Blogs are the absolutely best way to open up your website to far greater engagement with your customers and prospects. But even more importantly, an interesting and active blog will have a huge influence on your search engine results rankings.
The reason blogs can help your ranking is because when you post an item to your blog it is typically set up to either automatically or manually share the availability of this new content to a network of subscribers. By itself, the process of posting fresh content will be discovered by the search engine “bots” that are continually scanning your site and will drive more traffic, and automatically raise your ranking. But also, incoming and outgoing links to your posts have a dramatic effect on your search engine ranking as well. So just by adding an article on your blog, you significantly improve your ranking with search engines and increase the odds that more of that 97 percent of people searching online will find you.
Here are four tips for making a blog part of your marketing plan:
1) Add a Blog Now. If you haven’t already incorporated one into your website, then you should immediately add a blog page. Don’t have that option in your template? No worries. You can create a separate blog site and link to it in your menu structure. There are many options to create a blog through Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr, SquareSpace, Weebly, and many more.
2) Update, Update, Update. Whether you recently launched a blog or already have one on your existing website, start a program of making regular ongoing updates. How often should you update? Experts debate this question all the time. There are certain blogs that update multiple times per day–think tech blogs such as Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, etc. For the rest of us, such a high frequency of posting is not possible. We recommend you make time in your schedule to create no less than one new post a week, but two or three times per week is even better. Consider getting more of your staff involved in creating posts for your blog. Different voices will help to keep the content fresh and the increased rate will help your rankings.
3) Think ‘Informative,’ Not ‘Promotional.’ The rule of thumb is that 80 percent of your content should be informational/educational only...not specifically about you or your company. The remaining 20 percent can add in more of a self-serving edge, but tread lightly. If it sounds like a sales pitch, then you risk a negative backlash.
4) Consider Your Audience’s Interest, Not Yours. The road to success in blogging is largely dependent on your ability to connect with your audience. So take off your “company” hat and put on your “customer” hat. The better you understand your customer and serve up interesting content, the faster you’ll build their interest and your business.
Tomorrow, I’ll offer “Four Tips for Creating an Effective Email Marketing Campaign.”
Click here to read my previous post, “Treat Your Website as the Foundation.”