What is a blog and is it necessary? Well, it’s no longer just a fad used by people to talk about their daily life. Nowadays, most businesses are using blogs to reach out and connect with their customers. With a blog, you have the opportunity to give your customers further insight into your products, services, and topics relevant to your business. Blogs make up a large portion of the webpages available online and they are here to stay. So, is blogging really necessary for your business? Yes, if you want to make the most of online marketing and reach as many potential customers as possible.
Before getting into the specifics of how you should go about adding blog articles to your website, let’s take a look at the primary reasons why blogging is beneficial. It can be hard to really visualize the importance of blogs, from an online marketing standpoint, without looking at the facts. Here are the main advantages to consider:
With a blog, you have the perfect opportunity to use specific keywords on your website and boost your search engine optimization. Keywords should always be carefully selected based on their monthly search volume and the level of competition you face using that keyword. Using online resources, such as Google AdWords, you can determine which keywords or keyword phrases will be most effective and narrow down your focus towards a specific niche category.
Another search engine optimization benefit provided by regular article posting is the fact that search engines can see that your website is active and updated consistently. Search engines tend to place an emphasis on fresh content in search engine rankings.
By making sure that you are adding relevant content to your site and blogging about topics that your visitors will find useful, you’re increasing the likelihood that your visitors will share the blog posts on social media. To put it simply, there is no real reason for a visitor share a random page from a business website. A blog article, on the other hand, should contain useful information that a visitor may wish to pass along to their friends or family on Facebook, Twitter, and social media platforms. This creates social media chatter, another factor used by search engines in determining search engine rankings.
Blogging also helps you establish you and your business as a voice of authority and a leader in the specific niche that you are focused on. Write about what you know. Use your knowledge to help keep your customers informed and explain in detail – topics that are related to your products or services. Not only does this increase the chances of customers wanting to share your articles, you may even find others in the same industry using your blog articles as a reference on their own websites. This builds backlinks and helps place your business as a leading source of information in your industry.
How often you post is going to be up to you, but I’ve found that posting a new article at least once per week is the most effective way to benefit from blogging. The frequency of your posts is important for several reasons. First, it gives your regular visitors a reason to check back and visit your website more than once. Gaining repeat visitors is one of the most difficult parts of online marketing. Posting on a consistent basis also provides a bonus to your search engine optimization. It shows Google and other search engines that your website is updated regularly and is likely to contain relevant information.
There are many different options and techniques for promoting your blog posts. Every time you post a new blog article, a link should be shared to your social media profiles. This lets your social media followers know when a new article is posted, so you again gain that repeat traffic. Share your posts to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Also, make sure that your blog page contains links to your social media profiles. Your visitors should not have to search to find your social media profiles. And after reading a helpful article, they be more likely to start following you on Facebook or Twitter.
The topics of your blog articles will depend on your industry and your niche. Having a niche category within an industry helps you reach a target audience without as much competition. For my own business, I try to come up with a list of topics that I would like to discuss. Create a list and from there you can pick and choose what topics you want to cover during any particular week. Try to branch out and offer a wide range of blog articles, while ensuring you are still covering information that is relevant to your niche category. It’s also a good idea to post articles that are at least 500 words in length. This gives you enough room to create a helpful article, which can be expanded upon as needed
Blogging is definitely a necessity for any modern business. It offers some of the best ways to reach more people, gain more social media followers, and show potential customers that you know what you are talking about. Blogging helps build trust between you and your customers, by providing content that they can actually use.
There are many different ways to get started with blogging, but I suggest you begin by looking at your entire online marketing approach. Increasing your web presence is the primary goal behind business blogging. By combining blogging with a quality website, regular social media activity, targeted email lists, and other online marketing techniques, you can create a successful strategy for expanding your web presence.
If you want to learn more about blogging and how your business can benefit, look over some of my other articles. I also offer a complete Web Presence Seminar that breaks down each of the steps involved in promoting your business through online marketing. Thank you for reading and feel free to contact me with any questions.
