Looking for a cost-effective way to get more prospective customers to your company’s website? You need a blog! It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – home remodeling, HVAC, kitchen remodeling, plumbing or roofing – adding a blog to your website and filling it with remarkable content is a great way to get more traffic, leads and customers!
There are dozens of free blogging platforms – WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, etc. While nearly all of them will host your blog for free, it’s more beneficial to integrate a blog into your company’s primary website.
For starters, search engines direct a huge percentage of the traffic on the web. Search engines love new, unique and remarkable content. Blogs are an easy way to add large amounts of content to a website without cluttering up the “core” aspects of the site (the part of your site designed to concisely communicate your value proposition – designed to convert visitors into leads, sales, etc.).
Here’s an analogy – think of your website as a yacht.
Think of every page of your site as if it were a baited hook thrown from the side of your boat. The better your content is (think: unique and remarkable), the larger the bait on the hook! To catch more fish, what do you need? Better bait and/or more lines in the water!
Every blog post creates a new page on your website; however, be sure not to churn out posts by regurgitating what others have already said with minor alterations. This is the equivalent of tossing a fishing line over the side of your boat sans bait. You might get lucky and snag a fish as you’re cruising past, but you’re more likely to starve to death waiting!
In order to maintain high visit-to-inquiry conversion rates, it might be wise to keep content within the main parts of your website consistent (theme, language, etc.). However, your website’s blog can be much more freeform. The themes of your blog posts can vary radically and, generally speaking, this is not a problem. Also, most blogs enable visitors to comment below the blog post. These comments become conversations between you and your visitors.
What you should blog about depends on your goals, but topics can range from company events, news, local happenings, industry happenings, a competitor’s offerings, customer wins, case studies and anything else you think your prospective customers might find interesting. The best bloggers are constantly thinking about their audience – what type of content would the audience find valuable and interesting?
Essentially, you want to use the blog on your website to create a community resource – a “hub” on the Internet so to speak – for your prospective customers.
Similarly, it’s important that you refrain from actively selling on your blog. An occasional plug is fine, but the content that most visitors find attractive is that which is helpful for the sake of being helpful. Create content that helps your visitors do what they do better – period.
Another concern that many business owners have is that they will lose prospective customers by giving away free information. Here’s a secret – the value of the traffic you receive by sharing (truly) valuable content far exceeds the sales you’ll lose by giving away free tips.
The “do-it-yourselfers” will find your blog and use your free tips to do the work on their own. Guess what? That’s what they were going to do even if they didn’t find your website! This is not your target audience. Your target audience is the person that is too busy to do things on their own or re-invent your product. What your blog and remarkable content do for this school of fish is establish and reinforce authority and expertise.
If operate a small business – especially a B2C service business (heating and air, plumber, roofer, etc.) – and you’re looking for a low-cost way to get more web visitors, leads and customers, try adding a blog to your website. The integration is not overly technical, but you can always hire an online marketing company if you need assistance.
If you’re considering a website redesign, consider a content management system (CMS). Many CMS’s (Drupal, Joomla, etc.) have integrated blogging modules.