Making your business stand out from the crowd in the busy online world can seem extremely difficult. You have a beautiful website, your product is superb and the traffic should be rolling in – but it isn’t.
Blogging might seem like a time-consuming task, but it’s actually a highly valuable way of boosting visits to your website and providing quality content to your customers. In fact, websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages (meaning your website is easier to find on search engines), and 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post – so it’s easy to see how a blog could build your business.
Here’s how to use blogging to make your business more successful…
Building your blog – the benefits:
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and driving traffic to your website
SEO is the way that you create content in order to rank highly on search engines like Google. Maybe you are a builder in the North East – if your website appears first when people search for “builder in the North East”, then your business will benefit from this.
You can use blogging to help with SEO and boost organic traffic to your website. Every time you create a new blog post, you increase the number of indexable pages that your website has – and therefore, you increase the opportunities that your website has to show up on search engines.
But, it’s not just about the number of pages. Search engines use complex algorithms to sort and rank web pages, in order to show you the most relevant results to your search. This means that if you carefully craft your blog content to naturally include keywords and LSIs (latent semantic indexing keywords), your blog post will rank even higher.
Blogs will also help you to build website traffic through:
- Social media – when you (and others!) share your blog content on social media, you will see an increase in visits to your website.
- Inbound links from other sources – as you publish more and more quality content, you will find that other websites begin to link back to yours.
It’s important to remember that this builds over time; you’re unlikely to see a huge spike in traffic after just one blog post. But build them gradually, and you will see that you begin to receive more visitors.
It is worth spending some time learning about SEO – this way, you can ensure that the quality blog posts that you write have the effect that you want them to.
Providing value to your visitors
Think about the time you spend online. Do you like to watch programmes or share on social media? How many times have you searched for great theories about what could happen next in your favourite show, or shared an awesome blog post with your friends? Blogs are everywhere on the internet and link to almost everything we do online. Search for “how to fix my engine” and you’ll be presented with many blog posts about common engine problems and fixes.
Well written blog posts engage the visitors to your website and give them information or entertainment. Engage them well and they will come back time and time again, giving you business.
Whatever you do, though, don’t fall into the trap of just sell, sell, selling in your blog posts. The key is value – you need to provide some to your readers in your blog post if you want to leave them with a positive impression of your business.
There’s no point in blogging if all of those new visitors to your website don’t turn into paying customers. Fortunately, your blog content – when it’s carefully planned – can encourage conversions.
The key here is thinking about what will interest your customers and what they’ll want to know before buying from you. The answer here will vary hugely depending on what your business does.
For example, if you have a landscaping business then your potential customers may well be searching terms such as “best DIY garden designs”, “garden renovation” etc. If your blog posts can answer your possible clients’ questions while also showing how your business can help, then you are likely to see conversions.
You’ll need to consider the frequency of your blog posts here, too. Blogging regularly will increase the value you’re providing, ensure you show up in more searches and guarantee that your content is relevant and up to date.
Remember, not every click on your website will turn into a new customer, but your blog posts (if they’re well designed) will bring you an uplift.
Building trust and relationships
We’ve already talked about how blogging can provide value to your customers and potential customers. More than that, it can evidence the expertise and professionalism of your business. By publishing frequent, informative blog posts, you will be showing how well you know your field.
In depth, quality content can help visitors understand better why they might need your services and why your company is a better option than competitors. Of course, this has to be communicated through helpful content – not through hard selling.
Gaining customers this way is great for returning custom because the trust and relationship is already built.
Analysing and responding to your customers’ needs
When you’ve been blogging for a little while, you’ll be able to check your website’s traffic history and see which topics your visitors are most interested in. Which blog posts have the highest clicks? Which search terms lead visitors to your site? You can use this to further hone your blog writing to ensure that your providing what your audience wants.
If a particular blog post has been shared many more times than others, you can find out why – what was special about that post? Perhaps your list posts are sending far more traffic to your website than any others. If that’s the case, you can write more list posts. Give the people what they want!
How to use blogging for more revenue opportunities…
You’ve built your blog, you’re updating it regularly and it’s content rich and informative. Your website traffic has exploded and you’re reaping the rewards throughout your business. Sounds great? Well, it can be even better. A popular blog with a loyal audience can start making its own money; and even become another revenue stream for your business.
