Should you Blog? Yes. Yes you should!

More and more experts are telling us about the importance of video and about how crucial it is to connect with customers in a visual way. It IS important – we won’t dispute that. But it’s not the only way to connect with your customer and sometimes it might not even be the best way. If you’ve been wondering if there is still space for the written word when it comes to promoting your business, the answer is a resounding yes.

Here’s why:

Blogging helps position you as an expert

  • Someone with subject matter expertise and who blogs regularly about what they know helps to both obtain and maintain a position on Google as an expert. Add in a dash of humor and people will keep clicking on your site because they know you to be entertaining too!

 

Blogging is shared across multiple platforms

  • You’ve heard of “old school” and “new school?” Well, if you want to appeal to a wider demographic it’s best to incorporate a variety of strategies into your marketing campaign. Some folks still prefer to read content and some platforms are more reader friendly. Think about LinkedIn. People who are posting blogs regularly to a forum like LinkedIn are business and thought leaders considered to be leading experts in their field. The written word holds more value on a medium like LinkedIn. Know your audience and where (and how!) to reach them.

 

Blogging is offering and / or sharing information of value, for free

  • Want to build some customer and / or brand loyalty? Give something away for free. What you are trying to accomplish here is building your “know, like and trust” factor amongst a wider audience. It costs very little to share some of your knowledge with potential customers for free but it could cost you a whole lot more if your competitors are doing it and they’re getting all the website traffic.

 

Blogging leads back to your website

  • Writing an article or blog is a great way to actually increase your Google reach. Search engines LOVE new content so blogging regularly and linking your blogs back to your website will help drive traffic to your website too. Make sure when you’re blogging you’re finding ways to incorporate key words into the paragraphs you write in order to capitalize on search engine optimization.

 

Blogging must be current to be relevant

  • Blogging frequently keeps you top of mind and helps keep content on your website fresh. You might not always be able to update your website but writing and posting a blog, that links back to your website, is a surefire way to stay current.
  • Blogging also encourages reader engagement and interaction because it allows followers to comment, share and post on your social media channels. Just make sure that you are as equally committed to engaging with customers as you are to writing the blogs in the first place!

 

Need some tips and tools on how to get started? We asked Sheralyn Roman, of Writing Right For You, to comment. Here’s what she had to say:

  • Be scheduled and consistent. Frequency isn’t as important as the consistency of your posting schedule.
  • Your goal is to create an audience and encourage reader engagement.
  • Offer something of value for free.
  • Write from your own life experience.
  • It’s not a novel! K.I.S.S. (Keep it short and simple!) About 500 – 800 words.
  • Practice “spontaneous” creativity – if you don’t write regularly you might have to practice. Think of it as a muscle that needs developing and start training!
  • Keep a diary – use the “Notes” app on your phone to jot down ideas you have that could later be turned into blogs.
  • Write what you know – stick to your area of expertise and become known for it.
  • Your first 5 blogs? – Answer the 5 W’s. Who you are, What you do, Why you do it….you get the idea……
  • Stay relevant by incorporating current events into your blogs.
  • Always include a call to action – it’s fine to do so…make it a part of your final sentence or a tag line at the bottom of every blog.
  • Use Key Words – make sure to maximize SEO by incorporating key words from your business / website into every blog you write.
  • Commit to engagement – interacting with your followers is crucial – create a two-way conversation!

 

The bottom line – blogging is still relevant. In fact, we would suggest blogging must absolutely form a part of your marketing platform. We design stellar websites that exceed customer expectations but if you want to keep customers coming back, your website needs to stay current and be updated frequently. A blog is just one of the ways to drive traffic back to your core website content. Don’t have time to blog? Hire an expert to do it for you. From art scratched on a cave wall, to text recorded on papyrus, mankind has relied upon some form of “graphics” and the written word to communicate since the dawn of time. Websites and blogging are just the most current method! Words and art were important then. They still are today!

Why should you blog?

Imagine going to a website and the latest post is April 2013, does this make the company look relevant?  Does it enhance the perception of the company?

No, In fact it hurts the company brand.

We often hear people say they don’t have time to blog and that’s true, people are busy, especially small business owners. Here’s a hint, blog while you’re driving. How you ask ? Download a speech-to-text app on your phone using your Bluetooth dictate your blog. When you’re finished driving read over your blog post correct any spelling mistakes, source a photo and upload to your WordPress website.
Once you get started with this method you will find you can complete several blog articles on a longer drive or commute.