Do you hate spam? I’m sure you probably do and you are not alone. Businesses have been using targeted email lists since the beginning of the internet. It is a commonly used method for promoting a business, but there can be a fine line between sending out informative emails and sending out spam.
Using an opt in email list, you can keep your customers up-to-date with your latest products, services, or promotional sales. Overall, it’s a great way to keep your customers informed, when used correctly; however, if you do not follow proper email techniques, you may drive your existing and potential customers away. The last thing you want to do with any email list is end up unintentionally spamming your potential customers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start planning your targeted email campaign:
Your email list should be created through an opt in setup, where users that choose to receive emails from you sign up to be added to your email list. There are many different ways to acquire new registrations to your list. You could provide giveaways, such as training videos or instructional PDFs, promote your business through social media, or include a registration/subscription option on your website. In fact, you may even want to combine different methods of acquiring users or consider creating multiple email lists focused on various categories of products or services.
During your search for targeted email campaign info, you may have come across websites that offer to sell you email lists. Here is why buying email lists is a bad idea:
This is never a good idea, as you never know whether these customers have any interest in your specific products or services. These lists are typically sold and passed around various groups and businesses without the consent of the names and email addresses on the list. Your best bet is to skip these lists all together and develop your own curated list.
Having an opt in email list is the perfect opportunity for direct sales and marketing. You are reaching out to people that chose to receive emails from you, but you may want to avoid sending out too many emails. For example, a customer that receives an email from you several times a day might eventually think of your emails as spam, and request to be removed from your list. Setup an email schedule, such as once per week or every two weeks. You should also pick a day of the week for sending out your emails. Customers will come to expect emails from your business on these days and know to look out for them.
The main goal of any marketing material should be to inform and educate your potential customers. The same is true with sending out emails; though, you have the option to gear your email content more towards promoting products or services. Remember, the people on your email list chose to signup to receive emails. While you shouldn’t throw a heavy sales pitch at the people on your email list, you can offer informative details about a specific product or service. I like to use an 80/20 rule when sending emails to my list.
Even though it is possible to manage a reasonably sized email list without the need for additional software, there are quite a few programs out there that are designed for the management and scheduling of an opt in email list. Some of these programs will even help you create registration options, whether you want to include a signup form on your website, in a social media post, or as part of a giveaway. These programs can be especially useful when managing multiple lists or lists that contain hundreds of emails. Several of these email campaign programs are available for free, with a limit on the number of emails in a list, while other programs may require a monthly fee.
If you pay attention to how you go about acquiring names and emails for your targeted email list, you should have no problem avoiding spamming your list. Allow people to opt in and opt out of your email list, create a schedule for sending out emails, and consider what information you want to include in your emails. Basically, think about what you would do when you receive emails from a business. How often do you receive them? What type of content do they contain? Creating a targeted email list does not have to be a complicated process, just take the time to use this marketing technique wisely.
Thanks for reading, if you want to learn more about targeted email lists or any other aspect of online marketing, feel free to send me a message or browse some of the other content on my site.
If you are new to the world of online marketing, you may not be familiar with the term web presence. Essentially, your web presence is how your brand is perceived on the web and how much exposure your business receives. There are a lot of different working parts that directly effect how your business is reflected online. For those that want to increase the chances of running a successful business online, I suggest you learn more about web presence and how to create and develop it.
