Blogging serves many business purposes. A well executed blog can help to position you as a thought leader, help you to network with other professionals online, humanize your business, foster brand loyalty, encourage people to form an emotional connection with your brand and more. A blog can also increase your online visibility, or what is known as your Web presence, and help people to discover your services.
Blogs can be a lot of work and take time to maintain. As you’ll be investing time and perhaps money into your blog, it’s wise to determine what your objectives are for blogging, and a plan for achieving them. You’ll also need to understand who your audience is, and how they use the internet. If your audience is actively looking for your type of service through search engines then blogging with the objective of gaining visibility online may in fact be one of your best options for marketing your service. If your customers don’t typically look online to find your services, but rather turn to their friends for referrals, then your time may be better spent invigorating your existing clientele.
While blogging serves many objectives. One of the biggest ones for small business owners and solopreneurs is to create visibility.
Creating visibility with blogging
There are two main ways blogs can help you to create visibility. 1) A good blog will help you to rank better in search engines, and 2) a good blog will help you to build your presence on social networks.
How it helps you to rank better on search engines.
Blogging isn’t magic. It’s not like you blog, and then your site shoots to the top of search engines for your keywords. It takes some time, sometimes several months, depending on how competitive the keyword is, and how powerful the effort is. It’s also important to remember, Google’s algorithm for how it determines search results is complex and largely top-secret, so search engine optimization isn’t an exact science, though there are factors that we know count, and that start to add up when you blog.
- Pages Indexed: Every time you blog, you add another page to your website for Google to index in their search engine. The more pages your site has indexed on Google, the more authority your site has. Google favors sites that have more authority.
- Backlinks: When you blog you create an opportunity for people to share that blog content with other people by forwarding it or posting it to other sites. When a link to your site appears on other people’s and businesses’ sites, it’s known as a backlink. Backlinks also help to establish site authority. This is considered to be the most important aspect to search engine optimization (SEO). To some degree, Google is likened to a popularity contest. Sites that are linked to from other (reputable and popular) sites, have more clout with Google.
- Keywords: Creating content that contains words that your customers use when searching for your services helps Google to understand that your site is relevant to the search. If you are a massage therapist, blogging about the various benefits of massage therapy signals to Google that your site is about massage.
How blogging helps you to fare better on social networking sites
In addition to being a powerful tool for climbing through the search engines, blogging helps you to establish a presence on social networks and reach people who maybe never heard of you. The goal is to create interesting content that is shareable. When you blog, you then have the option of adding something valuable to your business’s Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn pages’ status updates. If the topic and headline are interesting, and/or if your fans are loyal readers then they will click it and read it, and then share it with their friends by posting it to their social networks or through email. In short, blogging allows your contacts to introduce you to their contacts and so on.
If your business’ services are looked for online, then blogging may in fact be an important marketing tactic for you to use. Much of successful blogging lies in the planning. Be sure to plan your campaign before getting started. When you do start to blog, follow these best practices.