Blogging to Market Your Small Business

Is a Blog an effective marketing tool for your small business? Absolutely, in fact a regularly published Blog is now a common practice among  businesses. And it is a great way for your small business to share its expertise and connect with online users.

If you are a small business owner, blogging is a great way to market your business. An effective business blog will provide your audience unique and valuable information about your business or industry that clearly demonstrates your expertise in your field.  Blogs will increase your credibility, boost your website traffic, and provide a personality behind your brand.  A business blog engages new prospects, and informs and sells to your audience in a way that lends both personality and credibility to your brand. When you are positioned as the subject matter expert (SME), you have a much better chance to increase market share and gain the confidence of current and potential new clients.

Why Should I Blog?

As mentioned above, when you create an effective blog you are marketing yourself and your business as the subject matter expert (SME) in your occupation or industry. Let’s face it, you’re much more of an expert than you realize.  And most of your clients come to you because they trust your quality of work and knowledge in your field. We all want to do business with the person we believe knows the most about their profession. Most small business owners have been practicing their trade for 20 years or longer. You are a wealth of knowledge; a walking encyclopedia of information about your industry. You’re the best kept secret in your business. By blogging your expertise, you will gain recognition in the market and valuable traffic to your website. A well managed blog will benefit your business by creating valuable content for your web presence including your website and social media platforms. Unique and current content will increase your domain search engine rank, website traffic, and create the “Halo” effect of being a published authority in your field.

Let’s Get Started

A effective business blog is an online article, published by you, for the purpose of providing valuable information to your clients, current content for your web presence, and demonstrate your expertise. It is likely between 400 and 600 words, about one typed page in length. Consider writing about new trends in your field, changes to your industry, new laws and regulations, or new product developments and shifts in the marketplace.  And don’t forget to offer contrast between the present and the past, demonstrating your longevity and years of valuable experience.

A small business blog should be posted on your website, not offsite. Search engines look for changing content on your website. Sure link-backs add value but not as much for a small business. So keep the content on your website to maximize SEO. For social media purposes connect your Blog feed to twitter and Facebook. Back-links will also increase your SEO rank.

A good blogging strategy is to pick a topic in your field, on a monthly basis, and begin documenting your thoughts. Start with a simple outline, the “who, what, where and why”, and then start writing.  Keep it simple. Think about the most common questions you are asked by your clients, or the most current events in your industry.  Blog consistently, Stick with your knitting, make sure it is your point of view, clearly sharing your expertise in your field. And don’t forget to let your personality shine through. Remember in the small business community, people do business with people, be sincere and authentic.

So let’s get started. Open up, share your expertise. Position yourself as the SME in your field in your market, and watch your business grow!

Mark Alexander is a Partner with Triangle WebCare, an Internet Marketing Firm specializing in Website Design and Internet Marketing Services for small business’s located in Raleigh and the Triangle area of North Carolina

www.trianglewebcare.com

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing

Today you have to provide the potential customer some sort of value to gain their attention. Old marketing ways of direct mail, cold calling, and spam, are often ignored. By marketing through 2-way communication, in which is company provides valuable information for the client, your marketing will not only be more effective, but also more affordable. This infographic explains all the reasons why companies should shift towards inbound marketing efforts.

Today you have to provide the potential customer some sort of value to gain their attention. Old marketing ways of direct mail, cold calling, and spam, are often ignored. By marketing through 2-way communication, in which is company provides valuable information for the client, your marketing will not only be more effective, but also more affordable. This infographic explains all the reasons why companies should shift towards inbound marketing efforts.

What is SEO?

For a small business, it is critical to utilize Search Engine Optimization. SEO encourages traffic to your website by ranking higher in Google, Yahoo!, or Bing searches. It is important, however, to have a balance between SEO and readable content. Potential customers want to see visuals alongside text. By balancing these two elements, your website can serve as an excellent advertisement for your small business.

www.trianglewebcare.com

Posted in SEO

The Difference Between SEM & SEO

This picture helps illustrate the difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

SEO and SEM are terms that are often confused. Though both involve search engines like: Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, SEO and SEM are quite different. SEO requires planting keywords, or otherwise developing a website so it will appear higher on a particular search result list. By being closer to the top of the list, your website will generate higher traffic.

SEM, unlike SEO, is paid advertising. Your business’s ad placement depends on your bid for that keyword. The top bidder for each specific keyword will get the top ad spot associated with search results for that term. SEM is also associated with pay-per-click (PPC). This means that your business only pays for the clicks it receives on its search engine ad. Though there are a lot of cost components, SEM is a strong marketing technique. Finding the right SEM budget for your small business is key in creating an ad campaign that is both effective and economical.

www.trianglewebcare.com