Imagine you’re walking down Main Street in your favorite small town, not shopping for anything in particular, but just browsing. A beautiful storefront window display catches your eye and entices you to go inside the shop, even though you were actually heading for a coffee shop further down. Just like a storefront window display, you can use your business blog to showcase your products, services, and brand to potential customers browsing the internet—attracting their attention without being overly salesy. And with far more people (over five billion, in fact) browsing the information highway than any busy street, there has never been a better time to include blogging in your small business marketing strategy. Regularly creating and sharing valuable content can help you educate and inform your audience, establish your expertise in your field, build a relationship with your target market, and attract new customers.
To dig further into the benefits of blogging for small businesses, we’re going to use a real-life example from one of our clients, Financial Solution Advisors, PLLC (FSA), a financial services firm based in Jacksonville, Florida. We help FSA produce blogs on a range of tax and finance topics with the aim of making their site a go-to resource for financial queries.
You may also be interested in: Why is a blog important for business?
Here are six reasons we recommend blogging for small businesses as part of an overall marketing strategy.
54% of decision-makers say they spend more than one hour per week reading and reviewing thought-leadership content.
Access to useful information at our fingertips is one of the defining characteristics of this era in human civilization, and we all turn to the internet for help with a variety of day-to-day queries. If you consistently create reliable, accurate, and valuable content that resonates with your target audience, it’ll show them that you know your stuff. You’ll be seen as a thought leader in your industry, which can lead to increased credibility, trust, and, ultimately, more business.
The best small business blogs answer common questions for their readers and customers. FSA’s blog on deductible business meals and entertainment expenses has consistently performed well organically because it answers crucial questions that many people ask, such as:
- Are business meals deductible?
- What business meals are tax deductible?
- What percentage of business meals are deductible?
As you can see, the blog isn’t using hard-sell tactics, even though advising small businesses on their tax strategies is part of the firm’s bread and butter. While the content is relevant to FSA’s offering, its intent is to show that they are experts in their field and provide real value to their readers.
The takeaway (pardon the pun): If people find answers to their everyday questions via your blog posts, they’re much more likely to come into your sales funnel trusting what you have to say because you’ve helped them in the past—even before they were interested in purchasing anything from you.
In 2022, Google rolled out its Helpful Content Update. As the name implies, the update aims to reward content that gives visitors a satisfying experience. Creating helpful blog content that answers searchers’ key questions gives you a better chance of doing just that.
Google and other search engines also like to see that your website is updated regularly. Publishing regular blog posts signals to search engines like Google that your website is active, and they should regularly check for new content to display in search results. Each time you write and publish a blog post, it adds to the indexed pages on your website. This creates another chance for your website to rank for target keywords, appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and get more organic traffic as a result.
The table below shows some of the FSA blog’s top keywords based on volume (amount of people searching for the keyword in a given month), position (top ten generally means page 1), and the amount of organic traffic that particular keywords bring in per month.
In total, the blog ranks for over 1200 keywords, with almost 300 keywords in the top 10 positions.
Top 10 keywords:
Another SEO benefit of regular blogging is the chance to gain backlinks (links to your site from other pages or sites). When you create content that’s helpful to your potential customers and appeals to other stakeholders in your industry, it becomes much easier to earn links back to your content from others referencing it online. In the eyes of search engines, this is like getting a vote of confidence or a recommendation from a trusted source.
FSA’s blog on business meal deductions has gained 62 backlinks from 20 domains, which is a great signal to Google that FSA is a trustworthy and knowledgeable source in their industry.
You can learn more about optimizing your blog content in our free eBook, “5 things your small business can do right now to improve SEO.” Click here to get your download.
#3 Increase long-term organic traffic
Business blogging leads to 55% more website visitors.
High-quality blog content continues to draw traffic for months and years to come. And the best part is that you don’t pay for organic clicks! This makes blogging one of the most cost-effective strategies to enhance your marketing efforts—once you’ve invested in creating the blog post, it’ll work for you as long as it’s live and relevant. If your blog post ranks for target keywords, you can continue getting traffic from that blog post for days, weeks, months, and years to come.
In March 2023 alone, FSA’s business meals blog brought in almost 4,000 organic pageviews. In the snippet below, you can see that FSA blogs (FYI, a lot of old ones!) bring in far more organic traffic than the homepage, which had 449 organic pageviews in March.
On WordPress alone, over 409 million people view more than 20 billion pages each month.
There’s an active reader market out there, and once you have some website traffic coming through your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into leads. Just remember to add a call to action to every blog post to increase the chances of a conversion. That can be as simple as offering readers an email subscription to future blog posts.
At the end of the FSA blog, you can see a call to action to reach out to the team, as well as a link to download another content asset, FSA’s Guide to Small Business Tax Deductions (a wonderfully helpful piece for small business owners). These calls to action address people at different levels of the marketing funnel—someone seeking tax services (schedule a consultation) and someone still in the education/awareness phase (download the guide). Along with the email subscription form in the sidebar, three opportunities exist for the firm to grow its contact list: a direct contact, a download of the guide, and an email address for their blog newsletter.
The blog’s conclusion:
As we’ve mentioned, your blog content needs to be valuable and helpful to your target audience. Outdated content doesn’t fit the brief! The good news is that it’s easy to update existing blog content, and the benefits make the juice worth the squeeze:
- Improve user experience with accurate and up-to-date information that demonstrates credibility
- Encourage users to revisit your website and share your content with others, increasing your website’s traffic and engagement
- Save time by updating an old blog instead of starting a new post from scratch
- Give the post an SEO boost by showing your content is fresh and relevant and targeting new keywords
Tax laws are constantly changing, so we regularly update FSA’s business meals and entertainment blog with the latest information. The most recent update was in February 2022, and you can see the positive impact on the keyword rankings and organic traffic:
Number of keywords for which the page ranks
Organic traffic over time
Another reason why blogging is a powerful tool for business is that it facilitates discovery through social media and other marketing channels. Your blog becomes a hub of shareable content that you can promote across your social platforms, newsletter, and other channels. Another perk is that your blog content helps keep your social media presence active and engaging without you constantly having to come up with new content.
Don’t be shy about sharing the same content more than once, especially when it has been updated.
Invest in the long-term benefits of blogging for small businesses
Building a library of high-quality blog content that continues to attract and engage your audience over time helps you establish a strong online presence and positions your business as a trusted authority in your field. While you might not always see immediate results from your business blogging, over time, you’ll be able to count on predictable traffic and leads (without any significant additional investment). If the thought of producing a regular stream of content is too overwhelming, look into ghostwriting services. Our ghostwriting team works closely with clients to do the heavy lifting of writing while ensuring that your unique voice and expertise shine through.
We’re proud of the results we’ve achieved for FSA and we would love to help your business work towards similar success. If our shopfront display has enticed you to speak to a professional about why a blog is important for your business and how to make it manageable, give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you!