Blogging is an extremely useful digital marketing practice that can generate leads by attracting new traffic to your website. It is a key strategy that many successful marketing organizations adopt in order to create a thought leadership position and add credibility to their brand. Here’s a short checklist to help get you started on your blog!
1. Communicate When you Blog
One key best practice is to ensure you are communicating to your clients and potential prospects that you’ve written something and updated your blog. Have a LinkedIN profile? Great! Once you’ve completed writing your blog, post the link to your blog post as a status update to your LinkedIN! Or, if you prefer to email your clients, include a short snippet and link to your blog post on your next email to your clients. Increasing your search rank involves proving to search engines like Google and Bing that you are a relevant source of information. The volume of traffic to your website is one key contributing factor to that result. And besides, if you’ve taken the time to write something that you’re passionate about, you should let the world know that you’ve written it!
2. Use Keywords in your Titles
Many blogging platforms have a field specifically designated for your blog title. The primary reason for this is, in fact, for search. Search engines read and index your pages looking for titles. If your title matches popular keywords you’ll have a higher likelihood of getting ranked higher than other websites. Now, you’re probably wondering, how do I know if a word is a keyword? Here’s a quick tip: visit “http://www.google.com/trends/” and type in words or phrases that you’d like to use in your title. From there, you’ll be able to identify the popularity of the words you plan on using!
3. Use impactful images
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “A picture says 1000 words”. When you write and create content, you should always think about the image you want to associate with your writing. There is research that proves that using images actually increases the likelihood of your content being read. Secondly, when you use images and post the link to your blog post on social media sites like LinkedIN, they will automatically pick up the image and post it along with your status update!
4. Link your posts to other parts of your website
Search engines like Google and Bing love what is known as “Internal Links”. What’s an internal link? It’s basically a link where when you click on it, it takes you to another part of your website on the same domain. One simple example of an internal link would be on your main navigation/menu tabs. So, how do you put this into practice? For one, announcing your blog post on your home page with a link to the post every time you create one would work. Also, when writing your blog posts, think of different ways to link your posts together. If you’re referencing topics from past posts, be sure to link those posts together!
5. Maintain frequency in your blogs
The web is always changing and there are ebbs and flows to how your visitors will interact with you. One key success factor in driving traffic to your website is to ensure content maintains some level of recency. Arguably, blogging once a day is better than blogging once a week, but more importantly, is to blog frequently. We recommend that you consider blogging once a quarter at a minimum. Don’t forget that you can also leverage other sources of content from your business partners. For example, your estate planner might want to contribute and write a short piece for your blog.
6. Create a Content Calendar and Commit to Writing
Blogging can sometimes be perceived as a daunting and arduous task. Distill the process down by first starting off with a content calendar and plan out your topic for 4 quarters, 12 months, 52 weeks, essentially whatever frequency you decide to adopt. This will help simplify and map out the themes you plan on writing about for the rest of the year and will also give you a preview on the workload. Thinking about the topics before you start writing can also help you get your creative juices flowing even before you put pen to paper.
7. Write valuable content
Content is king and blogging is, hands down, the BEST way to generate traffic. However, there is a bit of a catch. Your blog isn’t a tool that you should be using to advertise your services or pitch your visitors on the next best product, that’s what the rest of your website can do for you. The content that you write on your blog should be authentic and trustworthy. This is about creating and establishing your business legitimacy. It’s also a first impression. Think about how you would interact in a first meeting with a prospect. How do you add value to them? Similarly in blogging, what information can you give your website visitors to make them coming back for more?