Most people know that blogging is intended to provide your website visitors with in-depth education and information on your product or service. Since you are the expert in your business niche, blogging is used to help potential customers become educated on a given subject. They turn to your blog to not only learn, but to evaluate your expertise.
The truth is that blogging, done correctly and containing the right elements, gets read by the search engines. Did you know that blogs are ranked on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)? That’s right. You can write a blog and have it drive people to your website by writing, not only for your customers, but for the search engines. Each time you post a blog, it is like placing fresh content on your website. The search engine index blogs just as they do any other webpage. The use of keywords, links and share symbols to your social network, strategically placed in your blog, is a very powerful way to drive traffic, establish domain authority and have your blog rank well in SERPs. When the blog gets ranked and people read it, share it and like it, they may not only sign up for your blog, but it will drive them to your website.
Studies show that websites that continuously add new content to their websites are ranked higher than sites with stale content. Why? Google reasons that fresh content is valuable to visitors. It gives people a reason to return to a website. You may have heard the phrase, “content is king”. Since much of your website is static and perhaps currently indexed by the search engines, changing on-page content can have an adverse effect on rankings if the engines see different keywords or a change in relevance to your search terms. Blogging allows you to add new content and improve SEO or even get new keywords ranked.
Blogging is like sending signals across the internet. Using email marketing and sending your blog to an opt-in mailing list greatly enhances its reach. Each time it is shared, properly written and tagged, the blog will send valuable links back to your website. Backlinks are the secret sauce of higher rankings. If your content is shared, this satisfies an important part of Google’s mission by reinforcing your value to your customers. If people are interested enough to share your blog, you will rank significantly higher than sites without a blog. As people click on links within your blog, the engines see it and will rank or index your listing.
People buy from those they trust. Before someone will purchase from you they must know, like and trust that you are an expert in your field. Anyone can claim to be an expert. But by continuously posting via your blog, you build a fantastic library of content. If that content is accurate, educational, entertaining, and informative or otherwise valuable to your readers, over time you will build credibility and recognition of your expertise.
You don’t always have to create your own original content. Using other respected leaders in your industry and giving them credit in the form of citations and links in your blog, you will benefit by association. This is especially true if you can get that poster to link to your website. You can contact the writer, tell them that you love their work and have shared it on your website. Ask them if they would exchange links with you. Put a link on your website to their website and ask them to do the same. You can check out Moz.com for some great insights on backlinks and how to get them.
A great salesperson establishes trust by educating people on their product, telling the truth, and becoming a valuable resource. Your blog is your digital salesperson, only better. It never sleeps, is always working and blogs never try to sell. The fact is that rarely do customer come to your website ready to buy. The initial searches are almost always about research and learning. Your blog, while a great sales tool. rarely sells. It is used to provide the information that potential and returning customers need to make an informed decision. Always be sure to deliver value.
When you are writing or sharing information, ask yourself if you are delivering real value. Make it valuable enough for people to be eager to share what they read. This is the home-run of blogging. On your website, make sure there is a compelling offer as a reward for signing up to your blog. Always include a picture or video with your blog. You get 4x the engagement when a picture is used and more with video!
Blogs should be a minimum of 700 words, with longer blogs (1,000 to 2,500 words) doing better than short. With this in mind, write your blog with the idea of using segments of the blog as stand-alone posts for your social media accounts. It takes some time to write a great blog, but if you prepare it in a thoughtful way, you can get much more mileage out of the effort.
Think of each blog as a chapter of an eBook. This can be a very powerful give a way offer on your home page. Baltimore SEO for Growth specializes in SEO. Imagine that, over a period of 6 months, we create up 20 to 30 blog articles. We can then use these as chapters in our own e-Book titled, Secrets to Great Blogging. Not only will writing e-Books boost your thought leadership, but it will serve you for years to come.