You have a powerful business idea. And now, equipped with a brilliant website and a fresh-and-blooming web presence, you’re ready to launch your first digital marketing campaign.
You’re on your way! Now, to cook up some successful blog posts.
You know you need to start by creating great content and aiming it at your perfect customer. But this is all new. Maybe even a little scary. Maybe more than a little scary!
But with a simple recipe of four “key” ingredients, you can cook up web content your best prospective customers will welcome… and start them looking to you for solutions to the problems your business was built to solve.
One thing our clients struggle with the most is how to write a blog post. You’ve created a site with WordPress, you’re energized with a message to share, and now you are ready to write a blog post. Oh wait… how DO you write a blog post?
Ask a writer what the hardest part is, and they will likely answer, “Getting started.” You may have an exciting idea, and feel totally frozen when it comes to expressing it. Don’t worry, there are some easy tricks to start your blog.
Is your website getting enough traffic?
More traffic means more customers buying your products, hiring your services, seeing your message, etc…
More traffic is ALWAYS a good thing!
Is your web PRESENCE optimized to drive waves of INTERESTED prospects to your offer?
Let’s run through the check list.
When talking to clients, I often hear the question "Should I blog". And my answer is quite simply a big ‘YES’.
For the last ten years or so, social media has changed drastically. What was mainly used to communicate with friends, family, and fellows, is now being widely used to brand your business. And blogging is one of the best methods to brand yourself.
Though, blogging is not a new term anymore, people are still afraid to invest in this great method of bringing organic traffic. “Why people are afraid to invest in blogging” will be discussed in another blog. Here, we’ll talk of the benefits you’d get from your business blog.
First we need to explore the whys and the what-fors of your website project so we can decide if it is a fairly simple undertaking (DIY) or a complex task best left to the professionals (Max Height Web Solutions).
A growing number of businesses are using blogs to increase traffic to their website and boost sales. It is an easy way to begin offering your clients or customers informative content, which can build trust and show your visitors that you value their time.
Setting up your blog can be fun, exciting, and challenging. After performing research on your market, creating your blog, and posting your first several blog posts, you are ready for the increase in traffic and sales. When you do not notice a significant boost in the number of visitors that come to your website, it can seem that all that work was for nothing.
The first thing you need to realize about using a blog to grow your business is that it can take time for your efforts to create positive results. Do not get discouraged. Creating a blog has not been a waste of your time. You just need to take a step back and ensure you are doing everything that you can to promote your blog.
Coming up with informative articles, creating a blog that is easy to navigate, and including proper search engine optimization is only half the battle. You need to reach out and begin promoting your blog to get the ball rolling. If you have not detected a spike in your daily traffic, thanks to your blog posts, then take a moment to look over these tips and suggestions to promote your blog.
One reason that you may not be generating the traffic to your website that you would like is that you are not choosing the right topics. While you may think that the topics you are blogging about are of interest to your target demographic, the truth is in the numbers. If no one is showing an interest in your blogs, leaving comments, or sharing links, then you may need to reconsider the topics you are blogging about.
To find out what your potential clients or customers may be interested in, start browsing the blogs created by your competitors. Look at the topics that they are covering. You should not copy their content, but this could give you a better sense of the type of information that you may want to write about.
Another way to find hot topics is to use an online tool to find popular search terms or discover the most talked about blog posts. Google Adwords can be used for more than pay-per-click advertising. You can set up an account for free and then use the Keyword Planner Tool to look for the most popular search terms. BuzzSumo is another online resource that can offer additional insight into hot topics in your niche. With BuzzSumo, you can search a term and discover blog posts that have been shared the most on social media.
When you look at other websites, or browse the internet, you will surely come across blogs that are plastered with advertisements. These ads can be distracting, overwhelming, and take away from the overall user experience that you are providing your visitors. Using ad placement, such as Google Adsense, may help you earn a few dollars, if you can gain enough traffic, but it takes away from your credibility as a business owner. It is also difficult to choose what types of products are advertised on your site, when using these ad placement services.
Instead of using external advertisements to generate a few dollars, you could include a couple affiliate marketing links – linking to the products or services that you feel will provide a benefit to your visitors. For example, say you have a website selling pet accessories, such as dog collars and food bowls. If you happen to find a legitimate website offering professional dog training or dog grooming, a service that you do not offer, you could contact the administrator of the website and see about setting up an affiliate linking program. If an affiliate program is not available, you could simply offer your visitors a link to the site in a blog post or in a sidebar widget.
