Blogging your way to a Booming Business in 2013!

There’s no doubt whatsoever that blogging will be crucial to SEO, social media, and content marketing activity in 2013. As a result of 2012 developments, business blogs are no longer optional, but are now essential.

But why must you blog in 2013? In addition to significant changes to Google’s algorithm, you have no doubt noticed, Google Analytics no longer displays keyword information from logged-in users. This “not provided” data means that a significant chunk of a site’s keyword data is no longer available to help the effectiveness and strategy of an SEO program.

Business blogs however thrive in this environment, because:
Blog posts add relevant, authoritative content to a site, something that Google always loves to see. Also,  well written, authoritative, relevant, and useful posts encourage visitors to stay on the page and click deeper into the site rather than bounce, which contribute to better rankings.

A lot like your social media tools, a blog can be your company’s voice to the world. But unlike the character limits imposed by Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, a blog allows you to provide more detailed information and adds the ability to include pictures, videos, etc. to illustrate your point.

In many respects, SEO, social media, and content marketing are all rolled up into one big, internet marketing strategy. It’s increasing difficult to have an strong SEO program without a content marketing component.

It’s tough to have an effective social media program without a strong SEO component. And, it’s tough to have an effective content marketing grand strategy without solid SEO and social strategies supporting it.

I’ve already talked a bit about how blogs relate to SEO, but blogs also play a vital role in social media marketing and content marketing as well.
It may not be essential to have a blog to be successful in social media … but it sure helps. Business people who use social media are socially oriented, and are probably more interested in checking out a businesses blog than its product listing, at least at first.

A business without a blog undercuts its credibility in todays world. In addition, without a blog, a company must rely completely on third-parties like Facebook and Twitter for its community hubs.  If Facebook happens to make changes (without asking you, haha ), what happens to your community, and all of the content you’ve published there and do not own?

So are you ready to get serious in 2013? This is where the rubber will meet the road for many firms in 2013. Now I realize many small and mid sized firms are not staffed or organized for serious blogging, they lack the time, resources, knowledge base, and in-house talent. And who wants to expand a marketing department in an uncertain economy?  I get all that. But at the same time, a businesses SEO, social and content marketing results will suffer without a powerful blog, and in an uncertain economy,  can you afford to under-perform? It’s time stop marketing like you did in the past (the past is gone ) and it’s now time to get serious.

Blogging is Underrated

Blogging is important for any business, small and large. It doesn’t matter if you make widgets, candy or sell real estate. Whatever your business is, blogging is important. Your blog is a place that is filled with useful information that customers love to read.

Ideally your blog should be a part of your website. For many websites, a blog brings in around 70% of its traffic. In addition to that , around 15% of home page visits will click over to a blog, if the word “blog” is in the navigation menu.

If around 70% of website traffic is coming through blog articles, imagine if each of those articles ranked number one on search engines for their designated keywords. Your website visitors, and potential clients will view your blog to see recent work, advice and stories.

I recommend you build your brand and your website with WordPress. With WordPress you are able to develop a website and a blog all on one platform, and we all know blogging is a must for developing content on your website, as well as, increasing your SEO.  This keeps your brand and message consistent, and most importantly, it keeps prospects and customers on your website. You do not want to send them to a separate blogging platform to see your latest news, they stay on your website the entire time which may lead to users exploring other areas of your website which can also lead to new business.

Developers are constantly rolling out new plugins to help you reach a wider range of your market on various social media platforms. Keeping content on your website fresh is easy with the various Twitter plugins available to incorporate in your website.

WordPress is just easy to use. Users are able to create blog posts and pages in a very similar manner, and the learning curve is very small. To make it even easier Host your WordPress Blog at GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy hosts all my wordpress blogs, and the setup was seamless. With the platform being completely web-based, individuals unfamiliar with developing and updating websites never have to worry about unfamiliar website tools like FTP client or purchasing expensive software like Dreamweaver.

Blogging about your business has many benefits: such as drawing increased visitor traffic to your business’s website, providing an excellent platform to provide details about new products and services, and a blog is a relatively low-cost venture, making blogging an ideal investment for even the most budget-conscious business owner.

When properly implemented, blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

The Benefits of Having a Business Blog

A business blog can be one of the best ways to increase your customer base. There are many benefits to having a blog.

  • Your business blog can boost your reputation as an expert: Customers want to do business with people who are experts in their industry. So by demonstrating you are knowledgeable  and sharing insights about the products and/or services you offer, your business blog can have an impact far beyond having a static website. Having a blog on your website is a terrific way to provide tips and teach visitors about your industry.

 

  • Having a blog gives you more pages to talk about products and services: Having a blog on your website allows you the room to provide more information about the products and/or services you offer.  your blog should be a safe haven of insight and advice not a sales pitch. They expect sales from your other output.

 

  •  A blog on your website helps customers find you with SEO:  Each blog post can represents a new page of searchable content. If you only have a few pages on your website talking about your company and products and/or services, it is likely to mean you have about as many chances at a search ranking. If you have 50 pages about your company and products and/or services, that gives me 50 separate pages that can be indexed.

