Creating and maintaining a blog for a small business can be a time consuming activity. Since time isn’t something that most small business owners have in abundance, why should you spend this precious resource on a blog? Is the return really worth the investment of time, energy, and dollars? What are the benefits that a blog brings to a small business?
Determining the return on investment when it comes to blogging and social media is still a fairly nebulous task. New ways to track, measure, and monetize these efforts has become the focus of many larger companies this year as they shift more of their resources into marketing online.
Until these metrics are determined, companies will be required to make decisions based on anecdotal evidence – something that small business owners have a lot of experience doing. Here are three such examples on why your small business needs a blog.
Blogs Raise the Visibility of Your Small Business
Google closely guards the secret to how it ranks web pages and decides where these pages will appear in search results. Many SEO (search engine optimization) experts have performed tests to see how various SEO techniques impact this ranking.
They’ve found that blogs can play a key role in how high and how quickly a page ranks in these results. A small business that has a blog attached to its website will be easier to find through search engines than a small business without one.
You want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find you on the internet. Studies have shown that most people won’t go past the first page of search engine results and very few will go past the second. A blog can help your small business get to these critical pages.
Blogs Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Think about the questions you’re asked as a small business owner on a daily basis. Existing and potential customers ask the same questions over and over again. A blog takes the FAQ (frequently asked questions) page of a website to a whole new level.
While the traditional FAQ page is available to your audience on a 24/7 basis, the answers it provides are often too generic and vague to be of much benefit. A blog allows you to answer these questions, provide examples, and tackle follow up questions in a way that’s more beneficial to the reader.
When combined with social media accounts, small business owners can raise awareness of these FAQs and direct their potential and existing customers to the blog posts that answer them. Imagine how much time can be freed up for the small business owner when their customers utilize their blog this way.
Blogs Give Your Small Business Personality
Just because a business is small doesn’t mean that the owner knows and interacts with their customers outside of business hours. Oftentimes, small business owners have to wait until the doors are closed to take care of all of the back office functions.
Many compensate for this lack of personal involvement by sponsoring sports teams, school events, and charitable causes in their community. Adding a category to your business blog that highlights these activities can be great for local SEO efforts, and give you an opportunity to inject that personal involvement into your sponsorships.
Rather than just being a name on the back of a jersey, your small business blog can make your company a go to resource for the participants in these events for news and highlights about them.
Does your small business have a blog? What impact has it had on your small business? How are you encouraging your existing and potential customers to visit your blog? How are you engaging your community with it?
Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Bluberries