Posts

Most of the websites we create include blogs. We consider them a critical component of most websites and most successful SEO strategies.

However, blogging usually represents foreign territory for our clients. They’re unsure why it’s important or what they should write about. And if they’re not IT people, the whole process can seem intimidating.

For those just venturing into business blogging, here’s a basic explanation of why it’s is so darn important — and some quick tips on what to write about.

Why blog at all?

First off, there are too many websites for search engines to monitor in real time. Therefore, how often they crawl a given website depends in large part on how often new content is added.

For example, Google might crawl your website after an absence of three weeks. If new content has been added since then, Google will be more likely to return after only two weeks. And if there’s always new content, that’s a sure sign to Google that someone cares about this website. They’ll start crawling even more frequently.

Conversely, if Google never finds any new content on your site, their spiders might not return for a month or even longer. That means your site is going to do poorly in search results.

So adding new content to your site is a critical way of promoting your search rankings. And what’s the easiest place on a website to add new content? Your blog.

What in the world should I write about?

Once our clients get the importance of new content, they’re willing to start blogging. The next stumbling block? Figuring out what to write about.

Here are some fail-safe suggests.

  • Client problems and the solutions you provided
  • New developments within the company — new employees, a new office
  • Developments within the industry — Is there a new product available? What technology is pushing your industry to change?
  • Fun topics — company parties, company pets, a particularly interesting project
  • Writing specifically for keyword phrases. For example, a client of ours specializes in exterior home improvements and is interested in acquiring roofing leads. He and I created an article on energy-efficient roofing solutions, frequently linking from the article to his roofing page.

 

How do I do it?

I’m not going to belabor this point. Suffice it to say that once I sit down with a new blogger and show them the incredibly easy GUI that modern blogging platforms provide, they’re sold. They can see the parallels between Word and WordPress, and see how easy it is to make the leap.

A final suggestion

So this is the basic information I give to our clients about getting started with blogging. One final suggestion: In terms of content, don’t limit yourself —remember that nearly any content is helpful.

After all, Google learned what you’re selling the first time it crawled your site. It also probably knows 500 other websites selling the same thing. Start blogging and differentiate yourself by out-content-ing your competitors.

blog-socialmedia

One of our clients asked for advice on approaching different types of social media. She knew in theory that creating new content is good, but she wasn’t sure what content to put where.

“I have a blog, a Facebook fan page, and a Twitter account,” she asked us. “Should they all have different types of content? How often should I post on each one? Is there an easy way to replicate posts across different media?”

Starting from short content (Twitter) to longer content (blog posts), here’s our answer.

  • Twitter. There’s no real limit to how often you should post on Twitter. Things move quickly there, and it’s easy to miss people’s tweets, so posting frequently will give you a better chance of being seen and heard. In fact, it’s expected. If you’re not interacting pretty much every day, people will lose interest.Also, Twitter is supposed to be for socializing, so keep your posts conversational – people get pissed if you’re salesy. If you write business-related tweets, do it some 20% of the time, and make your tweets as un-pushy as possible.Because you want to tweet frequently, it’s fine to “push” your Facebook posts to Twitter (i.e., every comment you make on Facebook will show up on your Twitter account). However, it’s not a good idea to push your tweets to your Facebook page, because theoretically, you’ll have way too many posts. People get annoyed if you update your Facebook status 10 times a day – it’ll do you more
    harm than good.
  • Facebook. What you’re trying to do with Facebook is build a community around your brand. You want to start a conversation with your followers in the hopes that they’ll eventually use your page as a forum to talk about your company.To get the community started, about once a day, you can post thoughts, questions, polls, surveys, or anything that might get discussions started. If you can get to the point where you just monitor the page and chime in when questions are asked or problems arise, that’s ideal.
  • Blogs. Blogs are a great place to promote yourself and your company. The blog is on your site, and readers are expecting you to write about yourself. So you can be a little more salesy here.You should blog regularly –at least once a month, and ideally once every two weeks. Once a week is great if you have the time and content.Blogs can be used to answer FAQs, to talk about industry trends, or to announce new products, employees, or clients. Most importantly, blogs are great for letting your visitors and Google know that fresh content regularly appears on your site. If you have certain keyword phrases you’re going after, you can write entire articles about them, linking the phrases in the blog to the appropriate
    pages on your site.

    Pushing your blog articles to Facebook is a good idea. The content should be tied to the discussions on your Facebook page anyway, and the posts will sit on your page long enough to let multiple people see them. Pushing blog articles to Twitter is pretty much a waste of time –a one-time mention of a lengthy article will often be lost on Twitter users.

Overall, think of the different mediums as having different communication purposes. You can use Twitter and Facebook to interact with customers on a day-to-day basis, and then use your blog to talk less frequently, but more in depth, about issues that are important to them. With a good strategy in place and a little luck, you should soon have a strong following in each medium.