Online Strategy: A Blog is No Longer Optional for Businesses of All Types

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onlineBlogging is one of the most cost-effective and results-oriented methods of marketing your business online
Source:
Pixabay

Most business owners utopian profit vision is based on a desire to acquire more traffic and better Google rankings without using paid online or social media advertising. That in itself is not remarkable but what is, is that one of the most simple means of achieving all this – namely through quality blogging – is so under-utilised by companies. In the United States, 99% of businesses are small ones, yet 60% of them still have to establish an online presence. Undeniably, this is simply illogical and growth stunting business sense.

As cliche as it may sound, your website is your digital storefront and you need to attract more inbound traffic. In short, you’re missing the bulk of the lion’s share of selling potential should you ignore the need to make your products or services known online.

Nearly 80% of searches from mobile devices result in a purchase, and the number of purchases jumped nearly 40% year-on-year in just one 12-month period monitored in the last seven years.

How your blog builds your online presence

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Want to build or increase your email list? Lead generation through blogging is the most effective way of doing this. Source: Pixabay

Almost 52% of the world’s population will have a smartphone by 2019, with a large percentage of mobile searches dedicated to finding a product or service, or comparing quotes. These little handheld computers – which smartphones essentially are – have long changed the shopping patterns and the way marketing works in general. This is the desired traffic that all industries are dedicated to attracting.

But getting traffic is meaningless if it’s not converted into sales. It’s the reason why clever marketers include a call-to-action somewhere in or near the end of each blog. Entice your website visitor with something they want in exchange for their personal information. Typically, you’ll want their email. This is called lead generation because these are all potential leads that you could directly market to. So, what do you give away for free? It doesn’t have to be a product or buy-one-get-one-free kind of offer. It could be as simple as an enquiry form, an invitation to get a quote at no cost, a free booklet, specialised knowledge or monthly updates – there is always something the visitor to your site wants anyway, or they wouldn’t be there in the first place. A question they want asked. Insider information about your industry or products.

If we look at just one aspect of lead generation in the form of email marketing and why this is big news, one of the big factors – just as in SEO-building that we’ll get to later – is cost. Email marketing still totally outperforms both traditional and social media channels on all key criticals: cost, reach, and ROI. Social media behemoths have to fight it out for eyeball dominance based on market segmentations such as age, firstly: think Facebook versus Snapchat. On the other hand, opening and checking email is a daily reality for the vast majority of young and old, and many companies can attest to good sales driven as a result of low-  or zero-cost email campaigns.

As a marketing tool, blogging helps position you as a leader in your service provision or product field almost more than anything else. People search Google for ‘best’ this or that or just your product or service in a keyword every second of every day. Provided your basic SEO is right, they’ll land on your site and be swayed by your insight and the confidence you have in your own product, or ability to write on relevant topics. Much of this rests on ‘owning’ your content. Don’t bet on establishing yourself as a leader or the ‘best’ if you’re simply uploading generic content or spinning your competitors’ articles, for example.

Another essential to blogging success relies on reader attraction, while still being conscious of attention span and media overload. There’s no point putting up great content if the title lets you down. The title itself has to seduce someone into clicking on it. An important consideration, too, is that you would do well to insert keywords people are likely to be looking for in your title if you can, not just in your content. This will make your SEO efforts sizzle. Take this blog post on blackjack as a good example of a title: It contains the keywords such as ‘blackjack’ and ‘surrender’ which is highly likely to be what web searches in this online gaming genre are all about, among other keywords. It poses a question, which likely the reader wants answering; it also piques interest and ultimately gives the potential new player new information about a game they’re interested in. It is not so short as to lack meaning, nor so long as to be boring or clumsy.

In a nutshell, it is click-sexy. Applying the same logic, you can see why these other examples would work wonders as well. Which other kinds of titles also worked? Listicles tend to work well, in other words, numbered lists such as ‘Five of the best XYZ’ or ‘Ten reasons to try sushi’. For a real-life example, there is this article by a fitness magazine, focusing on the benefits of crossfit but phrasing it as “Top Ten Reasons to Try Crossfit”. As for links to your content and hits, use your own social media platforms to get this going. Make sure your content is so useful that people want to share it, and enable sharing buttons on your blog. This further strengthens your SEO.

SEO is the web’s gold standard

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SEO gets you noticed, builds your brand and attracts website traffic.

Source: Pixabay

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. We may as well say Google optimisation, given that it is by far the world’s largest search engine and receives 75% of all search traffic. So, it is the Google algorithm that matters. Yes, there are some technical aspects to SEO, and they are actually not hard to grasp. But the base barometer of it is that Google will rank your website based on mostly the quality of your content, the number of links you have to other quality sources and external sources that in turn link to you (therefore establishing you as an authority), and how often your blog.

Adding new content regularly shows Google that you are an active website and each new bit of content that is indexed also serves as a ‘ping’ to help remind Google to give you a stronger ranking. In other words, you’re dead in the water if you’re not blogging, to begin with.

After all, with an SEO strategy, you’re potentially making money even when you’re asleep or away on holiday. Somewhere someone is clicking on your content, which is creating a lead, which has an above-average chance of converting into a sale.

Given the cost, brand-boosting, lead generation, SEO and ultimately sales benefits of blogging, can you still think of a single reason why you should not be building your brand this way?

 

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