With more than 200 million active websites now vying for web surfers’ attention spans, it’s never been more important for businesses to have a website. But even the most niche local businesses still face tons of competition on the web. Standing out from the crowd means doing more than listing your products and services and waiting for visitors to land on your page.

One great way to stand out, connect with customers, and even boost your site’s ranking on search engines is to start a blog. More than just a popular trend, blogs are excellent tools for businesses looking to connect with customers when they can’t meet face-to-face.

Keep reading to learn a few of the benefits you could be enjoying by adding a blog to your small business’ website.

Offer Customers Real Value at No Cost

Whether they are looking to book a hotel, plan a vacation, or shop for their next pair of hiking boost, customers increasingly turn to the internet for help. Most aren’t just looking for the first option that they can find either. Instead, they have questions to ask and concerns they want to voice. They may be searching for others who have taken a similar vacation or reviews of the top boots on the market today.

You could allow your customers to search the web for references to your company on review sites or mentions of your product from other bloggers. Or, you could provide those answers, reviews, tips, and more directly to your customers through a blog.

A blog is an excellent space for providing your customers with real value. Offer a list of attractions in the area that they might enjoy doing during their stay at your hotel. Create a list of the top boots on the market today, and list the features of each (while also checking to make sure that your store has the best ones in stock!).

A blog goes beyond traditional advertising; if done correctly, it provides real value, while also showing readers how your business’ products or services could be an answer or solution to a problem or need that they have.

Explain Why Your Business is Different

When you offer similar goods or services as the business down the street, it can be tough to show customers what makes you stand out when they haven’t yet visited your location.

A blog gives you the freedom and room to show the world what makes your business different. Talk about the process behind creating a new product. Show guests what they can do at your property that they can’t do anywhere else. Include images of previous customers enjoying themselves. A blog is a great chance to help customers fall in love before they ever have a chance to visit you in person.

Connect with Loyal and New Customers Alike

Your blog is an excellent way to showcase your brand to your new customers, and to remind old customers why they liked you in the first place.

Unlike static webpage content, your blog can have character and personality. You can achieve a laid-back vibe, crack jokes, or talk about the staff that make your company so special. It’s an opportunity to connect with the clients and customers that you haven’t yet or can’t meet with face-to-face.

It’s an Excellent Tool for SEO

Offering your customers something of value and showing them why your business stands out from the crowd is important. But when it comes right down to the numbers, one of the best things about starting a blog is the chance to utilize SEO strategies to boost your site’s traffic.

What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a set of rules and tactics that are used to boost your website’s ranking on search engine sites like Google. These sites use complicated algorithms to deliver results every time a web surfer enters something into the search bar.

For instance, if you were to type in “how to build a shelf,” Google would scan through millions of websites in search of sites that rank well for keywords like “shelf,” “how to,” and the whole phrase, “how to build a shelf.” But it doesn’t stop there. Google also looks at the site’s performance, whether it has any indicators that it could contain spam, and more. In fact, the algorithms are so complicated and secretive that experts are left guessing at what exactly they are looking for and to what degree every time Google rolls out a new update.

All of this data is then used to “rank” web results. That means that the better your site ranks, the higher it appears in the list of results for any given search.

Why a Blog is Important for SEO

You can–and should–implement SEO strategies throughout your website. But a blog gives you the chance to utilize them more frequently, and to use other keywords.

For instance, if you operate a hotel, you might not have much of an opportunity to work on ranking for keywords like “family-friendly hotel,” “summer vacation ideas,” or “national park trip.” However, those are real things that your guests are likely searching for. You can help them do some planning by offering tips for vacationing with kids or planning a trip to a national park, while also working to rank for those keywords in local searches.

Starting a Blog

While anyone can start a blog, effective small business blogging isn’t as easy as it seems. From implementing SEO to creating content that your customers will value, it’s about more than just typing out a few paragraphs. If you don’t have web marketing experience, it’s a task best trusted to professionals.

Let our team show you how we can create a blog that your customers will appreciate, and that will improve your chances of a better ranking on Google today!