Today, in our series on “Why You Need A Blog NOW!” (not the real name, but that’s what I’m trying to tell you!), I thought I would turn to the business services like PLUMBING. I picked this because I would assume that this is one industry where there are few business bloggers…there’s a market for you to be the new plumbing expert in your area! Perhaps you also might be a painter, a carpenter, a handyman, etc…these are similar types of businesses where I, the consumer, call you to come to my house to fix something. For me, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW I CAN TRUST YOU BEFORE I LET YOU IN MY FRONT DOOR! So a static web site can provide information but a blog can give me a little insight into who you are (I know, there are ways to fool the consumer with this, but if you are blogging consistently and there are comments from your friends, family and happy customers, I’ll likely tend to believe it). If you blog and throw around filthy language or crude jokes, then I’ll have a better insight into whether I will call you or NOT. If you blog and I read things that show me we share similar values (even personal blog posts scattered or a link to your family’s blog), then that resonates with me and I’ll make the call.

John Jantsch, creator and founder of Duct Tape Marketing adds:

“Effective bloggers kind of let their guard down….and the marketing speak goes away and people really get to see who you are and I think feel a much greater connection to that.”

Some blogs are not periodic updates, but rather answering common questions (this is not my favorite way to suggest you do it, but I guess it offers some insight into your personality and shows that you are willing to share some of your free advice…this does build trust. Even if you offer some advice for me today, the fact that you are MY expert on plumbing, I’d likely call you when something bigger goes wrong). In some industries, you could show pictures of your work (before and after pics).

I’m not an expert (yet) on SEO, search engine optimization, but I do believe that having a regularly updated blog, that links to your business web site, increases your page ranking because the search engines like Google and Yahoo index these blog posts as individual web pages. So the logic, to be super simple, is that the more web pages (from your site or your blog) that talk about you and link to your business web site, the higher ranking you will be. So those who think “I’ll put a one-page website about my business on the internet so people can find me when they Google our industry” – I’m sorry to say that’s likely not going to get you anywhere. In the Yellow Pages day, businesses would call themselves AAAAAAAPlumbing or 123Plumbing because why? SO THEY COULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST when the customer goes searching. In today’s Google environment, this is the equivalent of getting in at least one of the top 10 rankings (the first page of Google search). If you are a plumber in Southlake, and a customer in your area googles “Southlake plumber”, you want to show up on top. There are MANY factors that determine your page ranking (I will likely be inviting an SEO expert to be a guest blogger on that topic some day). But I do know that while a blog can help teach your customer about you (builds trust), the blog also serves as a necessary tool in determining your page ranking on the internet search engines.

*OK – I tested “Southlake plumber” and I found lots of plumbing sites, but on the first 10 rankings (first Google screen shot) there were lots of plumbers, but where’s one with a blog? NOWHERE! If you are reading this in Southlake, and you’re a plumber, take my advice and start a blog. While some people don’t shop the way I do, if you had a blog, I would skip over some of the other plumbers in higher rankings, and read your blog to get to know you more.

MY FAVORITE: If I were in Austin, Texas, I think I might know who I would call…a great plumber’s blog (be sure and click on the “Meet Brad and Sarah” video….this is masterful! Great job Brad and Sarah…and NO, I don’t even know who they are, so I’m not getting any referral fees…)

Start blogging people….this article highlights the importance of a blog in your marketing (note it was written 2 years ago!!! Where’s your blog?????)

DO YOU HAVE (or know of someone who does have) A BLOG THAT FITS IN THIS TYPE OF SERVICE OR INDUSTRY?  Please share it in the comments (post the URL so we can check it out!)   I pick on some different business sectors over the week.