Blogging for business purposes has become an extremely effective SEO technique and often helps with building your online business. Careful research and planning before setting up a blog, will provide the maximum benefits.
What is Blogging?
When it comes down to it, a blog can be anything you want it to be. What sets it apart from what may be considered a regular website is in the fact that blogs are more of an ongoing conversation with the internet public, that is updated regularly.
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is “blogging” and someone who keeps a blog is a “blogger.”
How Can Blogging Help My Business?
Blogging provides a specific method to personalize your business and keep the internet public updated on new and exciting things going on with your company. They can also be a wonderful marketing tool, provided the content is designed to BENEFIT the reader, rather than solely to advertise a product or service.
Blogging also provides another opportunity for people to find your site. Often times when people are looking for a product or service, they will FIRST look for information concerning the subject.
What Would I Write About?
Although you will likely publish several articles on your blog site, first determine the primary focus of the blog. Select topics that are relevant to your website and the visitors you are targeting. If you have more than one relevant topic, create separate blogging accounts for each subject.
Sample Topics Relevant to a Business Website:
Parts dealership - articles on repair tips.
Homeschooling website - frugal living tips.
Virtual office - articles on organizing an office.
For this strategy to be effective though, you must provide quality content that benefits your visitors. Do not use your blog strictly for advertising your website. Although you will certainly blend in references to gently guide the visitors to your site, it is not intended to be a walking billboard. Many search engines give added weight to authority sites. This will be important to you for several reasons, but especially in terms of controlling quality anchor text backlinks to your main site.
Researching and Planning For Your Blog
Once you have decided on the main topic, thoroughly research key phrases the public will use to search for information concerning the topic you have selected. Use tools such as the free Keyword Suggestion Tool from Google Adwords to research possible key phrases for your selected topic. https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__u=1000000000&__c=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS#search.none
Your selection will be used as the title of your blog. It is vital to remember that search engines will return search results in the exact order of their perceived relevancy to the search phrase requested. The more relevant your blog appears to be to the search requested, the HIGHER your articles will show in the search results.
When you have selected a key phrase for the primary focus of your articles, you will now need to choose the description for your blog. I have found it to be far more effective to use no more than 150-200 characters. It is imperative to include the title of your blog within the description.
Use Basic SEO Techniques For Your Blog
If the service you select allows you to choose the URL of your new blog, consider using effective keywords from your key phrase. If your key phrase is only 3 words, consider using the exact phrase, separated by hyphens. Once you have completed setting up the new blog account, adjust the preferences following basic SEO techniques.
For example, many blog services will give you the option of adding a title for each article. This will certainly be far more effective to your search engine optimization strategies than separating postings by the current date, provided you select titles that use at least parts of the key phrase from your blog title. Of course you will also want to consider keyword density when writing your articles.
It will not do a lot of good to invest your time setting up a blog to focus on a specific subject, unless the articles are actually about the topic. Some people choose to move articles to their own domain once they reach the point of being archived. This is truly a matter of personal preference. One possible alternative would be to provide enticing blurbs on your blog, that are anchor text linked to the full articles published on your main website.
Promote Your New Blog
Finally, you will need to link to your new blog from your main site, so that the search engines can find it! Consider having a small area on your front page for featured articles. As you create new blog accounts, make sure you add them to the static links on your original blog, to encourage the spiders to crawl your blogs on a regular basis.
Place a note on your articles encouraging visitors to link to your blog. If people find your articles to be helpful, often they will happily add a link to your blog.
Posting Comments to Relevant Blogs
Why Leave Comments on Blogs?
There has been a lot of misinformation passed around the internet concerning the new "nofollow" attribute announcement by Google. Many people felt that this meant that all links on blogs would no longer be followed.
The new attribute is designed to be used in locations where spammers are able to leave their link AUTOMATICALLY, such as in the comment sections of blogs. This will have no effect on the links used in the blogs themselves.
"If you're a blogger (or a blog reader), you're painfully familiar with people who try to raise their own websites' search engine rankings by submitting linked blog comments like "Visit my discount pharmaceuticals site." This is called comment spam, we don't like it either, and we've been testing a new tag that blocks it. From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn't a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it's just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists." Google Blog January 18, 2005 - Preventing Comment Spam
Many people have asked if there is any point in leaving comment on blogs anymore. First of all, not all blogs are using this new attribute. This attribute is most commonly used on the blogs without the option of screening comments BEFORE they are posted. Most importantly though, you should NEVER leave comments on a blog for the sole purpose of receiving credit for an incoming link. Comments left on blogs should be honest and sincere feedback. As part of good advertising you should always sign your name, business name and the URL to your site.
Multiple Blogging Accounts
Should you have more than one blog? Since I think blogs should have somewhat of a basic "theme", I also happen to believe that you should consider maintaining as many blogs as you are able to provide QUALITY content for. One of the keys to developing a successful online business, is creating a variety of different opportunities for people to find your site.