5 Simple Tips for a Better Business Blog

Having a blog for your business can be a powerful marketing tool. It will enhance your website’s organic SEO appeal, it will keep followers of your business engaged and it will help attract and convert new customers. Having a good business blog is easier than you think. Here are a few simple tips that will help you get the most out of your blog:

1. Keep Up the Frequency

Posting regularly is important, and try to stick with a regular frequency. Once a week is ideal, and aim for running your posts on the same day at the same time each week. Once every other week is adequate, especially if you are just getting acclimated to managing your blog. Twice a week is fantastic, but it can be tough to keep up with. Anything less than twice a month just won’t give you much impact, so that should be the minimum goal.

2. Use All the SEO Tools

Pretty much any blog management portal such as WordPress or whatever system your web host uses will have plenty of back-end SEO tools that you can utilize. Familiarize yourself with each and use them all. We’re talking about setting primary key words/phrases, tags, titles, meta descriptions, featured images, categories, etc.

3. Incorporate Calls to Action, But Don’t Be Too Salesy

It’s a good idea to plug in a call to action or two within your blog articles (“call us for more information,” “click here to sign up,” and so on), but be careful not to get too salesy in your articles. You can make strong points to support your business message, but lean toward being informative in your posts rather than making super hard sales pushes.

4. Utilize Links to Your Advantage

Internal and external links can be very beneficial in your blog articles. They help naturally with SEO, and inbound links especially can keep your readers engaged if they click through from one article on your site to the next.

5. Share Your Posts on Social Media

Social media is a great way to get new blog followers and your blog is a great way to keep your social media followers engaged with regular content, comments, likes and other important activity. Share a link to each blog post you write on all your social media pages.

When it comes to running a successful business blog, these simple tips are just the beginning. The more advanced you become, the more powerful your blog will be. If you need help with your blog and want to hire a business blog management specialist to ensure the job gets done right, contact NextGear Marketing today. Writing effective and engaging business blogs is what we do best. We’re here to help you shift your business into the next gear!

7 SEO Benefits of Blogging

Blogging is not only a good way to stay engaged with your customers and social media followers. In fact, you could say its biggest benefit is helping with search engine optimization (SEO). Your business blog will give you a way to add lots of targeted, relevant content to your site on a regular basis.

Let’s look at some of the specific SEO benefits of blogging:

1. Quantity of Content

There’s no doubt that the quantity of content you have on your website will boost SEO appeal. Doing regular blog posts will increase the amount of good content that you have without it seeming like too much all at once.

2. Quality of Content

The quality of writing and the relevance of the content on your site is becoming more and more important when it comes to SEO rankings. Search engine algorithms get more sophisticated with each passing day. When you have well-written blog content, it will improve your organic reach.

3. Frequency of Content

It is better to regularly add new content to your site compared to putting it all up at once. You may see a spike in your rankings if you upload a ton of content at the same time, but then it becomes stagnant and your rankings will ultimately tumble. Your blog allows you to continually add new, fresh content and that’s great for SEO.

4. Titles, Tags and Descriptions

Most blog editors will allow you to add search tags, custom titles, custom URLs and meta descriptions. This will enable you to incorporate a lot of back-end SEO elements without detracting from the quality of the actual blog articles.

5. Relevant Information and Topics

One great thing about blogging is you can focus each article on specific topics, news or information relating to different parts of your business. People may be searching for specific information and they will likely find your article if it is relevant to their search.

6. Links

Be sure and include links within each blog article. You can use internal links to other pages/articles on your site. You can incorporate external links to source articles and information. Lastly, you can put links to your article on all your social media channels. All of these links will boost your SEO.

7. Social Media Integration

Your blog articles should be shared and discussed on all of your social media channels. This kind of activity will also improve your SEO.

These are just some of the advantages of blogging specifically related to your SEO rankings. There are many other benefits and reasons why you should have a regular blog for your business. To learn more about business blogging with NextGear Marketing, contact us today.

10 SEO Tips for Business Blogging

One of the best things you can do for your company’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to have a blog with regular posts. It will give you a good quantity of content on your site. It will increase your organic searches with targeted keywords, tags, titles and links. And, it will give you fresh content added to your site regularly. All of these things—and more—are great for SEO.

Here are some tips to follow for maximizing the SEO appeal of your blog:

1. Post Often

Large corporations may post at least once a day. Most small businesses are fine with one or two blog posts a week, but the regular influx of fresh content on your site will help your SEO rankings.

2. Post Quality Unique Content

Never copy and paste from other online articles. Write (or rewrite if repurposing another article) everything to be unique to your site. Copied or obviously plagiarized content can actually work against your SEO.

3. Write Articles a Certain Length

Usually 300-600 words is a good target length for most business blogs. Articles that are too short won’t have credibility and won’t help as much with SEO. Articles that are too long may decrease readership.

4. Targeted Topics

The beauty of a blog is that you can cover various topics relating to your business/industry or target consumer base. This allows you to cover a lot of ground and attract a lot of organic search results without your primary website feeling like it’s too overloaded with content.

5. Use Tags, Titles, Keywords and Descriptions

Most blog editors will have sections to fill out where you can customize the article title (and URL), add search tags, list keywords and write a meta description. Use all of these resources to your advantage!

6. Focus Keyword/Phrase

Most articles should center around a focus keyword or key phrase. Make sure it is repeated in the title, in the custom URL, in the first paragraph of the article and in the meta description. Incorporate it into the article repeatedly for optimal targeted SEO appeal.

