One of my neighbors is starting his own business, and as such, a new website. He asked me earlier today if he should bother putting a blog on his site, as he’s seen on his competitors and other sites across the web.
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is as follows.
There are several great reasons to have a blog on your company’s website, no matter what stage of business you are in. One of my major rules in SEO is that while your site should be optimized for the search engines, it should be geared towards your potential customers. Your blog puts you in a great position to do both.
Blog For Your Customers:
Having a blog and updating it frequently with stories and anecdotes relevant to your industry tells potential customers that you are an expert. If they are using a search engine to find you, they have other options. You want to stand out from this crowd. Your blog doesn’t (and shouldn’t) just have to be stories about your specific business, though it is great to throw up a few self-promotional posts about a deal, product or service every few posts. You can also write about what is trending in your industry, and how that affects your business and your customers.
This is also a good opportunity for you to expand your brand. If you can write a few posts that are very informative, charming, funny, witty, etc. your readers will put you in front of other readers, who become followers, who could become customers. Your blog can and should easily tie in to the other social media you are running for your site (you are right?). When you have a new blog post, tweet it, share it, plus it; and invite your followers to do the same. Maybe offer a few prizes or discounts to followers who help get you out there. The more people you can attract to your blog, the more people you attract to your site where people can learn about who you are and what you do well.
Blog For Search Engines:
Again, you should write posts targeting your customers. They are the ones that will be hitting up your shopping cart and calling about services, not Google. However, you still need to make sure you are optimizing your blog for search engines. This means using this valuable space for keyword rich content. Since you’re already writing about your industry, it isn’t hard to relate it directly to your business and a specific keyword you want the search engines to notice.
Next, your site can be developed so the blog posts count for additional pages. It helps your site to have extra inner pages indexed by the search engines, especially if they are rich in valuable content. And while your blog should be a separate page on your site, it will help to have the most recent post on your homepage (and just your homepage). This ensures that your homepage is getting fresh new content every few days or so, which will make the search bots want to crawl your site more. And having the new post on your site will draw your readers to your home page to check up on the latest. This will build your site’s value in the eyes of the Google bots.
In the end, the long answer arrives at the same point. Yes, it is very valuable for your site to feature a keyword rich blog that happens to tell your customer what they want to know. You don’t have to post every day, but don’t wait too long before you write a new one either. You want your customers to come to your site often and like what they see.