Business blogs should do a job for your company — but there are different jobs they can do. The role your blog fills in your business determines the strategy you should use in writing your blog. Here are some of the common jobs business blogs do, and the tactics that help ensure that they do their jobs well.
A blog can reach people at every point in their buying decision, from thinking about possible solutions to a problem to looking for a specific product with the intention of buying. Say you have a physical therapy clinic. Google Trends tells us that there are lots of searches on the subject of back pain, including “cause of back pain,” “chronic back pain,” and “back pain exercises.” Your analytics tell you that people currently reach your website by looking for “back pain treatment” in your town and for “back pain management.” You can write a series of blog posts on these topics:
- Back Pain: Chronic and Acute
- Back Pain Treatment Options
- How Long Can You Ignore Back Pain?
- Causes of Back Pain
- Back Pain Treatment: Exercises or Surgery?
Each of these posts (and this list could be much, much longer) may show up for a different long-tail search term and bring prospective patients to your website. Seeing your helpful, expert information, they’re likely to remember you when they’re ready to make an appointment with someone.
Improving search results
We write a blog about a particular brand of motion control machinery. Our blog posts range from amusing essays on robotics to discussions of the growing skills gap in American engineering. The site owner’s customers are usually people who have had a breakdown in the machinery in question and are in need of emergency help.
We don’t imagine that those customers, when they need help, will read our blog post on the history of motion control in the printing industry, however well crafted it might be.
However, we know that our client’s blog has more and better content about this particular brand than just about anyone else. Blog posts show up on the first page for many related searches. This blog does have readers, none of whom is probably worrying about a broken servo motor at the moment, but its main job is to prove to search engines that the client’s website is the most valuable website on the subject by including lots of quality content.
Serving customers (and increasing conversion)
Your clients, customers, or patients are more likely to be loyal customers of yours if they find your website helpful. Offering information and entertainment at your blog is a sure way to add value to your website.
22% of internet users use Twitter, 25% of female internet users use Pinterest, but 40% of internet users read blogs. Your customers and clients probably value the chance to go to your website — a trusted source — to find answers to their questions.
One of the sites we blog for is aiming to become the best place on the web for people thinking of starting a particular type of business. He hesitated to post blog articles on subjects already covered by his competitors. However, we don’t want his visitors to look for an answer to a common questions, fail to find it, and leave to search for it elsewhere. We work on posts that are unusual enough to get high rankings for specific terms, but also on having the information visitors want, even if they could find it elsewhere.
In the final analysis, your company blog could do all of these jobs. One of them is likely to be the most important, depending on your overall business strategy.