This is a myth put forth by some marketing consultants and debunked in the book “Marketing Myths that are Killing Business”, by Clancy & Shulman. Truth is it is hard to tell if a marketing program is working. Well, that is until the internet and business blogging.Enter Google Analytics
When we blog for business, we keep our topic focused. That topic gets good initial visibility on the search engines and using the FREE Google Analytics software, we can measure the effectiveness of the posting. If people are digesting your content AND visiting another page on your company website, then your business blog marketing strategy is working… However, if the phone does not ring then one might conclude that the effort failed.Business Blogs Gather Traffic
Your website makes the case for people to call.
- Use your blog to capture keyword focused search engine visibility
- Provide value to the reader in the form of knowledge they can use
- leave the selling to your other Web Pages
All to often we, as business owners / operators, panic when we see lots of web traffic but not phone calls. This is a business matrix. Find the most common page visitors read next, after your business blog posting. Have a trusted friend read the second page and ask them this question:
What, if any, action are you inspired to take?
If the answer is none, then you have found the failure in your marketing program. Modify the page and repeat the process. In business, we improve that which we measure. Use Google Analytics to measure your marketing effort and keep adjusting until your phone starts to ring.
There is no such thing as instant results or a sure thing in internet marketing. For that matter, we can expand that statement to all marketing. The most expensive TV commercials can (and often do) fail. Therefore, when looking to business blogging as a marketing tactic for your business, do so with the following basic understanding: business blogging is a long term process, not a short term solution.
Unlike other marketing methods, business blogging is the process of building a relationship with potential customers. When blogging, consider the following:
- People prefer to do business with people they know and like.
- Nobody likes to hear (or read) a slick sales pitch.
- Just because you say it doesn’t make it so.
As business owners it is hard to avoid the trap of self importance. When we attend chamber meetings and business networking events we spend our precious few seconds giving our elevator speech (which is almost always an abbreviated sales pitch). Because an elevator speech is geared toward educating folks about your products and services, they make for horrible business blog postings.
When blogging, you should focus on helping others. Keep your topic focused on your visitor and give them FREE information they can use to improve something.
Do not try to write a single blog post on more than a single topic. Your first target audience member are the search engines; if you try to include too many topics, then the search engines will not know how to list your info.
Lastly, be personal. Business blogging is informal by nature: so do not try to write poetic master works. The biggest fear of business blogging is someone will judge your business based on a mis-spelled word or the incorrect use or a comma. Some may, but most will not. Unless, of course, your business is writing!
Ed Bejarana Zenith Exhibits, Inc.
Get a FREE business blog site at PDXchat.com
Business blogging increases search engine visibility through keyword focus in a text based presentation.
So how does a small business use their blog to find new customers?
A typical mistake is to write about your great deal, product features and benefits, or all the money one can save. Those are called sales pitches. American consumers do not like a sales pitch.
Write about your customers, your passions, your history in your profession, ways your product improves lives, your charitable efforts, and your feelings. Yes feelings.
All things being equal, people prefer to do business with people they know and like. Keep it professional and avoid any topics you wouldn’t discuss at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in a mixed crowd. Writing about your feelings is not writing a diary, rather your feelings as they pertain to your chosen profession.
Your blog can be a product announcement, so long as you say so right up front. Mixing press releases, product announcements, research and development progress with personal growth in your business will help give your readers some insight they can not find anywhere else.
Unlike all other forms of print media, your business blog is an informal marketing medium where you can lower your guard and speak from your heart. When you, you’ll find the comments and feedback you receive will go a long ways towards increase customer connections and higher search engine rankings.
Get a FREE business blog site at PDXchat.com
WordPress is a powerful personal publishing platform, and it comes with a great set of features designed to make your experience as a publisher on the Internet as easy, pleasant and appealing as possible. We are proud to offer you a freely distributed, standards-compliant, fast, light and free personal publishing platform, with sensible default settings and features, and an extremely customizable core.Contents
- 1 License and Platform
- 2 Managing and Administering the Weblog
- 3 Publicizing Your Work
- 4 Customizing the Design
- 5 Creating Content
- 6 Archives and Search
- 7 Discussion and Comments
- 8 Creating and Managing a Blogroll
- License : WordPress is licensed under the GPL.
- all comments before they appear on the blog
- comments with specific words in them
- comments posted from specific IP addresses
- comments containing more than some specified number of links.
Since blogging become the activity dujure, people like me have been trying to mold the technology into a business tool. Too often I see business people trying to blog about social activities or, worse yet, blogging direct sales pitches—both of which are doomed for failure.
My feeling is the problem with business blogging is the term blogging. Since a blog, more often than not, is viewed as an online diary/chit-chat arena; business people struggle to find the relevancy for inclusion in their marketing effort.