The online community is much like any business community – networking is an important aspect of increasing interest in your business. Start searching the internet to find other blogs within your niche or industry. Create a bookmark folder in your web browser containing about 20 blogs. Read several of their latest blog postings and leave a comment whenever you can think of a relevant question or comment.
Begin networking with the owners of these blogs, build a positive relationship with these blog owners. You do this either through direct messages using their online contact forms or by starting conversations with them through social media. Share information, ideas, interests, suggestions, and do not be scared to ask for advice.
Link building is a major part of driving more traffic to your website. Google and other major search engines use the number of backlinks to your website as a determining factor in search engine results. If you want to get to the first page of Google searches related to your business, you need quality backlinks.
A good place to start is with the blogs that you are attempting to network with. When you place comments on these blogs, you may be able to include a link to your website.
Social media is another source of backlinks. Always make sure that you share your posts, throughout all your social media profiles. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, or Pinterest, share each new post. If you are using WordPress for the creation of your blog posts, you can even use a plugin to automatically share new posts as they are published.
If you want to learn more about how to promote your blog, take a look at some of the other articles on my site or feel free to contact me with your questions. I truly enjoy helping small business owners make the most out of their websites and would love to offer some further insight into promoting your business. In addition to the articles on this site, I have also created an online series of community webinars, the Web Presence Institute, which includes step by step instructions, training, and tips for using your website to gain more traffic and increase your overall sales.
Learn more about the Web Presence Institute and join a growing community of like-minded small business owners.
As you begin setting up your business website, whether you are designing the website on your own or hiring a professional to handle the task, one of the decisions you need to make is what web pages to include on your site. You also need to think about the content that will go on those pages. These steps are among the most important parts of setting up your website.
Obviously, every website is going to have a homepage. This is where visitors will go when they first type in the URL of your website. This is the online “front door” of your business. First impressions go a long way, especially with a business website. You should make an effort to ensure your homepage represents your business. As soon as a visitor arrives on your homepage, they should have a good sense of what products or services you are offering.
Most websites will have more than just a homepage; though, there is a growing trend of building business websites that use a single page. This is often called an online business card. While this may provide an easy way to quickly throw a website together, it lacks the ability to include good search engine optimization. The size of your website is one of the factors used by search engines when determining search rankings.
Basically, you need more than just a homepage. Visitors will not want to have to scroll through an endless amount of content, in order to find what they are looking for. Here are some of the webpages that you will commonly find on business websites:
That is just a quick overview of some of the webpages that you may include on your website, but it is not necessarily your exact guideline. Before deciding on your final layout and website structure, you should brainstorm a list, which starts with a look at your competition.
Before you start creating webpages using WordPress or build a list to pass on to a website developer, you should take a look at your competition. Find three of your competitor’s websites. Explore their webpages and see what pages and functionality they use. See how their website is setup and the type of content that they prominently display. You should never to try imitate or copy your competition, but it is a good place to start – to gain a better understanding of the type of webpages and content to display.
After examining your competition, start building your list of webpages. You will need a homepage, a contact page, and probably an about page, but the rest of the layout is up to you. As mentioned, your homepage is the first thing that most visitors will see.
The contact and about pages are also standard for most business websites. Even if you display your contact information along your header or footer, you should still include a contact page. In fact, many search engines lower the ranking of a website if the contact information of a business is not within one or two clicks of the landing page. Your contact page may include a contact form, so that visitors can easily send you message, along with the rest of your contact information.
The about page provides a good spot for giving your visitors a little more information about your business. Explain why you started your business, what your goals are, what you bring to the table that your competition ignores, and any other details that help flesh out your brand.
The homepage, about page, and contact page are part of your core business website; however, you should not stop there. If you are selling a product or service, you should probably build a product or service page – whether or not you are selling your products and services online. Provide an overview of your products and services, offering details and preferably including images of your products or services. You should also try to include a “call to action” after every product or service listing. This could be a “buy now” button, if you are selling online, or a link to a contact form where potential customers can request additional information.
Gallery or portfolio page can also be useful, especially if you have a physical product or want to showcase the benefits of a service. For example, your landscaping business could include a portfolio page which includes pictures of your well-groomed lawns. An interior designer may showcase some of their past projects. Think about how you can use images to represent the benefits of using your product or service.
