Mackenzie | October 27, 2020 | Content Marketing
So you started a business blog. You've got a lot to say, but more importantly, someone like me told you that if you start blogging, you'll start drawing in more of the right leads.
I stand by that statement 100%.
But, if you started a blog and aren't seeing the traffic or the leads yet, there's probably a reason. It's important to get the foundation and strategy behind business blogging right, so you put out content that delivers the results you want.
Here are 7 business blogging tips designed to help boost your blog in search engine rankings. If you stick to all 7 of these tips, and blog regularly, you should start to see more of the right leads flowing in. If you don't? Let us know — we'd be happy to take a look and offer some pointers.
Let me be very clear here. Your blog should not be a highlight reel of your company's greatest accomplishments. That's just bragging, and it's not going to do you any favors.
Your company's blog should be useful to potential readers, and that doesn't mean talking about how amazing your products, services, customer service, or company is.
If all you're doing is talking about you, you're not solving your customers' problems. That means you're not going to see traffic or leads.
The goal of business blogging is to provide your ideal buyers and visitors with the information they need to eventually make an educated purchasing decision.
Which brings me to my next point:
As I said just seconds ago ^ business blogging works when you publish content that answers your customer or ideal buyer's questions.
Believe it or not, when they're looking for a product, they want to hear a lot more than flat, promotional, old-school marketing messaging.
Think about the last time you purchased something significant.
I'm willing to bet that at the very least, you read the product reviews before you made the purchase.
Here's an example. Let's say you're trying to eat healthier but as a busy professional, you just don't have time to think about shopping, finding recipes, and more. You've heard about services like HelloFresh and BlueApron, and want to try one out.
Now, if you're new to delivered meal services, you're probably going to do a little research first. You might wonder:
You'll browse around the web for a bit, looking for content that answers these questions, until you narrow it down to one or two options that sound best. Then, you'll read the reviews for each, and search queries like:
Finally, you'll use all of that information you've gathered to make a purchasing decision.
And that, my friends, is how content marketing works.
The way your customers search for your product or service is no different than how we just decided on the best meal service for us.
When you write your business blog, you're writing to get in front of those customers each time they ask one of those questions.
Even if you're a manufacturer of something you don't think is exciting — let's say air compressors — business blogging will work the same as the little exercise we just did with HelloFresh.
Someone buying an air compressor wants to know:
Answer those questions with a well-developed blog, and you're looking at a high SERP ranking that pulls in more of the leads you're looking for.
Still not sold on business blogging for manufacturers or B2Bs? Check it out in action with this case study:
If you want your business blog to rank higher, keywords are something you should care about.
The higher you rank, the more eyeballs on your site. And the more eyeballs on your site, the greater your potential to draw in and convert qualified leads.
But, how to pick keywords you care about?
As a general rule of thumb, when you're writing your business blog, you're looking for keywords with high search volume and low competition.
These keywords are the low hanging fruit. Lots of people are looking for that information, but not many companies are supplying it.
True. Virtually anything can be a keyword. The challenge is choosing high volume keywords that are relevant to your company.
I'll use an extreme (fake) example to illustrate. Let's say you sell air compressors, but you notice the long-tail key phrase, "how to peel an orange" has amazing search volume and almost no competition.
While you could probably write a blog about how to peel oranges that might rank, that keyword is not useful to you in any way.
Remember that you want to rank higher, but you want to rank higher for the right keywords.
You're driving garbage traffic to your website that will never convert.
Instead, choose keywords that are relevant to your business, your industry, your products, and your services.
Once you've chosen a keyword you like, go ahead and type it right into your favorite search engine.
Who is ranking at the top?
What does their content look like?
What do they do well? What key points are they missing? Have they optimized their blog as best possible?
To write blogs that rank highly, you have to beat out whoever is already ranking first. You need to know what they're doing, so you can do it better.
Reading competing blogs is also a great way to verify search intent on a keyword you've chosen. When you type your keyword into a search engine, make sure that the results reflect the information you were planning to include in your blog.
I'll use a recent example. I wrote a blog about "the breakup email".
Just looking at that keyword — with no context — you might think it's about writing an email that breaks up with a romantic partner.
Actually, the search intent associated with that keyword is related to a sales breakup email — the last email you send a prospect after they've gone cold.
But, I wouldn't have known that was the search intent until I searched it myself.
Matching a query's search intent is another key to ranking highly on search engines. If your blog doesn't match the search intent associated with the keyword you're writing to, your blog isn't going to do well, and even if it did, wouldn't pull in the qualified traffic you're looking for.
That's why it's so important to read competing blogs before you start writing.
Now that you've settled on a keyword and cyberstalked your competitors to see how you can beat them, it's time for the actual writing portion of your business blogging strategy.
Blog length is a contentious subject in the SEO world.
I don't care if you think your blogs should all be 500 words or 2,000, Google and SEO webmasters everywhere have confirmed — word count is not that big of a deal.
