I’m Alan Reece, Managing Director of AX Gold Software Ltd – a company that creates and sells Internet Marketing software and owns a range of websites/membership sites.
I have over 25 years experience of commercial software development, including over 10 years experience of developing Internet Marketing related software – and have created over 100 commercial software products.
On this blog, you’ll find some useful articles and tips relating to online business, blogging and software. Please check it out…
Now that you have a blog, you’ll need to learn how to optimize your work so that you can easily be found in the search engines. Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the methods bloggers and website owners need to use to increase their search engine rankings. Your ultimate goal is to create a properly formatted blog filled with quality content. This, combined with external projects like back linking, will eventually bring you to the first or second page of Google. Here are some SEO tips to keep in mind as you work to create a blog for your business.
Keep It Local
While your online presence will certainly expand your horizons, bringing you customers from further away than you could reach before, you should not discount the power of local search engine optimization. As you choose the keywords for your blog, be sure to include local versions as well. Are you a plumber from Cincinnati? If so, you’ll not only focus on terms like “plumber” or “plumbing” but on terms such as “Cincinnati plumber” as well. Doing so will allow you to take advantage of the local features now offered by search engines.
Update the Structure of Your Blog URLs
When you write a blog post, your blogging platform will automatically assign it a URL. Most new blog platforms, like WordPress, will assign a post a number (example: http://www.blogxyz.com/?p=123). Most blog platforms will allow you to make changes to the URL structure so that you can give the post a unique URL description, incorporating the keywords you used in the post. Instead you’d end up with something like http://www.blogxyz.com/posts/plumbing-tips/.
Write Quality Content
Building a blog may seem easy in comparison to creating quality blog content. The key is to provide information your readers will find valuable, whether they’re ready to work with you or not. Weave your keywords into the content to increase your search engine rankings but don’t skimp on depth. Informative content will encourage your visitors to come back and learn more and you’ll gain their trust. They’ll remember you and the information you’ve shared when it is time to finally make a purchase. Remember to write content while thinking of your customers – not the search engines.
Choose a Great Domain Name
Choose a domain name that has something to do with your area of expertise. If you really want to increase your online presence, consider purchasing a URL that incorporates one of your main keywords instead of your business name alone. The more descriptive your domain, the more attention it will receive from the search engines.
Create Internal Links
Many bloggers focus on building external links (links pointing to their site from another) but most forget about internal linking. Internal links are incredibly valuable and the process is an easy way to incorporate some of your long-tail keywords into your marketing campaign. When writing an article, think about the keywords you are using and consider whether you’ve written articles on those subjects in the past. If you have, link to the old article from one of the related keywords in your new article. You’ll give your readers extra material to consider and the search engines will love the extra links.
Incorporating proper SEO techniques into the creation of your business blog content will help you to make the most of your blog without spending a ton of money on external marketing. Take your time and prepare each page of your blog with care. You’ll eventually be able to use your blog steal your share of the online marketplace.
Does your business have a website? If so, it should have a blog as well. While the content on your main website will remain static, the content you share on a blog will take on a life of its own. Incorporating a blog into your business’s marketing strategy will enable you to reach out and make contacts you may not have been able to create before. Not sure blogging is for you? Here are some of the benefits of building a blog for your business.
5. Building Better Relationships
Adding a blog to your business website will help you to build better relationships with both your current and potential clients. By reading the comments, you’ll get to see what your clients really like (or don’t like) about the products and services you offer. You’ll also gain a better understanding of what your potential clients are really looking for.
4. Establishing Authority in Your Area of Expertise
By providing informative content, as opposed to advertisements alone, you’ll show your audiences that you are a trusted authority in your area of expertise. Blogging gives business owners the opportunity to share their knowledge, not only telling their readers what they can do, but by shedding some light on the processes as well. The more educated your clients feel, the more likely they are to trust you when it comes time to make a purchase.
3. Blogs are Inexpensive Marketing Tools
Building a blog is incredibly inexpensive. Your blog can be on a separate website or may exist as a subsection of your business site. Blogging platforms, like WordPress, can be installed for free. You may choose to use a free or premium theme or you may opt to have a designer create a theme unique to your website. After your blog is built, you’ll spend very little on hosting and upkeep. You’ll only need to worry about the time spent creating content.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, aka SEO, is essential to the success of your business website. A blog will enhance your SEO campaign by giving you a place from which to create links back to your main website. You’ll also be able to incorporate your site’s main keywords into your blog content in order to drive more traffic to your sites. The authoritative content on your site will not only impress your customers but will gain the attention of other website owners as well. They’ll link to your site, thus increasing your search engine rankings.
1. Better Branding
At the end of the day, your business’s brand is what will make a difference to your sales. Your blog will prove a valuable tool for building trust, establishing your reputation, and creating a sense of familiarity. Your happy customers will always remember your name and will refer you to friends via word-of-mouth advertising. A personal referral is the best type of free advertising you can earn.
The task of building a blog will prove relatively painless. Once it’s created, you’ll begin to experience increased web traffic and you’ll be amazed at the feedback you get from your visitors – especially as they evolve from prospects into new and repeat clients!
So you’ve set up your business’s blog and have published your first post. Now what? Once your site is indexed, the search engines will begin to send you some traffic but there are some things you can do to drive additional traffic to your business blog right from the start.
Ping the Blog Directories
There is a great site called Ping-O-Matic and you should be visiting that site every time you add a new post to your blog. Ping-O-Matic will automatically update a series of blog directories, letting them know you have a new post. Those directories will help to drive targeted traffic to your blog.
Connect Your Business Website to Your Blog
Make sure the people visiting your business’s main website know that your blog exists. Create a visible link to your blog so that your customers and potential new clients can participate in the conversations you’re starting with your posts.
Create an RSS Feed
Make sure your blog has a visible RSS (Rich Site Summary) feed so that your visitors can subscribe. Visitors who subscribe to your blog will be able to quickly and easily read your syndicated posts on their own news readers, even if they don’t visit your blog directly every single day.
Utilize Social Bookmarking Sites
This part of the process is two-fold. Join a few social bookmarking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, or Mixx. Spend time on these sites and bookmark not only your own posts but a few from other blogs as well. Regularly contributing to these sites will increase your credibility and will help to drive traffic back to your blog.
You can also add social bookmarking icons to your blog to encourage your visitors to bookmark your blog posts as well. The more bookmarks each posts receives, the more traffic you’ll receive.
Twitter is a great social media tool and every business should have an account. Your Twitter followers may not visit your blog every day but those who are interested will visit your blog if you tweet about your newest posts. Make sure you customize your Twitter page, update your biography, and avoid hard-selling posts.
Update Your Social Media Profiles
Do you have business accounts on Facebook or LinkedIn? If not, you should. If you do, go back to each profile and add a link to your business website and blog. Many of the people viewing your profiles on these sites will click through to your website for additional information about the products and services you provide.
Update Your Business Cards
Not all web marketing occurs online. Update your business cards to include your website and blog addresses. Point the web addresses out to the people who take your cards, encouraging them to visit you online at their leisure.
Your business blog will experience a surge in web traffic, but only if you’re willing to put some work into growing your blog and its credibility. Keep posting quality content and network as much as possible. You’ll soon see plenty of new visitors and – eventually – new customers!
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