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For some, blogging is a way to jot down thoughts, for others it’s a way of engaging with an online community of like minded people, but for small and medium sized businesses a blog can mean the difference between cold leads and successful sales. It’s reported that businesses that own, maintain, and update a company blog regularly with fresh, relevant content boast 55 percent more website visitors on average, compared to businesses who don’t engage in content marketing. The big question is - how does blogging make such a significant difference?
Content marketing is closely related to brand awareness and online visibility, and this occurs through two means. The first is SEO, and ensuring that content is thought out and researched thoroughly to incorporate keywords and phrases that improve Google ranking. The second is indexing. Research shows that businesses with a blog have 434 percent more indexed pages than companies who don’t blog and, as you’ll know, the more indexed pages, the greater visibility and the more website traffic and leads you can expect.
When businesses first started to budget specifically for marketing campaigns, there was one ultimate aim - to get customers in the door. Today, however, the concept of marketing has changed somewhat. Successful businesses today should be less concerned with getting customers in the door, and more focused on keeping them there. Known as ‘new marketing’, this concept is starting to be used by more and more small and medium sized businesses, and blogging is an excellent platform for doing so. By posting regularly, customers will keep coming back for more.
Your blog is a chance for you to show off your products and services in ways that a traditional product description doesn’t allow. It allows you to elaborate, to demonstrate benefits, and to get away from the technical side of specifications. It’s a chance for you to show customers why they can’t afford to miss out on a product or service, and to promote your company. According to the Custom Content Council, two thirds of customers cite a business blog as an aid in making purchase decisions.
Although buying online today is relatively safe, especially with the introduction of 3-D Secure technology which removes the need for businesses to store client data, there is still somewhat of a stigma attached to online shopping, to a point where customers are always looking for the most trustworthy businesses to deal with. Reports show that 82 percent of customers feel more positive about a company if they maintain an up-to-date blog, while 70 percent feel closer and more loyal to that company.
Business blogging is simple, but it’s important to get it right. Be sure to research keywords and phrases thoroughly to maximise visibility, and incorporate these into content so that the article flows and is readable, rather than forced. Ensure you post regularly and produce fresh, relevant content, and try to engage readers by encouraging feedback or discussion. For small and medium sized businesses, blogging could be what sets you apart from the competition.
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