The short answer to why a business needs a blog is: to be found.
The internet is a wonderful and horrible thing for business. Wonderful because the web is open 24/7 and a company’s web presence tells the world what they do – also 24/7. Horrible because every other business on the web is also informing the world 24/7 and you want yours to stand out from your competitors.
Thank God for the search engine! Google, Yahoo, and Bing – just to name a few – help people find websites. Millions of websites in just a fraction of a second. And that brought us one of my favorite jokes:
Where’s the best place to hide a dead body?
The second page of a Google search!
And thus, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry was born! Paying Google, or paying an SEO consultant, will get your website onto the first page of a Google search.
How does the SEO consultant do it? Honestly, I’m not sure. I do know that, among other things, they make sure the website regularly has fresh content.
So, if you want search engines to find your website, you need to regularly touch your website. Google will completely ignore a website that has been static too long. (Don’t ask, I don’t know how long is too long.) If you want search engines to list your website before the millions of other sites found, you need to add good content.
I let the SEO consultants keep up with how Google defines “good” – I do know that part of it is relevance. New content containing information that relates to your business will improve your SEO rank.
And that is where the blog comes in. Consistent blogging keeps your website fresh and helps move it towards the top of the search engine results list.
While being found is good, the next step is for people to like what they found; and this is where blogging and SEO can diverge. You want your ideal clients to purchase from you, so you need to write to them. Yes, you can do that while improving your SEO score; however, your audience must be your priority. In the end, Google does not read your content, they grade it based on things that someone can program into an algorithm. People do the reading, and if they don’t like the writing, they won’t like you. If they don’t like you, they will not buy from you.
Now, here’s the real reason for a business to blog: to prove their expertise and turn researchers into buyers.
Let’s say you own a custom furniture business. You blog about the different materials used – and why yours are the best. You blog about the time and care that goes into a custom piece of furniture. You blog about tools. You blog about the harm mass-produced furniture causes the planet. You blog about all the aspects and opinions around your business. Your blog makes you the online expert on custom made furniture.
Now, let’s say that I’m interested in a unique furniture item. Maybe a platform for my bed that has enough storage for my extensive sweater collection, and a shoe rack – it must have a shoe rack. So, I go online, start looking for platform beds, and quickly figure out that what I want is so unique that a custom build is the only way to make my bed/dresser/shoe rack a reality. This is a big deal, so I take my time and really research the idea.
I wonder about wood, and find the answer in one of your blogs. I wonder how long it will take, and, again, find the answer in your blog. I think about stain, hardware, and assembly – again, all my answers are in your blog. Better yet, I like the answers and how you presented them. So when I’m ready to order, who is the first person I think of to create this masterpiece of bedroom furnishing? Yes, you.
If you want to be the first person someone thinks of when it is time to purchase, then be the one who answered all of their research questions. Be the online expert.
That is why a business needs a blog.