Before we get started, a disclaimer: this article is for those of you who want something more than an online calling card and stagnant website.
You can hire the best designers and give yourself a boost with SEO packages, but the work of really expanding your online reach begins after you have that attractive and functional layout in place. Websites need to be updated. A lot.
If you stop reading this article right now, at least remember this: to have a successful online presence, never let something stay the same for too long. People have a healthy appetite for "new".
Change some things around (e.g. landing page, graphics, text size and phrasing) to see what gets the best customer response. There are hundreds of free online resources that give lessons on just this.
Know your customer and how they interact online; this may sound silly, but how do you know what to write if you don’t know who you are writing to?
Okay, let’s really dig in...
Give Your Readers a Heads Up
A business blog is the chance for your company to show a human side. Remember, people like to hear stories about people. After all, what else is blogging other than telling a story?
“We want them to feel like they know us by reading what we write,” Sarah says. “By the time we show up to shoot a couple’s engagement session, we want them to already feel like we are friends, so that everyone is comfortable quickly.”
Talk Yourself Up
Who else is going to do it for you? Mashable.com is one of the most successful (and reliable) web-focused news sites - and it started out as a blog. By branding himself as an expert, Mashable’s founder Pete Cashmore has earned his stripes as the guru on all things tech, digital and social media-driven.
Another great example is our own Verge Pipe Media. We too started out as a blog, and just look at us now! Don Crow’s expertise is leading the digital pack in the Southeast.
Keep it Fresh. Keep it Moving.
Sheryl Crow said it first, “a change will do you good.” As mentioned before, your website should be a living, breathing representation of what is going on at your company.
Plus, no one will ever find you via search engine if you don’t put things out for them to discover. The Boutwell’s said this was one of the main reasons why they started a blog.
“We also knew that by blogging, Google and other search engines would pick up our information,” Sarah says. “When people Googled information about photographers in our area, T2 Photography or Sarah and Thomas Boutwell, they could easily find our work and us.”
The Possibilities are Endless
No, I’m not talking about slurpee flavor combinations at the 7/11. I’m talking about the endless list of topics you can write about.
Think of your reader. Why did they come to your website?
Give them answers to questions that they might have about your company or its services. What are the most common FAQs people tend to ask personnel? Eliminate negligible comments by providing useful information from the get-go.
Show your expertise. What information can you provide that others can’t? That’s how you become a frontrunner in the industry.
You Can Be Yourself, Sort Of
Everyone is not a writer; yet personal blogging websites like tumblr. and wordpress are blowing up. We suspect that's because blogging gives you a chance to be (more) informal than other social media outlets (like say, your LinkedIn profile).
Some companies blog about the tiny things happening in the office: free taco Tuesday, holiday parties, the boss’s birthday shindig.
Just be sure to keep it professional. You are representing your company. If you are ever unsure whether to post something or not, ask yourself if Momma would approve.
If there’s a hint of hesitation, don’t post it.
You Can’t Afford Not To
The last tidbit is the most important: websites with a continuously updated blog drive at least 55% more traffic than non-blogging sites. Why is that, you say?
“The more content you put on your website, the more reasons Google will have to send people there,” Moon says.
Also, a blog is easily sharable content. Your friend shares the link to your blogpost on Facebook, their friends repost it, it gets 12 Likes and boom! goes the dynamite!
You’re getting all of this new traction to your website thanks to a piece that took you an hour to write.
Set a schedule, and make time to blog. Seriously. Think of it as a smart investment that doesn’t cost any more than time, and it will pay off! You simply just can’t argue with 55%.
Article by: Brittany Gibson, Imagineer || firstname.lastname@example.org