There was a time when every business – regardless of whether it was a large corporation or a small mom-and-pop shop – was urged to have a professional website. In addition to attracting new customers, having an online presence also is a great way to build your reputation and remain relevant in your business or industry.
While a website still is a necessity, businesses now are being urged by marketing professionals to take their online presence to the next level by blogging.
Blogs first gained popularity as a sort of online diary or journal. Everyone who was anyone was blogging about this or that. Then marketing professionals realized they could capitalize on the trend, urging their clients to jump on the bandwagon. But blogging effectively requires more than just stringing a few sentences together about a topic that is relevant to your product or service.
Let’s explore the best ways to blog that will provide the most bang for your buck.
Tip #1 – Hire a Professional
Yes, I’m a professional writer. But that is not why I am stressing hiring a professional as the first tip for effective marketing blogging on your website. The fact of the matter is, not just anyone can write the kind of content that will generate new traffic for your website.
I had a client who was very knowledgeable in his field. He wanted to start providing tip sheets for his clients on topics relating to his industry. He decided to write the pieces himself, and assumed if he put enough keywords into the pieces, they would rank well and help him to build his reputation. The problem was, while he was very informed about his industry, he was not very good at putting those thoughts together in a coherent fashion.
This is a common problem. Despite what some may think, writing effective, compelling copy is not as easy as it looks. Search engine optimization (SEO) keywords are important, but should be provided within the kind of text that is interesting and engaging, not just thrown in every paragraph you create so as to get them in there somewhere. Regardless of whether Google will find those key words, no one is going to read the content if it is boring or poorly constructed. And they certainly won’t come back to your blog in the future if they think it will be a waste of their time.
Professional content writers are able to take SEO keywords and craft them into compelling and interesting pieces that not only help search engines to find your website, but also encourage visitors to share your content on their own personal online accounts, thus increasing your chance for exposure in new markets.
Tip #2 – Establish Authority
Some of the best business blogs out there address questions and concerns from customers.
Let’s say that you own an in-home care agency that specializes in providing “helpers” for senior citizens who wish to age in place in their own homes. One of the most common questions from prospective clients in this industry is how do agencies vet caregivers to ensure they are providing quality, trustworthy individuals.
A potential blog post that adds credibility to your business and helps to put potential customers’ minds at ease would walk readers through the steps your company takes during the hiring process. Is there a background check? How comprehensive is it? Quote facts and figures about how long your business has been around and include a few endorsements from longstanding clients. Establish how your process is different from other agencies.
By being willing to tackle concerns of this nature, you are setting yourself apart from others in the business by establishing yourself as a caring business owner who understands his client base. Clients who feel they can connect with you are more likely to do business with you.
Tip #3 – Convert Traffic to Viable Leads
We already know that providing fresh, relevant content on your website is one of the best ways to rank well with search engines. What easier way to achieve that than with a blog? Even blogging just once a week is enough to keep search engines interested.
But once you have the traffic on your website, how do you turn each one of those visitors into viable leads? Including a call-to-action in every blog post is one of the best ways to accomplish this.
The most effective calls-to-action include free things for your visitors. If, for instance, you own a plumbing business, the call-to-action could be a coupon for a free in-home inspection or estimate for plumbing maintenance or repair work for new clients. It could be a webinar with tips on winterizing your pipes to prevent common problems that come with cold weather. Or it could be a discount on services of any kind for sharing or liking your blog on their own social media.
Tip #4 – The Double Dip
Blogs are great because not only do they keep content on your website relevant and fresh, they also can be used in a variety of ways.
For businesses that have invested in a social media presence, blogs afford the opportunity to double dip. Once a new blog is written, don’t just let it sit on your website in the hopes that people will find it. Share a link to it on your Twitter and Facebook pages. Upload it as a new article on your LinkedIn page. Get as much mileage and exposure as you can from it.
Sharing the blog on a variety of online media is the best way to not only find new customers, but to also redirect traffic back to your website. It is the most bang you can get for the buck and is just one more reason why paying a professional content writer to craft the content is well worth the investment.
Interested in adding a blog to your repertoire of online marketing tools? Contact me today and mention you saw this post for a 20 percent discount on blogging services.
Photo Credit: Pete Linforth