Another page that you may want to include on your business website is a testimonial page. Customer testimonials show potential customers that you are a bona fide business. Do not have any testimonials? One method of acquiring testimonials is to send customers a questionnaire, after they have made a purchase. This questionnaire could include basic input, including comments about the product or service purchased, as well as a checkbox that customers can mark to give you permission to use their input in a testimonial.
You could also reach out to customers and ask for a quote about why they were happy using your products or services. While these are both good options for gathering testimonials, never harass your customers or demand that they provide you with input that you can use on your website.
These are just a few steps that you may want to consider as you build your business website. Remember, your website needs to represent your business. A growing number of people rely on the internet for learning more about a business. Even if you operate a local business with walk-in customers, they may stop to look at your website before walking through your front door. Take the time to carefully plan out your online storefront, to match the brand you are creating for your business.
Building your own business website is not an overly complicated process, when you have the right tools and resources available to you. If at any time you feel overwhelmed with the process of setting up your website, there are many ways to seek help or find additional tips. Browse some of my other blog articles for further insight into managing an online business website or learn more about community webinars – as part of the Web Presence Institute. Receive in-depth training, tips, and suggestions, from an experienced website designer and online marketing expert.
Generating new business opportunity leads is one of the key factors for success and business growth. As it turns out, blogging is one of the most effective ways to gather these leads, as well as grow your market base and reach more customers. Businesses that blog on a regular basis receive 55% more website visitors and 126% more leads than businesses that decide not to blog.
How does blogging provide such an increase in leads and website traffic? Part of the reason stems from the improved SEO (search engine optimization). When you add a new blog article every week, or every couple of weeks, you are constantly adding fresh, new content to your website.
Search engines, including Google, place a priority on websites that are regularly updated. It makes sense that fresh content would be more relevant to a search query than older content. All it takes is two to four articles per month, to begin boosting SEO and attracting new visitors.
As your website gains more traffic, you will naturally gain more sales leads. Along with more web traffic and creating more leads, the sharing of your blog articles on social media will also help boost your potential leads.
People tend to share information that they find useful or articles that trigger an emotion. Let’s face it, there is no real reason for a website visitor to share a link to your homepage or services page with their friends and family on Facebook or Twitter. On the other hand, an article that offers beneficial information that provides real value is something that your customers may want to share with others.
Your customers will appreciate the information that you provide. By sharing relevant, useful information, you are showing your customers that you care – that you want them to be able to find helpful information, tips, and suggestions, about topics related to the products, services, or industry that you are involved in.
Blogging on a regular basis, combined with an effective social media strategy, helps you get your name out there and reach more people. This offers the best opportunity for instant feedback from your visitors. People will leave comments on blogs and across social media platforms.
Listen to what people have to say, where their interests lay, and what they are looking for. You can use this information to gain more insight about the interests and desires of your key demographics. You can communicate directly with your customers on a level that was not available before the rise of the internet. Harness the power of digital communication and connect with your customers through a combination of social media marketing and regular blogging.
The quality of the content that you post to your business blog is just as important as the frequency of your posts. Some businesses struggle to consistently release new, informative information. Without an effective strategy in place, you may not get the results that you want or generate any additional business opportunity leads. Your business growth is connected to these leads. This is how you reach out and attract new clients or customers.
If you do not already have a blog on your business website, then you need to decide whether you want to create your own blog articles or hire out. Being able to devote the time to create original blog articles on a weekly basis is not a luxury that every business owner has. If you feel that you would not be able to keep up with a regular blogging schedule, then your best option is to hire someone else do it.
For a relatively small fee, you can begin taking advantage of the most effective form of marketing – blogging. You get to decide on the frequency of the posts, the topics, the tone and style, and whether you would like to combine this with a social media posting strategy.
When you compare services for quality blog writing and social media posting to other forms of marketing, you will quickly see that blogging offers the best return on investment for business opportunity leads. Pay-per-click advertising, targeted email campaigns, and press releases can all cost hundreds of dollars per month, in order generate sales, while blogging is relatively inexpensive.
Best of all – it does so much more than just draw visitors to your website. Unlike other forms of marketing, you actually get to connect with your customers, build trust, and learn more about what they think and are interested in. If you want to make the most of your marketing efforts, or if have not yet introduced a marketing strategy to your business, blogging is the place to start. Begin with a blog article per week and get ready to connect with your customers like never before.