Every blog post you write for your business should help you gain credibility, drive traffic to your website and support your SEO efforts. This may sound like a lot, but if your blog posts aren't doing this, you're wasting your time.
So how do you gain popularity and clout through your blog posts, rev up engagement and boost SEO? Well, it's actually just a matter of employing some simple tricks to make your blog work better for you. Here are five tricks that will turn your blog into a powerhouse that rakes in leads, giving you serious marketing mojo.
Offer Lots of Value
DO NOT put calls to action to buy in your blog posts. Your audience is not at that stage yet. The purpose of a blog isn't to sell, it's to serve. The sales will follow.
Many people freak out about giving away their industry secrets. You don't want to give away all your secrets, but you do want to show you know your stuff and can easily solve problems for people. This paves the way for a trusting relationship.
Most of the time, even if a prospective customer does learn all the ins and outs of how you provide a service or create a product they would still prefer for you to do it for them. And if other people in your industry are using your information, that tends to make you an industry leader, which is the goal, right?
Besides juicy, helpful content, you can provide ample value with links to further information. Definitely link to other posts on your site that might provide more insight on your topic.
Just because there's a comment box at the end of each of your posts doesn't mean that people will comment. If you want people to comment, you have to ask.
Invite comments at the end of each blog post by asking a thought provoking question related to your topic, or ask if anyone has stories to share relating to your topic. People love putting in their two cents.
Follow up your question with something like, "Would love to hear from you. Please comment below." This will make it abundantly clear that you want them to comment.
Just be a good host and respond to all comments you receive. People won't comment if they think you don't read them. Plus, responding to comments is a great way to form relationships.
Want to take it a step further? If you want people to see the comments for your blog post on Facebook, use the Facebook Comments Box. You can get the plug-in here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/comments/
Optimize Your Posts
One of the main functions of a blog is to support SEO. Make sure you use keywords in your post.
The title of your post takes precedence. To come up with an SEO-friendly title, brainstorm questions people might have pertaining to your industry and how they might do a Google search to find answers.
You can chat with customers or look on sites like Quora or Yahoo Answers to help with this process. Just experimenting with various Google searches can help, too. Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to get clear on how people might be searching for the topic, whether or not it has a decent search volume and how competitive the keyword is.
Keep in mind that your blog is an opportunity to come up for more long-tail keywords. This means using very specific keyword phrases that may draw in less traffic than broader keyword phrases (aka short-tail keywords), but result in more quality visitors.
Use the keyword phrase you're targeting towards the beginning of the title. The title of your blog should be 65 characters or less. If you can, use your keywords in the first few sentences of your post, then a couple more times throughout your post - stuffing keywords into your blog post is not in your best interest.
Make All Your Blog Posts Shareable
Making your blog posts shareable starts, of course, with creating valuable content that's worth sharing. But the key is adding social share buttons, so your posts can be shared on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, etc. with just a click.
Making your blog posts shareable doesn't just help with visibility, it helps with SEO. Google factors in social data when indexing a site. If your blog posts get a lot of shares, Google may favor your site over the competition.
You can use ShareThis.com or AddThis.com to add social share buttons to your posts. You also want to make sure you're sharing every post on all the major social media platforms to drive traffic.
Show Google Some Love
Google is pretty candid about the fact that being their buddy is in your best interest. It makes sense, right? According to Searchmetrics, activity on Google Plus is the most important factor in SEO ranking.
If you want to show loyalty to Google, make sure that a Google Plus button is among your social share buttons. Share your blog posts regularly on Google Plus.
And I can't emphasize this enough: set up Google Authorship. Here's a great article that will walk you through how to set it up: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/google-authorship/.
Do you think your blog could benefit from one of these tricks? What have been some of your struggles when it comes to blogging for your business? How do you think some of these tactics might help? Please comment below. Love to hear from ya!
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By Sabrina Gaffney
From blogging to bios, freelance website copywriter Sabrina Gaffney, a.k.a the Cagey Copywriter, offers a powerful profusion of web copywriting tips for optimum marketing results! Connect on Google + or LinkedIn.