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Posted bywpbizMon, Mar 4, 2013 @ 1:41 pm
If you want to increase traffic to your site, yes. You have to blog.
I know, I know, it’s time consuming, you don’t know what to say, is this mike on? Trust me, I have felt the same. It was a surprise to me, because I spent my career writing professionally and had an army of friends who saved my clever emails. Um, before social media.
When you don’t have the right plan, context or tool, blogging—especially for business—can feel unnatural. I have some ideas and suggestions that really will help.
But first, I should explain why blogging is so important now. More than five years ago, blogs were basically online journals, a nice place to hear about personal experiences, like travel plans. Now blogs are considered marketing assets, currency for Google. The more quality pages you publish, the more Google considers your site to be of quality. And while your website is the best place to describe your business and services, your blog is more personal, it allows you to interject personality and opinion into content. It’s a way for you to establish yourself as a thought leader and resource for your desired customer base.
Let’s face it: wouldn’t you rather find out what someone you admire thinks about industry news than read a dry report about it?
Here’s what blogs do for you:
- Create indexable website pages for search engines to crawl.
- Serve as a viable way to consistently attract website traffic.
- Attract inbound links and social shares, both increasing your site’s quality and buoying search results.
- Allow you to compete with any size company for market share. Content creativity is a level playing field.
Now, I have worked for and with technical, complex companies that didn’t believe they were cool enough to compete with entertainment or consumer companies for attention online. But the truth is, when it comes to content: every company has something interesting to say. Because you have the answer to someone’s problem.
This goes right into HubSpot’s mantra: attract the customers you want by producing remarkable content, content that is helpful, educational and keeps them coming back for more. This cycle allows your ideal customers to trust you, believe in your advice and ideas, buy your products and services and endorse them to others.
Here’s the trick: it’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for your customers. In journalism there is a mantra: show, don’t tell, which basically means illustrate your point. Frankly, we’re all over-marketed. We don’t have the bandwidth to care about how fantastic you say you are. But by being helpful, describing prospects’ problems, possible solutions and your experience with said solutions, you demonstrate just how fantastic you are. That’s the kind of thing people love to share with others.
Your goal in blogging is to write helpful articles, blogs that cite how to do something or 10 steps to achieve x. These are digestible words of wisdom your audience will refer back to.
Now, how to increase traffic:
- Publish at least two blogs per week to start and increase from there.
- Use one keyword per page, preferably a long-tail keyword (a more descriptive phrase).
- Create truly helpful/insightful content. It’s a balance of quality and quantity.
- Include images and label the alt tag and image file name, so that search engines can identify them.
How should you organize your blog? (This is how you convert traffic into leads)
- Each post should be at least 600 words. This is for your audience’s benefit—and for Google’s. Search engines view substantial posts with clear keyword use as quality information, content to be ranked highly.
- Use formatting to make it simple to read, understand: bullets, white space bold type, subheads and numbers are your friends.
- Include a call to action: tell people what to do next. Want them to call for a consult? List your phone number. Want them to download a free ebook or subscribe to a newsletter? Provide a button to click to initiate that process. Make the choice easy so that your visitor doesn’t have to think about what he needs next. Tell him.
Need help refining blog ideas and creating content? HI can help.
Terra Hoskins, principal of inbound marketing consultancy Hoskins Interactive, still has a soft spot for email, although she now relays funny stories to her friends via Facebook. After years of managing corporate images in PR, she understands reluctance many executives feel about blogging and social media. She can help you understand what and how much information to reveal. Contact Terra at firstname.lastname@example.org.