rates WAY up.

Why so? Well, think of all of the opportunities a blog post contains for getting a lead to convert, almost like an online sales pitch. Here is a short list of things you can do in your blog posts that have been proven to get conversions:

  • Calls to Action! A great one at the end of your article, and 1-2 in the middle of your content if you can make it flow naturally. There’s no harm in putting your phone number in these.
  • Links to outside, competitive websites. Having targeted keywords linked out of your website can help boost your SEO. Just make sure the sites you go to are trusted, and open in a new tab or window.
  • Links to previous articles you’ve written. If you bring up a topic you have already spoken about on your blog, make sure to link back it as it gives supplemental information. It also helps your SEO to do this consistently.
  • Share Links. A few good shares from your followers on their social media profiles and you could see your web traffic shoot through the roof. Make sure every blog post you write has the ability to be shared across Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ with ease.
  • A Comment Section. This is a wildcard, but if you really want to foster the dialogue between you and your customer base, you’ll need to allow them to comment. Encourage this with asking questions or giving polls. Their responses may even give you your inspiration for your next blogpost!

Competition

Besides educating and connecting your community to your business, keeping a consistent blogroll brings in a slew of technical benefits, all of which give you the upper hand on the competition.

Most notably, high SEO.

Search Engine Optimization has been given a black eye by the amount of spammy emails and phone calls the typical business owners receives on a daily basis, but blogging still remains as the most sure-fire way to get your company ranking above the rest online.

There are billions of websites out there, and most likely thousands of specific competing websites to yours. BUT, the number of quality blogs with unique, weekly content being uploaded and shared across multiple platforms is much, much lower. If you blog, and you follow the tips given in this article as well as our other blog posts, you will see higher web traffic, higher customer trust, and most likely some higher conversion rates.

Blogging should be the part of every small business content marketing strategy, and it should also come the most naturally. You are the expert at whatever it is you are supplying or selling, so show your community that! Most business owners are constantly reading and discussing industry trends, products, and tricks of the trade — don’t be shy to share some of those with your local audience as well.

Remember, a smart consumer can find the answer to pretty much any question they’ll have online, so wouldn’t you rather that brilliant answer come from you?

If you still have questions about blogging for your business, or need help setting up a smart content marketing strategy, feel free to give us a call at 508-251-5560. You can also contact us online via this simple, online form if you think you simply do not have the time to blog yourself, or do not have someone with the background or experience to do so. The Mindbrew team loves writing SEO optimized content that is fun to read and fun to engage with. It’s one of the smartest ways to grow your business in 2015.

 

Forrest Musselman

fmusselman@mindbrewcreative.com

Forrest holds a B.A. in English from Framingham State University. Prior to Mindbrew Creative, he spent time working and interning with larger agencies, where he was able to learn from influential creative leaders. Using his homegrown skills in web and graphic design, Forrest paid his way through college (Gordon College, Temple University, & Framingham State) and was able to grow long-lasting relationships in both Greater Boston and Greater Philadelphia (his two favorite cities), that have become invaluable to Mindbrew’s success. Forrest is a foodie who loves to spend quality time with family, enjoy the outdoors, grill, and jam out on his 3-piece drum kit.