Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Is it worth my time to write a blog and participate in social media?

We provided the answer to this question in the syndicated newspaper column “The Small Business Professor”.

Dear Professor Bruce: As a small business owner, is it worth my time to write a blog and participate in social media for my business?

Answer: According to search engine optimization (SEO) consultant Bill Treloar, owner of Rank Magic, the answer is a definite yes. He enumerates several reasons.

  • A blog encourages you to add new content to your website on a regular basis, but he cautions you not to pay attention to those who say you need to blog daily. A weekly post, or even bi-weekly or monthly, may be sufficient if you’re diligent about posting regularly.
  • Having your blog hosted at your own domain  and listed in good blog directories drives links to your website, helping you to rank higher in search engines.
  • Your blog will almost automatically include highly focused phrases related to your business that will attract people who search for them.
  • If your blog has really good content, you may get offers for it to be syndicated in other blogs like Business2Community.com, further expanding your reach and enhancing your personal authority in your field.
  • You can dramatically leverage the exposure of your blog via social media. Every blog post can be mentioned (with a link to the blog post) at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, MerchantCircle, Delicious, Digg, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, and other social sites.
  • Another benefit of social media is customer interaction: if customers respond to your posts with questions or problems, you can address them promptly and visibly in a way that illustrates your caring, customer-centered approach to your business.

A well-written blog that provides valuable information related to your products or services should bring you new customers and also should improve your rankings in Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all the other search engines.

For further information, Bill’s blogged about blogs and social media on his own blog..

(Bruce Freeman, The Small Business Professor, is president of ProLine Communications in Livingston, N.J., and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant.” He teaches at Seton Hall and Kean universities. Email Bruce@Smallbusinessprofessor.com.)

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