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Content Marketing, Marketing

Should Your Small Business Start a Blog?

Small Businesses Blogging

Launching and maintaining a blog might seem daunting, but you should seriously consider it if you want your small business to have a solid online presence. A blog can work magic in ways that a company website can’t on its own. While a website is typically used to display, promote and sell products, a blog works best as an add-on to your website, offering the opportunity to boost your business’s credibility and likability—standout characteristics of companies that convert the most leads to sales. At the same time, a frequently updated blog is an easy way to keep your website’s “Google juice,” highly concentrated. In other words, blogging can help your site show up higher in searches.

While that’s all great stuff, blogging isn’t necessarily for everyone. If you’re seriously pressed for time at your business and don’t have the bandwidth to blog regularly enough—at least once a month and even that is pushing it—it may not be wise to start one. Having a poorly maintained blog usually gives a worse impression than not having one at all. It can make you look flaky (or worse), even if you’re a stellar businessperson.

With that said, the benefits of an up-to-date business blog might be worth finding time to have one. If you think your business has any room for improvement whatsoever in the following areas, blogging might be the answer.

Credibility and Likability

Customers like doing business with companies known for their expertise. Credibility can be established in plenty of ways, the most obvious being consistent delivery of high-quality products and service. People will notice, and word will spread. But you can also gain business cred by offering customers something they want, that you have, for free: tips and information relevant to your industry. It’s pretty standard to blog about what your business has coming down the pike—soon-to-be-released products, events the company attends, etc. However, people also appreciate valuable blog content that’s not about you and your business, but the industry you serve. It shows them a few things. One, you’re knowledgeable about what you do. And two, you care about sharing tips, news and best practices with your customers—not just about selling them stuff.

That kind of credibility definitely helps boost your likability. Blogging can also increase a business’s likability because it establishes voice and personality better than other web content does. Deliberately thoughtful and informative posts are a welcome contrast to the snappy marketing copy probably covering the rest of your website. The conversational nature of blogging is a great way to showcase a more personal side of the business, even though the customer isn’t face-to-face with you. It makes people feel in the loop about what your business is up to. If they like what they see, they’ll become even more loyal customers, and probably even share your content with friends via social media and other channels. That can attract new customers, and it’s good for your SEO.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Having a blog is often the easiest way to improve how high your website is indexed by search engines, as long as you make sure to do a few things: move the blog to your own web domain, and post regularly.

Platforms like Blogger and WordPress let you build a blog for free. But if you really want SEO results, you’ll need to spend a small chunk of money and host your blog on your own web domain. Search engines won’t find you very easily if you don’t do this. Plus, having all your sites on one domain is generally a rule of thumb if you care about SEO.

Once you set up your blog, every individual post basically equals another URL zipping around the web with your name on it. Newly created URLs push your website upward in search engine results, so the more new URLs you have, the better. Websites can’t really have that impact because static pages are just that—static. Unless you’re an online retailer constantly updating your site with new inventory, you probably don’t make changes to your web pages often. The longer pages sit unchanged, the further they fall in searches. In a given year, you might change a web page or create a new one a handful of times. On the other hand, two quick blog posts per week would generate 104 new URLS in a year. That’s 104 added opportunities for users to find you.

To take SEO to the next level, you could also create a sitemap on your website’s server, listing all your site’s pages so search engines are alerted when new pages are created. That makes you even more likely to be found by web crawlers like Googlebot.

Key Questions

Now that you know how a small business blog can be useful, here are the big questions:

Are you confident in your level of knowledge about your industry? Are you comfortable with your company’s voice and personality?  Do you have relevant content—tips, tutorials, photos, videos, industry insight, etc.—that you’re willing to share with customers?  Do you want to increase SEO or does your site already index well? Are you ready to commit some time to blogging each week?

Your answers to these questions should help you decide if you’re ready to enter the Blogosphere.

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Kabbage Team

The Kabbage Team is here to not only fund the small business loans you need, but to help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.

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