Often when I talk to small businesses about what they need to do for social media marketing, especially location based businesses such as a restaurant or a brew pub, they wonder why they should blog. It makes sense for a business that provides a service such as marketing or insurance to blog about their industry. It also makes sense for a company trying to attract costumers nationally or internationally, but people in this town will come or not come to the restaurant regardless of whether there is a blog or not. That is true to a point, but does your business have a web site? Why is it there? It is there because people are trying to find out information about your business? What is on the menu? When are you open? Are there any reviews? People from out of town may be looking for a place to eat or a local may be looking for a new experience. This depends on people finding your web site in the first place. You need to attract traffic. According to studies by HubSpot, having a blog on your site, even for a restaurant, can get 55% more website visitors. A great example of a successful restaurant blog is Craigie on Main in Cambridge, MA. Why do blogs increase traffic?
Search Engine Optimization is the key. Search engines look at many things when they are ranking a web site. Some of them include: the number of pages; number of links to those pages; the number of times key-words show up; comments from readers. One of the best ways to increase all of these is by blogging. Writing three blogs a week add 156 pages to your web site a year and search engines find 156 pages faster and rank the web site higher, then 15 pages. The more information you have in the blogs the greater the chance you will have for ranking on key words important to your business. This will also give other sites an opportunity to comment and link back to your website, another thing that will raise your SEO score.
Social Media Integration is another factor. Many of the businesses that tell me they don’t need a blog will insist that they need a Facebook Page or a Twitter account. They need to be involved in social media but what are they going to talk about? You can’t always tweet that wine and beer are 50% off during happy hour. The blog gives businesses something else to promote and present to the public. It gives them a point of view and a platform and another way to connect with their clientele.
Blogs build relationships. For most local businesses a connection to their customers is important. Otherwise why not buy those shoes on line or go to a chain restaurant. This is not to say that all of your customers are going to be reading your blog but it is a way to connect with your customers when they are not on site. It also gives them something to share with others.
Does your small business have a blog? Do you have any successes or frustrations? Share it with me and I’ll post it in a future blog and link back to it. If you have any questions about starting a company blog or a social media campaign contact us at Image Media Partners.
Photo: octaviolopez; MorgueFile