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10 May 2012

Does Your Company Need a Blog?

Does your company need a blog?

There comes a time when every company realizes, “We need to improve our presence online.” The solution for this many times can be simple, a blog. A blog will give your site a consistent stream of new content, creates pages for targeted keywords, contains more content to share over social networks, allows people to interact with your website through comments and positions yourself or company as an expert in the field.

Many companies debate on whether or not to spend money and time on creating a blog. The scope of the project can be larger than life. First you need to find a platform, then make the platform look and feel like your existing site, come up with content and maintain the blog as a whole.

ProsCons
Constant Stream of New ContentCreating Blog
Establish yourself as an expertBlog Maintenance
More Pages to appear in SERP
Social engagement
Keeps People on Site Longer
Higher Rankings

Do not let these factors intimidate you, finding a platform is as easy as saying “WordPress.” This CMS is easy to implement, in fact many hosting providers give a 1 click install. Making your WordPress blog look like your current site is simple: find a template, reference your CSS file and make any changes necessary. Many WordPress templates are built on the 960 Grid system so customization is easy. Maintaining your blog is a breeze; WordPress’s content editor is a lot like Word or any other word processor. You can write your post and then copy and paste it into the editor, press update and you are done.

Now that your blog is installed and customized it is time to reap the rewards. Imagine all of those long tail or absentee keywords you have wanted to take advantage of — they now have a home.  While coming up with post ideas look into your targeted keywords and match your titles to these terms. While creating new content for your site you can optimize these pages for a specific set of keywords helping your site move up in the SERPs, in places you never were before.

In turn these blog posts will also add much-needed fresh content to your website on a consistent basis. Many sites struggle with content; the blog gives you a great place to put any new content and a dedicated page for your users to find this content. Search engines love new content: they will crawl your site more frequently and are more likely to rank your pages higher if you continue to have content updates. These new pages will provided new places for people to link back to as well.

When you come up with new content it opens up opportunities for people to become involved with your site. Comments are a great way for people to voice their opinion on specific subject matter. By adding social sharing buttons your content can spread through the web, and perhaps go viral. If your site has a lot of social engagement it is sure to move up in the SERPs as search engines put more and more emphasis on social signals in their rankings. When people interact with your content through systems like commenting and social sharing they spend more time on your site and less time on your competitors’.

6 Comments

  • Nick Stamoulis May 10, 2012

    A blog is a great way to market your business online. However, a business should only start a blog if they are going to be dedicated to it. This is where a lot of businesses fail. It’s better to not have a blog than to have a blog that sits inactive for months at a time.

  • David McCormick May 10, 2012

    Nice rule of thumb advice here Ben. I agree with Nick’s comment too; despite how valuable it can be, if it’s not taken seriously then it’s better to just forgo having it.

  • cms hosting May 11, 2012

    Now a days every company need blogs because providing their services and giving all the useful and important information about the company.

  • Elliott Richmond May 11, 2012

    Ben you’ve made some positive points about blogging but I think your angle is a little lop sided. Your post is aimed at small business or maybe one man bands. Don’t get me wrong I agree with what you are saying from a blogging point of view but not from a company, business or positioning perspective.

    WordPress is easy to install yes! From a cost effective point of view themes are cheap and you can have a website up and running in a matter of minutes yes! And yes, arguably the use of plugins make the website scalable but not secure.

    Using a theme that has been developed for a specific industry probably uses a plethora of plugins – most of which are under developed or might have vulnerabilities unless upgraded regularly. Of course there is the theme lockdown senario! Which means that your if your theme is meant to be a Recruitment, Design Portfolio, Recipe, Newsfeed site etc… then that is what it was designed to do, it was not designed to service the ‘one man band’ nor the ‘company blog’

    As far as branding and making your theme look like your current website is debatable :-/
    Themes are generally difficult to navigate and come with a mammoth manual that your developer will have to decipher – as for cost effective, a company might have to outlay more expense in training just so the developer can understand how the theme works. It could be cheaper to pay for a bespoke website that does exactly what the company wants it to do.

    Like I’ve already said, I agree with what you are saying in the context of your post but, it’s not a question of ‘Does Your Company Need a Blog?’ but, in my opinion it’s ‘I am a small business, should I blog or not?’

    As small businesses generally make the local and in turn national and in turn global economy turn should we not be asking “does your company need local business?”

  • Tobias Wagner May 13, 2012

    Good post. Great comment, Elliot! I can just say, that if your company is not ready to hire a professional web designer and seo expert, then it’s definitely not ready to start a blog.
    Running a blog is a constant work and should not be treated light-mindedly

  • evolutionwriters essays May 17, 2012

    Blogging also opens doors for guest blogging appearances since other blog owners will be able to review your writing style and the quality of your content. Those guest blog posts are a great way to expand your network and influence. Thanks for the post!