The Business Value of Blogging
Why Is Blogging Important for Small Businesses?
Blogging is a way to share opinions or factual information with an online audience. Over the years, blogging has evolved from being a mere passion-based pursuit to a legitimate digital marketing scheme that can be used effectively to generate leads for businesses of all sizes.
Consider the top-performing businesses within your niche, do they blog? Are they blogging regularly? Are they blogging about products or services? If the answer is yes to all of these questions – and it probably is – it’s time to start blogging yourself!
The Benefits of a Blog for a Small eCommerce Business: Blogging and SEO
Blogging is an affordable and sustainable way to boost the online visibility of your business, and it is thus central to any well-rounded search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Writing about topics that pique the interest of your target audience will help you attract traffic to your site. Given that all readers are potential customers, it will also help you build your customer base.
Remember, however, it’s all about answering relevant queries in your blogs. Bringing users that will not be interested in the products and/or services you are selling won’t be helpful!
Ranking for Relevant Keywords
According to Hubspot, businesses that blog regularly attract 55% more traffic than those that don’t. Writing blogs informed by keyword research is a great way to ensure that your bringing the right traffic to your site. It will help ensure that you are targeting search queries that…
- Have a significant amount of search volume (why target a phrase/question that people do not search for?)
- Are not too competitive (a low “keyword difficulty”)
- Satisfy searcher intent (is your content actually answering the search query you are targeting? Is it what the customer is looking for?)
Check out our guide on how to conduct keyword research for more information on what this process entails!
When writing blogs and targeting certain keywords, it can also be helpful to consider current trends. You can check which keywords have experienced a sudden spike in popularity using Google Trends.
Whilst some spikes may be predictable (e.g. seasonal trends), others will not (e.g. influenced by current affairs). Writing blogs centred around these trends – as long as you can make it relevant to your business – is an effective and innovative way to get noticed online.
Opportunity for Link Building
Writing high-quality blogs is a great way to get backlinks. Backlinks are links from another website to a page on yours and they have a significant impact on your site’s ranking. Therefore, acquiring high-quality backlinks (from relevant pages and authoritative sites) is important for growing your online business.
Of course, to get a natural backlink in the first place, the content must be worthy of one. Beyond having to be well-written and engaging, the sorts of blogs that tend to attract backlinks are:
- Original commentary backed by internally-conducted research
- Guides to niche topics
- Lists of industry statistics
Have a look at our guide to creating a comprehensive backlink strategy if you are interested in what else goes into link building.
Using Internal Links to Your Advantage
You can use blogging as an opportunity to link to your own products. For example, if you sell headphones and have a blog on the “Top 10 Headphones of 2023”, you can then advertise the headphones you sell! With internal links, you can ensure that readers stay on your site and, therefore, increase the chance of them making a purchase.
At the same time, however, remember that your blog is not a sales pitch! More on that later.
Optimising Past Blogs for SEO
Once a post is up, you will never have to worry about paying for the same content twice. All you may need to do is optimise it every so often to ensure that the content will still be deemed relevant by search engine algorithms. This could be something as simple as changing a title which says “Our 2022 Guide for…” to “Our 2023 Guide for…”. Of course, you will also need to check the references you make and/or statistics you use are up-to-date.
Trafiki Top Tip: When you first add your article, ensure that the URL will not date the article in any way. So when you update it in the future, your title will not say 2023 when the URL says 2019.
Combining Email Marketing and Blogging
If you have acquired client emails during the sign-up/checkout process, you could utilise them to promote your blogs and bring traffic back to your site via emails. Your customers will appreciate you bringing something of value to the inbox every so often, rather than constantly spamming them with sales-driven emails. It goes without saying, however, that you must give the option to unsubscribe.
Email marketing is also a great way to promote a new product range, seasonal discounts, and any other important change to your business that your consumers may be interested in.
Our Top Tips for Blogging
Producing consistently high-quality blogs requires time and practice. The more time you spend writing blogs, the faster you will become at producing better quality work. Before you started, here are our top blogging tips:
Know Your Demographic
Identify your target audience. Or, in other words, the group of people that your blog will help the most. The ideal reader you have in mind should shape the blog you create. A blog post can be funny, thought-provoking, or educational but it is NOT a sales pitch. A good blog will be helpful and/or entertaining.
Check out Blogging Explorer’s guide to finding your target audience for further information.
Format Your Work
Formatting your writing has two benefits. It is easy to read for your audience and it is good for SEO.
When an idea for a blog comes to mind, do some research and set out the key points you want the topic to cover. You can alter these key points as you write but having an idea of the structure of the article will allow your writing to remain focused on the subject. A reader will be able to tell when someone has put thought into the structure of the blog as it will be easier to read.
Formatting is also an essential part of SEO and thus will affect how well your blog ranks. When writing you should use:
- Short paragraphs
- Predominantly short sentences with a mix of medium and longer sentences
- Well-thought-out headers (h1, h2, h3, h4)
- Bullet points/numbered lists
SEMrush published a very helpful blog on “The Anatomy of Top-Performing Blog Content” where you can see which formatting techniques yield the best results.
Do your research. You might feel that you can produce a quality blog, especially if it is an area you are an expert in, but acknowledge that there are always questions you might not answer. You can also look at the work of competitors, see what they do well, and then expand upon it!
Use Your Language Carefully
Make your work easy to read and follow. Whenever possible, write your content at the level a 14-year-old can understand. Taking an online Flesch-Kincaid test can show you what reading level will be able to read your work.
Make It Engaging
Retain your reader’s attention. A successful blog post doesn’t always result in the reader finishing the article. It should, however, make the reader fixate on at least one section.
One way you can make a post engaging is by using images and videos. This has the added benefits of increasing the duration a user views your content and potentially leading to people reposting your pictures and videos online. If you are creating original visual content, you should watermark your work so viewers know where the content originates from.
Track Blog Performance
Keep track of the performance of your blogs. Observing the tangible progress of your blogs in the months after you have written it will help you become more accustomed to the SEO tips and tricks that help them rank.
Importantly, if your blogs do not perform well immediately, that does not mean they have no purpose. Internally linking to other parts of your website sends positive signals to search engines. Also, a well-written blog takes time to start ranking. The first month or even year may not see any organic traffic, then an algorithm change could rocket your content to the top! So, don’t be disheartened, stick it out.
For ambitious small businesses that are looking to grow, having a website without a blog is a serious missed opportunity. Without one, you are reducing your potential viewership and, therefore, your potential customer base. Larger businesses likely can afford an in-house content creator, but as a small business with a small budget, we suggest hiring an agency to research, write, and publish your blogs.
Trafiki is a full-service eCommerce marketing agency that can help build your business’s online presence through blogging and other SEO-informed content strategies. As part of our eCommerce SEO services, our content team will write targeted blogs that will generate traffic, sales, and revenue. Get in touch today!