2012-02 Business Blogs—Changing the Way the World Sees You

Master the ‘blogosphere’ and increase your brand value

A business blog today is much more than an online journal for companies to share news and views. Yes, it’s true that blogs can transform your business but more than that, an effective blog can change the way your customers, employees and associates perceive your business. As thought leadership becomes the leading objective of your blog, a growing audience starts to recognize the distinctive value your company brings to the table.

Your business blog can truly transform the way the world sees you—and the best part is, you are in control to shape and nurture this image for greater profitability, steady growth and dominant leadership in the competitive landscape.

What a Blog Can Do For Your Business

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Business blogs are an excellent corporate tool to share a company’s expertise, offer a perspective on the industry, i.e. trends and developments, build additional web traffic, and connect with potential customers. Blogs are popular with online audiences because they offer fresh new voices and opinions. Business blogs can increase SEO ranking by on-page optimization, off-page optimization or link building, content creation and internal linking.

 

A blog lets you reach a bigger audience

  • With a blog, you can establish yourself as an expert in your industry
  • Gives you free publicity through search engine results pages
  • Can bring more traffic to your website
  • It’s another way to interact with your customers
  • Makes your website look more active and content rich (great for SEO)
  • A blog shows the human side of your business, and that you aren’t just an anonymous Internet entity.
  • Gives you a medium to promote new products and offers feedback / reactions quicker than other methods.

Blog your way to a successful business

How best can you use a business blog to enhance your online presence?

  • Social Media. The business blog can be used to complement media and traditional marketing by incorporating social links such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.
  • Promotions. If you run frequent promotions, you can use a blog to highlight them. Remember to make offers that match audience wants/needs.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). If you get a lot of inquiries and comments via your website, you can post the most common questions on a blog.
  • News. The most common use for business blogs is news, usually about topics relevant to the industry and to the company.
  • Photo Blog. A daily photo and a short description can be quite compelling for your customers.
  • Contests. Daily contests and games are a great promo on a blog. They are fun, and bring your customers back for more.
  • ‘What’s New’ Pages. If you add new articles, information, or products regularly to your website, it can be difficult for your customers to find out what’s new. A quick blog entry can show them what’s updated on your site.
  • What’s Coming? You can use a blog to pique interest in future products or projects. With a “Comments” feature on your blog, you can invite feedback and perhaps testimonials too.

Do’s and Don’ts for business blogging

Ultimately, even though increasing organic traffic is important, for a blog to succeed and last long, it is more important to write clear, compelling content for human readers.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for effective business blogging:

Do’s

  • Add links within your blog posts pointing back to other important pages that will help your rankings.
  • Make sure the information you provide on your business blog is meaningful to customers and updated frequently, so they have a reason to return.
  • Engage visitors in a dialogue. Filter out spam and profanity, but encourage comments, views and opinions without moderating them too much.
  • Every blog article and post is an SEO opportunity. You can’t realistically optimize your site for every long tail search term, but you can certainly target niche keyword phrases. Each keyword or phrase should be within the first sentence or two of your blog.

Don’ts

  • Blog posts ought to be useful to your site visitors. Don’t just talk about your products; instead offer useful, free information that people can use. Blog articles garner links because they are interesting, informative, and not overly corporate or sales-focused.
  • Don’t keep using corporate rhetoric, acronyms and jargon that only a few will comprehend. Use common terms, keep the sentences grammatically simple, short and concise.
  • Don’t put off regular posts and updates. Search engines will periodically crawl websites looking for new and updated content, so blogging consistently ensures fresh content on your site.
  • Don’t try to micro-manage your brand image or keep consumers in the dark. Be confident that transparency is the best policy, and customers will reward your candour.

Online and offline businesses alike can benefit from starting a blog to offer their products and services to a wider audience, increase their traffic, and generate more leads and sales.

Contact WSI Thames (aka Targeted WSI Web Solutions) to leverage the opportunity and start your business blog today.