Everyone talks about the power of blogging for promoting conversions, increasing your brand awareness, and raising SEO rankings. However, simply writing and publishing a few blog posts a week won’t be enough to give your business a much-needed advantage. Here are five ways to make your blog work for you:
1. Set Clear Goals
Yes, a basic blog will assist your search rankings in some small way, and can provide some information to consumers who were already planning to do business with you. But if you don’t have a goal in mind, you’ll leave potential on the table.
Decide what your blog can offer. Do you want higher organic search rankings? Do you want higher sales? Do you want to resonate with your audience and develop a greater following?
Your goals will define your content and web presence. After you’ve established your primary goal (and maybe a couple of secondary backup plans), create an action guide, including a schedule of events. You’ll find that this online platform is far more effective with a plan in mind.
2. Create an Effective Blog Structure
Although you want your blog to mesh well with your website, treat it like a separate entity. It’s not a half-hearted addition to your current website; instead, it’s a useful resource that can singlehandedly raise sales and attract loyal customers.
First, consider the design. Is it easy to read? Does it have good navigation? Are the pages optimized for SEO? If you aren’t sure how to improve your blog’s design, consider getting an hourly consultation with a web designer.
Next, pay attention to the voice and style of the articles published. It should be based on your target audience. If the audience is a younger consumer audience, a more upbeat, conversational tone is in order. A B2B audience might require a more professional tone.
Then, have a standard structure for the blogs you post. At the very least, a blog post should be at least 300 words, use eighth-grade level writing (for B2C companies), use short sentences and paragraphs, and be clearly defined in sections. If you’re after higher search rankings, your on-site blog posts should be at least 1,000 words in length.
Finally, establish your publication schedule. According to Hubspot research, companies that published blog posts 16 or more times per month had 3.5 times the traffic of those who posted four times or less in a month. Make a schedule to post at least a couple of times per week for best results.
3. Brush Up on SEO
Know how to get the most from SEO. A regularly updated blog has 434 percent more indexed pages to help your rankings. SEO leads also have a 14.6 percent higher close rate than outbound leads like direct mail or print advertising. If you use your blog to raise your SEO rankings, you’re more likely to get found by actual customers, not just idle visitors.
There are many factors that go into good SEO, but two of the most important are keyword research and link building. Explore the best-performing keywords in your industry, and make them a part of your blog.
Then, work on a backlinking strategy. The best way to get backlinks is publishing links on third-party sites. Establishing publication relationships with third-party sites is difficult, so it’s best to use an SEO company or content creation organization that focuses on backlink building.
4. Write Promotional Blog Posts
Once you’ve defined your goals, set up your blog structure, and learned more about SEO, your blog can promote your products and services. A promotional blog post will explain the benefits of using your specific product or service in your location (if applicable).
For example, look at this blog post from a law office in Milwaukee. First of all, it sticks to a good structure, as it’s designed to rank for certain keywords like “motorcycle accident” “Milwaukee lawyer,” and “personal injury attorney.”
But more than that, it explains the value of hiring a personal injury attorney. The SEO keywords and structure of the post get a consumer on the page; then their explanation of motorcycle accident injuries and a person’s rights create a solid connection between consumer and business.
5. Use Multimedia
It should be common knowledge today that blogs need visuals to perform well, but many small business blogs are only composed of text. Blogs with images get 94 percent more views than those without. What’s more, blog posts featuring videos will attract three times as many inbound links.
An essential part of your blog structure should involve multimedia. In some cases, your videos and infographics will enhance your blog posts, and in others, they’ll replace them entirely. Just make sure multimedia is a key part of your marketing strategy.
Doing so will set you up for greater connections with your customers. Go where your customers are, and be the kind of knowledge resource they need. When you carve your blog in such a fashion, you’ll identify your clientele and use this medium to speak directly to them.