The word “blog” seems to still conjure up, in some, images of family vacations or meals on the table. It’s a dated term.
But content writing/blogging for business has never been more important. Because of the way SEO works, Google, Bing and Yahoo all rank sites according to the content on your site. And now, more than ever, it’s important to get yourself found.
Fresh content + more content = Higher Search Engine Ranking
People find businesses differently now. Instead of opening up the Yellow Pages and finding an attractive ad, or even searching and finding an attractive website, your potential customers are doing their due diligence. They are searching. They check you out and then they check out your social media. They might check Yelp. In other words, they have a look around.
You (or someone you hire) should be writing for your website at least once a week, and editing for SEO. (My article on editing for SEO is coming soon.) Fresh content is going to constantly send Google the message that you are consistently adding to your site — and give your social media followers something to look at.
Watch your analytics for search engine phrases that your audience wants to know.
You have expertise. You could talk for hours upon hours about your widgets, about where they were made and why that factory uses a superior process or alloy, and how over time the degradation of competitors widgets is all too common. Your potential clients want to know, instead, which widget works best in the kitchen and which one is better for travel and are Googling such. Don’t fight it. Bring your vast knowledge into your articles — but by all means answer their questions.
One client of mine and I realized that almost 80% of his traffic was coming in on countless variations of the same question. Turns out, it’s an important question and key to being found early for his consulting practice and area of expertise. So we’re embracing this need for information with countless other means of information and media.
Graphics and Images: Potential Destroyer of SEO
Not kidding. And another story.
When Joe and I first started working together, he came to me with a beautiful, image-rich site to showcase the gorgeous furniture he sells. Also on his site at that time was a local news story in which his local charity work was featured. Not only was he THE source for furniture but a great guy as well. Who wouldn’t buy furniture from him?
But very little traffic was coming on to his site. His Google Adwords weren’t working. So what was the problem?
One look at his analytics told us the answer. Because there were a lot of graphics and very little content, Google believed his site to be about his favorite charity as it was unable to read anything of the gorgeous images he’d chosen.
Are there ways to use graphics in a way that Google understands? Of course. Does everyone do this? Apparently not.
Writing your site and keeping the content fresh is the best way to make sure you get and keep Google’s attention. Building your social is important, too, and shouldn’t be forgotten, but content first. Show the world your expertise. Put it out there or let me help you do it.
If you think writing the book was hard, wait til you take on publishing. Here are points to consider carefully whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose:
1. Editing. In my opinion, hiring an editor is absolutely required before publication. Even if you are publishing yourself, you should hire an editor to go through your manuscript with you and make suggestions. It will be worth it.
Choose your editor wisely. There are different kinds of editors out there, from basic checking of spelling and grammar to editing for flow, or for direction and impact of your writing. As diverse as they are in skill and depth, they are in price as well. Preset your budget and determine what you need in advance or you will be slogging through this decision. Ask area writers for their recommendations, too.
2. Book cover. Remember what your mother said about first impressions? She also said that books shouldn’t be judged by their cover. But a book cover is such a creative opportunity for you to express a piece or theme of your book in a visual way to create a response. Take your time and make this meaningful. Or fun. Or whatever fits for your book to reach your audience. You’ll need a cover whether you are publishing hardcopies of your book or if your book is solely digital.
3. Marketing: The fact of the matter is there is no quick way to build your social media presence. It takes time, meaningful content, and honest engagement with your audience. Different platforms appeal to different users and for the best results, choose how and why you post and where. Marketing your book via social media and in person will be featured in several upcoming blog posts, so stay tuned.