Any marketer will tell you that producing a regular stream of content for your website is necessary and important. You also know you need to optimize your content. The question is, what are you optimizing that content for?
There are plenty of reasons to blog. Even if you don’t know exactly what your goals are, you may already be achieving some successes. But without goals, you’re missing out on all that’s possible. No matter the size of your resource budget for blogging, you’ll get far more out of it if you focus on one or more goals, plan your strategy, measure your progress, and make every single post count.
This article will cover some of the best reasons to blog, why this type of content is important, and how you can maximize your resources to reach your goals.
You could have the most beautifully designed, conversion-capable machine of a website, but if no one shows up, it’s all for naught. Earning and driving traffic to your website is one of the most basic and important reasons to blog. The more content you have, the more reason people have to be on your website, the longer they spend there, and the more they return. The right blogging strategy can bring in not only loads of traffic, but regular, sustainable loads of quality traffic.
Forty-four per cent of online shoppers find products and services they want with a search engine. And most people don’t look past the first page of search results, much less click on them. So you need to do the work to land your website on page one for the search terms your customers use.
The good news is that every post you create helps your Google rankings. It’s not just because Google smiles on websites that are updated religiously, but because every single post is another chance to show up as a search result.
So how can you maximize the chances your posts will make it to page one? You must make sure you use the right keywords: Invest in finding the best terms to go after and create a blogging calendar to start ranking for some of the less competitive ones right away.
Beyond using the right keywords, here are more tips for optimizing your blog to get more traffic:
Are you new to the market? Competing with established companies for the same pool of customers? Then building a reputation as an authority in your field is especially important. There are plenty of ways you can do this, such as getting quoted in newspapers and magazines, or writing a book. A carefully managed blog, however, can do this without depending on outside publications or waiting for your book to be published. You can build your reputation with a blog; they are the fifth most-trusted source for accurate online information.
When you optimize your blog for search engines, you also make yourself a thought leader. Despite the fact that you can buy ads on Google, more than two-thirds of the links that get clicks on a search results page are organic search results. People trust Google to point them in the right direction; they don’t trust a company simply because it’s willing to pay for ad space.
The first step is to optimize your posts for SEO. There are more goals for each of your blog posts:
Of the 3.14 billion people on the internet worldwide, 2.3 billion of them are active on social media. Social media has become a driving force in marketing for businesses around the world. With an active social media presence, you can accomplish all sorts of marketing, sales, branding, and service goals. Social media can help bring more traffic to your site, nurture leads, tackle customer service issues, expand your reach, and build a community of raving fans of your brand.
Social media can also help get people reading your blog.
Your social media accounts and your blog have a great symbiotic relationship. Sharing a new post with your followers can help you:
You’ve probably heard you need to do link building for your website, but you may not know exactly why—or what that means. There are two kinds of links that help your website: internal links and backlinks. Internal links are how you link to your own pages from other pages on your website. If planned and executed well, internal links can make it easier for users to quickly find what they’re looking for on your site, and help Google comb through your site for better indexing.
Backlinks are links on other websites that bring traffic to your site from outside sources. Not only do they offer more chances to convert that traffic, but when trusted sites link to your pages, that encourages Google to bestow more confidence—and authority—on your website. And that means better search rankings and more traffic.
A properly optimized blog can help you build both internal and backlinks—97 per cent more, in fact.
What’s an example of an internal link you may already be using? If you’re writing blog posts that are useful and relevant to your audience, there will be plenty of opportunities to build some internal links in your posts. Does a post reference another blog post you wrote last month? Link to it. Does it mention how long you’ve been in business? Link to your About page. Does it discuss one of your products? It’s link time.
Sometimes you’ll mention a topic that you plan to write a post about later. So when you do write that second post, don’t forget to go back into the first and add a link to the new one.
Building effective internal links takes planning. When you create your blogging calendar, include the links you want to create. Consider writing related posts around the same time so you can maximize links right away.
Backlinks are the holy grail of link building. They’re much harder to get and search engines like them when they’re from authoritative, legitimate sites. Not all backlinks are created equal: A brand new mom-and-pop small-town car dealership website won’t give you as much Google street cred as a link from Carfax or Kelly Blue Book. The trouble is getting these big-name, reputable sites to want to lend some of that reputation (with both Google and users) to you, which is essentially what a backlink does.
So how do you convince the Carmax of your industry to send their readers your way? By offering something their readers want to read. Find out where your ideal customers spend their time online and start reading. Look for holes in the knowledge presented there and write posts that will satisfy that need. Then find a contact at the website and let them know how your post can help. You can also take backlinks away from your competitors by pitching your posts as replacements for broken links.
Closely related to building your brand as an authority is customer retention and customer relationship management (CRM). While using a good CRM solution is essential for long-term, sustained growth, your blog can also play a key role in nurturing leads, improving customer experience, and generating enthusiasm about your brand, products, and services.
One of the biggest reasons small businesses and startups don’t have a blog is because they don’t know what to write about. The reality is that any business can and should have a blog, resources permitting. Your customers do want to read about air conditioning units, the legal jargon associated with opening a franchise, carpet cleaning, or whatever your company does. You just have to pick topics within your industry and present them in such a way as to make them relevant to the readers’ everyday lives.
Whatever your goals are for your blog, make each post count. Optimize for SEO, alert your email list when you publish a new post, and link to it via social media. Your blog has the potential to be a major part of your company’s brand. Use it wisely to drive traffic, increase sales, and bump your customer satisfaction.
Make sure your marketing efforts between your blog, social media, and other channels are coordinated. Watch a demo of our Marketing Cloud platform to see how you can take your marketing to the next level.