There are many tools that you can use to drive traffic to your site: SEO, Local SEO, hyperlinks on partner pages and compliance with search algorithms. One of the most effective ways to gain more traffic to your site, however, is maintaining a blog.
While blogging might conjure images of the late 1990’s boom of enterprising individuals who saw it as a means to achieve financial solubility from work-at-home positions, businesses today can utilize the format in a very different way.
For entrepreneurs, blogging can be a way to expand their consumer base, attract and retain new clients, build brand image and awareness and achieve a solid footing in their selected marketplace.
Before we talk about how a blog achieves these positive outcomes for your endeavors, it’s important that you realize what it takes to formulate a successful blog. Initially, any new blog will lag in visibility and followers. Creating a blog will take time, so you have to be committed to investing your efforts into building your blog from the ground up.
The Balance recently posted an article that explores 12 tips of creating a successful blog. From this article, three key points stand out about how you should approach your blog:
- Your material must be informative and engaging. If you don’t supply something that your clients will want to read, you won’t gain followers. Does this mean that you have to post trade secrets? No, but material related to your product or service is helpful. An example would be if you are a finance manager, posting articles about options for retirement investing would attract searchers that are seeking advice in finance.
- You must post regularly. This doesn’t mean that you have to update your blog daily. One quality, 2,500-word post weekly would suffice, or two shorter posts a week. Just be consistent with your posting and try to update on the same day of each week.
- Promote your blog. Just like your business, you have to promote your blog. Create social media accounts that relate to your blog and develop a following on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Update these accounts with links to your new blog posting and engage with your followers between posts to maintain a presence on your platforms.
How does a blog drive customers to your business? Jayson Demeyers, SEO expert and writer for Forbes magazine, gives a very good explanation on why a blog is necessary for your business in this op-ed. One of the key features he points out is to host your blog on your business site.
In regard to increasing traffic, we are all familiar with SEO and the way it helps to increase traffic to our sites. By hosting your blog on your business site, while formatting each post to fit SEO compliance, each post we make on our business site increases the chances of our blog being included in search results. In turn, the more your blog appears, the more frequently your business will appear to customers.
Blogging helps your business appear in long-tail search results as well as increases your leads. As Demeyers pointed out, a Hubspot study showed that websites that host content of over 400 pages of material receive six times the amount of leads as websites that host less content.
Since 2001, Google’s search algorithm has been programmed to put the most recent results first in the search return. How does this relate to you and your blog? By regularly updating your blog, you can increase your chances of remaining relevant to Google’s search engine bots. These bots crawl through all relevant internet material to produce, by date, the most recent results to the user.
It may take some practice and fine tuning with your blog before you begin to realize the positive benefits, but simply updating frequently will provide a benefit to you as users who utilize Google’s platform begin to notice your business.
Lastly, the ability of a blog to increase your reputation as an expert in your field shouldn’t be overlooked. This is an important part of blogging. If you formulate your blog posts as if they are a sales pitch every time, you are not likely to gain followers or traffic to your site.
Instead of viewing your blog as free ad space to promote your services, envision your blog as space in which you can share your expertise in your field. If you consistently post thought-provoking, factual and engaging material that relates to your products and services, then you’re building public trust in your capabilities.
Ultimately, that’s everyone’s goal with their branding image. While your blog may not be effective when used as direct ad space, it’s very useful for instilling and reinforcing consumer trust in your abilities, product and service.