The Key to Online Success in 2013 – The Blog
Blogs are defined as the space for short updated posts that are arranged chronologically. Business blogs have become such a great tool for communicating with both your target customers as well as with your employees. It’s a great way to share your company’s achievements, promotions, and other important updates and even fun things. But aside from connecting with potential clients, it is also one of the only surefire methods left for creating targeted traffic.
Why Could A Blog Be Useful?
The great thing about blogging is that most blog software is extremely user friendly. Almost anyone could start one. Updating your posts is hassle free without need for much complex web coding. Blogging is a much more affordable alternative for bolstering your web presence. Small businesses could really benefit from this, getting your brand’s name carved in its very own online space. Aside from these, it has a positive impact for other online marketing factors such as search engine optimization. And, this is very important especially since the usual methods of SEO, such as link acquisition, is becoming less effective. Google has also changed the game by making SERP more personalized based on past searches as well as on things such as geographic location.
Google Has Proven Time and Again That SEO is Unpredictable
Despite this fact, one thing that is still effective for positive optimization is keeping a steady flow of blog posts. In fact, the new Google environment lets business blogs thrive. Why? Blogs are always relevant and add a steady stream of authoritative posts. Blogs also make readers stay longer on the page, as well as generate more activity from people commenting and clicking. Both of these factors are things that Google likes. Blogs can also participate in the new Google Authorship system. Simple rel=”author” links are best used in blogs and really create authority, as well as displaying an author profile pic in SERP which has been shown to increase CTR. Another thing that is is popular now is guest posting (having articles on other people’s blogs). This is one of the few ways left for getting links that are really relevant. This is easily achieved if you have a blog yourself.
Above: An example of Google Authorship, A profile image is displayed next to the relevant piece of content in SERP’s.
SEO, Content Marketing, and Social Media Affect Each Other – Blogging is Key
SEO is now affected by social media activities such as sharing, comments, likes, and most importantly +1′s. Content marketing is also the bread and butter of effective online strategy. Blogging is important for SEO but it is also central to both social media and content marketing.
- Blogs, even though they are for business, are still more personal, and this is something that people like to see. It also provides the content necessary to create social communities which have an affinity with your brand.
- A blog is a more controlled environment than social media (which can get messy). Aside from that, a blog will be able to create engagement because it’s posts are driven by customer FAQ’s rather than the brand’s own promotional activities.
- A brand that has no blog gets less credibility from social media. Without its own blog, a company will have to be bound to Twitter or Facebook, and not only does that not help with credibility, it can also be unstable since you will have no other hub for your community.
The Best Way To Blog This 2013
High Standards – Yes, blogs have to be well written and must have authoritative and relevant content. But it should also fit the new social media environment, meaning it has to be engaging and it should be created to be mobile browser friendly.
Build Relationships – Blogging is now highly social in many ways. Not only is it intertwined with social media, it is also necessary to build relationships so you can do guest posting and have great bloggers write for you. These relationships take time, so build trust whenever you can.
Fusion Of Insights – As with any SEO practice, bloggers will need to both be conscious of their brand and marketing strategies vis-à-vis the keyword and linking strategy they will incorporate. There is a need to fuse insights from the marketing position as well as with the understanding of the customer’s position.
Personal Approach – Social marketing strategies such as blogging need to come from a personal perspective. Your brand needs to have a personal voice which is what customers are comfortable with and trust. A firm has to understand the blog standards. Outside help is a great addition and can really pull you through the technical side of the issue, but in the end you have to let your own voice shine through.
Is Your Firm Equipped?
Creating a higher level of online engagement is not easy. Some firms might not have enough resources or staff. Are you ready to hit this road for 2013? And perhaps here is a more pertinent question: in this fairly unsure economic atmosphere we have right now, can you really risk being left behind in the online marketplace?
*Feature Image courtesy of Karen Woodward