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Businesses that blog attract 55 percent more visitors to their websites than businesses who don’t, according to HubSpot. They also generate 97 percent more inbound marketing links and a whopping 434 percent more indexed web pages. On average, blogging reduces business’ lead generation costs by 62 percent.
To sum it up: blogging brings leads. But your blog is going to collect digital dust bunnies if you’re not using the right practices. Writing a blog for your own business isn’t always as easy as it sounds, but there are a few SEO secrets that will make it worth your while: Don’t use keywords that are too competitive.
1. Don’t be broad when selecting the keywords you want to use and promote for your business blog post. General keywords like “food” are too competitive and, therefore, too difficult to search. Your content will be easier to find with specific, long-tail keywords such as “vegan birthday cake recipes” instead.
Your potential customers will have to do a lot of digging to find your site on the fiftieth page of the search results for “food.” The more specific your keyword, the higher you will be in your lead’s search results and more likely they are to see your site.
2. Make sure your content is educational and relevant.
To optimize your site’s searchability, you can employ practices that have been proven successful by inbound marketing professionals. You should be creating educational or entertaining content that is consistent with your keywords. It is important to make sure your content matches your keywords. People type their queries (containing your keywords) into a search engine and when they select your site on the search results page, they expect to find the information they were looking for. They’ll leave your site as soon as they realize it doesn’t answer their question or solve their problem. Search engines and prospective leads will both know if you’re being phony.
For example: Titles like “How to Bake a Vegan Birthday Cake” or “Seven Best Vegan Restaurants in Seattle” are informative and include long-tail keywords.
Write a lot: make several long posts each week.
3. Go in-depth.
It is a common misconception that blog posts should be kept short in order to keep the readers from getting bored or impatient. Your blog posts should be at least 600 words in length. Search engines reward sites for the depth of their content by putting them higher in search results. You’re probably thinking that 600 words will bore your readers to death. Well, yeah, if it’s one big block of text… but that’s when bullet points and numbered lists come in handy. When you incorporate those elements, readers with short attention spans can skim the points that they find the most useful and skip the rest.
4. Publish fresh content frequently.
You should also publish at least two new posts per week. Why? Search engines give higher priority to fresh content. It may seem hard to write several 600-word blogs each week, but if you don’t publish frequently your readers will forget about you. People aren’t going to continue to visit it if you only post a new blog once every blue moon. Frequent posting will drive more frequent traffic to your site.
5. Don’t shamelessly self-promote.
Don’t make it all about you; make it all about your offer. Your leads know when they are being manipulated to think a certain way, which they don’t like. That’s why they’ve stopped opening direct mail and put their numbers on the “do not call” list – traditional methods of marketing are deemed too aggressive. Blog posts free from shameless self-promotion will let them make up their own minds about you, which they do like.
Calls to action (buttons inviting your leads to download a resource, such as an eBook or a podcast) aren’t an opportunity to promote your business. Don’t use them as such. Customers give you their information in order to get the specific resource you offered, not to be convinced to become a customer just yet. With calls to action, you and your leads are exchanging information and setting the stage for a two-sided conversation.
Think of it like dating…. You don’t typically meet someone you like and immediately start convincing them to date you. In most cases, that’s deemed too aggressive and one-sided. You exchange information and conversation first, and then based on those conversations, you decide whether or not you want to commit.
These practices are tried and true in terms of optimizing your business blog. When you build a blog worthy of bragging about, it will be at the top of the search results page and your customers’ favorites list.