If you have blog posts which link to or recommend certain products, affiliate marketing could work to earn you some extra cash. Essentially, you publish a special link to the product on your blog, and every time someone purchases from the link, you earn a small commission. Whilst each commission will be small, if you get enough traffic it can add up to a significant sum.
You’ll build a higher income here if your audience trusts you. They’ll be more likely to click through and purchase you if they have confidence in your recommendations.
These are those adverts you see across the top of a webpage. You can sell the space on your website for others to advertise on. If you have a lot of traffic to your blog, then this can give you a steady income stream.
Depending on your business though, you may want to be careful about offering third party advertising on your website. Think about the customer experience on your site – if you think that they will not respond well to third party advertising, it is best to avoid it. You don’t want to end up putting customers off.
When you have a large blog audience, you might find that you are approached by other companies willing to pay for a post on your website. Sponsored content is the term given to a post or posts which are paid for by another company. They can be written by you or the other company, and usually end in a call to action which directs to the company’s own website.
Although payment could be negotiated between you and the other company, it usually takes the form of a one off fee.
As always, it’s important to assess how the sponsored content will look on your website. Obviously, you wouldn’t agree to publish sponsored content from a direct competitor. Equally, if it doesn’t meet your audience’s interests then they will begin to lose trust in you.
Write guest posts
When you’ve gained a reputation through your blog as a knowledgeable and authoritative business, you can begin to reach out feelers for guest posts (or the opportunities may come to you!)
A guest post is a blog post that you write for another outlet, for example a newspaper or blogging site. When someone approaches you for a guest post, there will usually be a budget to pay for your expertise AND you’ll be able to use the opportunity to get your name and business out there to a wider audience.
Often, the other outlet will be happy to include a link to your own website too. Guest posting can involve you being paid to advertise your business!
Sell digital products
You have shown that your content is invaluable, and your audience is coming back time and again to learn from you. You can use this platform to sell digital products.
Perhaps you could write an ebook, perhaps you could design and sell an online course through a provider such as teachable. Visitors still get informative content from your blog, but if they want something extra they can buy one of these digital products.
An ebook can go into far more detail on a particular topic than a blog post could, and can work really well if your business is knowledge based. Alternatively, an online course can provide quality lessons if you have something to teach your user – for example, a photography style.
You need to ensure that the product is worth the money you charge for it – a shoddy product won’t help your reputation.
How to get started
The benefits of blogging are many and wide reaching. Its importance in boosting your website in a crowded marketplace is impossible to ignore. So, how do you get started with blogging?
Create a content marketing plan
The best place to start with blogging is a content marketing plan. This will ensure that your blogs have focus, and are regular. You’ll also be able to research key dates and holidays in advance, ensuring that your content is relevant. You can link this to keyword research, ensuring that your blog posts will be about the topics that your potential customers are searching for.
You can put together a calendar of your upcoming blog titles, so you can easily create your content as and when it is required. This will also give you focus – when blogging, you will want to ensure that you are proactive. You want to put content out regularly rather than blogging when you feel like it or when inspiration hits.
You also need to think carefully about your blog post titles. These are the first thing your potential visitors will see when your posts appear in a search, and they need to grab attention.
How can a digital marketing agency help with my blogging goals?
You might be top of your field, but if you aren’t confident in creating content which will rank highly on search engines then it can be difficult to get started with blogging. This is where a digital marketing agency can help you. They can:
- Improve consistency – ensuring that the voice of the blogs suits your business, and that blog posts are published regularly.
- Use professional content creators – people who write blogs on a daily basis and understand the nitty gritty of SEO.
- Get results – constant tracking and analysing of data and using this to improve your content.
By turning your website into a destination, you can exponentially grow your authority, customer numbers and returning clients. If you’d like to learn how we could help you with your blogging goals, book a FREE consultation on the calendar below…
Our Creative Content Specialist, Harriet Young, is a prolific blogger, Instagrammer and (almost) published author. A self-confessed book addict, Harriet loves to read, write and photograph books in her spare time - a hobby which transfers beautifully into her role of writing creative content for our wonderful clients.