May 9, 2011 –
Communication with customers, vendors, and suppliers are key to running a successful business. Much current communication takes place via the Internet: email, Internet and intranet, social media, and various web-based applications. Homepreneurs has posted several times about blogging, social media, and the importance of a company presence on the Internet. In this post, Mark Evans writes about blogs and the value of integrating them with websites.
Mr. Evans’ suggestions are valid for all size companies, from the home-based business to Fortune 500 concerns. Effective use of social media and the Internet can help make a small company seem large and reduce a large company to obscurity in the cyber-world.
Blogs give strong boost to any website redesign
A lot of companies are looking to refresh and enhance their online presence as the Web becomes a more important tool for communication, marketing and sales.
There are a variety of ways to do a better job of attracting potential customers. This includes redesigning your Web site with a new look and feel – something many companies are starting to do after letting their existing designs collect dust over the past few years, when the economy was rolling along and there was no urgency to change.
Some of my clients are also overhauling their messaging to do a better job of telling people who they are and why potential clients should care about the company’s products and services. It involves creating compelling mission statements and value propositions, which is easier said than done.
Another option is search engine optimization, or SEO, in which a company attempts to make its website more search-engine friendly. There are lots of ways to do it. Some of them are legitimate (“white hat”) while some are underhanded (“black hat”) because they try to take advantage of holes in Google’s search armour.
There are also organic opportunities when it comes to SEO. Along with making sure your website is using the right keywords, an attractive vehicle is a corporate blog.
While writing a blog on a consistent basis can be a lot of work, there are plenty of benefits that make it worthwhile. They include:
1. Blogs can be a terrific way for a company, particularly a small business, to display its insight and knowledge about its industry. By demonstrating domain expertise, companies can show existing and potential customers their thoughts and experience, and provide valuable information. Blogs are also a great way to engage through the use of comments on your site, as well as those of other people and companies.
2. Blogs are Google friendly because the search engine loves fresh content. It makes it easier for a blog, and therefore a company’s website, to be indexed on a regular basis.
3. A key part of Google’s search algorithm is the number of links from other sites. The more links a website attracts from other sites and blogs, the more “authority” Google gives it, and the higher it will rank within search results.
For companies looking to take better advantage of the Web, this is what makes a blog so compelling. If a blog has interesting or compelling content, it can start to attract attention and, just as important, links from other websites. The more blog posts that attract in-bound links, the more “authority” your blog will build.
In many respects, a corporate blog is one of the more effective and organic ways to build a stronger online presence. Along with a better search-engine ranking, blogs can become “content engines” that generate ideas and materials for marketing, business development and sales collateral. When done well, the ROI on a corporate blog can be significant and provide a company with an exciting way to show its stuff online.
Mark Evans is a principal with ME Consulting, a content and social media strategic and tactical consultancy that creates and delivers ‘stories’ for companies looking to capture the attention of customers, bloggers, the media, business partners, employees and investors. Mark has worked with three start-ups – Blanketware, b5Media and PlanetEye – so he understands how they operate and what they need to do to be successful. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshUniversity and meshmarketing conferences.