When it comes to growing your website online, there is something that most S.E.O. professionals will agree on: Content is King. And some of the best content is blogging. So, what does that mean to you and how can you leverage it in your business? Can blogging help more than just the search engines? In this article, we give you the answer.
Myth #1 – Time and huge articles
Writing a blog article can feel like a daunting task. And then you add in this notion of every article must be huge ‘long form’ content. Many people hear long and are instantly turned off. They sit there and think ‘I don’t have time for this, I have a business to run’. But long does not just mean word count.
Long form blogging is simply taking a specific topic and covering all the angles. There is no magic number of words. Most S.E.O. experts recommend at least 2000 words. But I don’t always agree. Writing a long form blog article is nothing more than diving into a topic and showing that you know all about it. Take most of the articles on my website for example.
I don’t write many long articles. Most in fact average 1000 or so words. Far below what other ‘experts’ say I need to have. Yet many of the articles rank and receive traffic on a regular basis. The reason is not how long the article is, but rather the information presented to the right target. My target is busy small business owners who know their limits.
My readers don’t want the exact details how to do something, they want answers to help them make an informed decision. My articles deliver just the right information, with tips to and guidance on what to look for next. Just enough info for them to decide if they should tackle the project alone or hire a professional. That is all you need. Enough to help and guide your specific audience. Nothing more.
So why does blogging help with S.E.O.?
When you begin blogging on topics, you are showing off what you know. Not a flashy ‘Hey, look what I can do’ but rather a ‘I have taken the time to study and am here to help you’ kind of way. Blogging helps your prospects get to know you, and your knowledge in a format that allows self-guidance. They can consume as much or as little as they want to feel either comfortable or turned off by your offerings.
This is exactly what you want. Now I know you might be thinking that you don’t want to be turning people away. But the truth is you want to filter out as many as you can before they consume your time. Those that make it through your filters will instantly be more ready for your offering and much more likely to purchase from you.
Google loves this. They make their money by being the resource on a specific topic. That is why everyone says just Google it. By adding blog articles to your website, you are giving more information on what your website is about. And by answering questions when you blog and giving information then Google knows who to send your way.
Google wants visitors to get the answers they are searching for on the first click. Because then they will keep coming back to Google. If visitors must keep searching again and again, they might decide Google is not efficient and stop using it. And when they stop using Google, it hurts the bottom line. So, it is always in their interest to keep the answers coming and quickly.
A website full of articles that answer questions and speak to your target market will do better than a website with a couple pages and no real answers. People rarely search and buy from the first result unless they have already done a lot of research. You job is to catch them and then convert them through information in your own website.
So now that you know that blogging can help your business show up in search engines and gain business, let’s start writing. But what on earth do you writing about?
Leveraging blogging in your business
When it comes to blogging, you need to know what people are interested in. The cool thing with most businesses is they collect up and answer questions all the time. And if your business is anything like mine, I bet you get asked the same questions over and over.
Those questions are the perfect blog article. Pick a single question and write about it. Answer the same question and go into a little depth on every aspect of the question. Expand based on your knowledge and other options that could be available. Remember, you are trying to weed out the bad fitting clients. If your article guides them to someone else and you don’t get the business, great. That means you just saved time from someone who might not have bought anyway.
Take a day and sit down. Write out every single question you get asked all the time. Start with these and narrow them down to your most popular offering. The start with your second most popular. By ranking them you are building content for your most important service first, and so on. Make sure that it’s a service you are passionate about. It can be extremely hard to write about things you are not really interested in.
Now that we have topics, how often should you post?
There is no hard and fast answer to this question. Ask yourself how much time you can devote to blogging. Blogging is a long game. It could take 6 months or longer of consistent blogging before you start to see any traffic. And even longer before it starts ranking. But it can start being used to help prospects convert in your other marketing.
Some articles might get lucky and rank faster. But don’t place all your eggs in that basket. Focus on the future and keep writing.
The second question you need to ask yourself is how often you want to share your articles in other forms of marketing? If you want to share a new article every week then you need to write a new one every week (or batch write some all at once). I like to post a new article every month to every other month. And then I re-purpose them in other marketing between each new article.
The last point to consider is growth. If you are wanting to gain traffic and grow fast, then you need more content. The more you can pump out of quality articles the more content for the search engines to consume. When they know more about you, they can send you more traffic.
Shotgun vs slow writing
There are primarily two different styles of article writing. The shotgun approach vs the slow writing. Those that choose the shotgun approach like to get the entire article out in one go. Quick and efficient. Slow writers like to take a topic and write a bit of it each day over time. Both ways work well, and you just need to see what works best for your schedule and how you feel. Your posting schedule will also play a big part to how fast you need to write the articles. I personally do a shotgun style to get the article out and then proof it and find pictures over the coming days. A balance of both.
Blogging can feel overwhelming at first. And it does get easier the more consistently you write. Once you find the voice in your writing style and start writing it will become easier. Blogging is great for business. You can filter out clients that won’t be a great fit through content. You can repurpose the articles in your marketing, both online and off. And you can show off your knowledge.
It is also the perfect complement to a website in terms of search engine ranking. Showing knowledge and answering questions will rank your website over others that do not answer these questions. Being open and honest will always win your business.
In the end blogging is a win for you, a win for search engines and most importantly it is a win for every one of your clients. So, what is holding you back from starting? Let me know in the comments below.