Friday, March 14, 2008

A great example of how blogging can help small businesses

I attended today a seminar organized by real estate agents Steve Leung and Alex Wang, here in our office at Mountain View, California. The particularity of these two agents is that they use their blogs as one of their key ways to generate leads. Especially Steve Leung is a very successful blogger who can count on a strong audience to promote his work.

Indeed, here are some stats that Steve shared with us about his blog which he started back in 2006:
  • Between 150-300 readers a day
  • 233 RSS feed subscribers
  • About 1.5 leads a day in average
  • Ranked n1 for real estate silicon valley blog
Therefore, they wanted to set up a workshop talking about blogging and search engine optimization for small businesses, in order to share their experiences.
I have already attended a workshop on search engine optimization organized this time by WSI that I talked about in my blog here. But this one was mainly focus on a website point of view. This time, Steve exposed the different strengths of a blog versus a website to build a strong audience and to generate leads out of it.

As an experienced blogger now I know quite a few about search engine optimization techniques about  blogging, but I learned so much about Steve that it was really worthwile. In particular, Steve gave us some examples of search engine fraud, how they work, and why these techniques could become really bad as you might be kicked out of Google.

Why is blogging particularly well adapted to small business?
According to a study established by Nielsen in 2006, 70% of consumers use search engines to find local services. Also 54% of them referred the business to their friend. That means that search engines are the new yellow pages, and if you have a great ranking, that will help you a lot to attract new customers. Blogging is the cheapest and most efficient way to optimize your search engine ranking, and for many structural reasons (each post is a new page with its own title, category, among others).
I also like the idea that a website is updated when it is outdated, because it is very true. A blog is never outdated as you constantly have new information in it. Also you still store the old information to use it as a leverage for the search engines. Therefore, it is easier to keep an updated blog than an updated website, and that is also the main reason why people should have a blog more than a "business card website", which can be cool too but will never generate leads.

He also shows some very good techniques on how to analyze your search engine results, and how to improve it. I will share some of them with you in some next topics.

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  1. Hi Nicolas,

    Thanks for the kind words, you've added a lot of value every time we've talked and I hope that we'll always be able to exchange ideas.


  2. Steve that was with real pleasure I attended to this workship. I'll be glad to exchange some ideas with you.