There’s a reason marketers are so high on blogging and that’s because it adds value to your marketing effort in a number of areas. This value isn’t hypothetical, blogging is proven to increase your search results, increase traffic to your website, increase conversions on your website and increase leads.
Here are 10 secrets behind the success businesses are getting from a concerted blogging effort.
1. Google rewards companies who create fresh content. The more new pages you add to your website and the more often you add them directly impacts your rank in Google search returns. Blogging makes it extremely easy to publish new pages.
The more you blog, the more likely you are to get found, get leads and drive sales. The data is in: 66% of the companies who blog weekly reported getting a customer a result of their blogging efforts but 92% of the companies who blog daily reported getting customers from their blogging work. Blog more, get more leads.
2. Start a conversation. Make sure your blog offers your target prospects, customer and partners an opportunity to participate. Take a stand, give your perspective, be contrarian and encourage participation. If you get a comment, reply by using their first name. It makes your subscribers feel more welcome and gives them a personalized experience.
3. Your blog is one of the most popular pages on your site, so make sure it looks professional and includes a header with your logo. Make sure it sets the visual tone and has all the appropriate contact information, social sharing buttons and links to other important information on your site.
4. Keep the format simple. Too much competing information confuses readers. Try to stick to a two column format with a clean and functional format. People typically read from left to right so present your content in a similar fashion.
5. Write about what YOUR PROSPECTS care about not what you care about. Try to find issues, challenges or topics that you have in common and focus on the bigger idea so it appeals to as many people as possible. For example: Graco manufactures strollers for young children but they blog about birthday parties. What’s the connection? People who buy strollers are interested in birthday parties.
6. Create a blog with dynamic content to improve your reader’s experience. In your sidebar use pictures, polls, testimonials, videos and cross promotion for other opportunities like Twitter conversations, Facebook Fan pages or webinars you're offering in the future.
7. Select the right blog platform. This is critical and often depends on the following questions: How many bloggers are you going to have accessing the tool? How are you going to edit your template? Do you have people with HTML programming skills? Consider the time required to maintain the blog. Are you going to do it? Or have you selected someone to help you? Make sure your blog is hosted inside your site so you're building SEO credit for your primary URL.
8. Don’t blog if you're going to stop after a few posts or not keep it up to date. Your prospects will notice. If you pick someone to blog for your business, make sure it’s someone who loves blogging. Someone who is patient enough to stick with it until the results come in. Typically, these should be people who are passionate about your company, your products and your industry. Make sure they can write and that they have the customer’s perspective top of mind. This applies to whoever is writing the blog, even your CEO.
9. To ensure your blog delivers all the search engine optimization possible be sure to include your keywords in the copy, image tags, page meta tags, meta description and in the titles of the blog post.
10. Last but not least you should understand how to measure the impact your blogging efforts are having on your overall marketing effort. Basically, how do you know if it’s working? Look at overall blog subscribers. This should be increasing (slowly) week over week. Make sure your entire company is encouraging people to subscribe.
Measure comments, although comments aren’t the ultimate measure since most people prefer to lurk and read as opposed to participate. The key measure is social shares. The more people are sharing your blog content, the more they value it. The more they value your content, the more potential you have to reach new prospects, drive them back to your site, get them engaged and begin to market to them in a 1-to-1 manner. Encourage your entire company to share your blog posts with their connections, especially on LinkedIn or Facebook.
In summary, blogging might be the single most important inbound marketing tactic in your arsenal. It provides value in so many areas.
Start Today Tip – This one is easy. Start a blog. Get one set up on your site. Create the editorial calendar of topics and start. Keep it short. Two or three paragraphs at the most. Include links back to key pages on your website.
Share each blog post with all your connections in LinkedIn and post it to your Facebook page and Tweet it to all your followers. Share it with your LinkedIn Groups. You should be in the same LinkedIn Groups as your prospects. If not, join a few today.
Blog religiously and as much as you physically can. Then watch the results outlined above. DON’T GIVE UP! It's going to take time and it's going to work.
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