Expanding your web presence is a major part of online marketing. In fact, the goal of most forms of online marketing and search engine optimization is to build better brand awareness and attract potential customers. You want to be able to reach as many people as possible or at least as many people in your target demographic as you can. In order to do this, you need to pay attention to several different factors:
In this day and age, every business should have a website. This is the core of your web presence and provides an online location that can always be used to give your customers additional info on your products or services. There are a couple different routes that you can take when having a website built – you can create the website yourself using website builder software or hire a professional web designer to build a site that represents your business. If you plan on adding your own blog articles, using a platform such as WordPress can be incredibly helpful. A professional web developer can get the website up and running and then you can continue to update it by releasing new blog articles on a consistent schedule.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of ensuring your website appears in search engine results pages. When a user searches for a specific keyword, search engines then provide them with a list of websites that, according to their search engine algorithms, the user will find most relevant. Above all else, content is the number one priority when it comes to SEO. Search engines want to provide users with information that they will actually find useful.
Another aspect of SEO includes focusing on a specific keyword or keyword phrase throughout the content of a web page or blog article, while making sure that the keyword appears in the content in a natural way and is not over-used.
Those are just a couple of the main parts involved in good SEO; though, you or your web development team may also seek out quality backlinks, add meta data to a page or post, and submit sitemaps to search engines.
There are a lot of options when planning social media posting. A general rule that I use for all forms of marketing is the 80/20 rule. I seek to connect and educate my target audience 80% of the time and then offer solution based products 20% of the time. This same rule should not only be applied to social media posting, but any form of marketing, including emails and blog articles. Consumers want helpful information and by providing informative content 80% of the time, you can begin building trust with your potential customers.
Email marketing can be incredibly effective, as long as you take care not to spam your potential customers. These are not unsolicited emails. The people that opt-in to your email list should perceive a real value in what you send them, otherwise, they may be likely to send your emails to the spam folder or request to be removed from your email list. Try to avoid pressure selling or filling up your target audience’s inbox with constant emails. As with any other content that is delivered through your business, ensure you are sending out useful information.
Offering stuff for free has been a staple of marketing and promotion since businesses first began promoting themselves. People enjoy receiving free items and are more likely to visit a business, either in-person or online, when they have received a free giveaway. This same technique can be used online, by offering giveaways that have a real value for the type of customer that you want to attract. This can include free PDFs, instructional videos, or even free services. Requiring users to opt-in to your email list before receiving the free gift is also a great way to start building your targeted email list.
With all aspects of your online marketing, you should be focused on integrity, openness, and honesty. Consumers are intelligent and know the difference between informative content and pressure selling. Remain open and honest with your customers. Provide them with real facts about your products or services. Your #1 priority is to build trust, credibility and authority in you niche. If you do this, your services will sell themselves.
As you can see, a lot goes into managing the web presence of a business, and we haven’t even covered everything that is your disposal. While there are many ways to increase and manage your web presence, it does not have to become an overly complicated task. In the end, remember to treat your customers with respect and honesty. Whichever aspect of online marketing you are working on, stick with the thought process that you should be providing relevant information that you customers will actually find beneficial.
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about building a web presence for your business. If you want further information on online marketing, SEO, email lists, or any of the other topics discussed, check out some of my other articles or send me a message.
The internet can be a large, scary world, when you are unfamiliar with the landscape and do not know where to turn. Having others that can guide you in the right direction and keep you from heading down the wrong road can help you to avoid the pitfalls of running a business online and getting lost in the web. With the aid of your peers, the internet can change into a bright, open environment full of opportunities.
As a business owner, it is important to build an online presence, not only to promote products and services, but to allow potential and existing customers a method of viewing everything that the business has to offer while keeping the customer informed – regardless of the industry. For those that are interested in growing their business online, take a moment to discover the benefits of joining an online business community.
The best place to start, when discussing online business communities, is with the chance to learn from others. It can be surprising to discover how helpful other business owners can be when they are presented with a question from a peer. People should not be afraid to ask anything – which is true in so many different facets of life. They may never discover the solution they need unless they are willing to ask for guidance. This is a major part of what these communities are for. When someone needs help understanding how to promote a website, how to target a specific demographic, how to increase traffic to a website, or has any other question related to doing business online – an online business community is there to help. There is great joy to be found in helping others by providing an answer to their problem, which also brings us to the next benefit.
