Category: Online Marketing


The Value of a Blog for Business Marketing

Blogs have been around since the mid 90’s. What is the value of a blog for business marketing? Stats indicate blogging is a business marketing tactic worthy of continued investment.

  • Companies that blog receive more website visitors on average
  • Companies that blog earn more links to their website
  • A majority of consumers say they learn about a company through articles rather than ads
  • More than 3/4 of internet users say they read blogs

The Benefits of Blogging for Business

There are many benefits of blogging for businesses.

1. Drive traffic to your website.

Every time you create and publish a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means one more opportunity for you to show up on the search engine results page (SERP) and drive traffic to your website in organic search.

Publishing new content is also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active.

2. You can repurpose blog content for social media.

Every time you post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks, which helps expose your business to a new audience that may not know you yet.

Sharing blog content also helps keep your social media presence going.

3. Blogs help you stay fresh and relevant.

Your main website pages outline your core products and services. Blog posts connect them to what’s happening today. Posts can make a direct connection to the latest customer pain point or need to what you offer.

4. Build thought leadership.

The best business blogs answer common questions and information needs in a particular subject area. If you consistently create valuable content or articles for your target audience, it’ll establish you as an industry leader or authority in their eyes.

5. Build links.

Inbound links (also called “backlinks”) are among the factors that Google algorithm uses when ranking a site. Blog posts create an opportunity for customers and other companies to link your timely, relevant content.

Market Your Business Blog

To get the most from your blog, be sure you actively market your content. Share posts on Facebook and any other social media channels that you use.

Leverage opportunities beyond sharing the link on the day a post is published. On LinkedIn, for example, you can share as an activity update in one or more groups, and republish as an article.

Also make sure your blog content is well-integrated into your website. When you blog on a topic, you want to interconnect to any other related content, including other posts, service offerings, and pages.

 

Marketing to Many Types of Friends

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a story on NPR when the interviewee mentioned that someone was a “holiday card friend.” For me that captured an important nuance that all marketers need to keep in mind: There are many categories of connectedness.

There are “friends” who we talk to all. the. time.

There are social “friends” who we see now and again, and are always happy to catch up when we do.

There are “friends” who we know through work or through our kid’s activities.

You get the picture. All “friends” aren’t equal and that’s OK. We don’t treat everyone we know exactly the same in our offline interactions and we need to bring that insight into our social media strategy.

We need to look at who we are connected to with a more nuanced approach. What are the categories or levels of engagement with us and our brand? What level of connection makes sense?

Some social media connections need regular interaction, while others benefit from a less intense connection. The person who friended you after you met at a business event does not need the same treatment as your repeat and active customer.

This all makes sense, but all too often I see social media strategies that treat friends as if they are all created equally. The result is interactions that miss the mark – they are too much, too little, or somewhere in between.

Take a look at your social media strategy. How well have you defined your target audience and, by extension, the people who comprise your social communities? Probably not well enough.

Spend time looking through your connections. Come up with the categories of the people you engage with.

Define the expectations and needs of each. You can get excellent insight by looking over the recent history of your interactions:

  • How often do they engage?
  • What is the most common form of engagement – a “like” or a comment, or something else?
  • What types of content do they react to most often?

Refine your strategy based on these insights. You will want to be sure that what you do on each channel meets the needs of each significant subgroup within your community with the right content, the right tone, and the right frequency.

Your aren’t talking to the same people with every post. Approaching social media with that insight will boost the impact of your social media efforts.

 

Tips to Create Content that Search Engines Rank

Great content that never gets seen online is wasted effort. Getting found means building search engine optimization (SEO) into your content. Here are some tips to help you create content that search engines will rank well.

Know Your Keywords

Ironically, your content that gets fewer views may actually rank well. The issue is that it ranks for keywords that aren’t being searched!

Good SEO requires that you know the words and phrases people are searching – today. It will help you understand what your target audience is looking for online. You will learn the words and questions they search when they want to find the content you offer.

You need to do keyword research. That research will not only reveal the words and phrases related to your area of expertise and brand, it will tell you how often those keywords are searched.

Search behavior changes over time. Keyword research is not a one and done activity. You need to periodically re-do your research to make sure your content is keeping up with current search behavior.

Optimize Behind the Scenes

Help search crawlers by paying attention to behind the scenes content like meta titles and descriptions as well as schema settings. These fields are not visible on the page, but they are crawled by search engines and help determine the relevance of your content.

A good meta title and description use keywords to describe the content and motivate searchers to pick your content over the other options offered.

Several other off-page technical factors impact your search rank.

  • Site Speed/Google Page Rank Factors
  • Broken Links
  • Image Size
  • Site map configuration

Use a Meaningful Headline/Page Title

Don’t get so clever with your page content that visitors can’t determine right away what your content is all about. Most people read just a few words before they decide if content is what they are looking for. You need to tell them the value of reading it in the first few words.

Use the page or post title to describe what the content is about. Great verbs really help to encourage people to read on.

Structure Your Content for Scanning

Understand that people scan online content. Most people to not read online content as they would a printed piece. Here’s how they scan in order:

  • Headline/page title
  • Subheads
  • Bulleted text
  • Image content
  • Callouts/calls to action
  • Paragraphs

Notice how may items get scanned before paragraph content. You have to earn engagement long before a full sentence gets read!

Link

Links signal value to search engines. Linking within your content indicates that a piece of content is important. Links from other websites to your content also signals importance.

Take time to interlink your content. Know which pages are most important and make sure plenty of links within your site point to those pages.

Actively seek links to your content as well. You can create these links from your various marketing channels. Also ask partners and related sites to link to your content. If you have taken time to create valuable content, these links are a win-win for both sites.

These tips will help you create valuable content that search engines will recognize and rank. Keep in mind that it all starts with offering content that your target audience will find valuable.