Your brand’s website is the 24/7 face of your business. And while disseminating information about products, services, and promotions needs to the main focus, it is also important to find ways to use your website to connect with your target audience. One way to create those connections is through your blog. These regularly published articles establish your brand as an expert in your industry by offering helpful or educational information that answers questions your visitors have, meets their pain points, or leads them through a challenge they are facing.
Here are some common blunders we’ve seen on businesses websites, as well as advice on how to best present your site and blog in a way that builds traffic and increases your conversion rate.
Blunder 1: There is no blog
As we mentioned earlier, there is always a place for your sales copy on your brand website. But if all you have are fancy images and a sales pitch, how do you share the voice of your brand. Your blog allows you to separate your organization from your competitors by offering entertaining or informative content. It allows you to establish your company as a thought leader and expert in your industry and provides insight into the personality of your brand. Customers want to know and understand the people behind the business. Your blog can provide that opportunity.
Blunder 2: Your blog is the first thing visitors to your site see
Using a blog page as an introduction to your brand will simply confuse people. Don’t disappoint visitors to your website by presenting anything but a home page as the first thing they see. People need to understand what your company is about and what content they’ll see if they start looking around.
The first thing site visitors should see is information about your products or services. Your blog is secondary, support material. Provide a link or menu option to go to your blog page and use that location to communicate how you will edify, enrich, and educate interested readers.
Blunder 3: Your blog is not an integrated part of your main website
One serious rule of thumb is to keep visitors on your website – don’t send them to a different URL for anything. Your blog should be an integrated part of your website even if it started out as a separate entity on a different platform. Move it!
In addition, the design and branding should be consistent with those of the other pages of your website. Clicking on your blog link or menu option should never make a site visitor question if he is still in the right place.
Blunder 4: Your blog page is chaotic
Visual clutter is unappealing to even the most loyal customer. Your blog page (and site, in general) should not overwhelm your visitors. All content from text to images to widgets should have a focused purpose. Be intentional on what is in plain view and what requires a click to see.
Too many choices on a given page make it more difficult for readers to make a choice regarding where they go next. Guide those choices by minimizing options and utilizing white space to make everything easy to read and interpret. Also, be purposeful in your font choices in regards to style and size so material can be skimmed and the most important information is easily discernable.
Blunder 5: A lack of commitment to promoting your brand’s products or services
Providing helpful information to existing and potential customers should be the main focus of your blog page but that doesn’t mean it has to be devoid of brand promotions. Provide links to product and service pages. Feature your work for other clients or write with a focus on how you have helped others through your products or services. Wrap up your articles with a paragraph or two about how your brand can help consumers meet the challenges discussed in the article. Walk the line between pushy and shy to communicate that your brand can provide value-added products or services.
Blunder 6: Letting your blog take your main focus (and your time)
Running your business to best serve existing and potential customers should always be goal number one. Communicating value and providing helpful, actionable information doesn’t require a ton of background, technical knowledge. The time and energy you put into your blog should not cause you to neglect other aspects of your business. Let your efforts in marketing and product or service development lead your blog topics. Make it part of the marketing funnel and repurpose content whenever possible.
Blunder 7: You neglect to include social media share buttons
Multiple studies have shown that people spend more time on social media platforms than any other major Internet activity. If your target audience is spending time on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn, your blog needs to be pushed out to or promoted on those channels. Reverse that thinking in a manner and understand that people want to share your entertaining, educational, brilliant thinking on those same platforms.
If you provide social sharing buttons on your blog page in a place of prominence, you let them share the moment they even consider doing it. Share buttons help you promote your content for free and also help to provide social proof for your blog content.
Blunder 8: You think SEO is for other pages, not your blog
Search engine bots should be crawling every part of your website, including your blog page. That means it is imperative to employ the same search engine optimization (SEO) strategies there as you do on the rest of your website. Optimizing your blog page helps get your content in front of more potential customers. Integrate your target keywords and phrases and make the most of your ability to weave in those long-tailed keywords as you write your blog content.
Blunder 9: You don't link to other resources
Internal links help to keep site visitors engaged and poking around on your website. They also increase a page’s ability to be crawled by search engine bots and subsequently ranked. Include 2-4 relevant and useful internal links in each blog. Just be sure you don’t include two links to the same page in any one blog post. Including external links is basic good practice for SEO. Be purposeful as to whether a link takes your site visitors to a new tab or a new page.
1. Have a blog
2. Refrain from using your blog page as your website’s home page
3. Integrate your blog into your proper website
4. Present a clean and uncluttered blog page
5. Casually promote your products or services to some extent in each blog post and on the page
6. Keep the task of running your business primary, your blog secondary
7. Include social media sharing buttons and promote your blog on social media platforms
8. Implement SEO best practices on your blog page
9. Include internal and external links to other resources
The team at Strategy Driven Marketing know the work it takes to present meaningful blog content on a regular basis – we post every other day, rain or shine! Whether you’d like guidance in creating a comprehensive content calendar, want to discuss a brand tailored content strategy, or simply don’t have the time to create regular blog content, SDM can help. Whatever your marketing needs, contact us today!