Your business?s website is so much more than just a place to sell goods and services on the web. It is also a place to engage your potential customers in a manner that increases brand awareness. There are many ways to do this, for example by incorporating a social media presence on your website, however the most successful way is to create a company blog. By implementing a blog on your company website you are able to regularly post useful, interesting, and informative tips that will provide customers with additional information about your business and its related industry. Creating and publishing posts regularly will reach both your existing customer base and potential customers, serving to increase the traffic coming to your site. But where to start? In this post we?ll go over the five steps of developing and creating a blog for your company website.
Step One: Choose the Content and Title
There are two questions you should be asking yourself and your marketing team:
1. What type of content would be interesting to your audience?
2. What type of voice would be best to connect with your customers?
If your business is established and already has a successful Email, Social, or Print campaign you can cross-post topics to your blog and allow a new set of users to have access to the information. Keep in mind that sometimes the voice does not translate from one platform to another. For example, the voice used on your Twitter account may not be the best voice for delivering industry news.
Another option for gauging customer interest is to ask your Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) for common questions that they get from customers. The CSRs are the customers? GoTo for any questions they have about products or services provided by your business, which makes them the best resources for composing a topics list.
The title of your company?s blog should reflect the posts and vibe your blog gives off. For example, 37signals (the maker of basecamp.com) created a blog titled Signal vs. Noise, while Moz (one of the SEO industry?s leading community resources) actually has links to four blog feeds: The Moz Blog for company supported topics and important announcements; The YouMoz Blog for user written blogs to be shared with the community; Rand?s Blog, which is the founder?s blog feed; and The Moz Developer Blog, which displays posts by the Dev team to give updates about Moz?s proprietary software and tweaks made to the website. Signals vs. Noise pertains to different aspects of business in general as businesses are the target audience of Basecamp, a task and team management software. They publish blogs about business, design, programming, writing, and the web, however all of these fields are closely related, unlike Moz. Moz broke out their blog in order to hit their customer segments because they are not related?web developers don?t care about the latest SEO craze, they just want to know when Moz is changing anything that affects their own projects and vise-versa for SEOs. But, notice that both of these businesses target their audience with the titles used, making the blog easily identifiable and accessible to those who want to find it.
Step Two: Choose the Blog?s Destination
Choosing where a blog lives on a website is inevitable. This means selecting the URL where customers can access your articles. While it may seem like a small detail, it directly impacts the traffic that comes into your site and your Conversion Rate. If you choose a URL that is complex, like , customers may not be able to find it.
The two most commonly used URL formats are http://www.example.com/blog and http://www.example.com/blog is used when a website?s Content Management System (CMS) allows for a feed to be created and added to the existing site to allow for new blog posts to be easily published. What?s good about this is that the website design is directly transferred to the blog and maintenance is usually pretty easy as it can be taken care of while performing standard security and design updates for the main website. is used when the existing CMS doesn?t allow for easy integration of a blog or when a company has so many posts that the blog deserves its own website. Using a subdomain setup for the blog allows for a new CMS to be installed separately from the rest of the site allowing for a new design to be implemented as well as a new structure.
Another option that has fallen by the wayside is to host the blog on a separate website and to link out to it from the company website. This is generally discouraged as the practice takes away visits from the company?s actual site and makes it difficult for customers to convert.
If you?re unsure which of these options would be best for your business, please contact us at Active Web Group and we?ll be happy to assess your website.
Step Three: Add Features
By features, we really mean plugins that your customers will find useful. Some common features that can be found on almost any blog are Archives of past posts, Search Box to make locating information easier for users, and a Category list for new users to find out exactly topics the blog posts about. Other popular features are Tag Clouds, Event Calendars, and Social Media feeds. The most important point here is to make sure you target your audience and provide tools to satisfy their needs to keep them coming back to the site. Also, be sure to include an RSS feed link and a newsletter signup as these will allow your users to integrate your site into their daily lives.
Step Four: Stay Current
This is easier said than done. Even though creating a company blog is easy, many companies make the mistake of forgetting the blog for a time, which creates holes in the post schedule. Updating the blog with a new post on a regular schedule is key to maintaining a consistent and growing customer base. If you are unable to find the time to create content yourself, you can find freelancers or a full-service web marketing company to write and publish content on a regular basis.
Step Five: Announce Your Posts
As we have stated in our previous blog post Ensure You Reach Your Consumers, one of the most important aspects of a company blog is to let your customers know that it exists and that new posts are available. Make sure that new posts are announced on various marketing platforms in a timely fashion to allow new users to find relevant industry news when it will have the most impact. Utilize email campaigns, social media, and PPC campaigns that you are currently running.
If you have any questions or would like a site assessment, contact Active Web Group and one of our Internet Marketing Specialists will review your website and assist you in finding the best marketing strategy for your business.