Why Blogging Is Essential For SMEs
When I started my interior design consultancy business three years ago I started blogging immediately. Why? Because I heard it was ‘good for getting traffic to your website’. When I reflected on my first year of business by analysing google analytics and what I had asked customers about where they had heard about me, I realised that at least 40% of my revenue had come from the blog – not bad for an offline business.
Now that I have an online gift and accessories store, blogging is an even more important means of improving the SEO (search engine optimisation) for my website as well as providing other advantages which I will outline below.
As outlined by Anne Perez recently, more and more businesses are using a company blog to promote their business. Up to 65% of all businesses in 2011 are using a company blog with 57% claiming that their blog had generated leads and acquired customers for the company and that blogging is proving to be a more cost effective means of generating new business.
Advantages of Business Blogging
- Your blog offers scope for using highly searched keywords that can be quite expensive to use in google adwords. They will still be picked up by the search engines and deliver traffic to your blog and hence your website.
- By using the Keyword Analysis tool, you can check to see how many people would be searching for a product or service like yours. You might find that there is a keyword pertaining to your topic that you never thought of, particularly if you are targetting another country. For example, when I was describing new chopping boards, I discovered that they are also described as cutting boards in some countries that I wanted to target so I included that as a keyword too.
- Your blog will provide your website with regularly updated content, hence it is more likely to rank well in the search engines.
- You have the opportunity to show your expertise within your blog, hence your brand will become much more well known than competitors as well as by customers and journalists. I also found that many journalists contacted me for information and product pictures because of my blog which resulted in free publicity in many Interiors magazines and other publications. This, of course, means many more people are aware of the brand. And if others are saying good things about you, this news can spread both online and offline.
- By allowing comments on your blog and by responding to them in a timely and friendly manner, this will emphasise the friendly and approachable nature of your company.
- The blog will also demonstrate the personality of your company as well as the staff within it. Customers are much more likely to purchase when they feel they ‘know’ the company well.
My question is – with the emphasis on cost cutting in most businesses, why are so many companies not utilising this cost effective and proven means of acquiring new customers? Is it not as easy as it looks? My next post will provide tips on writing a successful blog for your business.