Today, marketing has many more elements outside of the traditional yellow pages, newspaper, radio and TV advertisements. Local businesses can take advantage of many different types of internet or online marketing just like national businesses can. In fact, most shoppers go online today to research products before they buy them. And, most searches for products online result in an offline purchase.
This means that you need to have a website. And in order for search engines to send shoppers your way, you also need to have a blog on your website. Don’t be tempted to create a free blog with Blogger, or WordPress.com; instead, add a blog to your website using the open source self-hosted WordPress. It’s the same software that WordPress.com runs off of and is just as easy to use. The difference is that you load it on your own server along with your website (and it can even be used to make your entire website). You own all aspects of your blog, and no one can tell you what you can and cannot write on it.
Most businesses who embark on blogging for marketing find that they don’t even need some of the other expensive advertising that they were doing before. Many stop paying for the expensive Yellow Pages display, and slow down their newspaper and TV advertising substantially because using online marketing and blogging to do that online marketing works so well. There are many reasons for this but a few are that it costs less, reaches more people, and is measurable.
Through your blog you’ll be able to connect with people who want to do business with you. You’ll be able to covert readers of your blog to happy customers who remain with you long term. In fact, they may become fans of your business and help promote you online too by sharing your blog posts and other online marketing information. As a regular blogger you’ll become the online authority for your products and/or services. People will see you as an expert and go to you for advice.
A blog added to your website will allow for easy content uploading, attract search engines, and offer your visitors the information they crave while building trust with your audience. Not only that; you’ll be able to study the metrics yourself to see how many visitors you have, who is interacting with your blog, and more. As mentioned earlier you will be the owner of your content if you build your blog on self-hosted WordPress in addition to your website.
If you have a website out there without a blog, you’re spending too much time and wasted effort. A website alone will not attract search engine traffic that can convert visitors into customers. Your website cannot get at the top of the search engine all by itself. It must have a blog that is updated frequently (at least three to five times a week), and it must be interactive (i.e. allow comments on the blog) to be truly effective. If you want a lot of visitors to your website that you can convert to real business, start blogging today.