Business Blogs - Who Needs 'em Anyway?

There’s a lot of hoopla about business blogs nowadays. Professional SEOs are extolling the virtues of using social media marketing to advance your business presence on their web and social media optimization is now one of the most important aspects of leveraging universal search to boost your rankings. But does your business really need a blog, in addition to a website?

No one needs a blog, and for some companies, it’s just not a viable idea. However, in the right hands and using the correct methods, a blog can boost your site’s web presence and traffic by leaps and bounds!

Let’s explore how an industrial business blog can help you and how you can do it well.

Relationship Building
If your business has a story worth telling, a blog is a great place to do it.  You can utilize the latest web technology to inform and interact with your clients, colleagues and visitors in ways that just weren’t possible as little as ten years ago.  Through the implementation of streaming media, podcasts, pictures and more, you can bring your visitors right into your company, giving them a deeper level of personal contact. 

A blog is your invitation to your visitors to give their input, feedback and opinions, helping you better understand their needs.  Your visitors’ contributions and thoughts can provide valuable insight into how your products and processes are perceived and how you might be able to improve upon your existing corporate or business model.  Being able to respond to blog participants directly and in real-time brings back the ‘personal touch’ to doing business.

Information and Problem Solving
Christine Halvorson states in her great article “Should Your Company Blog?”, “your blog is your editorial column, your radio and television station, your daily newspaper”..  What an amazing way to get your media message out there, and maintain control of the media in which it appears at the same time!  You can talk about your corporate challenges and successes, and explain complicated products or processes in a way that goes beyond a generic email or diagram booklet in a box.

What should a strong business blog look like?
The short answer is…anything you want!  But it’s easy to mess it up, so here are a few things to consider when thinking about implementing a blog.

  • Your blog is NOT a platform to advertise your products and services.  That’s what your website and other marketing methods are for.  Posts written solely to make money on ads or sales pitches and not to provide anyone with useful or interesting information are bad, bad, bad!
  • Be sure to provide relevant, interesting and useful content to your visitors.  Not only will they appreciate the latest news presented to them in a refreshing way, it will encourage them to come back often and to visit your website (the place where sales and RFQs happen!).
  • Fresh content, posted often also keeps the search engines coming back again and again.  They LOVE new content to index-provide the search engines fresh material and you’ll see your placement in universal search results rise!
  • Implement smart SEO practices into your blog! Pay attention to keyword placement in your titles and throughout the blog, writing naturally, but ensuring that keywords make well-placed appearances.  Include links back to your site, and not just the homepage–link deeply into your site to encourage traffic and enhance interest.
  • Write well! And if you can’t, hire someone who can.  Spell-check and good grammar go a long way in keeping folks interested and engaged and lends your company credibility.  People will assume that your products or services are as good as the attention to detail given to your site and blog!

Old school PR methods just aren’t relevant anymore.  With people fast-forwarding through commercials on TIVO, listening to podcasts and online radio, and getting their newsletters and articles delivered to their inbox, an immediate and personal form of contact must be employed to carry your message. 

You can do it, fast and often free, with a blog!