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Businesses, whether small or large, local or enterprise, are constantly being told that blogging will help their search engine rankings, but many are left wondering how to actually implement a blogging strategy. While a few get the hang of it quickly, a large number either never blog at all, or they give up after a few unsuccessful tries.
The following tips are designed to help businesses understand not only why blogging is useful, but also how to pull off a successful blogging strategy.
Why Blogging Is Useful for Businesses
Business blogging serves two important purposes.
- People rarely share the content found on standard business website pages. Sharing content and linking to content are important factors in helping a site rank well in search engines. Blog posts have the advantage of breaking free of staid, boring business information, giving businesses the opportunity to provide interesting, sharable content.
- People are looking to make a personal connection with a business, and a blog is the perfect venue for this. Blog posts can focus on the human side of the business, giving the company a personal face that visitors can relate to.
How To Create Successful Blog Posts
Keep your visitors’ interests in mind when developing a blogging strategy. Determine what kinds of content your visitors are interested in. Mine your website logs and search queries to see what people are searching for in relation to your industry. Check industry forums and Q&A sites to see what problems your visitors face, and what topics they care about. Use this information to create a blogging calendar, outlining the topics you’ll cover.
Understand that while visitors expect and appreciate a fairly consistent flow of blog posts from you, there is no magic number of posts that you should create per week or month. Blogging once or twice a week is great, but be honest about your ability to produce content on a regular basis. If you believe you can only create one post every two weeks, then don’t try to increase the frequency only to find that you are creating uninteresting posts just for the sake of meeting a schedule. On the other hand, if you have a lot of good content you can create, and the time to do so, then increase the frequency of posts as needed. Once you get into the rhythm of blogging, make an attempt to stick to a schedule as much as possible, so your readers know when to expect new posts from you.
The following tips will help you craft your posts in a way that will be beneficial to both your readers and the search engines. Train your bloggers to review each post before publishing to ensure it meets these criteria.
Don’t stuff keywords
Because blogging allows you to create sharable, linkable content that can help your SEO efforts, many people stuffing a post with keywords will help their search engine rankings. These people tend to go overboard with keywords in their content. Yes, we know you want to rank for certain keywords, but remember to make sure your content is actually worth reading too. A good rule of thumb is to place your main keyword phrase once in the beginning, once in the middle, and once near the end of the post. Synonyms can also be sprinkled about as necessary. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to ever force a keyword in apost if it doesn’t make sense to do so. The end result needs to be natural and human-readable. Read it aloud before publishing. If it sounds awkward, with lots of repetitive keywords throughout, you’ve gone too far. Not only will search engines smell spam, your readers won’t be inclined to share such a post.
Make your title work for you
In order to maximize your SEO efforts, as well as your readers’ interest, make your title descriptive and enticing. With thousands of blog articles written every day, you really need to grab your reader’s attention right away. Here are some things you can do to make your title work better:
- Make it short and sweet – 10 words or less works best and should summarize the essence of your entire post.
- Appeal to your reader’s natural curiosity – Use action words that will encourage readers to continue reading.
- Highlight benefits – Most readers are looking for information on particular topics. Make it easy for them to find your posts by highlighting benefits they can gain from reading your article.
Write compelling and original content
Nothing beats good, well written content. Keep your readers in mind when writing your articles. Solve a problem, tell a story, or educate your readers. Your blog visitors look to you as an authoritative, credible source, so your goal is to write original content, from your unique perspective. Be a thought leader for your industry, and your readers will reward you for it.
Grammar and spelling matters
Despite the fact that we live in the age of no-rules testing, grammar and spelling still matters when it comes to blogging. No matter how compelling your post is, no one will take you seriously if they run across bad grammar and spelling. Check out the following tools for help with punctuation, writing styles and phrases.
Formatting is key
With so much information available on the Internet, people now tend to browse first before committing to reading an entire article. If you want people to engage with your content via sharing or commenting, it’s important they read your entire piece so they can decide whether it is worth engaging with and can offer an opinion. With that in mind, the way you format your piece is crucial. The key here is to allow your readers to easily skim through your key points. You can use several methods:
- Bulleted points
- Use sub headings
- Block off important points
- Bold and italicized key points
- Images and videos
Use calls to action wisely
Don’t leave your readers hanging. Do you want them to share your post, leave a comment, or buy a product you are selling? No matter what action you want your readers to take, be specific. Use action phrases such as “tell us what you think in the comments below”, “tweet this post”, “act now,” “today,” and “buy now.” These are just a few examples of some phrases you can use in your posts to promote action.
Be social and take advantage of social plug-ins
For those new to blogging, using social sharing tools effectively is important to get your content to appear organically in search listings. Make it easy for people to share your content by using social media plug-ins on your site. It is equally important for you to also be social and engage with your readers. If you see comments on your page, make sure you reply, especially when your readers ask questions or request additional insights. Don’t be afraid to share your articles on multiple social networking platforms as well. If you don’t promote your work, who else will?
Let your visitors get to know you
Incorporate a personal, human touch whenever possible. Use real-life examples from your own experiences to highlight points in your blog posts. Use your real name and photo in your author bio as well. This will allow readers to get to know more about who you are, what you are passionate about, and allows them to be able to relate to you and your business. This builds trust beyond a cold faceless corporate image.
Implementing these business blogging tips is quiet easy, but if you have more questions, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to help you get started. We also have more business blogging tips here and here. Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear your thoughts.