by: Thomas Young
Blogs are at the core of a successful content marketing program and just about every website should have a blog. Here are a few key points business leaders need to know about developing a blog marketing strategy.
Blogs Drive Website Traffic
Google loves websites with blogs and regular content posts. Websites with blogs get five times more traffic than similar sites without blogs. This is reason enough to have a blog. However, it becomes more compelling given the fact that website visitors like to read blog content as part of their research. Also, one of Google’s major missions is to prevent spam websites from getting listed in their search results. Websites with regular blog posts and excellent content are not generally considered spam sites by Google.
Tell Your Company Story
Think of your company blog as an online content channel that tells the story of your company and unique marketplace on a regular schedule. It becomes an ongoing discussion about what it means to do business with your company and your marketplace in general. This is very helpful in defining and building your brand to the world. Here are a few key blog approaches used to get content marketing results.
- Place your blog on your main URL and do not use a separate website address or domain for the blog.
- Set a goal to write a new blog post every week, or daily, if possible.
- Keep blog posts brief and use headers to break up the text and for SEO purposes. All blog posts should be optimized for the search engines.
- Track visits to the blog in Google Analytics and monitor how your blog not only drives traffic, but also leads to conversions.
- Target about 400-600 words for each blog posting as a rule of thumb. It is fine to have some posts that are short and others that are much longer. The key is consistency and relevancy for your readers and for Google.
- Include share buttons to social media so readers can easily share your blog content with others.
If possible, include a link on your main navigation to your blog. This link may include other content resources such as articles, white papers, videos and more.
Begin with Blog Categories
Start your company blog by developing blog categories or a blog table of contents. This goes a long way in defining the purpose of your blog and how it will meet the needs of your readers. Here are a few ideas to help with developing blog categories.
- Tell the stories that happen at your business.
- Discuss industry issues in your blog.
- Write about your competitive advantages.
- Write about influential people or companies as they relate to your company.
- Discuss common problems and how to solve them for your target market.
- Include comparisons of products and services that matter to your target market.
- Review price issues in your blog.
- Conduct reviews of products and services.
- Write about the best of the past year.
- Include awards and company or industry news in your blog.
- Review competitor blog categories for ideas.
- Keep an archive for previous blog postings on your website.
Blog categories should include an archived category and the ability for the reader to search blog posts and organize the posts by date. Include at least four blog categories, and it is fine to have a generic category for miscellaneous postings.
Distribute Blog Content
Blogs and social media content should be interchangeable. All blog posts should be posted in social media and distributed through RSS feeds to blog subscribers. RSS is a technology that easily allows people to subscribe to your blog posts from your website and automatically receive blog content as it is posted on the site. This is an excellent way to distribute content that can be shared among your target market. The quality and value of this content will determine how it is shared and distributed around the Internet.
The About Us Page and Blog Content
Even though blog postings describe your company and marketplace in great detail, there is still need for an About Us page and it should be part of your main navigation. This could be one of the most important pages on your website, and will probably be in the top ten most visited pages on the site. Take the About Us page seriously, because this page can drive conversions. Here are a few key issues to address in your About Us pages:
- Use the About Us page to build trust and credibility.
- Think of it as the company resume.
- Include a link to this page in the main navigation menu.
- Keep the page current.
- Measure the stats and visits to this page.
- Include a conversion point and call to action on the About Us page.
Here are a few suggestions for the types of content to include on your About Us page:
- Company history
- Biographies and photos of team members
- Client lists, case studies and testimonials
- Location photos
- Videos and photos to describe your company
- Business approaches and philosophy of the company
- Other descriptive content about the company
Get Back What You Put In
Blogs take time and energy to be effective and the potential return is equal to the effort put into writing blog content. Just like many forms of strategic digital marketing discussed in this book, there is no quick fix; however, blog posts will get indexed within Google search results and will be read by your target market for years to come. This is true of any content posted to your website and a major benefit to a value-added content marketing strategy for your website.
At the heart of your content marketing strategy will be your company blog. The blog is the one place for regular content on a variety of subjects. An active and interesting company blog takes advantage of your website’s ability to be much more than a static, online brochure. Your site visitors and Google will appreciate your efforts. An excellent blog goes a long way toward driving traffic and leads.
- Add a blog to your website under your main company URL.
- Determine a set of blog categories and subjects.
- Assign writing duties for a weekly or daily blog post.
- Use a consistent voice for the blog so there is no brand confusion.
- Keep blogs brief, code them for SEO and include a call to action.
- Link all blog postings in your social media content.
- Track the results as part of a comprehensive digital marketing program
Thomas Young is the CEO and founder of Intuitive Websites. He is an author, speaker and digital marketing consultant. Order Tom’s book “Winning the Website War” to get more digital marketing insights.