I have coached a few hundred clients now how to use blog technology to educate their consumer base, providing “how to” based info to capture “Long Tail” traffic, but many still struggle to gain traction using the medium because, I think, the word BLOG. So, we are creating a new word.
Business blogging is most effective as an education platform. Take Web and Educate and we get WEDUCATE.
Weducate – the process of writing search engine optimized articles that help consumers solve challenges they face with the goal of providing overwhelming evidence that you are the service provider with the knowledge to service their needs.
When we weducate our consumers, we do so absent of any direct sales pitch. While we are free to include targeted advertisements in the footer and sidebar areas of our weducation article, the article itself should be devoid of any sales-based call to action.
I am often asked, “What fonts can I use on my website?”
The answer isn’t always very easy. It depends. Web sites are rendered by using fonts that are installed on the visitor’s computer. While font selection in artwork can be anything, selectable text on the web page is limited to which font family you use. Here is a link to a great site that estimates the installation based on the most commonly used fonts.
When choosing a font for your new website, you are best to pick a couple different fonts. One as the primary and a couple of the most commonly used as backups. When programming your website, we can tell the visitor’s web browser, we prefer to use font A, but if you don’t have font A, then go a head and use font B or C.
Sometimes the best marketing strategy is to give readers tips for how to chose the right service provider. Your tips should include things to look for, ask for or ways to negotiate better deals. In reality, your motivation is to highlight how much service “you” provide as compared to your competition: however, you are not allowed to talk about yourself.
A tips and Tricks article does not follow the business blogging outline (i.e. state a thesis, support the idea, etc.), but instead your tip article will give several micro statements in the form of instructions. For example, let’s assume you are writing some tips on how to buy the right kitchen appliance. Your article might be phrases as such:
Don’t ask the appliance sales guy which washer he likes best, ask him to show you the consumer reports write up on three of his best washers. Take note of his reaction, those who use pressure based sales techniques will commit to asking his boss for the reports while showing you his top seller. The company who believes in service will have those reports with him, or in very close proximity.
Article length should around 300 words and be broken up into no more than five or six paragraphs. The idea is to brings visitors to your web site based on micro-chunks of knowledge. If your article is too long, reading it will feel daunting.
Limit the number of tips you write to three or four at most. Too many tips and your keyword performance will suffer.
Using our example above, you don’t need to highlight your companies focus on providing consumer reports to anyone who asks, it is implied in the fact that you wrote the tip.
Pay Per Click Advertising is the fastest way to get new traffic to your website, but it requires lots of forethought in the ad creation.
Understanding the Limitations
Besides the punctuation limitations found in the Google Adwords help section, here are field size restrictions you must take into account when building your ad.
Headline: 25 characters Description line 1: 35 characters Description line 2: 35 characters Display URL : 35 characters (must be a valid looking address) Destination URL: Any length necessary
Before getting starting, keep the following thoughts in mind as you create your first ad.
- Don’t Rush!
- Rushing leads to unplanned action and unplanned action has no measurement system by which improvements can be made.
- Rushing also leads to poor keyword selection. The goal is NOT maximum clicks, it is getting the maximum value for each click. Less is more, fewer, more qualified leads will out pace thousands of unqualified leads
- Plan Each Word
- You don’t have a lot of space. Reader will be skimming, so abbreviations are acceptable, but they must be obvious.
- Focus on your target audience. Don’t shoot for everyone, because you will be paying for clicks that will immediately bounce away.
- Create multiple (competing) ads
- Your great slogan may be a legend in your own mind! Run multiple ad versions for the same (limited) keyword set so you can see which ads work best.
Use Google’s Keyword tool to help you find the best keyword options for your desired ad. Don’t write your ad to random keywords; find the right keywords for your perfect ad.
Using the Google Keyword tool to try and create your ad will lead to an expensive failure. Decide what you are selling, write copy using the character restrictions above, and then find the best keywords to support the ad copy you created.
Websites are mission critical in today’s business because 88% of all American Internet users “Use a search engine to find information.” (Pew Internet – April 2009) WordPress based sites are search engine friendly and can be setup to automatically fill in the necessary meta data fields. Plus WordPress uses a ping feature to alert the search engines on new or updated information on your website.
The most important reason to switch to WordPress
You can add, change or remove information with out having to hire a web programmer. You also don’t need any expensive software, you need only your web browser and an internet connection.
WordPress is not limited to a certain number of pages or posts. You can write a separate page for each of your products and services. Individual pages or posts for your services improve your search engine visibility because there is more information on a single topic on your page or post. Since search engines read your content and evaluate the page value for their searchers, have a single topic per page means your content will be scored higher. A higher content score translates into a higher search engine position.
WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are thousands of people all over the world working on it. Writing new code, improving the technology and making new tools that help your visitors find you easier. The best part, is WordPress is FREE.