Blogging is a great way to build your brand and increase your local business’ visibility online. Writing blog posts about your industry and your local area can greatly improve the credibility and familiarity of your business. With greater credibility comes the ability to attract more customers and become an authoritative hub for your local area.
As search engine marketing legend, Rank Fishkin of SEOMoz says:
Blogs build familiarity and positive branding and if I remember my business school training, the cardinal rule was – people do business with you because they know you, like you and they trust you – blogging accomplishes all three (and they show off your expertise in a subject).
The following five points are the reasons why your business should start a blog:
1. It builds your business’ credibility
Authority, reputation and trust are all key aspects of credibility. A blog providing valuable local insights and recommendations can boost all three within a local community. Becoming more credible makes it easier for people to endorse your products and services.
2. Allows you to become your local area expert
Blogging about your local community and other local businesses in your area positions your business as the central hub for your local area. Being a trustworthy resource for your area makes it easy for other businesses to cite your blog and recommend you – especially if you have recommended them!
3. Increase your email subscriber list
Having a blog helps to attract visitors to your site especially for long tail search queries. Having more visitors means you have more opportunity to turn them into customers by capturing contact information to send updates and promotional material.
Coupon websites are powerful because they have a large and segmented customer database they send their offers to. Why not do the same and get your own customer database and market to them directly?
4. Form relationships with customers
A good blog gives your business the opportunity to communicate directly with your customers and answer questions they may have. This can be done in the comments section or by writing blog posts to answer specific questions or topic requests posted by your customers or your followers.
This open dialogue can further improve the trustworthiness and community element of your business. Showing you are actively participating in the local community also encourages people to become fans on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.
5. Improved search engine rankings
Search engines rank websites based on citations, credibility, brand and reputation. This is especially true in the local search results where user generated ratings and credibility play a big part in ranking for local search queries.
A blog helps your website’s SEO rankings in a number of ways:
- Having more content on your website gives you more opportunities to link internally to other pages within your site
- The more blog posts you have, especially if they are valuable to readers gives you more opportunity go get links, citations and eventually more website traffic
For a small business that doesn’t have much time, starting and maintaining a blog can be challenging. However, it can still be done! Regularly writing short posts of less than 200 words a couple of times a week can be a good way to start.
Some other ways to generate blog ideas:
- Interview other local businesses owners in your area
- Have other people guest post on your website
- Check your analytics for blog ideas
- Ask your fans on Facebook and Twitter for ideas
- Comment on any local developments or initiatives
The benefits of blogging to your business can be dramatic if you take the time to make it a good resource. If you need some help starting a blog or with any other SEO services, get in contact with us and we will give you some advice.
If you have a business and are blogging, please share your experiences in the comments section!