Websites and Blogs – The Key Elements Necessary for Small Business Marketing
If you were to guess which two elements of marketing were essential for your small business, what would you guess? (NO PEEKING AT THE BLOG TITLE!!) Well, if you cheated and read the blog title, then you would know that the key elements for small business marketing, the two pieces that make your online garden grow, are WEBSITES and BLOGS!
Why these two things? Why would your website and the blogs you add to it make more of an impact on your overall marketing than social media and other marketing tactics? Well, let’s just say that without these two beautifully formatted, drafted, and SEO-focused marketing assets, it would be like successfully catching cash in the wind but then just throwing it back up in the air again. Want to know why? Here is everything you need to know about the importance of having a website with blogs and how your small business marketing will be drastically impacted by their existence!
How a Website and Blogs Fit into Your Small Business Marketing Funnel
When it comes to marketing your business, there is a method to the madness of the online and digital approach. Sure, you could write a blog every once in a while, share a bunch of social media posts, and then send out a mass email every month to your subscribers… but all that this is going to get you is un-reliable responses and perhaps even a few annoyed ‘un-subscribers.’ There needs to be a method – a STRATEGY – to how you approach the digital world (If you don’t have a digital marketing strategy yet, this is the early step to creating a plan)! Once you have a plan in place, you can begin to tackle things one at a time. The easiest way to do that is to follow along a marketing funnel that focuses on the foundations first and the bonus material second. So… what is the first step in this marketing funnel, you ask? Well… let me tell you! The almighty website!
Hail! The Almighty Website!
This beautiful place that exists in a mysterious space where anyone can find it and that broadcasts your business without you moving a muscle!
The VERY FIRST THING that you need to do in your marketing approach is create a USER-FRIENDLY website. Without a website, you may as well be sending people directly to your competitors. People need a place to go and see your company, discover your brand, and learn more about who you are and what you do/offer. Hubspot identified that “49% of users say they use Google to discover or find a new item or product,” which means that if you aren’t online, you are missing out on an entire gold-mine of new potential customers! A website is literally the starting point in your journey that says to the world ‘we are here! Come buy our products!’
But not any old website will do. Your website needs to ACCURATELY represent your company, be up-to-date (both in content and design), and offer a responsive interface for users to find you whether they are on a computer or mobile phone. In particular, for you to succeed online, your website NEEDS to have:
- Engaging visual design
- Home page with alternative menu tabs (including a contact form)
- Brand representation (colours, logos, fonts, branded images, etc.)
- Formatting, optimization, and readability
- Good page load speeds
- Mobile friendly responsive design
- Search Engine Optimized content
- Google analytics integration
- Security (https://)
- Social media icons (linking to your pages so users can connect more)
- OPTIONAL: E-commerce shop (highly recommended if you sell a product! Also works great for services)
- A blog (see next paragraph for why!)
Once your site is set up, you have completed the widest net of the most important marketing funnel you will ever create!
The Can’t-Live-Without SEO (Blog) Solutions
The next step is another critical one. SEO.
This means optimizing your website to include content, images, tags, and keywords that Google (the king of our online world) can recognize. If Google doesn’t recognize the content it crawls, then you can expect to stay at the bottom of the food-chain, while others with greater website SEO rise up in organic listings and get the traffic.
How do you get great SEO onto your site?
The easiest and most cost effective way to build your SEO is through organic and incredible written content (these are the paragraphs and words that will fill your website pages). But you can only create so many pages to link to your website nav, so how else can you get content onto your site without building the world’s longest ‘about page’? BLOGS – the bonus pages of your website!
According to Optinmonster.com, “Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to have a positive ROI on their efforts.” That means, in order to reach your goal ROI, your website NEEDS to have great SEO. But this doesn’t just mean you can write a killer blog once a year! If you really want to commit and see that positive ROI, then you need to commit to blogging OFTEN. You need to add updated and interesting blogs to your site regularly so that users continue to visit your site. It is recommended that you write a blog AT LEAST once every two weeks, or a minimum of one epic (1500+ word blog) every month. Want to really see results? Write an engaging and relevant blog (500+ words) once a week!
‘I Don’t Like to Write… Why Are Blogs So Great for My Small Business Marketing?’
Think about the things that you typically Google in a week. How many of those links were blogs? As a society, we are always on the lookout for more information and answers to our questions immediately, and who better to answer our questions than the professionals in the industry! That means that YOUR small business, who is selling some of the best (eg) elephant shoes around the world, has more answers for the elephant shoe-seekers than the generic shoe stores that are selling shoes for all of the animals!
YOU are the professional in the industry and YOU are the one who can provide people with answers via blogging!
Techjury.net found that by simply adding a blog to your website, you can see up to a 434% increase in traffic compared to not having a blog! Did you read that right? 434%!!! That is quadruple what you are currently seeing for traffic on your website! So, if your website does not yet have a blog, what are you waiting for?!
Your NEW Website-Blog Continuum
Wondering where to go from here? If you have not yet created your website, you need to do that NOW (and we can help!). And if you have not yet started to blog, then start writing (if words aren’t your forte then we can lend a trunk!). Once those two pieces have been set up and are in place, you can begin your blog-website continuum! And it looks a little something like this:
Step 1: Write a blog
Step 2: Share it on your beautiful website
Step 3: Share the blog link on your social media pages
Step 4: Users will click the link and land on your website/blog
Step 5: Google sees users going to your site, nods with approval, and ranks you higher
Step 6: Ranking higher on Google searches means that more people find your blog organically
Step 7: More people see your blog and visit your website leading to increased ROI
Step 8: Do it all over again!
Now go and begin the circle-of-marketing (tune of ‘Circle of Life’ if you please) that will get you the results you set goals for!
Is your small business missing a blog? Or perhaps, your website needs a much-deserved tune-up. Now is the time to get these two key components set as a foundation.
Not sure where to start? Overwhelmed with the ‘back-end’ of website design? Your friendly herd is here to lend a trunk! Our team would LOVE to help you update (or create) a website for your business and ensure that you add quality written blogs on it to draw in the right crowd! Send us a note to get started ASAP!