Benefits and risks associated with blog advertising of a business

People who directly type a business or persons name into their browser are an existing customer. They are familiar with the business and know what they are looking for. The question is, how can we attract new interest and build a wider customer base? The concept of blog advertising has radically transformed the world of business promotion and online marketing over the last few years. Not only is it an affordable and effective form of online marketing, but it is also very flexible in the sense it can easily be adapted to suit individual businesses.

How can a blog benefit my business?

One of the biggest advantages of blog advertising is that it offers an easily accessible platform for business advertising with a unique way of attracting a wider audience. Every time a blog post is written, another indexed page is added to the website. This adds more opportunities for your business to appear in search engine results, and so exposing your business to a wider audience. Blogs keep the website active, allowing for the business to be discovered through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. It also allows the content to refresh itself, rather than continually having to come up with new content.  So, it builds interest and could lead to a new customer base. Blogs work closely with search engines and social media, two tools that are used on a daily basis by the majority of the population. The blogs and websites on which a business aims to advertise on already consists of people with a mutual interest. A blog is both directly and indirectly successful in promoting both the business being reviewed, as well as the site featuring it.

So we can establish that blogs are a good way of gaining new interest. How else can they benefit a business?

Successful business blogs answer the most frequently asked questions by customers and leads. Consistent, helpful content for your target customers can establish your authority as a business. People are much more likely to come into the sales process on the basis that there is sufficient support provided, even prior to even considering making a purchase. Blogs can specifically offer an in-depth explanation or documented answer to questions. This also allows the sales process to be smoother from simply having such resources and information available, and essentially enabling sales opportunities.

Blogs offer more than merely help and support to customers.

Blogs drive long-term results. Even though a blog may generate 90 views and 5 leads as an example, it does not end there. For months and years to follow it can develop and build traffic from that blog post alone. Roughly 90% of the leads generated every month come from blog posts that were published in previous months. See this table below for example.

The scalability of business blogging is clearly demonstrated. Although blogging may not always produce immediate results, it can produce traffic and leads without any additional resource investment over time.

What are the business’ risks involved with blogging?

Of course, there are always risks. It is business after all. Blogging can expose the business to certain risks. What if an employer posts improper information? Could customers be exposed to a false brand? Would customers build unrealistic expectations and expect immediate answers to their comments or questions, as they found the original response instantly?

These risks can all be minimised by ensuring there are clear social media policies in place that state what can or cannot be published. The business must ensure that there are enough resources are available to deal with customers queries. A business could employ someone to directly deal with and protect the brand online, and put a crisis management strategy into place.

What are employees risks involved with blogging?

Blogging could impose certain risks on employees themselves. For instance, an image or statement an employee publishes could damage the business’ reputation and brand. Employees could spend too much time on social media. These risks can all be minimised through introducing appropriate policies and providing their employees with social media awareness training.

To conclude, the benefits of introducing blog advertising heavily outweigh the risks on the basis that the risks can be minimised with appropriate policies and structure in place. Blogs can highly benefit a business’ authority, and attract new interest. It can also benefit customers directly. All in all, generally speaking a win-win situation.

Search Engine Optimization – What is it? How can it improve my business?

All major search engines, such as Google and Bing, have primary search results where web pages are listed and ranked in order of what the search engine considers most relevant. The visibility of a website on search engine result pages (unpaid) can be improved through the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is similar to a quality control process and incorporates search engine friendly elements into a website to increase page authority.

SEO is divided into two main areas of success factors: on-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page search ranking factors include those almost completely within the publishers control. This refers to elements comprising a web page to which you could ask yourself: What content is being published? Are HTML codes included that would help determine relevancy to search engines and users? Is the site user friendly or does it hinder search engines? Off-page search ranking factors include those out of the publishers control. These are used because publisher-controlled signals could not always be trusted, as some publishers made themselves out to be more relevant than they are. This refers to links pointing to the site from another relevant website.

Today I will be looking at the key on-page SEO factors.

Firstly, content. The content of the website is arguably the most important SEO factor, as it is the foundation upon which a business is built and represented. All other factors will rely on the quality of content. Ask yourself these questions: is the website producing quality content? Does it represent a business more than average? Does it differ from competitors? If so, how? Do you provide potential customers with a reason to carry on reading? Do you offer a real value to visitors that they won’t find elsewhere? It is important to ask these questions and critically evaluate the content of the website.

Secondly, good keyword research. The content of your website should incorporate the key search terms used by customers throughout to maximise exposure. The more times the key search terms can be incorporated, the higher the chances are of being recognised and getting results. They must be included within reason, and it should not be obvious that those terms are repeatedly mentioned. There are a range of tools, such as Google Trends, that allow you to gain information on what search terms are most used relevant to your content. Then ask yourself, are those key search words included in your content? If not, it may be worth reviewing your content and making some amendments.

Thirdly, site architecture. The architecture of a website is often underestimated, however, if a website has a good structure it be user friendly, and also search engine friendly. Search engines scan over all websites and so the easier it is to scan, the higher the chances of acquiring a better search ranking. In the last few years, google searches have increasingly been made on mobile devices. So ensuring your site is mobile-friendly will be worthwhile. Perhaps even consider introducing a mobile app? Speedy sites also hold a very small ranking advantage over slower sites, as one of Googles aims is to make the web a faster place.

This website has very good and helpful links when looking at SEO and the importance of different factors. It has videos and images that clarify the different factors, see below.

There are of course many other factors that all contribute to successfully improving your websites search engine friendliness. Focus on the basics, and it will massively improve your websites ranking for selected keywords over a period of months or even years. Not only does generating quality content result in ranking improvements, but it will also make it much more accessible for customers. The significance of selected keywords for the search engines will develop over time through incorporating them into textual content on the website.

To summarise. Conduct research and recognise what kind of content your potential customers are looking for, and what you have to offer. Build a great site including the content people want and make it easy for them to share it. This could potentially successfully increase your website traffic.

Next time I will be looking into off-page SEO factors, and how they can be used effectively to increase search engine rankings.

Watch this space.