The more you put in the more you can get back. Gaining knowledge from others is great, but it is also important to think about sharing knowledge and resources. Return the favor by helping others in the community whenever the opportunity arises. If you notice that someone needs help with a specific issue that you have dealt with before, then send them a message. Not only are you helping a fellow business owner, you are establishing a relationship that could assist you in the future. Building trust and confidence among the community, people are more likely to help each other out when it comes to peer referrals.
Working with others in similar fields or in the same industry, there may be times when a member of your community is unable to accommodate the needs of a specific client. Instead of showing this client the door, they may refer them to a suitable member of their community, whether they feel that their own skillset is not a good match for the client or they are simply too busy with other projects. These peer referrals are all part of the larger picture – working together to create a better sense of community, while ensuring every client receives the best service possible.
Why is that people are more likely to succeed when they join a community? In addition to everything described above, perhaps the largest benefit is the inspiration and motivation that it can provide. Checking in with a community on a regular basis, business owners get to see all the new developments, products, and services their peers are coming up with. This provides motivation and inspiration to keep working towards individual objectives; and when you get stuck in a rut, your helpful community members may be able to provide some insight or suggestions to get you back on track.
There are many different ways to find and join business communities online. Business owners can use social media to connect with similar businesses, join online forums and groups, check local business associations in their city for in-person meet and greets and community organizations. Soon you will be able to learn from others in your field, share your knowledge with others, gain peer referrals, and get the motivation you need to keep yourself focused on your ambitions.
Once you find an online business community, the benefits described above are just the beginning, there are many different ways to join a community with similar goals and interests as yourself. Whether you search for Facebook groups and Google Plus communities or find an active forum related to your skills and expertise, the internet is a lot more enjoyable and beneficial when you connect with others.
That is a major part of my goal as the Denver WordPress Guru. I want to help businesses succeed, not just setup a WordPress website for them and move on to the next project. Through continual support and by building towards a larger business community, we can all help each other to reach our individualized ambitions while creating a better marketplace for our customers. Be sure to take a moment to browse through the rest of my site and learn a little more about how we can work together to realize your objectives.
In this day and age, as a business owner, you cannot ignore the power of the internet. The simple truth is that if you want more people to know about your products and services then you need an active online marketing strategy.
For those that are unfamiliar with running a business online, don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through the main steps towards building an effective online marketing strategy. This is a mostly painless process and you will come out the other side better equipped to market your business.
Before you can truly start marketing your business online, you will need a solid website. The steps you take towards attracting customers are geared towards getting people to visit your site. Get a website up and running that looks and functions in a way that reflects your business and makes a strong impression on your visitors; though, it can’t be all bells and whistles – you need informative content. Content is King! It is the main reason your customers have for coming back to your site. Your customers are also more likely to share helpful content with their friends, family, and co-workers or recommend your site and services.
The goal of an effective marketing strategy is to drive traffic to your website, however, if the content on your site is of little value – your audience will not come back for more, your traffic will not grow and your business could receive negative word-of-mouth. So you need to have an easy to navigate website full of helpful information that your customers will benefit from and share with others.
Some business owners shy away from email marketing, even scoff at the idea of sending out mass emails, but that is the wrong mindset to have. An opt in email list is not spam! It is a list of people that have CHOSEN to subscribe to your mailing list because you offered them a gift with real value that pertains to their interests and your business.An opt in email list is not spam! Click To Tweet
I’ll give you a quick example – my business revolves around helping online start-ups increase their web traffic. So I set up a landing page with a video entitled “5 Ways to Double Your Traffic in One Month”. In order to view the helpful video, all they have to do is submit their email address.
