We see a lot of companies blogging nowadays, and if you’re running your own company, it’s probably making you wonder if you should start a blog too. Many companies wonder what the relevance is. You may be asking yourself, “How is it advantageous for me to blog for my company?” Potential customers in our current times are different than they used to be. You better bet that your company is “Googled” before a purchase or relationship is established with your company, and when they Google your company they’re looking for reviews and any content that you may have online. Blogs can be seen as an authority site for you in your industry. For example, if I’m running a jewelry store and I have a blog that has helpful posts on tips for buying engagement rings, how to clean your jewelry, what type of metal bands should I be looking for in a ring, etc. then odds are my customer will establish trust with me because they believe I have value to provide to them. It may not necessarily be realistic for you to blog on your own. Maybe you’re a horrible writer or you just don’t have the time. There are companies that can provide this service for you, but buyer beware, you’ll want to make sure that their writing skills reflect proper grammar and appear professional and knowledgeable. That being said, if you’re currently in the market to start a blog, or you have one already, here are a few simple tips that will guarantee you SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) success.
- Identify Personas – How do you know what to write if you don’t know who you’re writing to? What are your customers’ personalities? Who are you targeting for a customer relationship? For example, if I own a jewelry store I might want to target young women in their late 20’s who are searching for engagement rings. If gold buying is another section of my business, I might be targeting a different socioeconomic group. Compile a list of all potential prospects and begin writing blog posts that will peak the interest of those individuals.
- Make Your Unique Selling Proposition Crystal Clear – When people land on your blog, do they know what it’s about? Do they know you’re trying to sell jewelry or are there too many messages and too much clutter to tell right off the bat? Remember, you have very little time to retain the interest of an internet browser, so make those first few seconds count. If your reader can easily identify what your blog is about, and it matches their needs, they’ll be more likely to stay on and read some more. Make sure you have header graphics that make sense, with a tag line that explains exactly what you do.
- Keywords, Keywords, Keywords – Research both SEO and SMO keywords. For SEO, you can use Google Adwords’ free keyword tool to research keywords that are relevant to your industry and are “hot”. This will help users easily find your blog, as well as give you ideas for writing. For SMO keywords, you’ll want to use a tool like socialmention.com. These keywords will provide you with what readers in your current niche find interesting.
- Create Your Content Plan – Try not to just shoot from the hip with your blog. If you plan your blog out ahead of time, it will save you writer’s block and will be more strategic. Come up with a spreadsheet that consist of the following columns: Date, Title, Category/Topic, and Keywords. The Date column will be used to reference what day the post should be written/published. The Title column will consist of your post’s title. The Category/Topic column will consist of the proper category that you should attach the post to. Finally, the Keywords column will consists of specific keywords that you’d like to target for that post. Be flexible with your content plan, however. If late-breaking news comes out in regards to your industry, you’ll want to be able to write about it should you need to.
- Optimize – You will want to optimize your blog for both search engines and social networks. Again, this comes down to a combination of keyword research for both SEO and SMO as well as topic relevancy. Basically, help the search engines find you, and make it easy for those reading your blogs to share your information across social networks.
- Link Properly – Proper link structure is another beast of a topic all on its own. Suffice it to say that your internal links (links to pages within your own sites) should be relevant and provide the user a seamless experience. Try to make your content something that others would want to link to (external links). Proper internal link structure and lots of external links make Google think you’re doing a great job of providing relevant content to their browsers.
- Promote – That’s right! How will anyone find your content if you don’t promote it? We’re certainly not saying that you need to take every post and blast it across your social networks several times over. Be smart…make use of RSS Feeds, share your posts on your Facebook page, make sure LinkedIn is set to automatically parse new posts. Remember; don’t just promote your blog posts though. You should be promoting yourself at all times. Hop around some forums and provide value to others. The list of different ways to promote yourself can go on and on and on.