With the increasing ease of publishing content online, the blogosphere has expanded exponentially over the last decade. Platforms such as WordPress and Google’s Blogspot have made hosting and managing a blog that much more simple. There are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the US, and on WordPress alone, over 33 million posts are published every month.
Content remains one of the most influential factors that search engines use to rank a website. For this reason, coupled with the potential that social media offers online marketers, companies serious about their online presence will be regularly posting top-quality content on their own blogs. Having said that, less than 50% of businesses post at least once a month. This is your chance to get ahead of the game and expand your online presence and conversions through a commercial blog.
Below we have outlined just the basics that need to be considered when setting up or resurrecting a company blog.
Content is naturally of upmost importance. The type of content you will want to publish depends upon your industry and brand. However, whatever you publish, make sure that it is worthwhile content that followers will want to read; content that offers value. Instead of merely pushing promotions, deals and self-congratulatory subject matter, it’s better to forget about your own products or services for a second to focus on a subject that is related to your field, but not to your sales.
If you find yourself posting blog posts just for the sake of it, desist. Fluff and filler is worse than nothing at all. You will only reap the rewards of a blog if you exert some energy in to creating eloquent and well-researched content. Yes, this will take time. In fact, if doesn’t take time, it is probably not worth publishing in the first place.
For each piece of content that you produce, it is worth basing it around a handful of keywords, and perhaps even one principal long-tail keyword. ‘Top Hidden Islands in Thailand’ for example, or ‘Alternative Thanksgiving Recipes’.
Again this largely depends upon your company. If you are posting purely as ‘The Brand’, then it is important to ensure that everyone who writes content is able to use the same voice. You will need to decide what kind of voice you wish to write with, whether it is casual with a splattering of banter or if a more earnest tone is preferable.
If you are already active on social media, then you most likely already have a brand voice to use. If different colleagues are posting articles under their own name, then it is still important to have a central, unifying conception of what the purpose of the blog is, even if each post displays plenty of individuality.
There are those in the online marketing world who say that conversation is more important than content. Yet this is likely not yet the case, but due to the growing sphere of social media, it is very likely that engagement with followers and customers will become more important than simply putting things in front of their face.
If active on social media, you will probably already have a policy on how to interact with customers and followers on these platforms. When creating your blog, you will want to decide whether or not to enable comments. Interaction under blog posts is a great way to stimulate engagement and begin to build up your own little online community. However, unchecked comments will attract spammers and trolls. If you enable comments, you will need to prune habitually.
Finally, it is important to utilize various tools so that you are able to track how your blog is faring. Google Analytics (which you are likely already using to monitor your website) is free and comprehensive. Google Alerts and the Fresh Web Explorer Alerts from Moz are both handy in tracking how often and when your posts are being shared.
Content is too often taken to refer to purely text. However, the content umbrella also incorporates pictures, video and podcasts. When rich in quality, these are all sure winners when it comes to site-visitor impressions and reducing bouncerate. Search engines cannot (yet) see, watch and listen to this content. Therefore to ensure that they show up on SERPs, give each meta titles and descriptions containing the relevant keywords.
This post here can point you in the direction of useful content marketing tools.
All this can start eating up webspace. If you find yourself producing a lot of rich content, it is worth looking at a dynamic cloud server like this one offered by 1&1, which will help you avoid going over your set limit and paying heavy bills.
Apart from that, Happy Blogging!
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