7. Use Links

Use plenty of internal links to pages on your website or other blog articles. Also, use a few external links to source articles or other businesses. This adds credibility.

8. Social Media Integration

Share your blog articles on all social media channels that allow links. This will create inbound links to your site and the social media activity is also important to your overall SEO.

9. Pictures and Graphics

If placing in a picture and/or graphic on your blog posts, make sure and rename the image file with something relevant to the story (ideally incorporating the business name and the focus keyword/phrase.

10. Stick With It

Blogging requires a great deal of commitment. Hire a professional blog service or designate a staff member to handle the blogging duties. The worst thing you can do is start a blog, post a few articles and then forget about it. You have to keep at it and post articles regularly to get the full SEO advantages.

For more information about blogging for small businesses or to start your own custom blog campaign, contact NextGear Marketing today.

Why Have an FAQ Page?

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is a popular tool among web developers. It serves multiple purposes, and if done right, can be a very effective web content strategy.

Now, some FAQ pages are fancier than others. That may depend on your hosting/development company and how interactive they can make the page. Still, even the most basic FAQ page has value.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

First, you have the SEO impact. An FAQ will provide a lot of targeted content on various subjects relating to your business. This is great for overall SEO appeal. Also, the frequently asked questions you identify and post on your website can boost your chances of generating organic search visits. In other words, if someone asks the question in a search that you post and answer, there’s a good chance your page comes up near the top of the search list.

Customer Conversion

So, someone found your FAQ page through a search? Fantastic. Now, it’s about conversion. Ideally, your FAQ answers should satisfy their initial inquiry and keep them engaged as they check out other questions and answers on the page. This builds your credibility as an expert in your field. It also makes the potential customer feel good about your business because you are providing helpful information.

When people have questions relating to your business, you want to have the answers. Most consumers these days are going to look for information online long before they ever pick up the phone or walk into your store/office. FAQs are a great way to first catch their attention and then build up your value in their minds.

Short-Form vs. Long-Form

Depending on the business and the amount of FAQs you want to have on your site, you may consider short-form answers or long-form answers. Usually, the more succinct the answer is, the better. Some issues are more complicated and naturally require a longer response. One great strategy is to write detailed blog articles on each subject being addressed on an FAQ page. Then, you can provide a short-form answer on the FAQ page along with an internal link to the longer blog post, where the reader can get more in-depth information.

However you build your FAQ page, consider the value of having it on your site in terms of SEO and customer engagement. Then, put a lot of thought into it. Make notes of common questions you get from people inquiring about your business, products or services. In other words, figure out what the actual frequently asked questions are by your target audience—not just what you think they might want to know.

To learn more about building a FAQ page on your website or for other custom web content ideas and solutions, contact NextGear Marketing today for a free consultation.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Links?

Links (or hyperlinks, if you want to get technical) have been around since the dawn on the Internet. Quite simply, they are a way to jump immediately from one page to another. If you don’t understand what a link is or how it works, then you probably aren’t ready for anything else we’re about to discuss.

Seriously, though, links are a powerful enhancement to your web content. They can boost SEO and keep your customers engaged. They can help you build better relationships with vendors and fellow businesses. And, if you are not utilizing links in your content, you are missing out.

There are three types of links we want to focus on in this article. I’ll explain the differences and offer some helpful tips on how to get more out of how you use them.

1.External Links

These are links that take someone to a site that is not yours. Perhaps you are referencing another article in one of your blog posts, or you want to provide resource links to manufacturers, service providers and vendors that you work with. Maybe you have a news feed that pulls from other online sources.

There’s nothing wrong with including external links from time to time. They show that you are providing useful information to your customers. The obvious recommendation is that you always set your external links (and all links for that matter) to open up a new browser window. You do not want someone clicking away from your site and not coming back.

Another good tip is to trade links with those manufacturers, service providers and vendors that we talked about. Set up a resources page on your site that links out to everyone you do business with and other reputable businesses in your community. In exchange, ask them to do the same. Everyone benefits from those inbound links, which is what we’ll talk about next.

2. Inbound Links

Inbound links are hyperlinks from other sites that point to specific pages on your site. They are very valuable when it comes to SEO, so inbound links are good for your business in just about every way. In addition to the exchange links we talked about earlier, social media is another great tool to create your own inbound links. Share your blog posts on all your social media accounts and periodically share links to various informational pages on your site. Make sure links to your home page are there in your bio sections. Of course, review and search sites like Google, Yelp, YP.com, etc. will also give you some inbound links. Pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising on search engines and social media will also boost your inbound link count.

3. Internal Links

Internal links are best for keeping a site visitor engaged. Have you ever watched a YouTube video that someone shared on Facebook? And before long, you have watched 10 more “related” videos on the side! That illustrates the power of internal links. By including links to your other pages and other blog posts within your own web content, you have a better chance of keeping the visitor on your site longer and getting across more marketing impressions. You may have even noticed several internal links in this article.

As mentioned earlier, also make sure internal links open up new browser windows/tabs. You always want them to come back to the page(s) they started on.

All types of links are easy to include in your web content and they all offer positive aspects that will help improve SEO, strengthen your overall content strategy and engage customers. You don’t want to overload your content with too many links, but you do want to incorporate them on a regular basis for positive results. To learn more about using links in your content, contact NextGear Marketing today.