You may have stellar website design and killer SEO, but to get the most out of your business website you really need a blog. You probably already have one or at least know that you should. Your marketing agency probably reminds you constantly about it. Maintaining that blog takes time, though, and there are no doubt many other things that seem more valuable to the success of your business and brand than writing a steady stream of content. But don’t underestimate the power of blogging; the return on investment is real, it’s trackable and it’s big.
The most significant return is increased traffic to your website. According to research conducted by HubSpot, websites with blogs have 53% more website visitors than those that don’t. In addition, a blog will help your rankings. Sites with blogs have 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages.
But simply having a blog isn’t going to increase your website traffic and get links and indexed pages. Your blog needs to offer something useful to your readers. There are a few basic rules to follow to get the most out of your blog.
Avoid Aggressive Promotion
The word blog came from a mashup of “web log”. It’s a journal, of sorts, of your ideas and input on a topic. Therefore, your blog is for thoughts and helpful information, not press releases and blatant promotion. Describing a recent project and its outcome will be more interesting and engaging than an announcement of the services you offer and your current promotion. There are plenty of places to aggressively promote your business on the web. Don’t do it in your blog.
Keep it Conversational
A good blog should reflect your business’ personality and be written in a personal, conversational style. A press release, on the other hand, is written in a business tone. A press release will also be promotional, and that can really turn off a blog reader. Although the blog does ultimately exist to promote your business, it needs to seem natural to the reader.
Your blog needs to engage and hold the attention of the reader. To keep your viewers reading further into your post, make sure you are writing to the person who will be reading the blog. Lots of statistics might be interesting to a business associate, but probably not to your customer. Industry news or developments will be interesting only if they will have an impact on the life or business of your reader. Think of a blog post as the opening salvo of a conversation with your customer.
Since the post is the beginning of a conversation, make sure your customers can be part of it. Allow commenting on your blog, review comments regularly and respond. You will be establishing a relationship with your customers and building trust.
There is always the concern about people leaving bad comments. It happens, and sometimes unfairly so. Use it as an opportunity to show your customers that you are responsive and willing to do what it takes to resolve problems. Respond and offer a solution. If the situation was already handled, describe the resolution. If the person refuses to be satisfied, the other readers of the blog will be able to see the efforts you took to resolve the issue and they will often come to your defense.
To ensure that your blog delivers all it can, post as often as you can. New content on your blog has two benefits. First, readers aren’t going to keep coming back to your blog if there is nothing new to see. But give them something new and interesting and they’ll return to see what else you’ll give them. Second, your blog adds fresh content to your site for the web crawlers to read. The crawlers will reward you in your rankings.
Promote Your Posts
Finally, promote your posts. Use your social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter to encourage people to visit your blog. Post a brief summary and a link to your blog. Chances are these sites are already people who are interested in your business; so don’t miss the opportunity to engage on a deeper level.
Maintaining a blog that will deliver all the benefits possible requires time, skill and effort. If you want to explore the power of blogging, but don’t have time to make it happen, contact us. A full service adverting agency, Ridge Marketing has the talent needed to make your blog an integral part of your web design and marketing.