Even today, the term “blogger” generates its share of derision. After all, pretty much everyone has a blog, and reading about your mom’s first trip to Rome may not carry the same emotional impact as, say, Eat, Pray, Love, despite the clear inspiration the book may have provided. Despite the idea of blogging being almost cliché, a well-curated small business blog offers immense potential for any website.
When you provide compelling, well-written content that keeps your target audience in mind, a small business blog offers you the opportunity to personally connect with potential customers, while continuing to establish lasting ties with the repeat customers vital to your long-term success.
The domain of blogging may seem limited to larger brands or to businesses that have something unique to say, but any type of business can generate significant value out of having a blog. Here are a few lessons and some common mistakes that hold many businesses back from creating a blog that generates revenue and works to establish their business’ voice.
You Don’t Even Have a Blog
The first – and most common mistake – many small businesses make is not having a blog at all.
While not every business has a blog, everyone has a website. A great looking website design full of professional photography offers a wonderful first impression to potential customers. But if that’s all you have, you’re missing out on the opportunity to establish your voice and let your customers know who you are and what you stand for. A great looking website without a voice is nothing more than a digital business card. You’re not connecting with customers if all they get from your website is sales copy and contact information.
To help your business stand out from the competition, it’s vital that you create fun and interesting content. Not only does this provide your customers with a better sense about your business, it also provides them a better understanding of who you are personally.
Despite living in the digital age, customers still want to be able to connect personally with the companies they do business. The more personal you make your business, the more successful you’ll become.
You Ignore SEO
Search engine optimization has changed a lot over the years. While Google has taken dramatic steps to curb how much impact keywords, backlinks and other SEO practices have on where a website appears in organic search results, the basic practices of SEO still carry a lot of weight.
Google’s algorithm places a lot of value on websites that consistently have new content added. Static websites quickly lose standing in the eyes of Google, making the simple act of blogging itself an important SEO practice.
Once you start adding well-written content to your website regularly, take the time to carefully select keyword terms that are relevant to your business. For example, if you want to rank highly for “dentist in Portland, OR,” you need include this keyword in your blog posts and in the core content of your website. That way, when a potential patient searches for this keyword term, Google’s search algorithm will check several boxes that will prompt it to place your website higher up in the organic search results.
- Has updated content been added to your site? – Check.
- Does that content contain relevant keywords that match the core content of your website? – Check.
- Does your website offer compelling content that potential users may find useful? – Check.
Of the millions of factors Google’s algorithm considers when generating search results, these are some of the most important factors a small business needs to get right in order to rank highly. Blogging can help get you there.
You Have No Lead Generation Funnel
Ideally, a well-curated blog will help generate traffic to your website through the creation of compelling content. However, if you’re capturing the attention of new customers, but don’t have any way to capitalize on these potential leads, you’re doing something very wrong.
An email list of people that have visited your website offers immense untapped financial potential for your business. Depending on your type of business, you may want to create certain promotional events, sales, webinars, training, or community forum opportunities. What better way to advertise those types of special events than through a dedicated email list full of people who have actually spent the time and made the effort to sign up?
It takes little effort to add a widget to your blog that asks visitors to leave an email list, or asks potential patients if they’d like to schedule an appointment. Every day you spend without expanding your email list is an opportunity lost, while every email subscriber you collect is a potential future customer gained.
You Don’t Tell Your Story
While it’s important to keep your small business blog professional, don’t fall into the trap of only posting generic content. Articles that cover the latest trends in your industry have a place, but so do posts that talk about your involvement in the community, new faces coming onboard the team, and stories about why you decided to become an entrepreneur. Additionally, if you’re just using the blog as a place to copy and paste press releases, you’re missing out on the opportunity to build traffic and customer loyalty.
To generate a truly compelling blog, you need to incorporate your story. By telling your story, you pull back the curtain and help customers gain a better understanding of who you are personally and what you stand for as a small business owner. If you want your business to feature a human component, you need to display your humanity on your small business blog. The best way to establish credibility with your target audience is to be vulnerable enough to share your life story and your experiences.
While blogging isn’t the hardest obstacle you’ll encounter as a small business owner, it does require a sizeable investment of your time. At Local Fresh, we manage the blog of many of our small business clients, posting original and highly informative content on a monthly basis. By hiring Local Fresh to handle the management of your small business blog, you can provide your customers with the content they crave, while also improving your organic search rankings. Click here to learn more about what Local Fresh can do for you.