Every successful business should have a marketing strategy and every successful marketing strategy can benefit from a blog. In this modern age of widespread internet access and social media use, a blog can often be the first point of contact a potential customer has with your brand. Search engines like Google have made it all that more important for businesses to have websites with consumable content. Blogs are a type of content that answers people’s queries but their use goes far beyond that.
Because of the way search engines work, certain words and phrases, called keywords, can help a website show up first on search engine results pages. Your website is often the face of your business and the portal through which potential new customers can access you. This means that when your website ranks higher in search results your business is more prominent. Blogs help make that happen with the use of keywords. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. Through techniques collectively called search engine optimization (SEO) a blog can become an essential tool in your marketing strategy to help you gain customers and increase brand awareness.
Caption: Google has become the king of search engines and most SEO efforts should be done with that in mind.
Connecting the Dots
Let’s say you have a website for your business where you have already been writing a blog for some time. Having the blog is great but you need to be intentional to ensure the blog is actually benefiting your business and marketing strategy. To do that you have to be clear in what you want out of your marketing strategy. The more specific you are the better.
A good marketing strategy is often about increased brand awareness, customer acquisition, and sales. A website is very useful for quantifying these goals. You can track how many people visit the site, how long they are there, what they look at, what they buy, and so on. It’s important to know how much you intend to increase these metrics, the idea being that if you don’t know what you’re aiming for then you can’t hit it.
A blog is an essential tool that helps you accomplish all of the aforementioned marketing goals while also creating measurable results. Search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing are the two key concepts at play here. As mentioned previously, SEO utilizes techniques to help your website rank higher in search engine results. A blog is one of the core elements of that and we will cover that more shortly. Content marketing is broadly defined as a marketing approach that relies on content, like blogs, videos, and podcasts, to provide value to an audience. When a business provides that valuable content they often benefit in many ways including increased customer trust, being viewed as more authoritative, and making more sales.
Blogs and SEO
Your business website is the channel through which your blog is going to help you achieve the goals of your marketing strategy. If we assume those goals are increased brand awareness, customer acquisition, and sales then your first step is to begin implementing SEO best practices on your website. There is a lot to this and entire books have been written on the subject but some of the most important aspects rely on blogs.
When a search engine catalogs a website it applies algorithms that help decide how relevant and reliable each web page is for certain searches. These algorithms consider many different factors but two of the most important ones are keywords and links. Keywords are the words and phrases on a web page that help a search engine know what the page is about. For example, if you search “How to write an interesting blog” then the search engine will do it’s best to find you a relevant, useful and authoritative webpage that uses phrases like “How to”, “writing”, and “interesting blog”.
The links are the other key part. Links on your page can be internal or external meaning they either navigate to another part of your website or to another website respectively. These links are an important part of SEO. When other authoritative websites include links that lead to your website it is even better. These links work like little tokens of trust for search engines. If other websites find your content useful then it is more likely that people searching for similar things will also find it useful.
So, keywords help search engines match what a person is searching for with something relevant for their search while links help network a website with others and build trust that the website is actually useful and authoritative. When all of this comes together then the SEO of a website improves, it shows up higher in search results, more people find it, and ultimately this can result in increased brand awareness, customer acquisition, and sales.
Photo Caption: It is important to have measurable goals so you can track your progress. That way you can know exactly what impact your blogs are having on your marketing.
Relevance and Authority
There are many ways you could integrate keywords and links into your website but a blog is easily the best way to do it. Keep in mind that the search engine algorithms are very smart. You can’t simply write a keyword over and over again and expect to rank high in search results for it. The search engine doesn’t just look for a web page with keywords that match the search query. The search engine looks for a page that is relevant, useful and authoritative. The search engine algorithms were designed to reward content that is best suited for people who need it. This means that keywords and links that are used organically in sentences work the best. No one wants to engage with a boring list of words and links, they want information.
Similarly, search algorithms reward longer content. In the eyes of the search engines that typically means 2,500 words plus. This ideal length is necessary to include enough keywords and links in an organic way. In the early days of the internet, before the algorithms were updated, someone could simply write a few hundred words and then jam the blog full of the same targeted keyword over and over again. This is called keyword stuffing and search engines do not like it at all, mostly because it is a headache-inducing read.
Now, the number of keywords needed to rank high for something is still about the same but keyword stuffing is penalized. The only solution then is to write longer content. That provides enough space for the necessary keywords and links you want for SEO. Longer, well written, blog content is generally seen as more useful and authoritative overall.
Caption: Much of the internet is centered around engaging with content. Your content should be in the mix.
Content is King
SEO techniques can help turn your blog into a useful marketing tool by leveraging organic keywords and links to generate more website traffic through higher search engine rankings. A blog also benefits your marketing efforts in other ways though. It isn’t enough to just have a series of keyword-optimized and link studded blogs. They need to be as well written, engaging, and useful as possible.
When you make the blogs the best they can be they become more than just an SEO method for driving traffic. They become your brand’s voice. Content marketing is focused on creating valuable content for people because the payoff can be very worth it. Valuable content increases people’s trust in your brand, their willingness to engage with your products, and their overall view of you as an authority in the field.
A well-written blog is effectively free marketing too. Of course, there are the upfront costs in time and effort but when all is said and done you have a money-making tool. If you’re lucky the blog might even go viral, people will share it across social media and start linking to it in their own work. When this happens you simultaneously draw in new customers and increase your page rank in the search engines.
A blog can be a gateway into a sales funnel too. As people come in to engage with the content you can collect email addresses for follow up communications or even utilize relevant links in the article to feature your own products or affiliate links. Once a blog becomes popular enough and there is a regular readership you can monetize it further by selling ad space on the page. With these methods and others like them, your blog becomes a one-stop-shop for fulfilling several of your marketing goals.
Photo Caption: When you implement SEO with content marketing in mind you can create great success.
By applying some key SEO methods and keeping a content marketing approach in mind you can easily connect your blog to your marketing strategy. Remember, a good marketing strategy is about increased brand awareness, customer acquisition, and sales and these are the exact goals that a blog can help with. Through keyword optimization, links, and the overall creation of longer more authoritative content your blog will become an essential tool to bring in more customers and increase sales.