Business Guide to Blogging

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Business Guide to Blogging

  1. 1. White Paper: Business Guide to BloggingAn introduction by Kevin Gibbons,Director of Search, SEOptimiseThe SEOptimise blog began as away of marketing our search engineoptimisation services. We used itinitially to attract customers, add tothe site’s content and showcase ourexpertise. It still does all those things,of course, but it has also become somuch more.Our blog has grown incredibly overthe last few years. We now have morethan 6,500 subscribers and over 8,500 Your blog fills your pages with relevant will be able to see you have eloquenceTwitter followers. Our search team content, providing an ideal platform and opinions, meaning you stand toregularly contributes, as well as other for your targeted keywords to be used gain exposure and publicity.authority bloggers. in a natural setting.I have been invited to write for other Salesresources, including the prestigious It encourages people to link to your Although a blog should never be usedSearch Engine Land and Econsultancy website, adding to your credibility for bare-faced selling, it can still be a- showcasing SEOptimise’s name and in the search engine’s eyes, but it great platform for driving sales.enhancing its credibility. also allows you to build internal links within your site, making it more easily Your posts should always offer theThe benefits of our blog have gone far navigated by search engine spiders. reader value and not simply be anbeyond simply attracting the search extension of your sales literature,engines’ attention and it has become a Your blog will be filled with regular but they can still mention and link toreal source of pride to all my team. fresh content, which means the relevant products elsewhere in your search engines visit your pages more site.Blogging has worked incredibly well frequently. That means that breakingfor us, so in this guide, we want to news, product launches and other Personalityshow how it can work wonders for important events gain maximum search Blogs are, by their nature, much moreyour business too. exposure as quickly as possible. informal than the rest of a business’ website. They are chatty, casual, andWe’ve tried to keep it as accessible Authority a platform for opinion, humour andand non-technical as possible so you By regularly updating your corporate advice.can see how quickly you could make a blog with industry analysis andcorporate blog work for you. comment, you cement your business as For a visitor considering whether or an authority within your sector. not to purchase a service from yourThe many benefits of blogging organisation, this makes you seem A successful blog allows you to be the more approachable and gives yourWhy blog? Done well, there are many opinion former rather than just another business a human face.benefits to a business blog, and these business. It shows that you have a deepare far more varied and extended than interest in your sector and are more The internet can be impersonal, but amight be immediately obvious. informed than the average participant. blog is definitely not. Your potential customers will find thisAlthough this guide begins with the a compelling reason to choose you over Trafficmost obvious reason for blogging – to competitors. If your blog is interesting and relevantassist in your company’s search engine to someone’s work or life, then theyoptimisation (SEO) campaign – you Media will continue to visit. Perhaps they willshould soon see how useful a corporate It isn’t just your industry that will see subscribe or save you to their favouritesjournal can be in enhancing other areas you as an authority. If a news story – either way, a useful blog will soonof your marketing efforts. happens that closely involves your have a crowd of regular followers. sector, the press will be looking forSEO someone to discuss it with. Even if those followers are not in theWhen it comes to organic optimisation, market for your particular product ornamely, where your company ranks in The more obscure your industry, the service at the time, when they come tothe search engine results pages, a blog more the media will struggle to know do so, your website will be at the frontticks every box. who to interview, so having a blog will of their mind. make you a prime candidate. Journalists
  2. 2. What to blog about anyway, these should flow seamlessly be interesting’. Don’t worry, industry- into your content. specific blog posts don’t have to bePerhaps you’re reading this guide and interesting to the wider community,thinking: “Well, this is all very well for Make your headlines work hard just to your target audience. Make suresome businesses but no one wants to The headline is the hook that will entice they are!read a blog about my industry.” You’re the reader into clicking on the story, sovery wrong. don’t stuff it with keywords. However, Be snappy if you can use them then do and aim to Online readers are lazy. It’s much moreOkay, so if you manufacture pesticides use H1, H2 or H3 headings. difficult to read something on a screenthen your blog may never make the and crowded paragraphs and crammedGuardian’s Most Recommended Blogs Inside your content, break up the post text is hard to read and unappealing.2010 as it’s unlikely to have widespread into sections and use subheadings,appeal. again preferably in H2 or H3. It will be Write snappy sentences and keep your easier to use your keywords in these paragraphs short. Each paragraphHowever, you don’t want your blog to subheadings and it also breaks down should only be one or two sentenceshave widespread appeal, you