That’s just one example of how to start building an opt in email list. You are creating the gift of value for your targeted audience; reaching out to potential customers with relevant information that they will benefit from. Your audience is getting something out of it and you are getting something out of it. It may take some time to build your targeted email list, but never make the mistake of buying an email list. Those promotions are often a scam and you could end up shooting yourself in the foot – creating a bad reputation for your business, getting added to spam filters, and losing the trust of potential customers.
It seems that just about everyone, from Grandma to school kids, is using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks. In fact, a large portion of daily internet usage is devoted to these websites. Research shows that in 2014, 71% of adults used Facebook*, while 23% of adults have a Twitter account. Overall, 74% of all internet users are part of at least one social media network. As of March 2015, Facebook has over 1.4 billion users and Twitter had reached 288 million active users. Ignoring that market base could be detrimental to your success.As of March 2015, Facebook has over 1.4 billion users and Twitter had reached 288 million active users. Click To Tweet [su_frame align=”center”][/su_frame]
*stats courtesy of https://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/[su_frame align=”right”][/su_frame]Once you get your website up, get your business’s Facebook page and Twitter account set up. They provide a great opportunity for reaching more people. Use social media to drive traffic to a mailing list landing page on your website. Tell engaging stories with relevant information that people can actually use. Link back to specific pages on your website. Starting a discussion or posting interactive forms are a couple of useful methods of getting feedback from your audience. Learn from their comments, listen to what they have to say about the information you provide. Answer any questions that come up and honestly engage your target audience.
Social media advertising is another option to consider. Facebook paid advertising can get your message to hundreds of thousands of people at very little cost – great bang for the buck! Even Twitter is getting involved in advertising and now offers affordable ways to promote your tweets to Twitter users.
Using Social media to drive appropriate traffic to your mailing list landing page, telling stories relevant to your business with links to specific pages, posting interactive forms that ask questions so you can get valuable feedback about the types of problems you should be solving for your audience.Facebook paid advertising can get your message to hundreds of thousands of people at very little cost - great bang for the buck! Click To Tweet
One of the most under-utilized forms of marketing online is video, yet it has been shown to be the most effective. You don’t need a large production budget to put together a quality video that provides your potential customers with helpful, relevant information about your services or products. Use high traffic environments, such as YouTube, to post informative videos. Link back to a specific page or article on your website or include opt-in subscription buttons.
Everyone likes free stuff. Create giveaways that have a real value to your customers. Whether you offer discounts on services or free products, your first step is decide what your goal is. Do you want to gain more subscribers for your mailing list or maybe sell a specific product? Determine your goal, choose what you are giving away, and decide how long you want the giveaway to last. Come up with the details of the giveaway, including rules and restrictions, and then set up a landing page where details are provided. When you are ready to start running your promotion, tweet about and share the info on Facebook to get the word out. If your giveaway has real value, it will attract your target audience.If your giveaway has real value, it will attract your target audience. Click To Tweet
Each of the individual strategies discussed so far can go a long way towards increasing your online presence and attracting customers, but they are much more effective when they work together. Above all else, the content you deliver on your website should be a primary concern. Your overall goal is to drive traffic to the informative content on your website – so remember that content is king. Use your site to create relevant blog articles and then share these stories on social media. Engage people on social media and get a discussion going, link back from your videos to specific landing pages on your site, and create giveaways to gather subscribers.
The whole process has a trickle-down effect, with the end result being more traffic for your site and a stronger connection with your customers. Before moving forward, understand that this can take some time – be patient, develop your strategies, and continue learning from your mistakes and successes. If you want to have a successful business, there is no easy, quick magic bullet. You are going to have to put in some hard work. Study, learn, and research – fail forward, pick up the pieces, and keep on moving towards your goals.
SEO is a term that I am sure most people have heard tossed around in discussions and articles about business websites, but what exactly is SEO? First off, SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and if you consider the term, it is a fairly direct phrase. With SEO, a web page is being optimized for search engines, ensuring they can properly inspect a website and gather accurate information about the web pages. But that is just a generalization of SEO, there is much more to it, and using a website platform, such as WordPress, can streamline and improve the process of optimizing a website for search engines. Learn more about how search engine optimization is crucial to getting noticed online and how WordPress can help.
