Creating new ways to generate business can be a challenge for every company. Thanks to the 500-600 times per year that Google changes its algorithm, keeping up with those changes only contributes to the challenge. Thankfully, a business blog that’s built from quality materials, can serve as a lead magnet – attracting prospects in an organic and natural way.
Building a blog that means business is an essential element of your marketing strategy. Your business blog serves as the hub for your content marketing.
Your well-built business blog does an amazing job of executing a branded content experience for your prospects. It lets them “try you on for size” and gives them an idea of what you’re like to work with. Your extraordinary business blog paves the way for converting readers into customers.
How Can Your Business Blog be Extraordinary?
The following 10 basic building materials will start you on a clear path to developing solid, organic lead-generating content that search engines and prospects are looking for.
Choosing the wrong platform is like pouring concrete on a cold, rainy day. The right platform makes for a stronger, crack-resistant foundation.
Owning your content means hosting your site yourself. Publishing content to places like LinkedIn Pulse is great; it builds your online authority and influence. But always, always, always take care of your own house first – the site where your business blog lives. That way, no one can come in one day and say, “We’re closing the site. Too bad you built your content hub on our property.”
Partner with a hosting company who has your back. At Kruse Control, we use WPEngine. Their track record is great and their support is responsive. They’re not the cheapest but they are worth the money.
WordPress (self-hosted) is a powerful content management system (CMS). Right out of the box it’s ready to use, flexible and search engine friendly. It’s safe, secure and totally customizable.
The new Rainmaker platform is something worth exploring too. It’s WordPress but all the customizing is done for you for a small monthly fee. It’s built for those businesses who don’t have a lot of time or coding skills but want a super fresh, customer friendly site.
Rainmaker hosts the site, does the daily backups, support 24/7, and manages to optimize your site for search…all in one package. It’s worth a look if you’re not “techy” or if you just want to focus on business rather than IT.
3. Keyword Research + Tools
Not optimizing your content for search engines is like talking into a microphone when it’s not turned on.
You must tell Google what you want to be found for. Begin by identifying the words and phrases your customers use to find what you sell.
We use a paid tool called keywordtool.io. It’s based on autocomplete results. Enter a phrase and check out the depth and breadth of the results. Great for building content around your topics. The key to it is that your blog post or page needs to be as contextual as possible rather than just stuffing it with exact match phrases.
4. “Problems We Solve”
I got this idea from my friend Marcus Sheridan. He extols the benefits of creating content that speaks to your customers needs, wants and concerns.
When a prospect visits your site, they’re looking for answers to help them during the purchase process. By providing a “Problems We Solve” section on your blog, you allow them to identify their own problems and think through solutions.
With a “Problems We Solve” section, you help prospects decide without overtly selling to them.
Everybody loves a good story! I’m a bit confused why so many business blogs don’t take the opportunity to tell a good story about their brand, their employees or their customers.
I work with a super-connected client who thought they got stuck a few weeks ago. They were under the impression that they didn’t have anymore stories to tell. I went into “coaching mode” and asked them some questions about current happenings at their store. You know what happened then? Within 5-7 minutes, they got unstuck.
Everybody loves a good story and everyone has plenty stories to tell.
6. Employee-Generated Content
Employees are considered the most trustworthy representatives of your business. Customers and prospects see them as “people like me.” When employees are happy, so are customers.
You don’t have to get fancy with your posts:
- A simple questionnaire on their background, their job and their hobbies will set them at ease. Bonus: you can use that info to create Bios on your website.
- Let the holiday guide you – ask employees what their favorite Halloween, Thanksgiving or Holiday story is. Write a blog post or shoot a video telling those stories.
7. Customer-Generated Content (ie: Reviews)
Customer reviews and feedback are crucial to your marketing strategy. Positive (and negative) reviews can often be the deciding factor on where a customer buys.
Begin with an internal process to capture your happy, loyal customers’ feedback. Then leverage those reviews (and the stories behind them) on your business blog.
8. Relevant Images
A picture speaks a thousand words. It cannot be truer for the images on your business blog posts. Relevant images add richness to your content and compel readers to stay engaged with your content.
Visual content on your business blog has great SEO value, too!
Business Blogs are Awesome.
9. Frequency and Consistency
With Google’s increased emphasis on “quality content,” frequency and consistency are integral to the quality of your business blog.
Companies that increase their blog publishing from 3-5 times per month to 6-8 times per month can almost double their leads but only if the quality is consistent.
Consistency in quality and quantity are equally important. Publishing nonsensical, keyword-stuffed blog posts consistently sends the exact wrong message to search engines and to your potential customers.
10. Social Media Syndication
Publishing your business blog posts on your social media channels has only increased in importance. Clicks from social media to your business blog are known as Social Signals.
Social Signals are a key SEO ranking factor. Sharing blog content is looked upon as a validation of quality. This is what creates the lead magnet – attracting prospects in an organic and natural way.
But don’t discount your business blog’s value within the social ecosystem. Conversations arise. Word of mouth kicks in and very often, leads will grow from your helpful, useful information shared within social media.
In summary, a successful house is built on a strong foundation. Leverage these 10 basic building materials on your business blog to attract and nurture leads. Turn researchers into readers and readers into customers.