want it the copy for your reader and makes it long.to contain very specialised information easier to digest.and analysis that those interested Readers will often only scan the firstin your services or operating in your Don’t be afraid to link out few paragraphs (newspapers call thissector would read. Many people don’t want to link out of the pyramid effect – they read all of their blog posts, for fear the Google the first paragraph, then a little less,Think about some of the questions you spiders will zip off to other pages and even less, and then barely anythinghad when you first moved into your never return to you. by the end of the article) so make sureindustry and then answer them. List any important points or links are madeoff advice you share with clients and However, links are an important aspect early on.flag up interesting case studies - the of the online community and by linkingopportunities are endless. to relevant pages and resources you’re Grab them enhancing your readers’ experiences Make your headline and introductionBy freely giving out advice and and also building useful connections exciting. Pick the most relevant pointinformation you will become an online to other websites. They may well link and outline it – tell the reader whatrepository of specialist knowledge and to you in return, especially if you’ve your article is going to do. This isthis will attract the specialist, relevant written a response to a blog post of essential if you are going to encourageaudience you need. theirs. your readers to click through to the full post.How to write for search engines Make your meta data unique Avoid duplicated content like the Avoid punctuationWhen blogging, the most important plague and give each blog post its own Now, obviously, don’t avoidthing to do is write for people and meta description. Spelling it out for the punctuation that you need, but donot search engines alone. Google et search engines never hurts. limit the amount you use. Once again,al have become far more sophisticated remember that the online reader is veryand keyword-stuffed content is not URL lazy – unnecessary punctuation crowdswhat they’re after. There’s no point Don’t just use a unique number as a the copy and makes them less likely tohaving brilliantly optimised copy that URL, for example ‘yourdomain.com/ read it. Keeping sentences short willvisitors click away from once they get blog/00012345’ isn’t going to get mean you don’t need to cram it full ofthere. Those all-important inbound anyone’s attention. Use your headlines commas and semi-colons, so bear it inlinks will only come if a blog’s content as the latter part of your URLs - it’s mind.is interesting. better for the reader, easier to keep track of and it will make the search SP&GHowever, there are some other key ways engines happy. Remember your spelling, punctuationto make a blog even more attractive to and grammar – get them right. Onlinesearch engines, here are the key ones: Internal links readers are a little more blasé about Your website’s internal links will keep what they’re reading than they wouldKeep going the search engine crawlers zinging be with a newspaper or magazine,There will be times when updating the around inside your site, so it’s worth but that doesn’t mean you should becorporate blog is so low down in your adding them wherever appropriate. complacent.list of priorities that you just discard it– but that’s dangerous. Search engines Link to your site throughout your blog Do check your copy for grammaticalwant regular, fresh content – it keeps and consider adding a ‘recent blog errors and typos, or ask a colleaguethem coming back to your pages more posts’ fragment to your home page to scan your content. Your blog is anoften and gives greater visibility to any or somewhere on your pages. This will extension of your corporate personachanges you make on your site. also encourage your readers to click so errors could damage your authorityIf you don’t have time, ask another through. Use your keywords as the and appeal.member of staff to contribute, or hyperlinked text where you can.even occasionally use a professional About SEOptimise:blogger to create an article for you. If Blogging do’s and don’tsyou allow your blog to slack off, the Writing for the web is different to SEOptimise is a leading search enginesearch engines and your readers will writing for print, an offline brochure marketing agency that helps businesseslose interest. or email, and it’s a new skill you’ll need increase their website’s visibility on to work at. the internet. SEOptimise also runsConsider your keywords one of the top English LanguageKeep keywords in mind throughout the People read differently online. Most marketing blogs in the world, rankedcontent and use them naturally. Talk to importantly, they are much less on the AdvertisingAge Power 150 List.whoever is managing your wider SEO committed to the content. They haven’t The blog has more than 6,500 RSScampaign and find out what the long- paid for it (usually) and have probably subscribers and is followed by moretail keywords being targeted are i.e. the just clicked through to it. Bore them than 9,000 Twitter users.more specific and lengthy search terms, or offend them and they’ll easily clickfor example ‘car insurance for women’ away again. Website: www.seoptimise.cominstead of just ‘car insurance’. Sinceyou’ll be writing about the industry That means the most essential ‘do’ is ‘do Blog: http://www.seoptimise.com/blog SEOptimise Limited | The Magdalen Centre, Oxford Science Park, Oxford. OX4 4GA | Tel: +44 (0) 845 2990818 | Web: www.SEOptimise.com

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