At Links Web Design (a website design company in Maine) we actually do not recommend turning this option on. Especially if you are a small business or have limited staff to monitor comments. However, there could be some slight benefits to using the comment sections.
The new word of mouth online is the blog. Instead of getting new trends from friends and family, people are now checking their favorite bloggers in order to find out what businesses to frequent next. With this in mind, if you have a website, you need to blog. This is because you can engage your audience through the medium that they are most interested in.
Most web design companies (we would hope) understand the power of blogging when it comes to search engine optimization and Google PageRank. Even this does not exhaust the reasoning behind blogging, although it is a good enough reason in itself. Basically, if you are not blogging, then you are placing yourself behind the eight ball of your competition is. They are building their links as well as their trust within Google algorithms for the long term, and your business will slowly and surely be pushed out of the organic listings if you do not change your behavior soon.
There are many other technical reasons that you should be blogging as well. No matter your industry, your business can definitely benefit from the effort. Here’s why:
First and foremost, writing blogs for a company creates a company culture that very few other methods can match.
One of the more recent examples of a successful social media startup is HubSpot. HubSpot is known as the “all in one social media platform.” The company recently had over $30 million placed into it by Google. If this were not enough of an indication of their success, perhaps you would be interested in why it was able to grow as one of the fastest startup companies on the Internet of the past few years.
HubSpot allows every one of its more than 300 employees to blog on behalf of the company at any time. Not only does this help to create incentives for individual employees to research topics and stay on top of current trends, but it also manifests a company culture that is difficult to duplicate elsewhere. Everyone feels important, yet everyone feels as though they are a part of a team effort. This is a balance that most businesses regrettably never achieve.
If you are to take the example of this very successful company to heart, then you will blog for no other reason than to create camaraderie, no matter how successful your longtail keyword placement or internal link building strategies within the blog may be.
Theoretically the more blogging you do, the more quickly major search engines will begin to index your content if everyone is blogging. If you take this advice, be sure that your link building is coordinated and organized. This means that each person who is blogging will have to research the blogs of his or her colleagues, which will only help to build company culture as well.
Secondly, blogging helps your sales pitch.
There is a reason for the maxim “If you want to learn, teach.” Having to research content every day as well as organize thoughts about certain topics for the sake of a blog will help to keep your sword sharp when it comes to off-line sales presentations. There is a marked difference in someone who writes about something every day and someone who does it only on weekends and holidays. In today’s specialized, instantaneous culture, people are looking for experts who have detailed and current advice. The number one way to avail yourself of all the resources that are present online is to blog about your relevant topics in your industry every day.
Because blogs are meant for consumers, you will learn to explain things in a way that your customers will understand easily. This will help you to translate your technical expertise into layman’s terms, incorporating humor and keeping the hard sell to a minimum while showcasing your own personality and engaging the customer.
Blogging keeps you sharp for all questions that customers may throw at you. When you have to find the answers to your own questions in order to be considered an expert for your own blog, you will find that customer questions become quite easy.
Third, blogging helps you become the expert voice in your industry.
People like to know that they are talking to the foremost authority in the industry before they trust that business with money. One of the quickest ways to become known as an expert is to blog on your own as well as guest blog on known entities within your industry.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that writing great blogs will lead directly to sales – they won’t. It takes a great deal of time as well as consistency in order to become known as an expert in your field and turn your helpful content into revenue for your business. Do not worry about the money you are spending at the beginning of the process generating content (it pays off in the end): Simply blog well and keep up with the latest trends in your industry. The money will follow.
In short, helpful content will lead people to trust you. Once people trust you, you will be able to generate leads. The more leads you have, the more sales that will come to you over time. People tend to trust the individuals who take the time to teach in a patient way. You should not try to impress anyone with an overload of content in one blog. The trust comes from the time that you spend with your audience.
Fourth, blogging will help to solidify your niche in the market and get rid of leads that are not qualified.
If you have ever wasted time on the phone with a lead that was not qualified for your business, then you understand the importance of targeting. This is also bad because the more time that your sales department spends with leads that are not qualified, the less time they have to service the needs of leads that actually are qualified.
Having increased visibility is a great ego boost, especially in the startup phase of a business. In this phase, your main goal should be to increase your reach. However, if you are attracting only customers who are looking for a steal or window shoppers who just want to waste your time with questions, then your business will not get the revenue that it needs in order to survive.
You are looking for value shoppers – people who understand and will pay for true quality in a product. You should not have to oversell yourself or offer endless incentives in order to get your customer base to purchase. Doing so is an indication that you have attracted the wrong kind of person.
In order to attract quality, you must be known as quality. As stated before, the easiest way to present yourself as a quality personality in your industry is to blog consistently.
The more that you blog, the more that you can showcase the quality of your content. Often, value shoppers will look over many blogs before they decide on that initial call to your office to make a purchase. By the time that they get to you, they will be well versed in your opinions and your research on your industry. If you then integrate the content of your blog into your sales approach, you will be able to turn that lead into a qualified, converted customer.
When you track your analytics, you’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor. The customers you do have be sure to service their needs above all others. Remember the 80/20 rule: 20% of your customer base will provide 80% of your sales.
Lastly, the blog comment promotes discussion between your company and your customer base.
There is perhaps no better way to engage with your audience than in the blog comments section. Here they will be able to express their opinions on your articles, validating your research and offering updates of their own. If you have a good, quality audience, many times you will be able to take topics for later blogs from the comment sections of earlier blogs.
The blog comment section is also a great way to learn about your customer base from a first-hand perspective. It will allow you to see the world through the eyes of your customer.
Perhaps most importantly, blog comments provide a sense of community between your customers. As they begin talking to each other, they will invariably begin to coalesce their opinions around your company. As you are seen as the catalyst for discussion, you will quickly become known as an expert within this community. You will then be able to branch out and take your leads to the social circles of the people who are commenting on your blog.
Blog comments are also a great way to find questions to answer. Answering questions from your audience helps to keep you engaged and you will be seen as an active member of the community as well as a leader. This is necessary to keep your audience interested in your opinion – no one cares what you know until they know that you care about them.
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