What is a Business Blog?
A business blog is a collection of written articles to help educate with helpful, valuable content for a specific target audience. Business blogs are designed specifically to draw prospects and customers to your website. Successful business blogs use buyer’s personas to focus their writing on their target audience. For more info, check out our free buyer’s persona guide and template file.
Why Does Your Business Need a Blog?
Well, do you want more web traffic, leads and customers? Here are some numbers:
- Companies that blog get 55% more website traffic than those that don’t blog.
- Companies that blog get 70% more leads than those that don’t blog.
- 57% of companies have acquired a customer through their blog.
How Does Blogging Work for Me?
Blogging influences SEO. Every blog page is indexed and counted as a webpage on your site by search engines. So each and every post you write gets published as its own, individual indexed page on your website.
Why are Indexed Pages So Important?
More pages equal a larger keyword footprint on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. This gives a business who blogs with educational, helpful and valuable content the ability to rank for the solutions they provide to industry related problems and needs.
Blogs are also a great way to connect and engage potential customers on their terms in a non-sales, non-threatening way. Business blogs provide a great opportunity to build some credibility by offering meaningful answers and solutions to prospects and customers searching online.
Imagine what you do when you conduct a search online. You’re looking for answers. You search as many web pages as needed to answer your question or satisfy your criteria. You look for content that speaks to you and fulfills your need. An effective business blog should do the same thing for your audience.
Business Blogging Benefits and Truths
- Blogs convert leads.
- Blogs give you real estate for conversion opportunities.
- Blogging also helps you to become an industry leader through education.
- Your blogs mark you as trustworthy when they are written to truly be helpful and educational; not to push a product or service.
- Blogs are a great place to showcase your expertise.
- Blogs are a great way to connect with new prospects, educate current customers and help you with your inbound marketing efforts.
Blogging Best Practices:
1. Write compelling Blog Titles
What makes a compelling blog Title*? Make them:
- Actionable ... “How to Create a Google+ Business Page in 5 Easy Steps”.
- Keyword-Conscious … “10 Things We Hate About Marketing Automation”.
- Brief … “101 Signs You’re an Inbound Marketer”.
- Clear … “6 Creative Ways to Make Content More Visual”.
- Definitive … “The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Pinterest for Marketing”.
- Intriguing … “Confessions of a Content Marketer”.
*Examples sourced from Hubspot.com.
2. Address one topic per post.
If you find you’re somewhere else than where you started, it’s time to break up your post. Posts should be about a page and a half to two pages long, about 600 words.
3. Write relevant, educational content.
Remember to build thought leadership and be a problem solver. Try to help your reader gain knowledge to solve their problem.
4. Blog consistently and frequently.
A sample percentage of business bloggers who acquired a customer through their blog*:
- Bloggers who publish less than monthly: 43%
- Bloggers who publish monthly: 56%
- Bloggers who publish weekly: 66%
- Bloggers who publish 2-3 times per week: 70%
- Bloggers who publish daily: 78%
- Bloggers who publish multiple times per day: 92%
*Source: State of Inbound Marketing, Hubspot, March 2012
5. Optimize for humans and search engines.
Publish content that’s on topic and important to your buyer personas. Publish a variety of content and don’t forget about SEO. Make sure you have a keyword in the title & URL page title. The meta description should make sense to humans, have keywords and not exceed 160 characters. Create high-quality content with keyword variations based on your buyer’s persona. Your image file names and alt tags should be in place and may also contain keywords.
6. Don’t forget about great formatting and imagery.
Here are some formatting best practices:
- Make your blog as long as it needs to be (>600 words).
- Use bolded text where appropriate.
- Include subheads, numbers, and bulleted lists.
- Include internal links to additional resources.
- Embrace white space.
- Use high-quality images.
7. Blog or miss out on lead conversion opportunities!
Remember that your blog has a huge lead generation potential.
- Include in-text links and calls to actions.
- Add calls to actions to your blog sidebar.
- Add a call to action to the bottom of each blog post you write.
- Make sure that the calls to action are relevant to what your blog post is about.