I was sitting down with a potential client last month. I was asked what I thought of the company website.
“I notice it doesn’t have a blog,” I said.
“Do many other people in our industry have a blog?”
To be honest I didn’t know. I’d spent so much time learning about that person’s company, specifically, that I’d forgotten to do a competitor analysis. Tunnel vision I’ve been rectifying since, but I was trying to learn who they were, specifically.
But I was also honest when I shared my opinion. “Everyone needs a blog,” I said. “You may not want to turn on comments because of the nature of your industry–but you still need one.”
Gain a competitive edge.
If absolutely nobody else in your industry has a blog (which I’d find hard to believe anyway) then you’re looking at a goldmine of opportunity. You now have the ability to seize a competitive edge.
Blogs build trust. They give customers the opportunity to really get to know companies. They provide a forum for getting specific questions answered–questions that require deeper, more involved answers than what you might find on a FAQ.
Personally, I expect a blog when I go to a company website. I might not spend all my time reading it, but that doesn’t matter. I appreciate its presence. Sometimes I read over a few entries just to get some idea of who these people are and how they think before I call them up and offer to spend my money with them.
Make life easier for your sales team.
A blog is a great place to meet objections. Since I have a sales background I like to say that there are twenty objections that every sales rep encounters every single day.
What if all twenty of them were met and discussed on the blog, and what if the prospect had already read and thought about all twenty objections before meeting with the sales rep? How much of an impact do you figure that would have on the rep’s close ratio? The rep would literally only have to contend with the questions or concerns that mattered most to that unique prospect, which means that he or she would have the opportunity to truly match solutions to problems instead of quibbling over stalls.
You can also make life easier for your customer service team. I guarantee they’re getting 20 of the same questions every hour of the day, too. Placing these questions could mean they spend more time dealing with things that are actually issues for the customer.
Your blog is an ideal place to put customer fears to rest. I’ve been in business since 2009. It took me until 2014 to call an accountant for one reason: I thought only big businesses could afford them, and that unless I had $1000 a month to pay them I was out of luck. If some accountant had blogged about that concern I likely would have hired him or her.
Reap the SEO benefits.
Getting ranked in Google is hard enough these days. Why would you shoot yourself in the foot by denying yourself the use of a blog?
A blog gives you a forum for producing regular website updates. Content freshness has always played a role in Google’s algorithm, and nobody is too impressed by a website that hasn’t been updated in 8 months.
Besides, there are only too many legitimate opportunities for keywords on your “Home,” “About,” “Services,” and “Contact Us” page.
No, your plumbing business blog is never going to become a thriving community for home improvement enthusiasts the way some nationwide home improvement blog might. Customers are not going to lovingly pour over every single post in your accounting blog. It doesn’t matter. They may only need to read one or two posts to decide you’re the right person for their needs.
And they may find you through those posts, and only through those posts, because the posts target the long-tail, ultra-specific keywords that are so necessary in today’s search environment.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Don’t assume your service or industry is too boring. And don’t decide that you can’t be the first one in your niche to do something. Just launch your blog already. 🙂