The ultimate goal of blogging for business is to develop, nurture, and convert leads into sales. This is done by offering helpful tips and resources regarding services in your industry while simultaneously optimizing for keywords. By doing so, you attract and build trust with your audience, and when they are ready to buy, the likelihood that they will choose your business is much higher.
• Is important because search engines like Google appreciate websites with fresh content (blog posts)
• Adds pages to your website, which is also important for search engines
• Allows your business to become more searchable by relevant keywords; Benefits of SEO
• Demonstrates your industry expertise to a wide audience; makes you a thought leader
• Provides a non-intrusive forum to reach prospects consistently
• Increases your website’s ability to have pages shared via social media
• Helps you stay at the forefront of your industry
• Allows you to capture leads through RSS, email subscription signups
1. Develop an Execution Plan to Maintain Your Blog for Business
Consider these questions when writing the plan:
a. Who can write for your blog? (employees? clients? blog writing service? other industry experts?)
b. How often will you post new articles? (At least once a week.)
vs. How long will each post last? (About 500 words.)
2. Technically develop your blog for business
a. You can create a blog for free on Blogger or WordPress, or ask your web developer to create a custom blog for your site. Blogger is completely free, and WordPress charges for upgrades such as migrating the blog to a subdomain and changing CSS. WordPress is technically superior and better set up for SEO than Blogger, but creating a custom template is better than both.
b. Ask your web developer to set up a subdomain like blog.yourcompanyname.com. Make sure if you are using Blogger or WordPress that you map the blog to your subdomain and remove the .blogspot and .WordPress from the blog URL. If you don’t remove them, Blogger and WordPress will get all the SEO credit.
vs. Research the appropriate keywords on Google AdWords. Your blog title and description should center around your #1 keyword.
3. Title Writing, Keyword Integration and Blog for Business Structure
a. Titles should include a major keyword. For example, New Balance would like to be searched with terms such as “running shoes”.
b. Rewrite permalinks: Depending on the blog service you use, there are different ways to edit the link for each blog post. This article, for example, has a permalink for the keyword: blog-for-business. If you’re using Blogger, title the post with just the keyword, publish it, then go back and edit the post title with something compelling. This allows you to get a keyword in the link, while keeping an essential title.
vs. The writing of the title is just as important as the content of the article. You want to optimize the title for relevant keywords as described above and then change it to something compelling. Proven phrases in headlines that increase blog audiences include: “How to…”, lists including numbers like “8 ways to…”, celebrity names, and dramatic expressions like “10 things you every marketer needs to know today”.
D. Reaching writers through crowdsourcing. You can send questions to experts in many industries using a site called HARO (Help A Reporter Out) to get answers to questions nationwide.
e. A good strategy for gaining audience is to use local business success stories. For example, I interviewed a local jewelry company that ran a very successful social media campaign over the holidays for a blog post, and when I posted it on Twitter, I sent it to them and they retweeted to their network of followers.
F. When you find keywords you’d like to be searched for that have relatively low competition, write them multiple times in your blog posts. This will encourage search engines to associate these key terms with your post and place your post higher in the results.
g. Finally, it’s important to describe any images you place in your posts with relevant alt tags. This will allow Google and other search engines to recognize the images and place you higher in the results based on your alt tags.
4. Develop a plan to promote your blog for business
Here are some promotional tips that will help your blog grow its audience:
a. Write a few articles to practice. Then, develop an insightful and useful article and email it to your network of contacts asking them to forward it to anyone interested in following the blog.
b. Post your blog posts to Facebook, Twitter, relevant LinkedIn groups, and Digg.
vs. Posts should be submitted to article submission sites with links to your blog and website.
D. The blog should have social sharing options so users can easily retweet your post, share it on Facebook, or email it.
e. The blog should also be on all marketing materials, email signature, etc.
F. Carefully comment on similar blogs with links to your blog.
g. Consider attracting industry experts with extensive networks to write a guest blog post for you: you get a quality post, save some of your time, and best of all, they’ll promote your blog through their own network.