Most websites today can already be created with a blog, especially if they will use the same domain name and content management system. This means that when business owners decide to have a website for their business, a blog can be created simultaneously, although a blog still needs to have rich content to work effectively as a marketing tool.
But are they a good investment? Can websites and blogs really give you a great value for your money? To give you an idea of what they can do, here are 15 reasons why you need a website and a blog for your business.
1. Increase your business visibility on the search engines
The rich contents (articles, images, videos, etc.) of websites and blogs are loved by search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. They are indexing those contents and display them to search engine users according to keywords and queries. Since blogging improves content marketing and lets you create more interesting blog posts, your business becomes more visible and discoverable on search engine results pages.
The image above shows the number of indexed pages of our newly created company website in Google search results. A week ago, our company has zero results or it was virtually inexistent in the eyes of Google. Today it already has 17 indexed pages, considering I only had 2 published blog posts as at this moment. Our homepage and pages of our services are already indexed and discoverable by Google users. Now, imagine what will happen after six months or a year of blogging. Exciting, isn’t it?
2. Grow your presence on social media
Most contents that become viral on social media come from blogs. By creating engaging blog posts, you can share link posts on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels that can go viral and reach more audience. Viral blog posts could dramatically increase your Facebook Page Likes or Fans.
Above is a screenshot of my blog post about tourism in Tacloban City, Philippines, which was shared by a popular Page on Facebook. That blog post alone attracted 20,000 readers and currently growing. Now imagine if you have a hotel business in Tacloban and you can write a viral blog post about travel and tourism like the one above, isn’t it a clever tactic to reach potential customers on social media?
3. Connect with your existing customers
Both websites and blogs are accessible by your customers online anywhere and everywhere through their computers, tablets and mobile phones. And by blogging or regularly publishing blog posts, you can continuously communicate with your current customers.
An example of a comment box which appears at the bottom of every blog post.
Our contact details and form which can be used by our existing and potential customers to connect and communicate with us.
4. Attract potential customers
As your website and blog increase visibility on search engines and grow their reach on social media networks, they become magnets that naturally attract potential customers. Blogging and content marketing are effective strategies to improve your inbound marketing. Instead of implementing megaphone marketing (marketing tactics that could be distracting to the public), blogging lets you find new customers without disturbing them because they’re the ones who come to you in search for your blog’s content.
5. Showcase your products
Unique pages can be created within your website to showcase your products or services. A blog also gives you the ability to write great stories about your products and convince your prospective and returning customers to buy them. By having a website and a blog, you will not only have an office or store online, but also a storyteller on the Internet.
Above is a picture showing our newly created company website which is still under development. Our primary menu can be used to easily access all the pages to our services offered. If your business is trading goods or selling physical products, you can showcase great pictures of your product items in your web pages.
6. Establish yourself and your team as experts
Writing articles about your expertise is a great way to build your personal brand. You can also encourage your team members to blog about their specialized fields to establish themselves as experts or authorities on those fields. Through expert blogging and thought leadership, your clients can build more trust and confidence in your team and business.
By blogging about online marketing and helping people in the industry, I already earned a good reputation in this field. And by proving that my advice really work, I was already invited as a resource speaker in various digital marketing events across the Philippines. Therefore, I can conclude that blogging can really help us build our personal and professional brand.
7. Know your business better
Since you’ll be writing on topics that are related to your business and customers, you’ll be obliged to study and research about them deeper and further. You’ll become more passionate about knowing and understanding every detail of your business. Remember that blogging is teaching or knowledge sharing, and you can’t be a good teacher if you don’t study well.
8. Build your brand bigger and better
Do you own a small business? Do you think you can’t win over your bigger competitors? A website and blog can make your business look bigger and more competitive. You can also bring more awareness about your brand identity (i.e., logo, slogan, business principles and values) to people online. Through effective online marketing and blogging, you can reach more customers than your bigger competitors can on the Internet. Your business could be more famous than your larger business competitors.
9. Enhance your customer service
With a company website, your customers can always connect with you online through email or contact forms to send their presale and post sale inquiries. If your website is e-commerce enabled, they can also do transactions with you online, giving them convenience of doing business at the touch of their fingertips. It will help them save time, energy and money.
10. Gather intelligent data
Websites and blogs have built-in functionalities or third party plugins that can track important information about their performance, visitors’ demographics, visitors’ behaviors, social media influence, search engine rankings and other metrics. You can also manually check comments in your blog to listen and understand what your target customers really need and want.
A screen-cap showing one of the vital data (visitors demographics – audience interests) that Google Analytics can provide to webmasters. Google Analytics is a service by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic, performance and other insights. It can be installed in websites and blogs for free.
Above is another intelligent data provided by Google Analytics. It’s a screenshot from one of my blogs. It shows what kind of devices my visitors are using when they access my site. This information is important as I need to determine if my blog is being friendly to all users, whether they are desktop, mobile or tablet users.
11. Have a fully owned and controlled asset on the Internet
You can create a Facebook page and other social media pages for free but you can’t own them completely. You have to abide the rules of Facebook to keep your page from being taken down. You have to follow Google’s policies or else your Google+ page, Blogspot blog or YouTube Channel could be shutdown. On the contrary, your self-hosted website and blog are fully owned by you. You can control them the way you want them to be.
12. Grow your sales
Growing sales and profit is every business owner’s goal, and it’s accomplished by implementing effective and efficient marketing campaigns. Because of the Internet revolution, most marketing campaigns are now implemented online, and having a business website is the first fundamental step to ensure that your online marketing campaigns will succeed. By growing your presence on the Internet, gaining more web traffic, earning more social media influence, attracting more customers, and keeping good relationships with them, your sales will inevitably increase.
13. Catch up with the tech evolution
Your competitors might already running websites and blogs right now to attract more customers. Your customers (who are already accustomed to websites, blogs, social media and mobile Internet) might be looking for your business online and wondering if you have a website. If your business doesn’t have a website and presence online, chances are, your competitors are already winning against you and your customers are already feeling disappointed because you can’t catch up with them.
14. They are affordable
Running a website and blog isn’t only for big companies. My business is a small business (even considered as a micro-business in the Philippines) but I can afford to maintain a website and do blogging. In other words, building a website and running a blog aren’t that expensive compared to other traditional marketing tactics, such as billboard advertising, TV advertising and the like. If you’re a business person who can shell out $500-$2000 for your personal and unnecessary wants, you can certainly spend money for a company website to grow your business and make more money.
15. They are easily manageable
Today’s websites and blogs don’t require programming and other advanced computer skills to manage. They are usually run and powered by CMS (Content Management Software) which make them easy to edit and update. A website developer can help you set up your domain and webhost, build and design your website, and troubleshoot technical problems. However, you can choose to personally update your website and post blog posts if you have time and enthusiasm to do them.
A screenshot of the WordPress Dashboard in a blog I just created. WordPress is a Content Management Software that is commonly used by many businesses. It’s easy to manage. If you can manage your Facebook account and other types of online interfaces, then you have a good change to handle it properly. Of course training yourself with a mentor or a coach is always a wise decision.
There you are, I hope this article has given you some light about utilizing a website and a blog to boost your marketing campaign and grow your business.