For years now, I have been expounding the value of blogging as a way of attracting visitors to a website. Nevertheless, I consistently see clients ignoring advice that I give them, and either stop blogging altogether, or simply use the blog as another way of advertising.
So the purpose of this article is, firstly, to explain why you should write and maintain a blog for your business, and then to explain what to put in it to attract clients.
So why should you set up and write a blog?
In a nutshell, the reason is to attract visitors from search engines. It’s as simple as that.
But why a blog and not simply a website? Web pages get indexed and listed by search engines in same way that blog posts do. After all blog posts are simply web pages as far as search engines are concerned.
But it’s much easier to get blog posts ranked well on Google than web pages. Here’s why:
- Google likes to see content that is updated frequently. Web pages tend to contain information that doesn’t change very often. Blogs on the other hand, if they are maintained properly and updated with fresh content, will get indexed and listed quickly by Google. I have seen some of my blog posts appear on the first page of Google in less than an hour after publication.
- Blog posts are much quicker to write than web pages. So you can quickly enhance your web presence with content, giving you more chances of being found on search engines. For example, if you have a 6-page website, that’s six separate pages that potential customers can find. However, if you add a blog to that 6-page site and write a new blog post every week, you will have 58 separate pages for customer to find on search engines.
- Blog posts are easier to optimize for search engines because they are mainly text-based. These days, trends in web design are resulting in web pages that contain a high proportion of images at the expense of traditional text-based web copy. This makes those web pages less susceptible to search engine optimization. Text-biased blog posts can easily be optimized with search engine friendly keywords.
- Blog posts are more suitable for Social Media. You can easily post updates to your blog posts on social media with link backs to the posts. You can, of course, do this for web pages but it works better for blog posts because they usually contain informational articles as opposed to product or service details.
So, in a nutshell, blog pages will get found and indexed with higher rankings than traditional web pages.
How should you write blog posts?
Blog posts should be written in such a way that they capture and retain people’s interest. That’s why you shouldn’t be posting simple adverts about your business and products. If you do, the blog simply becomes an extension of the website. Post “how to “ articles. Post news articles about your field of business. Publish your opinions on things related to your field of business, and don’t afraid to be controversial. Don’t try and please every potential reader. If you do your posts will be bland and uninteresting.
Let me draw an analogy to illustrate my point. Take cars. There is a difference between a car magazine and a car catalogue. Car magazines contains informational articles and opinions about cars. They are not just adverts for, or specifications of, cars. People read car magazines to inform themselves about the overall state of the car business, and to understand what’s good and what’s bad. Once they’re ready to buy, they use that information to make a choice and then move onto the car catalogues and the showrooms.
Your blog is the equivalent of the car magazine, and your web pages the equivalent of the car catalogue, in this analogy.
But don’t forget the keywords. Whilst your blog posts should be written primarily to interest people, they also need to attract search engines. So ensure that they are written to be search engine friendly, with appropriate keyword phrases in the right places.
Your blog articles should contain links to relevant areas of your website where you describe your products and services in detail. This is extremely important. There is no point in getting lots of visitors to your blog posts if all they do is read and click away. So include relevant links to relevant parts of your website.
It’s like a funnel. Visitors are attracted from search engines by your blog posts, which point them at your website pages where they get details about your products and services.
To use an analogy with a bricks and mortar store, you blog serves as your advertising and shop window, to attract potential customers into your store. Your website is your store where these potential customers can see your product ranges in detail.
Of course, just like the bricks and mortar store, getting potential customers into the store, or onto the web pages is only part of the story. The next bit, often the hardest, is to make the sale. But that’s the topic of another blog post.
Some other posts from this blog that you may be interested in: