More and more frequently businesses are using blog posts to convey information to their customers. In fact, we’re doing it right now. From increasing SEO to improving brand awareness, there are many benefits of running a small business blog.

1. Blogging for SEO

A primary reason companies start a small business blog is to benefit from the organic traffic that comes with one. Blog posts are a great way for you to produce content that has been optimised for search engines. A blog post carefully created with search terms in mind can lead to visits to your website from people searching for content about that topic. This increases brand exposure and awareness, and can bring in new visitors to your site.

Posting blogs also increases the number of indexed pages on your website, and more indexed pages means more opportunities for search engines to guide people to your website.

2. Blogging for lead generation

After you’ve got people on your site through the blog post, you’ll want a next step. You can use blog posts as a way to improve brand awareness, or as a more indirect method of selling a product. If you’ve got a consumer to read your blog post – be that through a search engine or social media – then we suggest that you make that visit count.

Including a lead-generating call-to-action somewhere within the blog post or the design of the blog itself helps you get something out of that visitor. You can encourage them to sign up to newsletters or mailing lists by giving them something in return. Getting an email address means that they become a more overt sales target further down the line, and a blog is a good way of gathering that specific data.

3. Blogging to build personas

If you start to produce optimised, shareable content that brings traffic to your site, you can use the traffic data you gather to create personas of your customers. Tools such as Google Analytics will help you build customer profiles from user data. This can help you with content marketing, and tailoring your products to your audience. If you see that your audience is mainly male, or mostly mid-30s, then there are certain steps you can take to adjust your content to suit these personas.

Google Analytics lets you look at the age, gender, location, and even interests of your audience. If you see that your audience is interested in technology, then a blog post on technology is likely to result in better viewing figures.

4. Authority and trust

However, it’s important to remember that your blog is a representation of your business, so it’s best to keep your business blog posts relevant to your field. While a more general post on a popular topic might bring in higher numbers of visitors, if they don’t have any interests that match your website then they’re unlikely to be interested in what you’re offering.

As well as this, Google rewards results from websites that are seen as being an ‘authority’ on the subject of the search term. For example, you won’t find any film reviews on the Fasthosts blog even though 5% of our audience are classified as ‘movie lovers’ by Google demographics. Instead, we post blogs about technology, because we’re a technology company.

Becoming an authority on a subject is beneficial for search results, but also beneficial for sales. Say a Google user searches for ‘how does a compass work’. Your company – that happens to sell compasses – could produce a perfect blog post that answers that question. By optimising that post for the search term, you can bring in visitors that trust you because your business sells compasses.

‘How does a compass work’ gets a surprising 4400 searches per month, and your blog answers all of those questions. From then on, if that searcher wants to buy a compass, they’ll have it in their mind that your company sells compasses, so you’re the first place they’ll go.

5. Product descriptions

A blog gives you another place to market your new products, and your products provide you with plenty of blog ideas. The design of your website may not allow for much room for product description, but on your blog you can go into as much detail as you want.

You can describe the individual features and benefits of your projects, that you may not have had space for on your website. It also provides a good platform to compare your products with each other.

6. Customer conversation

Small businesses are increasingly understanding the benefit of a social media presence, and a blog goes hand-in-hand with that. Being active on social media creates a two-way conversation between a business and its customers; it can be used as a way of providing support, marketing, and as a way of humanising your brand. Sharing your blog posts on social media increases this conversation.

Many blogging platforms also include a comments section, which lets you take part in conversation right in the post itself. Not only can visitors discuss the post among themselves, but any conversations or questions you provide answers to will remain visible for future visitors.

A blog is a vital component to the growth of small businesses, and a properly implemented blog can lead to more traffic, more customers, and ultimately more sales. If you want to get going quickly, consider our WordPress Hosting packages, which will get you up and running on the most popular blogging platform in no time at all.