The internet and digital technology is constantly evolving and it is also changing how we live our lives. For businesses in particular, technology is affecting how we interact, reach and advertise to our customers. As more customers move to use online stores and involve the internet in their purchasing patterns, then more and more businesses are beginning to develop and recognise the value of an online presence.
For some businesses this online space may just have been a website with contact details, or for others perhaps a full online shop. However it is now recognised that businesses that have a blog are more likely to generate leads, and get more links to their website over those that do not.
The decision to develop a business blog can be a difficult one to make. It does take time and effort and many businesses may be unsure of what exactly they will achieve, by having their own blog as well as the website. However there are many benefits for businesses that have a blog compared to those that don’t.
For example according to elive8group businesses with a blog have been shown to receive more traffic from general search engine searches, than businesses that do not have a blog.
Blogs are often used as part of a content or inbound marketing strategy. This is because many people are reluctant to click on adverts on a website and so traditional outbound marketing strategies are no longer effective.
An example of this can be seen in an article by hubspot, which showed that most people (less than 0.06%) do not click on display ads regardless of where they are placed and many will not trust banner ads at all.
Purpose of a Business Blog
The purpose of a business blog is ultimately to attract potential customers and spend a some time with them. This time spent together can be for a number of different reasons.
- Blogs are a great way to share information about the industry or niche that you represent.
- They also allow the customer to read more about possible products or services that they may buy from you.
- They are a way to share about the ethos of your business and let customers get to know you.
- You can share real life stories about your product or service in action, either in the community or in other workplaces.
Whatever the reason for the blog, once you have decided to invest in the resources and time to manage it then it needs to have regular high quality content. Not only do the articles or blog posts need to be thought out and in line with your overall business marketing strategy, but it also needs to target the right audience.
A good article read by the wrong people isn’t much use in terms of selling products, and one of the ways that the right audience can be found is by using the right keywords.
Using Keywords in Business Blogs
The term keyword is often used with search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques, and many SEO guides explain keyword use purely in terms of trying to get a higher ranking on Google.
However in a business scenario it is important to recognise that the keywords that are used, need to match the current market trends in your business. Otherwise your pages could be ranked highly but are still never seen by your target audience.
Choosing the right keyword is therefore nearly if not more so, as important as the content you write. There are three main ways in which to know whether your keyword works and that is by ensuring that;
- It is relevant to your customers
- It answers a question asked by a customer
- It will get your page shown in the search results
Keywords are a reflection of the needs of your customers. If you know what a customer wants and you can provide the answer or solution to their problem, then they will trust you.
If a customer trusts you then they will be more likely to buy what ever products you recommend for them.
Finding Questions in Industry Forums
if you know the questions that are being asked within your niche or industry, then you have already identified an area that has keywords. For example in the screenshot below I have selected the current questions being asked by affiliate marketeers on Wealthy Affiliate, which is an industry training forum site.
Industry forums are a great way of finding out which topics people are discussing and what problems they are encountering. If the questions are being asked in these places then it is likely that these same questions are also being asked in search queries. Writing posts that answer these questions ensures two things –
- Google will recognise that your content is relevant to this topic.
- You have a ready made audience that all need answers to this particular question.
Entering a keyword term into the search engine can also show other questions and topics that people are searching for. An example below shows what happens when I type in ‘Search engine’ for a post topic. The results show that I could focus on search engines, search engine definition or search engine optimisation
Google also shows at the bottom of the search page, a list of other queries that have been made that are linked to this term. In this case there are more themes such as search engine examples, Russian search engine or image search engines.
Both of these Google functions provide information about words on this topic, especially ideas for long tail keywords or themes using a particular keyword.
The final way in which google can be used is called the alphabet technique. Here you type in your chosen keyword theme and after that you add an ‘a’ as shown below.
Google promptly shows all the search topics linked to your keyword starting with a – search engine advertising, algorithm, agent etc.
You can repeat this process for any or all of the letters in the alphabet giving a whole new range of keywords and topic ideas that people are searching for.
Any phrases that you select can then be entered in a keyword tool such as Jaaxy, and checked for competition and search results.
Getting Noticed with Keywords
A blog only gets read by customers if they find it. Existing customers may already know about your website, but part of the role of a blog is to attract potential new customers. This can only happen if the articles and posts that you write are being found in searches.
One of the SEO ways to try and get ranked higher is to use long tail keywords, which are more specific and aimed at targeted searches.
This strategy can also work for businesses, so long as you have done your research and know which long tailed keywords will reach the right audience and potential customers.
Using Longtail Keywords in Business Blogs
Longtail keywords contain more than 2 words and are often used to attract more targeted types of visitor that are looking for something specific. The traffic results are usually lower but the competition is also lower which improves ranking prospects. Some keyword tools such as Jaaxy show all these figures in their search results which makes analysing the figures easier.
A Keyword Quality Indicator or KQI is shown in Jaaxy, which is either red, yellow or green depending on whether it is a good or weak keyword. This type of quick analysis is useful to determine whether a blog post is likely to reach a smaller more targeted audience or a larger and more general audience.
There are two main figures that need to be considered;
- Monthly searches – this should be a reasonably high number otherwise it will take a long time to build traffic from these figures.
- Quality search results (QSR) – this is the number of sites competing for this phrase, if search results are low and competition is high then the chances of getting noticed are slim.
In order for a keyword to get ranked fairly easily the ratio between searches and competition should be fairly low. In other words, there should be enough searches to get traffic and not too many other sites offering the same product.
It may be tempting to see your business blog as an extension of the main website and start using it to promote your products. However blogs are usually used as part of an inbound marketing strategy rather than as a direct sales page.
This means that a content marketing strategy is used to engage an audience first and inform them of your company, products and values of the company.
For example if your site is about environmentally friendly cleaning products, then a blog could have several articles on different environmental issues associated with traditional cleaning substances, recycling, packaging etc.
Once your readers know that you genuinely care about the environment and are knowledgeable on a number of issues related to your products, then they will start to trust the products that you begin to recommend.
Keywords & Social Media
Businesses are using social media as a way to engage with customers, but again many companies are just using it as another form of advertising. A blog can link to your social media site and inform your audience so that they are constantly reading new pieces of information and following your company.
Keywords are important because they let the readers know instantly what your article is about. If the keyword research has been done correctly then your blog content should match a need or answer a common question in your niche or business area.
You can encourage followers to be active and engage with you by replying through comments, you can ask for their advice or problems in relation to certain products. When you have offers or sales you can then target your blog followers and ask for feedback and they will already be accustomed to engaging with you.
There is no doubt that writing a business blog is challenging but it can also be a very cost effective and extremely rewarding way to recruit new customers and also retain the interest of existing ones. Business is all about building relationships and blogging is a way to reach all your customers at once and build customer loyalty.
There are a number of useful resources on this site to help you further develop your business blog, and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter in the side bar, to stay up to date with regular advice and ideas for business blogging.
- Books and resources section
- How to Get Ideas for Blog Content
- Why Blogging is the best Way to Attract Links to Your Website
- SEO Tips for Blogging
Bets of luck and if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below, I answer all comments within 24 hrs (usually!)