A blog is one of the most important features of any business website. Why? Because it’s the vessel for your company’s content, and as we all know, “content is king.”
Previously, writing any kind of content—regardless of quality—and stuffing it with keywords was a sure way to increase web traffic. However, there are two problems with this strategy: First, Google continuously updates its search engine algorithm to reward good content and punish bad content. Second, the purpose of creating good content for your inbound marketing campaign isn’t just to draw web traffic—it’s about educating/entertaining people and turning that traffic into a bevy of potential customers.
But, just having a blog isn’t going to miraculously make your inbound marketing efforts successful. The following are practices that you should employ to create an effective and successful blog strategy for your company’s website:
It doesn’t matter how many resources you pour into your blog; if the content you create for it isn’t good, it will ultimately fail. It’s just that simple!
The better your content is, the more likely it is that readers will return. Not to mention that the longer you create good content, the better your reputation will become amongst consumers and industry peers.
Use carefully researched keywords that are relevant throughout your blog, but only when and where they are suitable. Trying to force them into your content will only hurt the quality and could even hurt your search engine ranking. Places you should use your keywords include the body of your posts (obviously), anchor text, image descriptions, title tags, and meta descriptions.
You should try to find at least one image for each piece of content you publish on your blog. Internet users have short attention spans, which means that they are much more attracted to visuals than text. Not to mention that an image helps break up blocks of text, making the content more palatable. Just make sure the images you use are relevant, properly sized, and not copyrighted.
One of the new ways that Google determines website rankings is via social activity. Latest blog posts and other promotions should be shared on your social media profiles—ideally, more than once. By adding social share buttons to your blog content, you make it easy for readers to share it with their social circles on different social channels with just a click of a button.
Search engines also reward you for linking to other pages on your site. If a first-time reader stumbles upon a blog post, links referencing past posts on the subject or directing them to services/products you offer keeps them focused on you. It’s an easy way to build a relationship, further establish your credibility, and generally increase a visitor’s likelihood of becoming a customer.
While it may seem ridiculous to send your audience away from your website, doing so can actually help strengthen your search ranking. By sending readers to valuable information on other sites, you are helping to further their knowledge, which helps you appear more helpful and trustworthy. As a result of this good link karma, search engines will reward you for providing links to high quality sites, and the odds of links coming back in increase.
Many companies will produce a certain amount of content every week, then use automation to publish it at varying times of the day and week. Choosing these times is vital to getting as much exposure as possible for the content you are creating.
For example, if your buyer persona has an average age of 65, then releasing your content past midnight is probably not a good way to reach them. You need to use the information you have about your buyer persona in order to determine what times your content will get the most exposure. You’ll also need to make sure that you publish new content at the same time every time so readers know when to expect new content.
Using analytic tools to keep track of blog metrics is an important way to track the performance of your blog as well as the behavior of your readers. For example, you can track page visits, allowing you to see what content is most popular amongst your audience. You can also see which calls to action are the most effective and what content helps to capture the most leads.
Use these practices when creating and maintaining your blog in order to ensure that your inbound marketing strategy is as effective as possible. Even if you don’t embrace all of these techniques at once, chances are the rest will start to fall into place.