As a guy who makes a living helping small business owners get their websites to the top of the search engines, I’m often reminded of the disdain business owners have for writing. You’ve heard it before -- blogging is one of the best ways to get your website noticed and promoted by people and search engines. Yet most business owners still don’t do it.
Here are six reasons why you should go ahead start blogging.
1. Search engines have an obsession with freshness
Beginning in late 2011, search engines started taking into consideration the "freshness" of the content they were providing to searchers. The fresher the content, the more likely it was to show up at the top of the rankings. Businesses that were producing content got more "air time" because they had more up-to-date information. Want more air time? Blog more often.
2. It saves time
Every day you hear questions about your products or services. Could the answers to those questions be put into blog format? Could you save yourself a lot of time on the phone if you had the answers already online? I’m guessing you could.
3. You’re the expert, so prove it
Ok, so there are ten businesses in your town that sell widgets – but you’re the only one blogging about the benefits and options your widgets provide. When someone in your town goes online looking to solve a problem with their widget, and you’ve already answered it in a blog post, guess which company they trust more? Yours. Content isn’t always about "getting the sale." Sometimes it's about establishing yourself as the thought leader in the area.
4. More content, more landing opportunities
When I coach a client about writing, I tell them not to have a keyword in mind when they start. Have a topic, but don’t try to write for a specific keyword. When you write about your products or services, you’ll soon find that there are phrases and keywords that you use as part of your normal speech. Often, those are the same phrases your customers use when they search for help in your area. Since you used those words on a blog, and they type those words into the search engine, they are likely to land on your article.
5. Good content grows a community
Content that speaks to a problem or provides a solution can create a community. Check this out. I have a client that sells mattresses. He blogs twice a week, and has for three years. His most popular post is Top Ten Problems with Memory Foam, which he wrote in 2008. The blog post is 917 words about memory foam. Good SEO fodder for search engines. But the comments from other people on this post (119 in total) add an additional 15,385 words to the post.
And they’re not just random comments. They’re thoughts on memory foam, and buckling, and discomfort, and heat issues. Every one of these comments adds content to his website -- and he isn’t writing any of it. People are using keywords and buzzwords from his industry that just strengthen his position for those terms. There’s always good content to write. Every industry has something that’s a problem, that’s controversial, or that’s considered taboo. Write about it. Prime the pump and watch it grow.
6. Attracts links
The hardest part of SEO is building links. Links are still a major form of currency when it comes to online rankings. The more links you have, the more votes you have. The more votes, the better your chances are of ranking well.
Great content, such as the memory foam post above, naturally attracts links. In this case, websites that deal with mattresses may link to the page because of its popularity. Vendors of other types of mattress, like latex or bamboo may want to link to this page to promote their product as superior. If you consistently write articles that help your audience you’ll attract links.
Just get started
The hardest part of doing something is getting started. Once you do, however, you’ll find out it’s not that tough. Typically my clients submit to my pleas and bargain with me for an article a week, or maybe two a month. I supplement that with articles written by writers I have on staff, and we’ll hit a goal of four blog posts a month. It’s not great, but it’s a start. It’s content, and search engines loves to visit (and recommend) a site that’s ever-expanding.