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Bricks and Mortar Blogs

Why Bricks and Mortar Businesses Need Blogs Too

When a new client asks me what is the most important thing they can do to get more traffic to their website I always say, without hesitation: Blog!

The reasons are many, but one important reason is the proliferation of Smartphone technology. Smartphones and mobile devices are outselling personal computers today. And, according to Pew Research Group, 87 percent of online searches for products and services result in an offline purchase. This is not something any business should miss out on.

Search engine optimizing (SEO) is an important aspect of driving traffic to your website or blog

One of the most important aspects of SEO is the content you provide readers on your website. The easiest way to provide valuable and relevant content is via a blog. Blogs are easy to set up and simple to add content to. They also look great, are already optimized, and organized in a way that makes them easy to read. While an old fashioned website is, put simply, useless. It’s nothing more than an online brochure that you have to tell people about to get them to see it.

With a blog, readers will come to you

They look for a number of factors on your website including how many pages you have, how much useful content you have, and certain keywords used on your entire website including your blog. Remember, each blog post to the search engine, is a new page of content. If that new page of content is relevant to the rest of the pages of content, with useful  links to other content in your website, and useful keyword rich text then the search engine likes you and will list you in the results.

In order to get good results, the content on your blog must be unique, relevant and useful to your target audience. If you do not know exactly who your target audience is, it will be difficult to write for them. But once you figure that out, an easy way to provide that content is via your blog. It’s not really that hard to come up with unique and useful content if you get to know your audience and start thinking about the different categories your blogs can be posted in.

Remember, the quality of your content is just as important, if not more important than the quantity of content.

The content on your blog is about more than keywords

Although, it is important to learn something about keywords, it’s just as important to not write specifically for keywords but for people.  You have likely read all about keywords and how using specific keywords to attract visitors to your site is important, and it is important, however, it’s more important that the content is relevant, useful, well-written and original. In addition, enjoyable for a human to read.

Many bricks and mortar store owners wonder what in the world can they blog about to draw interest, but it’s not really that hard if you consider the various categories you could choose to have on any blog about any topic.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here you can develop a list of questions that people have asked you before in-house.

If you have many products you can actually create a FAQ about each separate product and with the magic of WordPress and plugins can easily create each FAQ as the questions come up. Each question can be one blog post, and then with a check of a box send it to the entire FAQ list.

Product Specs

If you sell products or services you can use one blog post to describe each and every single  product or service you offer in detail. For products, include a picture, and talk about everything it does, what it’s made of, and why someone would want it. If it’s a service, describe all aspects of the service and why someone would need it.

Case Studies

Have happy clients or buyers? Ask if you can interview them about their experience. Include pictures, and a 360 degree view of how the product or service helped your client.

You can even ask them to do the work for you by creating a testimonial for you and then you simply post it, under a new category called: Testimonials.

Human Interest Stories

If you’re trying to attract local business it can help you to include human interest stories that speak to your target audience and offer something of value to your community and your business. Get the community involved, have a contest asking customers to send happy stories about the community and you’ll post the best ones.

Videos

That’s right, today, all blogs aren’t just text. Today a blog can be a vlog! Turn all of the above into videos, and vice-versa. If you do a video interview, ensure that you have it transcribed so that it is also text on your blog. Again, this is super easy to do with your webcam, a flip-cam  and simple software.

By placing on Youtube.com and your blog you’ll get even more traffic coming your way.

Podcasts

If you’re not using visuals during an interview you can simply turn the video into a podcast, which people can listen to either directly from your blog or even via iTunes. This is a great way to encourage your readers to take your content on the go with them. Again, if you do only a podcast, be sure and transcribe it to be a text post on your blog.

These ideas can keep you busy writing relevant, useful and fun blog posts for years, no matter what type of business you have. Having a blog as a bricks and mortar business can go far in getting you more foot traffic into your store. People love doing business with those that they feel they know. Let your clients and future clients get to know you better by starting a blog today.

Do you have a bricks and mortar business blog? If so, let me know how it’s going for you.

Image © lamax – Fotolia.com

Stephanie Watson is content strategist who is an expert in how small businesses use interactive technology to increase their reach. She holds a Master of Science in Interactive Technology from the University of Alabama. She has published more than 400 articles about business topics for many respected brands including ProtectYourBubble.com.

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Stephanie Watson September 2, 2014, 11:04 am

    A lot of people, especially service providers, don’t understand the power of blogging. I’m glad that you are doing it and getting results.
    Stephanie Watson recently posted..Content Marketing Lessons: Or, What You Can Learn from a SquirrelMy Profile

  • Bob February 20, 2013, 9:05 pm

    I could not agree more. I am just now getting my business online and I can only imagine how different things would be if I did so ten years ago!

  • Mitz Pantic February 10, 2013, 1:11 am

    In this day and age a business really needs a blog to be seen on the internet. Even a Facebook page is the bare minimum they should have!
    Mitz Pantic recently posted..Quickly Building Blogs That Make MoneyMy Profile

  • Lee February 9, 2013, 11:33 am

    I am thinking of talking to my dentist about building a WP blog for her and
    this information will help.
    Thanks.

  • Evan February 8, 2013, 9:48 am

    The article really makes sense to everyone who’s planning to run any kind of business online. Your tips are very useful. Thanks! I’m doing blogging for about a year and still found this piece of info really good!

  • Roger February 8, 2013, 3:29 am

    In that case, every business needs to have a blog irrespective of the business they specialize in. It is very simple that that business need to attract people towards it to increase its customers and let people on the internet know that they exist and provide a particular range of products or services.

  • Ram Shengale February 8, 2013, 12:51 am

    Hey Stefanie thanks for the stats. I didn’t know that almost 83% of searches comprise offline product searches. Really great information.

    Ram
    Ram Shengale recently posted..Guest Blogging – What, Why, How And WhereMy Profile

  • Stephanie Watson February 7, 2013, 4:16 pm

    Thanks Beth. Blogging is absolutely essential for business owners to do if they want to really make their website work for them! Glad you’re doing it!

  • Beth Hewitt February 7, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am with you on this one. Once upon a time blogging was just one strategy that people could choose from. But now it has become so instrumental and part of all other social experiences online that it is a no brainer. You can do so much with a blog and make it around your own brand.

    I love blogging, I am not sure what I would do with out it.

    Beth :)
    Beth Hewitt recently posted..You’ve done your blog post! Now what?My Profile

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