Publishing a blog is not just something that bloggers do. Every website should have a blog, indeed, organisations from across all sectors benefit from them. Why? Because they fulfil a range of important purposes that standard website content cannot. Here, we’ll explain why your website needs a blog and how to get started.
Why you need a blog
One of the primary reasons for having a blog is to improve your SEO and get more visitors to your website. To rank well in search results, search engines want to see that your website is active and relevant. Active means its content is regularly updated and relevant means that the information on there is up-to-date. If the products and services your business offers rarely change, there’s little need to update your existing information. A blog, however, gives you the opportunity to add new and relevant content without constantly having to rejig your most important pages. What’s more, blog posts enable you to target alternative keywords that you aren’t yet ranking for.
A second reason for blogging is that it is a proven marketing tool. By writing useful articles that help readers find solutions to problems or answers to questions, you are able to grow a larger audience to whom you can also explain the value of using your products or services. Done subtly, rather than as a hard sell, this form of content marketing can significantly boost sales.
A final reason for having a blog is to improve the customer experience. Today’s consumers expect much more from the companies they use than they used to. Providing user with a blog that contains useful advice and information shows them that you are committed to helping your visitors. It lets them know that you are user-orientated rather than purely driven by sales and this improves your reputation, increases loyalty and gives the customer a better experience.
Getting started with your blog
To blog successfully, you need to commit to posting regular articles, at least once a month, on topics that are relevant to the niche you operate in, are of benefit to your customers, that enable you to promote your products and services and which contain keywords that you want your site to rank for. Before you do this, you will obviously need to do some keyword research and consider what topics your blog is able to address.
When it comes to the subject matter of your content, start by considering how your own expertise can be of benefit. Make a list of all the questions and problems that customers have in your niche (keyword research can help you with this) and if you have the expertise to offer answers and solutions, you have a list of potential blog posts. If you can mention your products or services as helping with those solutions, even better.
Once you have the ideas for content, further keyword research will help you discover the search terms that people use to find the subject matter you are going to blog about. Including these in your titles, meta descriptions and content will help your blog posts rank better and get a wider audience of interested readers.
You should then plan the order in which you want to publish your posts. Rather than posting random articles, your blog will be more cohesive when topics naturally progress as some things necessarily need to precede or follow others. At the same time, you may want to consider the timing of some posts in order to tap into seasonal interest. A fashion retailer, for example, will want to write about ‘This Year’s Hottest Beachwear Trends’ before people leave for their summer holidays.
Key things to remember
If you want your blog to be successful, there are a number of important things you need to remember. First and foremost, what you write needs to be of high quality. This goes beyond ensuring that you’ve checked spelling and punctuation, the real importance is in the quality of the information you provide. Not only does it need to be accurate, useful and of value, it also needs to be readable for your intended audience. So don’t overdo the jargon and write in a style and manner that is easy for them to understand.
Another important factor is that your content is original. This doesn’t necessarily mean no-one else has posted on the same subject matter before, but it does mean that you can’t simply regurgitate what others have said. It needs to be written in your own unique way and offer something different to what others have put out there. Avoid using the same titles as others too.
Finally, remember that your content doesn’t have to be all text. Adding images, videos and infographics can increase engagement and help you explain things more clearly.
A blog can bring tremendous benefits to any website. It improves SEO and thereby increases organic traffic, and the new and returning customers who come to visit learn to trust the brand and develop a loyalty to it. The outcome for most businesses with these growing numbers of loyal customers is, ultimately, better sales. Hopefully, the information provided here will help you get your own blog up and running.
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