Friday, July 30th, 2010
As a business owner, you were probably quick to identify the need for a properly designed and well maintained company website, one that will provide your business with affordable marketing opportunities, help increase sales, and generate new business. You may have gone one step further, establishing a blog with the hopes that frequent posting to the blog will lead to increased exposure of your products and services to new clients. Blogs are invaluable tools for company employees, allowing them to post new articles, videos, press releases, and pages to a website. However, very few businesses are given proper advice or support when it comes to efficient ways to use a blog for business growth, sales, and lead generation.
There is a clear divide that most businesses face when it comes to internet marketing. Most companies find themselves, knowingly or not, increasing the amount of time and effort spent marketing online without generating any significant increase in relevant traffic that will result in new sales. This problem is mostly due to the fragmentation of the website services industry. When you hire a website design and development firm, there is a very good chance that the firm does not understand the importance of internet marketing. They may setup your blog in such a way that it’s practically worthless for the real power and purpose of blogging, which is website traffic and lead generation. Conversely, when employing an internet marketing solution or trying to do it internally, many of the people actually working on your online marketing lack proper website design and web development knowledge. You may, again, find yourself with blog content that does nothing more than take up space and does not result in exposure for your business.
The biggest culprits behind wasted blogging efforts are the online, free blog solutions. Many companies are either sold a free solution by improperly trained website and internet marketing companies or ask employees to establish them, not realizing the loss of productivity that will result. Free blog solutions lack several key benefits that properly developed and integrated blogs do not. Important tools, such as automatic link distribution and site cross-linking are typically not available. The bulk of your product, services, and marketing materials are generally not visible to visitors who click through to read an article on an external blog. Additionally, the majority of free blogs are hosted outside of the company domain and fail to provide fresh content associated with your website, which is extremely important and valuable for a company when it comes to search engine positioning.
Secondary blogs on free solutions, established outside of your company domain with alternative content, can be beneficial for SEO and page rank purposes. However, the primary blog for your business should always be properly hosted on your own website domain, linked correctly from your website navigation, and completely integrated into your existing website. If the URL to your website starts with a URL similar to www.azmassageforwellness.com, your main company blog should be referenced from within a sub-directory of that site, such as www.azmassageforwellness.com/blog. It should also be developed using recent, feature-rich blogging solutions such as the open source blog application WordPress. Finally, the blog should be a total integration, with blog pages sharing few differences in heading, navigation, and footer from your main website. Website developers that realize the importance of page rank, relevancy and online marketing will follow these guidelines to integrate blog solutions for your company that provide a deep set of features and support easy to use Plugins for SEO and link automation.
The reason all of this is important deals with the way search engines index and rank your website. When going through the pages on your site, a properly integrated blog appears to a search engine as part of your website. Every post that is made through the blog becomes an additional page of content for ranking purposes. Search engines love fresh content. The more fresh content you have, the more relevant your website appears to search engines and you will rank higher in search results and generate more new business as a result. It takes time, but after 100 or 200 good blog posts, your website should begin to see some significant benefit in search engines.
There are additional factors to consider when posting to a blog, outside the scope of this article, which are important to consider. A good internet marketing solution will provide you with training and will support your efforts by identifying effective keywords to use in posts. You should be provided tips that will help establish your blog in the community, giving you recognition as an expert in your field. Your website team should help you to identify ways to distribute your content and get your blog posts linked out to other websites. Finally, there should be a good level of customer support and interaction between you and the website team that designed your blog, so that you understand the most effective ways to utilize your blog and get the most value from your time invested.
A properly developed and utilized blog can be the most effective tool available for you to generate traffic and increase search engine positioning for your website. If you haven’t already, be sure to search for and consult with a comprehensive website design, development, and internet marketing firm. One that can provide a variety of effective solutions that work together to increase sales for your business.
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