A blog gives a website a free space to engage with its visitors. Often used to introduce readers to the specific field that the business is involved in, a blog allows potential clients to familiarize themselves with the idea of a company in relation to their industry. Furthermore, blogs can reveal your standing within your line of business. If you practice renewing and producing content to stay relevant, not only will you show that you are a thought leader in your industry, but readers will find your blog valuable which will drive up your ranking in search results as well. When prospective customers search for your trade or profession, you want to be at the top of the results in order to show them that you are the most reliable and professional name in your field. Here are some tips on how to achieve each of these tasks:

Introduce your business to the world.

Unless you are a Fortune 500 company, there are millions of people out there who have never heard of you. A company blog is a terrific vehicle for introducing yourself. Be conversational. Tell them about your products and services and tell them what distinguishes you from the competition. However, don't hit them over the head with a heavy sales pitch. It is essential that a blog remains informative and gives the reader what he or she wants. If you present your visitors with the relevant information they are searching for, they will associate your company with knowledgeable leadership in your industry. For example, I was first introduced to GQ looking for an article on how to pull off a tie bar. After reading a few more of their articles, I naturally started purchasing their magazine. Without any paid advertisements, I was made into a consumer who trusts GQ's advice on fashion standards. Imagine if a reader of your blog post sends your link to a colleague or friend. Blogs can be one of the easiest way to build brand recognition and brand loyalty.

Establish yourself as an expert.

If you have started a business or are running a business, presumably you have a great deal of expertise in your field. A blog gives you a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate this knowledge. In doing so, you give visitors confidence in your abilities, which often has the effect of turning visitors into clients. Beyond showing your company's expertise, you can provide timely information on industry trends. As a service to your visitors, summarize the latest news and don't be afraid to link them to relevant articles. Even though you are sending them away from your site, visitors will remember the valuable service you provided.

Personalize your business.

Companies can be monoliths. A blog is a terrific tool for putting a human face on your business. Passionate articles about topical wisdom can make a business feel more enthusiastic and approachable. Take a look at our SEO Audit Challenges to see how we show readers what we do as a business. Employees or interns can also blog about the company culture to help the reader become acquainted with the feel of the company. Like in the "real world," people do business with people they feel comfortable with. Some blogs embrace this friendliness by posting timely articles, like ours, that mingle with fun while staying relevant.

Know your reader.

Successful marketing campaigns are client-centric. Test blog content to find out what appeals to your consumer base. Tracking which articles get the most clicks and the most time spent reading will enable you to optimize what blog content and more importantly what services you provide. Often, companies find that their readers belong to a specific (and sometimes unexpected) subculture. Blogging about related topics within this culture can be effective, but don't be afraid to test articles that push the boundaries! Stretch what is considered "related" to your business in order to increase the scope and reach of your blog to new readers.

Improve your rankings.

Search engines tend to like the same things that internet users like. There are several important ways that a blog on your company website can help increase your search engine rankings:

  • Fresh content: search engines pay more attention to websites that update their content more often, and on a regular basis. (Google considers an article "refreshed" if 300 words are added or changed.)
  • Relevant content: the more sought-after content you have on your site, the more potential it has to be perceived as relevant to your target search queries.
  • Authoritative content: a major factor in search engine rankings is how many other relevant websites are linking to yours. Be a resource that is good enough for others to source and site in their content.

An informative, entertaining and interactive blog can put a great face on your business. If you are willing to devote the time to writing blogs with enough quality and consistency to keep visitors coming back for more, then you have the opportunity to generate a new stream of customers and to keep your current clients coming back.