Adding a blog to your website rocks like a rockhopper penguin!
This blog post will feature a case study from one of my projects on the web to demonstrate the potential benefits a small business blog can have on your site.
Small business blog
In January this year I launched a new SEO website for a Chinese trading company – Sunspeed Flooring.
Sunspeed sells laminate flooring and makes at least two international shipments a week. For each shipment the freight company takes photos of the whole loading process. Sunspeed then send the photos to the customers to show them proof that everything’s ship shape for sailing the scurvy seas.
After discovering the company’s shipments were so frequent and well documented I thought it would be a great thing to start a small business blog about.
On 22 February 2013 I added the blog to the website, called it Shipment Blog to intrigue visitors and starting posting two shipments a week every Monday and Friday. I also post an insightful article about China’s flooring industry every two weeks.
There is nothing more important than filling your customers with a feeling of trust when they think about your company. You can never make people trust you but you can do your best to encourage it.
A blog can build trust in ways your website can’t because it allows you to show off your business in practice, not just in theory.
Perhaps I’m a little too obsessed with trust issues because I work in an industry plagued with deception and fraud (international trading). The thing is I understand the worry of buying from a new source overseas because I’ve been cheated out of hundreds of dollars from choosing dodgy suppliers in the past.
I can put myself in the shoes of those concerned about buying from China, so the Sunspeed Shipment Blog is my effort to relieve some doubt from Sunspeed’s potential customers.
The blog builds trust because it validates Sunspeed’s business with proof of action rather than just being a standard “who we are” page that only says what they do.
Keep it fresh
Search engines like Google love fresh content and adding a blog to your website is the perfect way to nourish them. SEOmoz attributes 70% of search terms to long tail keywords, so the more you write, the more likely you are to pick up visitors for keywords the core pages of your website may have missed out on.
Blogging about two of Sunspeed’s shipments a week does just that. If I stay consistent by posting at least two times a week then in one year I will have added 104 pages of fresh content to the site – that rocks!
Even though up to now the Sunspeed Shipment Blog only has 12 posts in total, its second oldest post: 4 Containers of Small Embossed Laminate Flooring to Vietnam is already ranking on the first page of Google for the keywords: “small embossed laminate flooring”.
Become an authority
Not only does a blog allow you to organically grow your site’s content, but it also allows you to show your customers you really know your stuff.
Every two weeks I blog about Sunspeed’s experience in the laminate flooring industry with inside scoops on manufacturing in China or country specific market research reports.
If you are an expert in your field and think your customers will benefit from what you have to say, then starting a blog will put your knowledge to good use. Most importantly, if your customers see you as an authority in your industry they will be more inclined to choose your company for its products or services.
Treat it like Pride Rock
The thing that rocks most about adding a blog to your website is you can take a break from being salesy and have a bit of fun.
Your customers will appreciate you more if you take a step back from tying to sell to them and give them something refreshingly different. It will give you a chance to show some personality and connect with your audience.
Don’t treat your blog like a private waterhole to draw your customer in and pounce whenever you feel like it just because you are the lion that owns it. That will only drive your customers away. Treat it like Pride Rock when Mufasa was in charge, not Scar!
Adding a blog to your website may seem like a daunting task but it’s a fantastic investment for the long run.
I enjoy updating Sunspeed’s Shipment Blog every week, although I must admit it can be a little boring writing about laminate flooring all the time.
The important thing is to keep content fresh, so both you, your customers and the search engines enjoy it.
Currently Sunspeed’s Shipment Blog drives 6.29% of referral traffic to sunspeedflooring.com. This number will grow substantially once I’ve published more content and my offsite SEO guy has worked his magic.
For the future I’m going to try to be less like Scar and more like Mufasa, because after writing this post I’ve come to realise that I’ve actually been way too salesy on there. Mufasa would not approve.