For years now, small businesses have been keeping up with much larger competitors through a wide variety of leveraging tools on the Internet. When used correctly, the Internet can rank a local mom n’ pop shop on the same level as Wal-Mart, giving Mom and Pop a lot more business and revenue. There are many different ways to take advantage of the Internet, but for a small business, one of the best ways is to create and manage a blog. Unfortunately, just having a blog on a site is not good enough, as the content must be fresh, dynamic and well-written to see true SEO results. However, we often find that small business owners already have great content written for other promotional and marketing efforts. With a few changes or tweaks, this content can be made into a great blog post, as the best content usually centers around topics that people are already talking about or writing about. If you maintain a blog with good content, you can rank higher in searches, gain valuable customers, and ultimately make more sales.
Search Engines Love It
One of the most noticeable ways that small stores compete with their larger competitors is through search engine optimization, or SEO. Regardless of size and revenue, you can optimize your site just as well as any other company, allowing you to rank higher in Google searches than the behemoths of your industry. Websites are easy to optimize for SEO, but the content is rarely updated, which lessens the site’s appeal to Google. By creating a blog that is updated with new and industry-relevant content, you are creating a “dynamic site”, which is rewarded by search engines. Additionally, by installing a simple plugin, you will be able to create custom URLs, Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions for each blog post. Consistently posting about your business in a consumer-friendly manner will prompt Google to rank you higher in appropriate searches, leading to more leads on your site and more customers purchasing from you.
Consumers Love It
When you run a small business, one of your main sources of advertising is word of mouth. When customers enjoy the products and quality of service of your business, they will spread the news to their friends, thus giving you more business. You can manage this yourself in person, but on the Internet, anyone can say anything about you, which is why a business-owned blog is vital to maintaining a sterling reputation. With your blog, you can connect with your audience on a personal level and build trust with current customers and potential leads. This strong relationship is unmatchable by big businesses; the CEO of McDonald’s rarely has the time to address customers like the owner of a local eatery. When you gain the trust of your customers, both in person and on your blog, you gain a customer for life.
Your Bottom Line Loves It
No matter what business you’re in, your overall goal is to make sales and generate revenue. This is much easier with trusting customers, but blogs go one step further by giving you subscribers. When a consumer reads your blog and really enjoys your content, they can subscribe to have updates sent straight to their email or to a feed. They may not buy from you just yet, but they want to see more of you and your business. By consistently developing outstanding content, you will continue to impress this potential buyer until they are fully convinced to do business with you. Your blog is one of the best lead-generating tools you can use. It will keep prospective customers thinking of you until they’re ready to buy from you.
You Will Love It
Many small businesses believe that social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are vital to keeping up with larger corporations and connecting with customers. However, these networks are limited in their capabilities, whereas blogs let you post longer messages, images, videos, and any other content you desire, all while increasing your SEO value. They are the best form of free publicity that you could ask for, because you control everything posted on them. Simply put, if your blog contains good content, it will improve your standing in search engines, impress your current customers, generate more customers and create more sales for your business. If you want to get the most from the Internet for your small business, start and maintain a company blog today. And don’t forget…just because we call it a blog, does not mean that you need to call it a blog on your site. Your blog can be called a “newsletter”, “articles”, “updates” or whatever terminology is most relevant for your business.