3 Steps To Making A Successful Corporate Blog
Blogs are a powerful resource in a company’s portfolio of inbound marketing strategies. However, the majority of corporate blogs waste time and money by creating mediocre content and failing at optimizing it for SEO and conversions. This in turn leads to many companies determining that their blog is not a valuable asset and focusing on other tactics to drive sales and bring in visitors online.
These corporations are missing out on a lot. To name a couple things, they are losing out on the overall SEO value that a good corporate blog could bring to a site and higher retention rates for online customers. And it’s unfortunate that this can easily be prevented with a better understanding of how to apply SEO and conversion optimization strategies to blogs. So, without further rambling, here are 3 simple steps to developing a successful blogging strategy and turning it all around.
1. Be Relevant, But Don’t Be Self-Centered
I usually see two things happen often in company blogs, two things that make me want to throw the writer into a fiery inferno or cast him/her away to a cold lifeless land for all eternity. Fun Fact: I have been watching an unhealthy amount of Game of Thrones.
Things That Will Land You In The Night’s Watch
The first is the promotion of the company’s products in almost every blog post. No one wants to read a sales pitch for a new product every time they visit a company’s blog. They want to hear what the experts have to say about what they do or what your company’s take is on industry news.
People want to know what’s happening with a company, but not necessarily what every product’s features are and why they should buy it. That’s why product pages exist. Now this doesn’t mean a company should never post about their own products. Tell them something they wouldn’t know if they already viewed the product page. In addition, keep the frequency of these posts low.
The second is a company that blogs frequently, but frequently about topics that are in no way relevant to their company’s site and focus. With Google’s massive assault on low quality and irrelevant websites over the past year or so, sites that practice this just won’t make the cut in the SERPs. The best counter strategy is to simply tailor posts to appeal to your user base and keep the topic relevant to your business.
These are essentially two ends of the spectrum for a corporate blog, companies that aim for the middle tend to succeed in providing the most value to their visitors and themselves. Providing relevant and quality content keeps visitors coming back and this keeps your brand on their mind. Trust me. You don’t want to end up outcast and fending off White Walkers at The Wall.
Why You Should Trust Me
In terms of SEO, your blog posts will start to naturally rank for long tail keyword phrases. This won’t bring a herd of visitors to your site, however, it will bring more qualified visitors if your content is relevant.
As an example, let’s say I blogged for a company that sells men’s suits. I might write a post titled 5 Tips To Buying the Perfect Suit. What this does is bring in organic search visitors that will be more likely to buy a suit from your website because they are already searching for tips on how suits should fit or what to look for in a suit. These visitors are further down the sales pipeline than the ones that come to a site through broader search terms.
So this brings me back to the two ends of the spectrum – remember not to scare these visitors away by selling your products too hard and don’t bring the wrong type of qualified visitors to your site by writing about something irrelevant.
2. Be The James Bond Of Internal Linking
So by now you are probably furious. Hey, I understand – I just told you that you are shit out of luck if you directly market your products in your blog. Just calm down and think what would James Bond do?
As much as you would like to think the solution involves a catastrophic world ending plan easily foiled by one drunk man in a tux recklessly driving a really expensive car subsidized by the British Government, it isn’t. It’s actually much much more thrilling.
The Man with the Golden Link
The solution is that you can indirectly market your products through internal linking. It just has to be done suavely. If James Bond was doing your job, he would be extremely smooth about where and when he linked internally. He would only use the most clever anchor text, making it unbearable not to click on.
The outcome of his work: readers holding one of your company’s products, never knowing that was part of the plan. Meanwhile, he’s spending all their hard earned money on martinis, tuxedos, and high stakes poker.
It’s important to link internally to products in a way that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the article. If it sounds forced it means you aren’t really linking to anything relevant and that will simply lower the quality of your article. The more relevant the products being linked to are, the higher the probability of a reader converting when they follow the link.
3. Write First, Then Optimize
As I mentioned before, blog posts will rank for long tail keyword phrases in the SERPs, but you may want to influence which keyword phrases it’s targeted for. This optimization process usually starts with keyword research and then producing content that is optimized for the exact keyword phrase(s) that will provide the most SEO value. However, in the interest of producing quality content I believe reversing this process is always the best strategy. Doing initial keyword research to determine a topic to write about is smart, but determining specific keyword phrases prior to writing your post is not.
Reversing The Process
Having a keyword phrase in mind can shift the thinking process from how can I make this article compelling to how can I use this keyword in the article here and here and here. When you begin writing and you are writing for the purpose of SEO, the quality of the article degrades and readers will see through this. Finish the article first and review the final product – determine what the overarching subject is and target phrases in the article that are most relevant to the subject.
Once you have that list, gather your keyword research and find related keyword phrases with better search metrics that can seamlessly replace them. When you do this, the continuity of the article remains the same while drawing in more visitors through organic search. In my experience, this process is actually more efficient and the end product produces better engagement.
Tools To Get You Started
Those that are unfamiliar with keyword research tools should start with Ubersuggest, Merge Words, and the Google Adwords Tool. These tools can provide you with an array of keyword variations and the Adwords Tool will get you started with some metrics to analyze your list of keywords. When you get comfortable with these tools, you can find some advanced tactics and tools here.
It’s All Part Of The Plan
Anyways it’s all part of an overarching strategy to increasing the value of your company’s blog through SEO and optimizing it for conversions. Just always keep the basic process in mind – bring in qualified organic visitors through long tail keywords, keep them engaged through quality content, and indirectly market your product through internal linking from your content to your products.Tweet