With the rise of the digital age, there are plenty of ways to get your business’ voice heard, but don’t discount the importance of your blog. Business blogging is a valuable investment that your business should be putting time and consideration into.
You’ve probably heard it before: blogging provides the perfect platform for thoughtful, long form content that will help you better connect with your target audience. So your business started a blog and then what happened? Did you see the results you were hoping for?
If done well, blogging can enable your business to experience many benefits beyond just sharing information with your audience. It can help you increase conversion rates, generate awareness of both your business and the products or services you offer, and can even play a major role in helping you boost your search ranking. In fact, if you keep your blogs updated, lively, and informative, and your marketing engine can coast effortlessly to lead generation.
But, if you don’t know what it takes to create a successful blog, you might be wasting your time. In this post, I’ll provide tips on how to improve your blog so you can reap all of its benefits and move your business forward in the digital world.
1. Learn about your audience
Starting a business blog will give your company a chance to nurture your website visitors and build a sense of trust between your ideal audience and your brand. But to build genuine connections with your target audience, it’s important that you write about topics they care about and that match where they are in their customer journey.
With that in mind, you need to have a detailed understanding of the people you’ll be writing for. One great way to do that is to develop buyer personas. If you’ve never created buyer personas, or if you’re unsure how to create them, try out this buyer persona template from HubSpot. It will walk you through how to conduct research to build buyer personas and create a clear picture of your ideal audience.
Once you’ve defined who your audience is with your buyer personas, you can use tools like BuzzSumo or forums like Quora to learn about what your potential buyers are searching for and connecting with on social media. Understanding your audience and their needs will help you better tailor your content to them and their interests.
2. Interact with other blogs
With so many online blogs, making your blog unique might seem like a daunting task. Remember that your blog should be a part of the wider conversation regarding your brand and your industry. You should be linking to other blogs and sources of research whenever you write a new piece of content. This can lead to an increased amount of sites backlinking to your own site, too.
While it may seem counterintuitive, you want other sites to grab your information, as long as they give you credit by linking back to your original content. Backlinks are like online referrals, with other sites saying they think your information is so good they’re pointing others there.
As you garner backlinks, search engines note the popularity of your site and move it up in search rankings. So, treat your links to other sites as networking tools to help improve the authority and relevance of your business.
Your blog needs to be a reliable source for your readers. Sporadic blog posts are frustrating for people who are interested in what your blog is saying! This means that you should be organizing what you post and when you post it.Consistency is key to building a steady audience that repeatedly comes back for more and moves through your sales pipeline.
If you haven’t already, consider creating a content calendar for your blog to help you better plan out your posts. Whether you choose to post every day, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, make sure you keep a regular schedule so that your readers know when to check out your latest content.
4. Highlight your products and services
Blogging isn’t necessarily about selling to your customers directly, but don’t underestimate the power of well-written blog to help convert prospects. Sharing information delivers a valuable sample of what you have to offer. In fact, did you know that 57 percent of the purchase decision is already complete before customers even call the supplier?
That means that most of the buying journey has taken place digitally before the customer has contacted a sales rep. So, your blog articles should act as an introductory sales person, highlighting the benefits of your products or services to help accurately inform your prospective customers.
One of the best ways to attract more readers is to produce highly valuable content. This works on two levels. The first is that your current readers will recognize that you have depth of knowledge in your field and will continuously turn to you whenever they have a question pertaining to your industry. Think Neil Patel and Brian Dean, both of whom are marketing gurus with a huge following because they’ve proven themselves to be credible experts through their online content.
It’s similar to a test drive. Most auto buyers take a test drive before falling in love with a vehicle. Even those who have the willpower to walk away to “sleep on it” are drawn back. Your blog should do the same for your business. Readers click in, read, and cruise away; but you will inevitably pull them back for more if you’ve provided them with helpful content.The second level has more to do with your search rank and how it drives traffic.
Google’s number one goal is to create an incredible user experience, and it does that by providing searchers with the most relevant answer to their search query.So, if you’ve written the most valuable blog post on Google RankBrain (Iike Brian Dean did here), then Google will recognize that through your website analytics and will reward you by placing you higher on the SERPs. And we all know, the closer you are to the top of the results page, the more clicks you’ll attract.Not sure how to write valuable content? Check out this video from Moz on how to 10X your content.
Your blog should be a knowledgeable resource for users, but you need to be careful not to sound too removed from your audience. Readers want to feel like their engaging with a resourceful community, not being lectured by an anonymous source. You can achieve this by focusing on the tone and style of your writing.
Use your blog to generate action and gather user details (subscribe to a newsletter, follow, like, respond to a poll, etc.). Get them to interact with you, and be sure you give them some incentive to share their contact information with you.If your readers message you on social media or write a comment at the end of your post, make sure you respond. One major key to a successful blog is to build a relationship with your readers, and engagement is a sure way to help you build those relationships and increase your readership.
7. Write well
This seems like a pretty obvious tip, but it’s important nonetheless. Your blog should be easy to digest, so make sure to maintain a conversational tone and keep your paragraphs and sentences short. Incorporating pictures and white space throughout your post will help break up large chunks of text that are harder to read/focus on.And, always triple check for grammar and spelling mistakes. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but multiple typos can count against your credibility and can easily convince readers to click out of your post. Try using tools like Grammarly to catch errors before you hit the publish button.
8. Focus on topics, not just keywords
SEO is part art, part math, part mystique. With search algorithm updates like Google’s RankBrain, search engines are getting better at understanding searcher intent, rather than just matching results to the keywords in the query.With this in mind, the best way to improve your rank is to prove you’re an expert on topics as a whole. One way to do that is to write quality content (see tip number five above) and the other is to write about various aspects of the same topic.
For example, if you’re a jeweler, you can write about the many aspects of purchasing an engagement ring, such as “How to Determine a Ring Budget that’s Right for You,” and “Why Cut is More Important than Clarity,” and “Diamond Alternatives for the Nontraditional Bride.”By writing multiple helpful posts about a given topic, rather than simply stuffing various keywords into one post, you can establish topical authority, and over time, Google will recognize you as the best resource for anyone searching about engagement rings.For more information about gaining topic authority, check out this post on how to create topic clusters.
Stick with it and see the results
If your business has started a blog, but you haven’t seen the results you were hoping for, try implementing these 8 simple tips to improve your blog. Don’t get discouraged if your blog traffic doesn’t skyrocket right away.As is common with content marketing, it may take a few months for your content to get indexed by search engines, but if you remain a consistent source for original, high-value articles, you’ll reap the benefits of blogging in no time.