Our clients will often ask us how to drive more traffic to their website and our first answer will always be ‘content’ - the more original content a business can create, the better.
Today, the opportunity to publish and share content is even bigger than Mr Gates could have imagined 25 years ago. But what is content? It could actually be a number of things – images and video and, of course, words. Words can come in a number of guises too – they could be news articles, interviews with your team members, case studies or blogs.
What we know as a blog has evolved over the years. Originally a blog – or to give it its full title ‘weblog’ – was most likely to a be a diary-style post. Now they are more commonly a piece of writing which provides a commentary or opinion on a particular subject.
Google really loves blogs. Not so long ago, website copywriters spent their time filling a piece of content with as many keywords as possible. This meant that blogs often became a confused mix of enjoying an article and then having to skip through apparently random mentions of ‘hairdressers in Liverpool’ and ‘accountants in Norwich’.
Website visitors are, in general, short of time and a little more discerning than they used to be. If somebody is going to give up even just five minutes to read a blog, they’d at least like it to be interesting and engaging. Put your marketing head on and focus on your customers and write for them, offering them solutions and informative content.
Blog-writing needs to be an ongoing process, as Google will reward you for regular fresh content. Your excellent content will also make Google look good too – as the search engine wants to maintain its premier position. Pointing users in the direction of badly written copy which doesn’t live up to expectations could see people moving across to another search engine.
The more engaging blogs you create, the more you will be recognised as an expert in your marketplace and a trusted online source. People will return time and again to read your content, thus driving more traffic to your website. Keywords do still matter but it’s a case of using them in a way which doesn’t stop the flow of your article and makes sense to the reader.
Blogs can also be a good way of engaging with your audience in a very real way. You’ve drawn them in by being informative but your blog could also ask them questions, which you can address in future blogs. This sort of interaction shows readers that there’s a real person or business behind the blog, somebody who is interested in their opinion. The more interaction and trust which is built up in this way, the more likely a sale will take place.
The best blogs will include a call to action, perhaps prompting the reader to get in touch to answer a question or find out more. If you can take the reader on a journey where they want to know more and not miss out on your next blog, then could be a good time to invite them to sign up to your email list. Then you can begin to send them more targeted mailings and information.