Any business can have a blog. You may not believe me, but I mean it!
You may say, "Rebecca, I sell nails, how much can you say about nails?" And I will tell you in the last 5 minutes I just thought of 10 ideas for your blog about nails. I am always available to brainstorm blogging content ideas for ANY business. OK? So, no excuses!
Why do I feel this way so passionately? Here are the SEO Benefits of utilizing a Blog:
- New content is important for SEO to show the search engines your website is active and not abandoned. Regularly posting blogs takes care of that. Blogging once a month is my suggested minimum for the busy entrepreneur.
- An easy to use resource to create more pages and links on your website.
- A blog allows for a variety of key words and phrases to be associated with your website's products and services.
- An opportunity to create inter-linking to other pages on your website that correspond with the context of the blog post (an essential element of an SEO sound website).
- Links and content to post on social media that drive traffic to your website. You can link the same blog post more than once on social media by using multiple status updates that highlight different points in the same blog post.
- Content that keeps giving and giving - A well written blog post brings traffic to a site month after month.
So now that I have convinced you that you HAVE to have a blog, here is what you need to know to make it great and bring your website traffic...
The Elements of an Effective Blog:
- Content that is relevant to the website's subject matter. You may get offers for reciprocal guest blogging. This will only benefit your website's SEO if the subject matter of either party is related to the respective website.
- Good grammar and spelling. A visitor will instantly write off the entire business being represented by a blog if the writing is poor and has mistakes. I recommend using Grammarly to avoid this, this service not only catches grammar and spelling errors; but also catches plagiarism (or what is word-for-word already on the web, which you definitely want to avoid...) and gives suggestions for better words to use, or "context-optimized word choices" to make the author sound more scholarly.
- Original content using YOUR voice. In my experience, my clients who have the most effective blogs are ones written in their own voice describing their own experiences. I have determined, by watching their key word/phrase statistics, the reason for this is they are using natural language and therefore, using more commonly used keywords and phrases used in search queries. Given Google's latest Hummingbird algorithm update, which is focusing more on "conversational phrases", it is so important to speak like both the expert AND the lay person. DO NOT use farmed content, or content that you can pay a service to give you that is not going to be unique to only your website. Google's previous Panda algorithm update focused on fighting just that.
- Links to other pages on your website that will generate income (specific service and product pages). These links should be embedded in content that makes those services and products more relevant or needed to the reader than when they first visited your website.
- Content that is engaging. Not every blog post needs to be mind blowing, and it is completely appropriate to have posts that are just updates and announcements about your business or events. But, creating compelling subject matter is most effective. (See the Compelling Points / Statements / Questions section below)
- A great title and clever tags. Title's should be eye catching and descriptive to draw the reader in. Tags should be thought out - pull keywords from the blog post and also think of how someone might type in a search query to find the answers contained in your blog post. If locations, famous people or hot topics are addressed in the blog post, be sure to use those as tags.
- When a blog post is about an event or the location of your business, use geo-targeting. This means include the location (and date if applicable) in the title and content. Search Engines are very location driven and if you can include a location, the blog post will get location relevant ranking.
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Compelling Points / Statements / Questions
For examples of how to come up with compelling points that may generate discussion and get people to think about your offerings or share your blog post to more prospective visitors, I recommend this podcast by Deborah Darling from The Presentation Pros. Listen to it HERE.
(this podcast is about face to face presentations, but everything can be applied to blog posts)
Compelling points/statements/questions can even be something that create conversation with differing opinions, but allows you to display your expertise by what you bring to the discussion.
Can you do anything more to get your blog noticed besides having one and writing effectively? ...Maybe even on a high ranking site like "The Huffington Post" or a well known online magazine related to your industry? Yes! That may take some specific Blogging for SEO and Marketing efforts. If you would like to discuss how or hire someone to help you, contact me, I would love to talk about it!
by Rebecca LeClaire - Website Design Company Consultant and Startup, Online Business, SEO & Marketing Consultant