 

  • Sharing your content: Blog content allows people the ability to share that content with others. Content on static website pages are rarely ever shared. Be carful not to go overboard with keywords in your content. Because blogging allows you to create sharable, linkable content that can help your SEO efforts, many people stuff a post with keywords to help their search engine rankings. Yes, we know you want to rank for certain keywords, but you want to make sure your content is actually worth reading too. Not only will search engines smell spam, your readers won’t be inclined to share such a post.

Blogs are ideal content for sharing through social media. People love to share ideas and useful information on social media. If you have a look at your Facebook or Twitter right now, chances are you will find at least one blog share without scrolling at all. You will not find any shared ads! You don’t even need to look, you know it’s zero. The only ads that appear in social timelines are the sponsored ads. People don’t share advertisements. But they will share an interesting or engaging blog post.

Keep in mind, with online content marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

When properly implemented, blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

What a Business Needs for Online Marketing Success.

As a business owner in this century you know you need to market your business online, While it may seem a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be that way! There are 3 basic components you need as part of your online marketing strategy to support your business growth.

You must have a website for your business. Your website should be the hub of your online activity, this is where you want your traffic to ultimately be driven to. Your website is like a salesperson that generates leads for you around the clock. A good site will make it clear what products or services you provide, and the talents and expertise that you have to offer ( your website is where you brag and boost ).
Of course your website needs be optimized for search engines and online marketing. This requires understanding what your users are searching for, as well as making sure that your website can be viewed on mobile devices. Unfortunately, many websites that look good don’t function as effectively as they can.

You must use Content Marketing. One of the most important components necessary to make your website an effective online marketing hub will be your content, delivering content that is relevant to your prospects. Content can be video, podcasts or business blog. In order to achieve the most SEO benefit and building long term relationship with your prospects and customers new content should be delivered regularly and constantly. I know delivering new content regularly can seem overwhelming.
The best to develop new is to address the questions that your current and prospective clients continually ask you. What are the questions that come up most often?  Addressing questions and issuers people have gives you the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise by addressing these questions and issues.
When you’re writing your business blog, address one issue per post. Choose one or two keywords or phrases (preferably long tail keywords) to focus on in each blog post or resource. Don’t try to cram every keyword in every article.
You must also have Social Media presence.  Social media should be used to share  via  social networks every time you have created new content,  In addition to announcing your latest content, you can update social media sites with helpful relevant, quick tips and links to more information on your site. The goal for your social media activities is to connect with your audience and drive traffic back to your website ( social media is not where you brag and boost or sell products or services) .
People are far more likely to trust a peer recommendation than advertising. According to a Neilsen study, “90% of consumers trust a testimonial from a peer. Compare that to just 14% of consumers who trust advertisements.” Use that to your advantage by encouraging interaction with your company on social media.
Don’t let overwhelm deter you from creating an effective online marketing presence!  You must have a good website, regular, consistent relevant content and social marketing to support your business growth.
There are resources available to help you.

SEO or PPC, Which is Better?

Google’s latest Penguin update brought the hammer down on websites, including legitimate websites, fairly hard making PPC look attractive but is SEO is a better long term solution.
Small businesses understand the fundamental challenges that go hand in hand with SEO, the ever-changing Google algorithms, and the threat of  on their site— affecting their rankings and, as a result, the livelihood of their business. PPC may look to be the “quick fix” for a company, right, with measured results right at your fingertips?
Of course, if you’re looking for short-term success, allocating your budget toward PPC is the way to go.
However, what are your business’  long term goals?
I believe PPC should be used for short term success, until your SEO is successful enough to cut back on the PPC program.
I feel strongly  content marketing by blogging for SEO is the answer for small business the majority of the time. It’s much more cost-effective—most of the time—and provides longer term value.

One of the main goals of online content marketing by blogging, is to drive quality traffic to your website. Traffic that is more likely to convert into leads and eventually sales. This is possible by providing quality content that is useful, content that solves a problem. At the end of the day, the whole point of sales is need fulfillment. Providing your target audience relevant quality content online, is merely a more efficient way.
Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Blogging takes time. SEO results from online content marketing takes time. If your expecting to see immediate results from blogging you’re in for a rude awakening. Keep in mind, with online content marketing you are building a complex and long-standing infrastructure that, will grow with time and effort. As important as quality relevant content is also consistency in posting new quality relevant content.

When properly implemented, online content marketing by blogging, can be a game changer for your business. However, you can’t simply throw caution to the wind and hope everything plays out the way you’re wishing. Instead, you must devise a blogging strategy that uses the best resources of what today’s technology has to offer.

Are You Really Missing Out on Business By Not Blogging?

Do you ever think you should have a blog, but you don’t think you would know what you would write about on your company blog?

And if you did, would it even be worth the time and effort?

It is challenging to come up with new content consistently and frequently, and it is time consuming so why do it?
“B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging firms” according to Social Media B2B. So you need to decide what that is worth to your business.

Some of the benefits for your company of blogging are:

Blogs are like search engine magnets. Search engines are drawn to blogs, because blogs contain the kind of data search engines look for and the information is updated regularly.

