Blogging is an essential communication tool for search engine optimization (SEO), inbound marketing and search engine marketing (SEM) for your business. More than just a fun hobby project for company employees to experiment with, a well-curated blog acts as an affordable launch pad for your company to engage with a target audience.
If curated effectively, a blog can:
- Reach a specific target audience
- Increase brand trust and recognition within your industry
- Generate stronger conversion rates through strategically placed CTA’s and a consistently informative editorial calendar
- Increase backlinks
Despite the evident gains of blogging as a content marketing vehicle for small businesses, all too often it ends up at the bottom of the priority list and, thus, ineffective as a marketing tool. Here are some tips to get your blog back up to snuff so that your readership increases rather than declines:
- Ease Up a Little
A standard issue with company blogs is the tone. Pick your adjective here — the writing is too dry, too flat, too stiff. They all mean the same thing in the end: the blog is tedious to read, even if it’s packed with exciting information. Although it might not be evident to the author, writing in an overly professional tone will turn people away from your blog. Granted, if you operate in a technical industry, it can be hard to write in a conversational style. But that’s what a blog is for — impersonal and informational communication.
The solution? Just write the way you talk. Keep it simple and let your personality shine through. Your current and future audience will appreciate it.
- Pick a Specific Topic, and Stick to It
Another theme of sub-par blogging is writing about overly general topics. This will do little to convince your target audience of your company’s expertise. For example, imagine a Toronto area veterinarian’s office is looking to populate their editorial calendar for the next few months. Let’s say they want to focus on dogs.
General topics would be things like:
- “Top 5 Reasons to Buy a Dog This Year”
- “Why Dog Owners Are Healthier Than Cat Owners”
These are best to be avoided. Why? For one simple reason: it offers nothing of value to expanding their understanding of dog nutrition or dog health.
More specific topics could be something like:
- “The Best Parks to Go Dog Walking in Toronto”
- “Signs Your Dog is Nutrient Deficient”
- “Golden Retrievers: Their Ideal Diet”
These topics are either geographically specific (like the first one) or provide helpful and detailed advice on a specific question.
So how do you find suitable blog topics to post about? You collect data, ask relevant questions, and isolate the most relevant topics.
- Don’t Worry About Length
You might already know that 500 words are the ‘perfect’ length for a blog post. But did you know that it used to be 300 words? The point is: the optimal range is only a benchmark to help you get your point across.
A lot of the most successful bloggers will write posts upwards of 1,000 words, mixed in with little updates that are only 200 words. Are they penalized in Google search for it? No, because keyword density is no longer an organic search ranking factor. And guess what – they are using those 500 extra words to convey personality and elaborate on their point of view.
Readers don’t mind spending longer on your blog if you write engaging material. So focus less on length and more on relevance and quality of content.
Hopefully, these quick tips on blogging will help bring the purpose of your blog into sharper focus. A well-curated blog is like a loudspeaker projecting your brand into the marketplace. Together with SEO services and SEM, blogging makes up a trifecta of search engine marketing strategies that no small business can do without.
All you need is time (4-6 months) and patience and you can get that new business through digital marketing efforts. If you need results quicker, a website refresh and pay per click (PPC) program may be better suited to your needs. Contact me. We can discuss strategy on the phone or get a coffee. I drink allot of coffee.
Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consulting in the Great Toronto Area with over 20 years experience in building and implementing marketing plans for small business.