13 tips for making your business blog a go-to destination

Social media and marketing pros share tips for how to use your business blog to attract new customers, improve customer loyalty and strengthen your brand.

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An added bonus: When you “highlight people, [they will] do the marketing for you,” says Travis Marziani, co-owner, B Dancewear. “Everyone loves good press, and they will share it with all their friends and their entire network.”

7. Reward your readers. Reward blog readers by informing them of new product releases, changes to your products or services and providing them with coupon codes and discounts on your products or services.

8. Leverage keywords. “By using rich key words in our optimized blog, we now appear at the top of a Google search when typing in terms such as ‘commercial construction trends,’ ‘retail construction trends,’ or ‘commercial construction blog,’ which has driven new clients to us,” says Taylor. “In fact, more than one client has told us they ultimately chose Englewood because of the plethora of easily searchable online content about Englewood Construction, including [our blog,] Hard Hat Chat.”

Just take the time to research keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business or product or service – and avoid short generic or common terms that are used by everyone.

9. Include attractive photos, useful (or funny, but relevant) videos and/or helpful infographics. “Blog posts that utilize infographics and quality imagery [and videos] are more likely to be shared,” says Joshua Ballard, PR & content coordinator at SilverDoor, a serviced apartment provider.

10. Determine the best day and time(s) to post. “Finding the right time to post is crucial in order to reach the bulk of your target audience,” says Austin Paley, corporate marketing communications manager, Blue Fountain Media, a digital agency. “The best time of day to schedule your posts will vary depending on your audience and vertical,” he says. “To identify what time is going to be the best to post, install Google Analytics [on your blog] so you can tell when users are the most active. Whatever time of day that is should be close to the time that you post. “At Blue Fountain Media, we find that if we publish posts at 2 p.m., they tend to have a 5 to 10 percent lower bounce rate, and a page value that is anywhere from 200 to 300 percent higher than posts published at other times.”

11. Make sure your blog is searchable. Allow visitors to your blog to search for content by category, date (month) or keyword or phrase. That way they can find older, valuable content quickly and easily.

12. Share your blog posts on social media and via email. “Share content and insights through relevant channels: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook… ,” says Jennifer Halloran, vice president of marketing at Mobiquity, a professional services firm focused on mobile engagement. “Promote blog [posts] via social [sites] – and not just when you release [them]. Simple social scheduling tools like Hootsuite make this an easy thing to do. If you know the content will be part of a series, link back to it in future posts.”

And be sure to include an email opt-in on your blog, too, so you can email customers your latest blog post as soon as you publish it.

13. Use analytics to find out what's working – and what’s not. “Web analytics are your friend (as are your social analytics if you're pushing out posts through your social channels),” says Beth Monaghan, principal and cofounder, InkHouse, a PR firm. “What search terms are bringing people to your site? Which blog posts are garnering the highest traffic? Which ones are keeping people the longest? By quickly revisiting and analyzing your analytics every few weeks [or weekly], you can be strategic about which topics resonate the most, and which ones do not,” she explains.

“You should also look to see what content is being amplified through social channels using a tool like Brandwatch,” she adds. “With [that] data in hand, you can create a strategy (including a calendar) that looks to leverage the topics that are of most interest to your audience.”

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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