Is starting a blog really worth it for SME's?
Have you been toying with the idea of starting a blog on your SME’s website? Then read on for Cornerstone Your Business’s top blogging tips...
What are the advantages of starting a blog?
First and foremost, if you’re considering starting a blog then there are very few reasons not to. Simple and free to get going in your website’s content management system you can get the ball rolling with content created in-house, and then even outsource your blogs to a freelance copywriter if you want regular content written with SEO in mind.
Speaking of which, blogs are great for your SEO and link building, driving traffic to your website and putting you higher up search rankings. What’s more, fresh content on your blog will give the impression you have your finger on the pulse and make your website look current; which is great for SEO, and also for your brand image. You can share your content on social media channels too, giving you new stories to post and adding another route to your website.
A blog is also a place where you can enhance your brand’s position, to go in depth about the company behind the name, your values, your experience and expertise.
Tips for starting a blog on your website
How to set out your blog:
Create a template - meaning you can follow the same format each time for consistency.
Consider the structure - you want to tell your readers at the start what they can expect from the blog; break up the main content with sub-headers and bullet points; and conclude the blog with links, further reading and a call to action.
Include an approx. word count - remember quality over quantity, but good quality blogs that are longer will rank better for SEO, so if you can create blogs of 500 words or more then the job’s a good’un.
SEO for blog writing:
Don’t forget your keywords – if your business doesn’t have an internal or external SEO expert supporting its online marketing strategy, then you’ll have to consider keywords yourself. There are free online tools you can use to do this, as well as having a think personally of the key terms and phrases that a customer might use on a search engine to find your business online.
HTML - including search engine-friendly meta titles and meta descriptions will support your blog’s SEO. There are plenty of free tutorials and information online for best practice meta titles and descriptions for your blog.
"Don't focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that's great for your readers." Brian Clark
Make your blog reader friendly:
Break up the content – add videos, pull quotes, links and images so it’s not one block of content.
Customer buying journey – have in your mind how the blog is supporting this? At what stage of the buying process is the customer reading the blog? How can you move them onto the next stage?
Ensure it’s useful – blogs need to be informative, to answer questions or provide the reader with something useful they can take away from reading it.
Getting the most out of your blog:
Think how best to promote it – how can you ensure you get the most eyes on your blog? Sharing on social media channels is just the start. You can add it to your monthly newsletter, post it on Google My Business and LinkedIn, or even include a link to your staff email signatures.
Have comments open – offering a place where readers can give visible feedback is a great way to start conversations, answer questions and further support your SEO strategy. Do moderate them though, just in case you get hit with any spam comments.
What content to include on your SME’s blog?
The options for your blog are endless and not limited, so be sure to think outside the box with content you can share, whether that’s jumping on the back of a current news story that’s relevant to your business, or introducing a new member of the team with a Q&A.
For regular, scheduled blogs in your marketing plan, we’d recommend consistently writing on the following four areas:
Answer your clients’ FAQs – are there questions your clients are always asking your sales team? If so, explore them in detail on your blog. This will not only give you somewhere to direct clients to, but also support your SEO.
Corporate social responsibility – what are your brand values and what matters to you? What community and charity work do you undertake? Are you making changes to be a more sustainable business? These are all questions you can answer on your blog.
Explain products or services – regardless of what it is you offer, explaining your products and services to your customers is a key marketing tool for driving sales. Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes when writing these blogs. Why would they need your service? What does it do? How does it do it?
Case studies – real life examples from existing clients are a great way to enhance your blog with trustworthy reviews which new customers can relate to.
We hope that’s given you some food for thought for setting up a blog for your SME. outsourced marketing manager Jessica is on the line on 07929 905 229 with ideas and inspiration for marketing your business – give her a call to find out how she can support you.