A Blog can help search engines understand what your company (and website) is all about
Search engines are run by computers. Big, gigantic, temperature-controlled computers who can only do exactly what they’re told. Because computers are not creative, as they execute their programs they often do not know what you want to say, they can only guess by what you have written. The bots that scour the internet to find out what it’s all about are looking for those keywords and phrases that help them understand what your particular website is trying to explain. Keyword research is an important tool when you’re working on your blog. Now, with natural language processing, search engines have gotten a whole lot better at guessing what your site is about, but they still rely on keywords and context.
That’s why it’s important for you to tell them what your site is about. By writing a blog, you give yourself more chances to tell the algorithm what your site is really about. This really helps you out, because once the search engine understands what you do, then it can send visitors who are looking for you to your site. Visitors who are looking for you are most commonly called…
Wait for it…
If you sell what they are looking for, that needs to be obvious to the search engine. Once it is, then the good folks who want your product and want to throw money at you to get it can come pounding on your proverbial door.
That’s really what search engine optimization is all about. A good utah SEO company will include some blog writing as a part of their services.
Provide answers to customer’s questions
Machines have done a funny thing. We built them to make our lives easier, but what they’ve done is shift work from employees to customers. Think about it—we used to have a professional check our groceries, now we wait in line to do it ourselves. We used to trust a travel agent to plan and book our vacations, now we spend hours poring over flight details, picking the perfect hotel, agonizing over a rental car. There used to be a traffic cop, now drivers are expected to follow the instructions of a machine, that can only say three things—stop, go, and yellow. I say yellow because that middle light means different things depending on what part of the country you’re from.
One practical outcome of this is that people really want to understand what they are getting into. They want to read reviews, understand the process, hear from experts, hear from their friends and families, and make a more informed decision. Your blog plays a role in that process, by helping explain to your customers what they want to know. The best blogs answer questions that people are actually asking, as opposed to just rehashing the company’s sales pitch over and over.
Think about your company—what are some common questions people ask? How can you design great content to answer those questions?
Think of your customers—what are they searching for when they want to find your product? What questions might they ask in the awareness, consideration, and purchase phases of the funnel?
Help you communicate with your customers
I was recently in a meeting with a fire suppression company. One thing they do is they have technicians who go around to businesses and inspect their fire extinguishers, to keep those companies in compliance with fire codes. I suggested during the meeting that we may be able to market directly to the companies which are located near to the existing routes. One of the owners of the company looked at me incredulously, and said, “we definitely do not want to sell more fire extinguishers. The volume is low, the price is low, the profit is low. That’s our worst market!” He preferred to focus on industrial fire suppression systems.
You have a company, and you have things that you want to sell, and things that maybe you are less interested in selling. When you look at your website as a store front, how you arrange the shelves has a lot to do with what people buy. Your blog is often one of the most common landing pages for visitors to your site, so it really sets the tone for how they will interact with you and your company. When you write blog posts, you provide those customers with an idea of what you do. As they navigate your blog and your site, you have the opportunity to suggest to them what you would like them to do.
Help you clarify your message and target audience
This is one of the most underrated benefits of writing a blog, especially for small and growing businesses. In the early stages, companies often struggle to define their buyer persona, their ideal customer, and their product. Blogging about your products and services really gives you the opportunity to narrow down what you are talking about, and helps you focus on your target market. For instance, when I wrote this blog, I was thinking about small business owners who have heard about a blog, but aren’t sure where to start. Those business owners who I expect to read this piece are in the awareness stages, and are trying to learn more about the purpose and benefits of a blog. I wrote this piece to try to help them understand why blogs are useful. Putting this together gave me a chance to try to get in the head of my best customers, and to try to understand their motivations, desires, and needs.
The more chances you have to get into the head of your customer, the better. It’s not something we do naturally. Most often, we tend to believe our own myth, that our product is so great that of course everyone will want it. Well, maybe that’s true, but if so, why haven’t we taken over the world yet? Blogging gives us the chance to think about our customer’s problems, and maybe how the customer views the problem.
So, how is a blog good for your business? SEO, an open communication with customers, and focusing your marketing efforts. All of those things will help shift the needle on your content marketing strategy from good to great.