Last month I covered evaluating your marketing efforts. Hopefully you all saw the post and took a few moments to do an assessment and run Hubspots free Marketing Grader application on both your website and that of at least one competitor.
So now what? You either can pat yourself on the back that you are doing a pretty good job or you can sulk about the fact that you are not or you can take action! I am a take action kind of girl and I like helping people so let’s do it together shall we! Let’s make some resolutions together this year to do one thing every month to improve your marketing. I will be here to help you along the way. Every month I will give you one specific actionable idea that you can do using your Doodlekit website to increase your Marketing Grader score. At the end of the year I would love to profile one or two Doodlekit customers who have increased their scores on my blog SavvyB2Bmarketing.com and will give your business website even greater exposure. You can start at any point during the year but just like most New Year’s Resolutions results do not come overnight. It is only through steady consistent progress that you will see long term results!
So let’s get started!
This month’s challenge is to start or improve your blog! Studies have shown that websites with a blog have 55% more visitors and just having a blog improves your Marketing Grader score. Every Doodlekit site (even the ones made with the free website builder) comes with a blog. So if you haven’t checked out or enabled your blog in the past let’s start by some of the great features that the Doodlekit blog page offers you.
- Intuitive entry screen with word-like editing features
- Ability to enter photos, upload documents as links and position widgets within the post
- Utility to schedule blog posts to go live on a certain date or time
- Comment functionality so you can “dialogue” with your readers
- Tags so you can aggregate your posts by topic
- Spam filter so you can speak to real customers and not robots looking for cheap links
I gave you one really compelling reason to blog in the intro of this piece. Websites that have a blog get 55% more traffic than those that don’t. This isn’t a magical statistic. It is purely that blogs that are well written have a lot of keywords that are likely to be in search phrases that people type into search engines. Search engines like Google see a concentration of those keywords or tags (categories you create to group your blog posts) and they rank this higher in their organic search.
I am going to give you a few less scientific but just as significant reasons to blog. Small businesses need a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to show they go the extra mile for their customers. If you are in a retail business you need to give people a reason to shop locally rather than on-line. You need to convey that you provide an extra level of customer service that is unmatched. You have a chance to build a rapport with potential customers before they ever set foot in your door. You can convey your passion, expertise, unique value proposition and personality through your blog. You can in a word make yourself memorable! When your business is memorable you take yourself out of the commodity market and into the value add market!
In most purchase processes 70% of the activity occurs before they find you! That means they are aware of your product, service and their need for it. Buyers find when they are searching for a solution and evaluating potential vendors. I don’t care if you are selling mufflers, personal training services or pet supplies you have an opportunity through a blog to communicate your unique value to your prospects.
A Small Business Blog Case Study
A little over a year ago my family bought a new home. 2 days before our inspection window was over we got the results of the radon test. The results in the basement were border line so not significantly egregious. So we had a choice to make whether we wanted to ask for money in the final contract to have the issue mitigated or not. The seller was not obligated to mitigate the radon because the level came in within the state acceptable level. However the basement was going to be in our new home our children’s playroom so I needed to learn as much as I could quickly about the possible about why radon mitigation was recommended.
I found a local vendor, Jim, from a Google search that had blogged extensively about radon exposure and the benefits of mitigation. He went into extensive detail about different mitigation systems, their cost and the pros and cons of different materials. I was in a matter of a few hours completely brought up to speed on everything I could possibly know. I called my real estate agent and told him we did want to add a stipulation to the contract that the seller mitigate the radon in the basement.
The seller’s counterproposal offered to have the radon mitigated with the cheapest materials / technique possible by a vendor of their choosing. Because I was educated not only on the dangers of radon but also the materials and techniques by the blog I read I knew quickly their proposed technique was not the best option for the type of basement we had. It was obvious to me that they were trying to limit their cost exposure. So instead I asked for the cost of their fix off the purchase price and hired Jim, who had written the blog, because I was confident that he would provide the best long term solution for the safety of my children.
The moral of the story is that Jim would not have gotten the business without his blog. He was able to establish credibility with me to the point that I was willing to spend more money in order to use his services. Additionally my real estate agent and the sellers agent were introduced to Jim because I quoted his blog in my rejection of the sellers counter proposal and they both agreed that he was an impressive choice they would refer to future clients.
I knew a considerable amount about Jim, his work ethic and his approach from reading what he wrote that I would not have known simply picking someone out of the yellow pages or from a Google local listing.
Next month’s installment will cover blogging best practices. I will demystify keywords, search engine optimization and editorial calendars. In the mean time explore the Doodlekit blog features and write your first post. I think “Why I chose this career field” or “Why I opened this business” is a really good place to start!
Be sure to try out Doodlekit when looking at free website makers to create a blog.
About the Author: Heather Rubesch is currently the Director of Content for DemandCon, the only industry conference focused on accelerating the entire sales and marketing funnel. Her penchant for collaboration drew her 3 years ago to co-found the Savvy B2B Marketing blog with five of the most talented content marketers in the universe!