Small business pages often contain a link for a blog. These blogs can contain a host of information about the company and industry in general. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to maintain these blogs over time, creating an impression the business is struggling or possibly is no longer in existence. Sometimes just the power of saying, “hey I’m still here” is a powerful tool for a business.
Indicating you’re still in operation and relevant can have a positive effect on businesses. The most immediate benefit is increased traffic to a website. It serves as a form of advertising. When people look at a business’s website more, that business is the first company customers think about when they need a product or service that that business provides, and of course, this visibility improves one’s reputation as an industry leader. Developing compelling content that draws customer interest in your business emboldens a company’s reputation. When a customer receives helpful tips, it adds to one’s reputation as an industry leader and source for relevant information. When paid services are needed, that company will be first on the minds of everyone who regularly reads the blog.
The ultimate marketing goal for these blogs (next to sales themselves) is improved SEO (search engine optimization). SEO relies heavily on fresh content. When a blog posting is added periodically, a website is perceived as more relevant in comparison with peers. And the more relevant the website, the more likely it is to appear at the top of search results when a prospective customer types the right keywords. The ideal is to have one’s business come up first (or at least on the first page) when a customer conducts a search for like businesses. Alternatively, a business can utilize a service such as Google Adwords and have a business appear in page one and pay a cost of x every time a prospective customer clicks on the link. That kind of service has its place (especially when starting out), however appearing in organic (meaning non-paid) searches is more difficult and hence, leads to an impression of credibility.
The simple act of saying “hey, I’m still here” is the cornerstone of a strong online reputation. By making periodic blog postings, customers know the site is being well-maintained, and the web crawlers critical in determining the SEO placement of a business know the site is viewed and the content is growing. Hence, blogs play an important role in customer engagement, and ultimately, sales and profits.