Does my website need a blog?

If you are running a business website without a blog, you are missing out on some big opportunities to engage prospective clients and increase website traffic. A static website that doesn’t change or feature new content is essentially an online brochure that can easily passed over and forgotten, no matter how slickly it's designed. In today’s social media-driven world, engagement with your customers online is essential and expected. A study from HubSpot, "The 2012 State of Inbound Marketing,” finds that 57 percent of businesses that blogged at least monthly acquired customers through their blogs. Blogging three times a week increased the percentage to 70 percent; daily blogging upped it to 78 percent. Every business needs a blog. Not only does blogging provide a way to engage your site visitors, it also brings more traffic to your website. Google likes blogs because content is updated frequently. While there are millions of websites that remain unchanged each day, blogs offer up fresh new information—and Google recognizes that by giving that content higher placement when users search for related topics. In fact, blogging is the most natural way to optimize your site for search engines. Blogs provide another source to deepen the connection with your customers, offering them valuable information as well as insight into what you are offering. Consumers like to be informed, and appreciate accessing that information quickly and easily—and where better than directly on your website? When clients comment on your blog posts or ask questions, be sure to respond and interact with them. Building a conversation with customers leads to trust, and trust leads to a more firmly established business relationship. Other customers will see and appreciate how you respond to questions and comments as well. If your site doesn’t yet have a blog, talk with your website designer or web hosting provider to see if there’s an easy way to install a blog on your existing site. Ideally your blog should be hosted on your current domain, but there are online options—,, and among others—that can work in the meanwhile. Keep in mind that if you set up your blog under a different domain or through one of these online services, your main website won’t benefit from the added traffic. Hosting a blog doesn’t need to be a major undertaking, but it does require some planning. You will want to offer interesting content on a consistent basis, ideally at least two to three times per week. That content should be of interest to your target audience and make them want to come back for more. Consider providing helpful tips, industry research, before and after photos, video demonstrations, client success stories, and how-to guides. Your blog should also reflect the culture of your company. Personality is attractive and welcoming, especially in an online environment where many companies make the mistake of remaining cold and distant. Blogging should be at the heart of your company's social media strategy. Each time you publish a new post, share the title and a link within your social networks. This drives traffic back to your site and creates a snowball effect as readers then shares your content with their social networks. As you share more content on a regular basis, you will inevitably watch your website traffic numbers increase as a result. Does your business already have a blog? What has your experience been like? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.