The primary goal of SEO is to increase web page rankings on SERPs (yes, I am throwing another term at you), which stands for “search engine results pages”. When an internet user performs a search, the search engine provides a list of pages that they have determined will be most relevant and most helpful to the user’s search query. In order to determine the relevance of web pages, search engines employ a number of techniques and complicated algorithms, but first, they must look at a variety of criteria on the millions of web pages out there.
Search engines “crawl” web sites and create a record of what they find. They will follow the links on the pages, scroll through the content, and add information to their databases. While search engines use hundreds of pieces of specific information to determine SERP rankings, there is a handful of areas that every website owner should pay attention to. This includes the content of the web page, the use of a keyword phrase or phrases to focus on, the number of back-links to the page, the amount of social media sharing that links to the page, structure and layout of the page, as well as page load time. Ensuring a web page is setup with this criteria in mind in order to increase rankings on SERPs is the main focus of SEO.
The more often a website appears towards the top of SERPs, the more visitors that page will get. If you want to increase your online exposure, your website needs to include proper SEO techniques.If you want to increase your online exposure, your website needs to include proper SEO techniques. Click To Tweet
Okay, now that we covered the basics of what SEO is and why it is important, we should discuss how WordPress can help. With WordPress, a website is built from a theme and then edited and re-designed to meet the needs of each business. Once the site is built, a template is in place that each web page on the website will use. The web pages get added using the WordPress dashboard, which includes many enhancements that can help improve SEO, such as:
The WordPress dashboard makes it easy to ensure each new page has a custom title and description that is specific to that page and not auto-generated by search engines using the first sentence from the web page. Focus keyword phrases can easily be added to the title and description as the page is created.
Taxonomy is another area where WordPress helps improve SEO – namely the use of categories and tags, which are a useful function provided by WordPress. As a web page is created, categories and tags are chosen to help relate similar content from the website. If you think of your website as a large book full of useful information, the categories are individual chapters and the tags are like the index. This helps user navigation and search engine optimization. WordPress actually creates an additional web page each time a category or tag is added. The additional internal links generated by these pages increases a website’s overall SEO.
Whenever adding an image to a webpage, both the TITLE and “ALT” tags should be filled out to include brief descriptions of the image. The purpose of the ALT tag is to help those that are visually impaired and relying on a program to read them the content of a webpage or if the image fails to load; though, over time, the use of ALT tags has become a determining factor in SERP rankings and offers an additional opportunity to use focus keyword phrases. WordPress has made it simple to add images and has included a spot for entering text for both the TITLE and ALT tags each time an image gets added to a page.
WordPress itself can provide numerous SEO benefits, but one of the largest advantages is through the use of quality plugins. By adding an XML sitemap plugin, the sitemap automatically gets updated each time a new web page is added. Some of these sitemap plugins will even resubmit the updated sitemaps directly to the top search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. Other than sitemap plugins, there are a variety of useful plugins that focus on good SEO techniques, such as WordPress SEO by Yoast. These plugins will allow a user to choose a specific keyword phrase for each web page and then keep track of how often it gets used throughout the page as well as verify that all search engine optimization techniques are followed before the page gets published. Best of all, many of these WordPress SEO plugins are free to use and updated on a regular basis.WordPress itself can provide numerous SEO benefits Click To Tweet
Search engine optimization does not have to be an overly complicated process; though, the amount of competition and the number of people working to make sure their own websites, or websites belonging to their clients, achieve the highest search rankings does increase the stakes. By using WordPress, and possibly a helpful WordPress plugin, anyone can ensure their website is using quality SEO. If you want to learn more about the benefits of good SEO and using WordPress for the design of your own custom website, then please take a look at some of my other articles or send me a message.