Because your customers may be allowed to comment on your posts, blogs provide an open 2 way communication for you and your customers and prospects to speck directly with each other.
It really is more about relationship marketing.
Blogs provide you a platform to share your viewpoints and demonstrate your knowledge and expertise of the industry also allowing you to Brand yourself, your business and differentiate yourself from the competition.

According to Marketing Charts, “Blogs are the single most important inbound marketing tool. “When asked to rank the importance of the services they use, 25% of users rated their company blog as critical to their business, while a further 56% considered them either important (34%) or useful (22%)” for a total of 81%”.

Blogs, cross promoted with marketing with social media sites, can be even more beneficial.
“Social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users” according to Mindjumpers
“You cannot afford to close your eyes to them [blogs], because they’re the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the internet itself. And they’re going to shake up just about every business-including your……Given the changes barreling down upon us, blogs are not a business elective. They’re a prerequisite”. – BusinessWeek, May 2, 2005

So their you have it, you know you need to, what are you waiting for? it’s kinda like exercise, you know you should, but it’s not easy and it will take time, about as much time as time as it would to write a blog post.
So what are you going to do? How healthy do you want to be? How healthy do you want your company to be?
There are resources to help you, seriously less time than it takes you to work out, and you know you should, so just do it!

Use Social Media Marketing to Improve Your Search Rankings.

Social media marketing is more important to your natural search results since Google’s Penguin algorithm update which was designed to eliminate spam from natural search results.
With Google’s focus on spam, low quality and manufactured back links, we are likely to see similar updates in the future.
In a post Penguin world, the key is building natural back links by publishing high value content that people would be more apt to share on social media networks.

Because of the sheer number of users on  Facebook and Twitter  make them a excellent platform to build your networks providing you with more opportunities for link shares.
While you need to have a strong social media marketing campaign ( including a Facebook business “fan page” ) it is extremely important that you have a “Hub”, ( your own blog or website ) that you are sending this traffic too.
Now when I talk with business owners about social media marketing, its not a question for them of if they should but it is a question for them of do they have the time or resources within their company to manage their social media campaigns or should they outsource the management to professionals?

Google Search Algorithm Change – 35% of Web searches will be affected

Earlier this week Google announced a new search algorithm change that will effect the results of about 35% of all searches. Will you be one of the 35% who’s internet marketing placement will be affected?

This is much bigger than the Panda Update earlier that impacted 12% of the search results. The newest Google search algorithm change according to Google will make search results “fresher” fresher relevant search results. While freshness is not new, it’s been a content factor since 2007, but with the move over to the caffeine infrastructure last year to make sure Google can index, crawl and return results faster, the newest Google search algorithm change is now possible.

While the Panda Update was a 12% change, it was not a 12% improvement. There is no reason to believe the latest Google search algorithm change will be an improvement in search results, but one thing is certain it will be a significant change to a businesses internet marketing, and no doubt will be a game changer for many now that time will be of greater relevancy in a Google search. Many Blogs, Web sites and even PPC campaigns may lose relevance if they are not updated with new relevant content regularly in your internet marketing campaign.

Like you don’t have enough to do right, well you don’t want to risk losing your prominent placement in your SEO standings so you have a couple choices, you can go down and get yourself a couple of Grande’s from your local coffee shop, every night, to stay up late at night and do your updating your internet marketing with new relevant content, or you can for about the price of a Grande or two have a specialist manage your internet marketing for you while you rest up for another busy day tomorrow.

You Decide!

 

SEO beats PPC and Social Media Marketing for generating Leads

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) beats Pay Per Click (PPC)

and Social Media Marketing

for generating leads according to the “2011 State of Digital Marketing Report”

While I believe Social Media Marketing is here to stay and should not be ignored, search engines are still going to give you the biggest bang for your buck in both B2B and B2C, according to the report.

Just over 54percent of the B2B marketing  respondents reported SEO making the biggest impact, followed by PPC at just under 25% and Social Media Marketing at 17.9%. When it came to B2C 41% responded  SEO having the greatest impact followed by PPC at 34.2% and Social Media Marketing at 24.8%.

What I found even more interesting is the allocation of internet marketing resources compared to the impact received The B2B marketing reported that while SEO resulted in over 54 % SEO was only allocated 33% of the Internet marketing budget whereas PPC resulted in 24.8 % and was allocated 27% of the budget and Social Media marketing only 9.5 %. With the B2C marketers the results were even more alarming with SEO coming in at 41% only 21% of the Internet marketing funds allocated and even worse PPC only resulted in 34% even though receiving 42.5% of the internet marketing funds followed with Social Media Marketing with only 15%of the Internet marketing funds.

It seems very obvious the smart thing to do would be to reallocate internet marketing funds from PPC and shift more funds over to SEO and Social Media Marketing in the Internet marketing budget as PPC seems to have come out the biggest loser in both B2B and B2C.

If you realize you need to expand your internet marketing for your business for search engines as well as with Social Media Market and you are interesting in investing your time to learn how you can do that here with a series of online videos.