Here are the top reasons to blog:

  • Add more industry-related content for your website
  • Enhances SEO and can help increase website search position
  • Adds original and timely content to the site to engage viewer
  • Positions your business as an expert in your industry
  • Informs and educates potential customers of news, products or services
  • Helps increase frequency of search engine reindexing

why should you blogThe process of blogging adds fresh content to your website. Search engines like Google look for new original content on a consistent basis. This new content indicates that the website is up to date, fresh and relevant.

In a WordPress website the blog component allows you to add virtually unlimited posts that are categorized and can be displayed in interesting ways. The data is searchable and yields a search engine friendly permalink for each post which can be used in Social Media.

Blogging on a regular basis provides a forum to answer customer questions, discuss advantages of products, display case studies and show expertise in your industry.

There are many creative ways to use the blog function in WordPress. Often the blog will be used as a new section and your web designer can pull posts into your front page to give greater visibility. Corresponding photographs make the post interesting and chunked text makes it readable. Use of proper headlines containing key phrases increases SEO on each page.

Plugins like Yoast SEO can be used on individual blog posts to target keyword phrases your website more visibility on the search engines.

By categorizing your posts they are easy to find.

Blogging on a regular basis key to having search engines revisit your site and index new articles. Whether you blog weekly bi-weekly or monthly it’s important to be consistent.

Many people ask what to blog about. The answer varies depending what industry you’re in. Oftentimes think of the most common questions that clients /contacts have and answer them in your blog articles. Don’t be afraid to have a personality in your blog,  people don’t like reading things that are dry, so inject some humor.

The best thing is that original content does not go away, it helps organic SEO and gives your website staying power on the web.

Basics of getting indexed by Google

When you launch your website or apply new content, Google does not instantly index it, however it is not difficult.

Without indexing, Google will never show your content in its search results for keywords you that should get you found.

 

First of all check to see if Google has indexed your website. Open your browser and simply type in site:yourURL.com

and view what in the search engine database. If your site doesn’t show up, then that means it’s time to go to work getting Google’s attention.

 

Step 1: Have Your Website Ready With Content

To get Google to notice your site, you need to understand what it’s looking for.

In a lot of ways, Google is an online library that houses the most information in the world.

Like any library, it has to categorize the information it receives to keep everything in order and easy to find.

With that in mind, consider this:

What if a library receives a book with a great title and cover design only to open it and find that it was completely blank. What would they do?

Probably set it aside and keep it off the shelves because the book is utterly useless.

The same applies to Google.

If it comes to a website that has no content like pages or blog posts, then it’s not going to want to “put it on the shelves” so to speak. That’s why having content on your website should be your first step.

All of your pages and blog content should have unique, useful content available.

That way, when Google does crawl your site to index it, it will have a much better chance of sticking.

 

Step 2:  Create and Submit a Sitemap

Once you have good content in your website, create an XML sitemap, sign up to Google Search Console and verify your site. Then submit the XML sitemap to the Google Search Console

 

Step 3: Start Sending Traffic to your Website

Even when it is not indexed yet, you can refer people to your blog and website through social media bookmarking, blog commenting, and recipricol linking.

 

Now that you’ve been sending traffic to your site, and you submitted your sitemap, go back to Google Search and try searching your URL again.

If your site is indexed by Google, then you’re good to go. If not, just keep at it and checking on it.

 

Original article as posted Sept 20/16 :How to Get Your WordPress Site Indexed By Google Quickly by Elegant Themes Blog

What is Keyword Research?

I was reading an article the other day that focused on the importance of keyword/phrase research.

Keyword research is imperative to any targeted SEO marketing plan. In order to rank high on the search engines, we need to first determine what people are looking for and what keywords are used in searches by  consumers.

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What is your digital footprint?

This is a great exercise  for every business owner.  Search your exact business name and see what comes up!

Ask yourself, is the brand represented online clearly representative of what your business is today?

Take note of old logos, incorrect contact info and messages. Some info will be easy to change, some will be our of your control.

Empower yourself by controlling the digital footprint.

Some To Do’s:

  • Check your website and social media for inaccurate info
  • Check online directories: BBB, Canpages, Zoomimfo, Yellowpages, The Power Pages….
  • Make sure you have a listing in Google Places and show up on the map
  • Correct blog articles with mis-information
  • Respond to any negative comments/ reviews in a professional manner.  In some cases you may need to delete accounts or report spam reviews
  • Ensure branding (logo, tag lines and the message) is accurate and consistent Everywhere!