If you've told your content writers that your business blogs should always reach a certain word count, you're missing the point.
From Google's John Mueller himself, helpful and in-depth content is the real goal.
That doesn't mean make your blogs longer. That means make them better.
If you're answering a simple question like, "what is a search engine", you don't need 1500 words to do it.
If you're offering a "Complete Guide to Marketing Your Construction Company", you'll probably need considerably more than 500 words to deliver on the promise your title is selling.
Great business blogging is about writing on one topic, thoroughly.
Instead of writing your business blog according to a certain word count, try a different tactic.
Clearly, not all topics will be as long as the "how to carve a pumpkin" example. Some might be considerably shorter, and some might be much longer.
The point is that whatever you write, your blog posts should be comprehensive, and cover the topic you're focusing on with complete, helpful content.
Oke doke — you've written the blog. Now just publish it!
One of the biggest problems we come across as an agency is companies that get tunnel vision when it comes to publishing "perfect" blogs. They go back and forth for months on one piece of content, and nothing ever gets published.
Yes, you want your blog to sound like your company. Yes, you want to put out quality information that is helpful to your readers.
But no single blog is going to accomplish every single marketing goal you have.
A blog is just that — a blog. It's an informal piece of content designed to help your ideal customer make an informed purchasing decision.
It's never going to be the end-all-be-all marketing content that educates your reader, sells them on your brand, and converts them into a sale. It's one tool in a complete arsenal of marketing tactics. Business blogging is designed to increase brand awareness and lead generation.
All of your other marketing and sales tactics should pick up the slack from there. Let your blogs do what they're designed to do — draw in more visitors with helpful content.
Too many companies put so much weight into the importance of every single word in a blog post that they spend hours editing and rewriting a blog that will never see daylight. That's just a waste of time.
Your blog will only be successful for your company if you publish it.
Set a reasonable goal for each blog. Hint: it should be about education or lead generation.
If the blog you've written achieves that goal, that's it, you're done.
Post it, and move onto the next blog and the next goal.
While you do, the first blog you've posted can generate leads and interest.
Okay, rant over. All I want you to know is that posting good content is more important than not posting excellent content. Get blogs out there. You can always edit and optimize them later if you need to.
Business blogging gets eyeballs on your site.
You have to have a plan for those eyeballs once they make it to your site.
CTAs, or calls-to-action, are key.
Once you have a new visitor on your site, if they're qualified, you want them to keep reading your content and progressing through their buyer's journey with the content you've developed for them.
The best way to do this is to get their contact information. When a visitor is reading your blog, you know they're interested in what you have to say. Including calls-to-action that are relevant to what they're reading is the best way to convert that visitor into a lead, and keep delivering them quality content that pulls them through their buyer's journey.
Every blog you write should have at least one CTA or conversion opportunity.
Take a look at our blog structure.
If you're on a desktop, every time you read one of our blogs, you're hit with a "Let's Talk" conversion opportunity at the top of the blog.
In this image, you can see I've also got a relevant CTA at the bottom of the first section. Since this blog was about HubSpot, it made sense to offer up one of our case studies about work we'd done with a client on HubSpot.
As you scroll down the page, you also get a pop-up asking you if you want FREE marketing tips delivered directly to your inbox. Who doesn't?
And finally, at the bottom of the blog, the reader is hit with one more CTA relevant to HubSpot.
All of these CTAs are relevant to the reader, and they're fairly unobtrusive, too.
It's a suggestion — "Hey! If you want to learn more about this, we've got plenty of info."
But without a CTA, your readers don't have much incentive or much opportunity to stick with your content.
Yes, most people want to optimize their business blogging strategy to rank higher. But a high ranking blog doesn't do you much good if it's not converting your visitors into leads.
If you've followed and implemented steps 1-6, you're going to see more qualified traffic headed to your site. Step #7 helps ensure you're able to capture those leads and continue nurturing them until they're ready to make a purchase.
Business blogging is one of the most surefire ways to help your site rank higher, draw in more of the right, qualified leads, and boost your company's authority in your industry. But, you gotta do it right.
There's a lot that goes into the content strategy and production of any business blog. The best way to cut through the noise is to remember that blogs are for people. Search engines and content creators alike are always looking to put the very best, most informational content into the hands of readers. If you can do that, above all else, you'll start to see your business blog creep up in the SERPs.
Struggling to gain traction with your business blog? Can't figure out the right keywords, or just can't seem to rank? We're here to help! Our team of strategists and SEO experts would be happy to take a look at your content strategy and offer a few suggestions for improvement. Get in touch.
And if you're still not sold on content marketing, I'd encourage you to take a look at this case study:
At Evenbound, we're all about helping our clients grow. We use inbound and outbound marketing strategies to deliver you the qualified traffic and leads you need for serious growth. And we have a lot of fun doing it.
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