Tag Archives: blogging

Blogs as a Useful Business Tool

Someone on LinkedIn just asked the question, “has blogging had it’s day in the sun, or is adding a blog to a website still useful for SEO purposes.” I decided to copy my answer and tweak it to fit my blog. The answer is YES Blogs are still a useful business tool!

Why are Blogs a Useful Business Tool?

More people than ever are reading blogs. Blog readership is on the rise among internet users.

More than two-thirds (68%) of online Americans say they visit online blogs, communities or social networks, and 33% engage in product research online to help them make purchase decisions.” That’s way up from the past when the answer was often – what’s a blog.

According to Nielsen, “the average online American went online 62 times, visited 115 domains, viewed 2,580 web pages and spent nearly 75 hours online in January 2009.” http://www.marketingcharts.com/interactive/average-american-visits-115-domainsmonth-8151

SEO for Blogs – Organic Search Works Wonders:

However, as far as SEO is concerned, the ability of a blog post to get a company to the top pages of Google has not diminished. Especially if the post is well-written and optimized for organic search (i.e. keywords and key phrases are worked into both the post/page title and into the text of the post that also provides useful targeted info). Google’s algorithm takes into account the newness of blogging info, whereas a traditional website gains pagerank more by its age and incoming links, and well as SEO (this is glossing over a lot to make a point as blogs also benefit from these two factors). A well-written blog post, with a bit of SEO finesse in the post, combined with the way the blog it set up (proper permalinks and SEO plugins for example) can go get a post on Google within hours.  Until Google changes its algorithm again(how it selects the search results we see), this should remain an important factor.

Can a Blog Expand the Reach of your Brand?

Another benefit I have noticed is that blogs and social networking work together to help reinforce a brand’s depth of knowledge on a subject. Clients who have found me, often mention reading a blog post of mine that I had pulled into my Facebook or LinkedIn page, as the thing that nudged them into contacting me. Social networking tools (and tips and tricks) can help integrate your blog into your profiles as more than just a link.

Good Content is still King

I remember a Google staff member being interviewed on a tech blog and he said something that has stuck in my mind and worked for myself and for clients – the best way to get onto Google’s 1st page of results is to have the exact words/phrase that someone is searching for on your page (blog or traditional website). This brings up a point about balance – you need to balance writing for humans with writing for search engines. No keywords stuffing either; write a good post that incorporates a few selected keywords and synonyms.

Can a Blog Serve as my Whole Website?

Many websites have actually moved to using a blogging platform, or blogging software, as a content management system and as the entire website. Create most pages as static pages, then use one page for the dynamic, changing blog posts. WordPress.org makes it easy for the client to update their own content, without having to run to their web guys for every little change.

How Does Business Blogging Work?

I usually stay away from absolute statements, but corporate blogs have to be done right. These tips do apply to almost all blogs, but in order for a company blog to work, you need to allow comments and interaction with readers/ customers.

  • It has to be transparent – that is whomever is blogging needs to disclose that fact. A faceless corporate blog no longer works nearly as effectively as a blog from a specific individual (not necessarily the CEO), or named team of bloggers, or at least from a department.
  • It also does not work well when used as a bullhorn to shoot out 90% company praise & press releases. It does work best when it addresses issues that it’s prospective readers would find useful and/or interesting; what’s in the news in the industry, what’s new a the company. Yes you can include press release-type material, but at a rate of 1 in 6 or 1 in 12 posts.
  • A company’s blog can create the feeling of a personal connection with this formerly ‘faceless’ company.

So my advice is don’t just add a blog onto a company site, but first identify the blog’s potential audience, and objectives. Then create a plan and tactics to reach that audience and achieve those goals. Don’t forget to integrate the blog into the overall public relations and social media strategy.

The Do Blogs Provide Value Anymore Take Away Point:

Yes, they still provide value. These ideas outlined above work for the small business blogger and entrepreneur as well as the medium-to-large-sized company; for the mommy / mom blogger and the niche blogger too. Blogging is a form of social media; it is about give and take; it’s about creating and building trust in your brand. If you treat your blog as just another way to polish your brand’s image, it will more than likely end up tarnished.

Cathy Larkin & Web Savvy PR –

Your Public Relations & Social Media Guide – I bring new media tools to the traditional PR toolkit to expand your brand and build your business. I talk “tech talk,” but translate fluently into “plain English.” I help individuals and organizations set up their blogs (or add one to an existing site); I help people expand the reach of their brands by creating, and helping them execute, a social media PR plan; and I coach people on how to tackle specific aspects of PR and social networking sites; call me 484-802-7576, or Cathy [dot] Larkin {at} WebSavvyPR {dot} Com. Or find me on Twitter.

By the way, if you are using http://Twitter.com, I do not mind if you add your twitter ID/username to your comment, in addition to the website link the comment form requests. It makes it even easier to create community and connect with folks, so feel free. I will not treat it as spam, unless of course the comment itself is spammy.  The correct way to make a link clickable in comments is http://twitter.com/CathyWebSavvyPR.  If you are new to Twitter, feel free to check it out and contact me there, just remember to click on the @Replies tab to see messages sent to you!