As a busy small-business owner, you may wonder if it's worth the time and effort to maintain a blog on your website.
If you want to increase the visibility and credibility of your company to consumers, you might consider regularly posting quality content on your website that will be interesting and useful to them. A blog is where this content may be housed, whether or not you call this section of your website a blog. On many sites, the “blog” has a different label, such as News, Press or Articles.
Here are six reasons why your small business website should consider a blog.
1. Drive traffic to your website.
In addition to the ROI a website with a blog may generate, websites with blogs may be able to get more traffic than websites without blogs. How do blogs drive all this additional traffic?
Good SEO results are largely driven by new content and relevant keywords, which means fresh content and a place to house it. Blogs provide you with the platform to do just that. Adding fresh content to your website may help it place higher in search engine results than other websites, which could make it more likely to get clicked.
2. Convert traffic into leads.
Now that your website is getting more traffic, you have the opportunity to convert that traffic into leads. Each new piece of content may give you the opportunity to generate leads, and the way to do that may be by adding a call-to-action to each blog post. Try offering something that consumers will give up their contact information for, such as a free e-book, free webinar, free consultation or quote. Once you have their contact information, your sales team can follow up with those leads.
3. Become an authority.
The best small-business blogs can answer potential customers' common questions and discuss industry trends. If potential customers view your blog as one that can provide helpful information about relevant topics, they may be more likely to do business with you than with your competitors. Interesting and unique content can also give you the opportunity to drive traffic to your website through inbound links.
4. Build relationships with potential customers.
The comments section on your blog may be a place on your website where you can have a two-way discussion with consumers. Encouraging engagement on your blog might be as simple as asking questions at the end of a post to get the conversation going, waiting for readers to leave comments and then interacting with those readers. By responding to your readers’ comments, you have the opportunity to build trust and gain insight into what your customers are looking for.
5. Boost your social media efforts.
Blog content can be perfect for sharing on social media. When you create original content that's valuable, interesting and entertaining to your target demographic, you may be more likely to get social shares. An added benefit: Unlike posting curated content on your social channels, content that's shared from your blog will point directly back to your website.
You can also add social sharing buttons to your blog so visitors can easily share your content—potentially turning your readers into your own grassroots marketing team.
6. Drive long-term results.
So you write a post on your blog, promote it on your social channels and hopefully get some shares. After that initial flurry of activity, the traffic driven by that post will slow to a trickle. And that’s the end of that, right?
Not by a long shot. That page is now ranked in search engines. Just like the rest of the static pages on your website, this blog may continue to be visited as long as it's on the web. In fact, a website with a substantial amount of blog content can continue to boost total traffic from old blog posts, providing the potential of a pretty substantial return on the few hours you invested in writing a post
From a practical standpoint, adding a blog to your small-business website may just make sense. With minimal expense and effort, you can help to boost search engine rankings, build credibility, increase website traffic and foster relationships with customers. This, in turn, may make your readers more likely to hire you or purchase products from your company, in addition to recommending your business to others.
Read more articles about blogs.
A version of this article was originally published on November 2, 2015.