Posted by Masen
Clients regularly ask us whether they should have a blog or not. In general, my answer is yes, though there are some exceptions. Here’s why…
Frankly, the biggest reason to have a blog for many businesses is for the SEO value. Search engines LOVE text. The more high-quality, relevant text you can give them, the better your site will rank over time. A site with 50 pages will perform better than a site with 5 pages. If you commit to writing a new blog entry every week (or have someone do it for you), you can add 50 new pages a year to your site.
In addition, most blogging software, like WordPress, does a great job of interlinking your blog entries with highly search engine compatible links. By default, WordPress will create search engine friendly URLs for each of your blog entries. So, instead of having a link to your latest blog entry like http://www.yourcompany.com/blog/index.php?id=23, you’ll get something like http://www.yourcompany.com/blog/why-have-a-blog.html. Search engines love URLs that have keywords in them so the second link will have much more value than the first. WordPress will also create links within your blog for categories and tags. So, if you setup categories for different keywords that you want your blog to rank for and you setup tags for different cities that you serve, and you categorize and tag each article you write, WordPress will create lots of great links with keywords and city names in them, which will further improve your SEO.
As you begin to build a unique library of articles, you may want to market your blog by submitting it to various blog directories or submitting your articles to various article submission sites. These sites will republish your article, usually with a link back to your site which further improves your SEO. You don’t have to worry about someone else carrying the same content that you have. As long as you post the blog entry to your site first and wait a couple of days for Google to crawl it, then you will get the SEO value for the article and the article site you submitted it to will be seen as carrying duplicate content, which Google gives little value to.
In addition to the SEO value that a blog brings, it can also increase your credibility with visitors to your site. If you are a small business and don’t focus a huge amount of effort on the marketing and expansion of your website, you may never have a lot of followers to your blog. However, new visitors to your site will still see that you have a blog and if they take a look at what you have to say, they’ll be more likely to see you as an authority in your field because you are writing educational articles on topics of potential interest to them. As I’ve said many times before, establishing yourself as an authority in your field in the minds of your prospects is the number one factor in converting them to customers.
The main reason to NOT have a blog is if you can not commit to writing in it. Even if you only write one article per month, your blog can help your credibility and SEO. However, if you write less frequently than that, your blog will be seen as a ghost town and it may make prospects wonder if anyone is minding the helm at your business. So, if you know you won’t do at least the minimum to give your blog a pulse, don’t bother because it will work against you.