Setting up an online business is easier than ever. And there is so much opportunity to make money online, that more people than ever are setting up websites. From ecommerce to affiliate marketing, the potential for profit seems limitless.
However getting your business seen is the tricky part. With 500,000 new websites created every day, and thousands of new businesses going under every year, having a strategy is key for success.
One thing you might have heard is that blogs for business are one of the best ways to get organic search traffic. But is this true? Do you need a blog, and how do you even go about working out what to write?
And how can a business even use a blog?
We’ll take a look at all of these questions and more right here…
Why blog for your business?
The reason people blog on business websites is to create content for search engines to find. This is referred to as ‘organic’ content. Put simply, by creating useful content that is related to your business, you increase your chances of your business getting found for specific search results.
So if, for example, you’re trying to rank in the search engines for a competitive search term, you can create content designed to serve this use.
As an example: you run a business offering remote personal assistance services for busy executives. A remote PA is increasingly a popular option for business people, but they don’t always want to hire someone full time.
How do you find clients?
You can go and find them on your social networks or apply for PA jobs online. Or… You can setup your business website and fill it with useful content about how a PA can help a business professional.
Regular blogging indicates to the search engines (e.g; Google) that this site is relevant, and therefore will rank higher.
And the more regular your blogs, the higher the chances of your site ranking on page one of Google. And that is why you create a blog for your business.
But do you need a blog for a business?
Are there alternatives to blogging?
Blogging is time consuming and can be difficult if you’re not a natural writer. So what are the alternatives?
Running pay per click ads on Google, Facebook or Linkedin can be a great way to improve your brand visibility. This allows you to advertise your services, and hopefully win some new leads.
Google Ads is the most popular way to promote your business. Yes, it can be costly, and it doesn’t guarantee instant results. But with PPC ads, you know you can target specific demographics quickly.
Using social media can also be very useful, especially Linkedin. In fact finding clients on Linkedin is a key part of any business services website. For ecommerce or retail, you’ll be more likely to use Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to win retail customers.
You can also create other forms of useful content, such as YouTube videos or Instagram posts. These are as time consuming as written content though, and don’t serve as organic content for search engines.
Put simply, having a strategy of writing blogs for your business is going to help you in the long run.
What do you blog about for your business?
One major problem for business owners is coming up with blog ideas. The trick is to research your audience and try to understand what they’re looking for – and then give them content.
For example, if you’re offering a new brand of skateboard equipment, you’ll want to offer buying guides for skateboarding, how to guides and product reviews.
If you’re setting up a tourism business, you might want to write a blog about the best things to do around your area, post about whats on/whats happening and maybe even profile associated businesses.
Going back to the personal assistant, you might want to blog about how to organise time as a business person, or other pain points.
Put simply, you want to identify what your ideal customer is looking for, and write for them.
It’s a good idea to create a strategy and to stick to this, at least at the beginning. Create a schedule of posts that you can write for two or three months, and stick to it.
Put simply, SEO is search engine optimisation. This is the art and science of writing content that is designed to be found by the search engines, but is useful for human readers.
When creating a blog for your business, you should have at least a basic understanding of SEO.
I highly recommend using Yoast, if you have a WordPress based website. This offers a really useful guideline to follow when writing your blog.
A very simple guide to SEO is:
- Identify a search term and try to use this naturally within your content
- Use variables of this search term too, but don’t ‘stuff’ keywords into your blog…
- Use subheadings that ask a question, then answer the question under that heading
- Write for people, not search engines
- Use images that are relevant to the blog
This is just an overview of SEO, but you can check out a more in-depth guide to SEO here.
How quickly can I expect to see results from blogging?
Organic search results are a funny beast. If you’re targeting a low competition search term, you can be in the search results in a few days. For more competitive search terms, it can take weeks, months or… You might not rank at all.
It depends on a lot of factors, which is why it’s often a good idea to hire an SEO professional to manage your business blogging.
They will usually advise on things like image alt-tags, keywords, strategy and backlinks. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors to consider.
But writing a blog for your business is very much worthwhile, especially if you want more organic search terms.
Hire a professional blogger and SEO manager for business.