When you’re launching your business, your website is a crucial element that you don’t want to neglect. This is how over 90% of clients will find you at first and you can bet most of them will make up their minds about the quality of your services within a few seconds of reaching your site.
These days, it’s standard for a business website to have a blog. A blog allows you to continue posting relevant content that is useful to clients, along with helping tremendously with your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).
Unfortunately, not many businesses use their blog correctly. Here’s a quick guide to get you started on the right track!
Write about relevant, useful topics
In order to keep readers on your site, they have to find information that is useful to them. “Useful” can have many meanings: the blog article can be funny, informative, passionate, etc. What it can’t be, is a shameless self-promotion of your business. You have a whole website that talks about your business. Don’t use your blog as more of the same!
Use your business blog to demonstrate your knowledge and to cement your position as an industry expert in your field. And mix it up. Providing a variety of content to your readers will allow them to see that your expertise is broadband. Use different “content categories” to keep your articles organized and help readers find their way around your blog.
If you find you’re running low on content ideas, scour the internet for inspiration. Obviously you don’t want to steal anyone’s work, but by reading different blogs out there it can help spark an idea for a future blog topic of yours.
Mix it up!
When you write a blog, it’s important to post different topics and different types of articles to your blog to keep things interesting for your readers. Try mixing some of these different styles of posts:
• “Top 5 / top 10” style lists
• Expert advice
• Client stories
• Product features
• “Top picks” relevant to your industry
• Video content
• And anything else you can think of!
Especially when your business is just getting off the ground, you should be posting to your blog at least once a week, and preferably more!
Posting frequently to your blog will accomplish two goals:
- The more often you post new content to your website, the more search engines will index your site, which will lead to higher listings on search engine result pages.
- A high frequency of posts will resonate with visitors to your blog. If you post sporadically or at a slow pace, readers won’t stick around.
A blog article that’s one long paragraph will not be read.
You’ll want to write your articles in an easy-to-read format. Use headers to separate key points, and try to write simple paragraphs. Bullet points can be your best friend as they allow you to convey a large amount of information while forcing you to be as concise as possible!
You’ll want to use images in all of your blog posts as well. Pictures, graphs, illustrations, etc. are a wonderful way of breaking up text and keeping your readers engaged.
Make sure you have proper permission for whatever image you post on your blog. If you’re using your own pictures, make sure you have a signed photo release from any person who appears in the photo. If using images from another source, obtain written permission from that source and credit their work accordingly.
This is where your market research will come in handy. Not only should you be writing about topics that appeal to your target clientele, but you’ll want to take it a step further and use the exact keywords they use online.
While it can be tough to compete for high traffic keywords, you can easily rank for some highly targeted, long-tail keywords. Example: say you’re writing an article about the top 5 floral arrangements for a spring wedding. Instead of targeting “spring wedding” or “floral arrangement”, try targeting the phrase “spring floral arrangement with daisies”. You’d be surprised how well this works.
A quick warning about keyword stuffing:
Be careful not to oversaturate your article with a bunch of keywords. This is often a rookie mistake that can actually result in your entire website being penalized by search engines. While you SHOULD edit any article to have a focus keyword or two, make sure the final article is concise and cohesive. If the article ends up reading unnaturally, you probably want to go in and remove a few keywords.
Be authentic: write it yourself!
A blog is a wonderful place to show a bit of color, attitude, and personality. While you should always be mindful to your brand values, you can afford to be a little more personal on your blog. Use a simple, conversational tone that resonates with your audience, and have some fun! Tell interesting stories, explain why a specific topic is important to you, share your likes and dislikes with your audience, etc.
Probably one of the worst mistakes you can make with your blog would be to outsource it to someone else. Hiring an agency or a copywriter to write your blog content will reduce your blog’s efficiency very quickly. While an agency might help with keyword focus and might help bring more visitors to your website, 10:1 those visitors will be much less qualified for your website and likely will be turned off by the impersonal tone of your articles.
Once your business takes off and you start being a little too busy to write an article per week for your blog, then your blog has accomplished its mission! At this point, I’d opt for cutting back on the blogging schedule instead of handing off this task to someone else.
Describe multimedia content
Posting videos or infographics is a great way to offer different types of content to your audience. But search engines are not yet able to read the content that’s found on a video or image. So, you’ll want to make sure to write up a few (keyword rich!) paragraphs describing what’s found within the video or image.
Use a strong call to action!
Have you ever read a blog article, and without even realizing it you’ve ended up jumping from one article to the other on that website, eventually landing on a product page? That website is using amazing calls to action (CTAs)!
On the flip side, have you ever read a blog article where you get to the bottom of the page and think “Well, I’m done here.” and left? Odds are, that blog didn’t use any CTAs at all!
A call to action is asking the reader to do something while they’re on your blog. These can take many shapes: from links inside an article’s body to buttons to fancy images. Many think CTAs are reserved for very important actions: namely, purchasing your service. That’s very untrue. A CTA can ask the reader to perform any number of actions including:
• Reading another article on your blog
• Visiting a specific page on your site for more information
• Watching a video
• Commenting on your article*
• Contacting you
• Signing up for a newsletter list
• Visiting your social media accounts
*If the comment box is on the same page as your article (which it should be!) you might want to think about another CTA on top of that so the reader has somewhere else to go once the comment’s been posted!
Whatever call to action you use, make sure there is some logical reason why your reader would want to take that action. For example, a designer with an article about restoring antique furniture could easily have a CTA to read another article about purchasing antiques, but would want to avoid a CTA that links directly to his/her feng shui design services.
Let’s get to it!
If you already have a blog on your website, it’s time to look it over and see if there are any improvements to be made. If you’re just starting out, I’m sure you’ll have a great time writing your first few post.
Do you have any additional business blogging tips? Let us know in the comments!