Numbers don’t lie and if this maxim applies to the contemporary business landscape, it goes without saying that the future is in internet marketing. According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), there are over 3.62 billion internet users today and the numbers keep growing. A report compiled by HubSpot shows that over 81%of shoppers are going online for research before making a purchase. The same report shows that Google boasts over 100 billion searches every month.
These numbers highlight the importance of the internet for today’s consumer. Whatever type of goods or services you are selling, you must have some form of online presence in order to make a mark in your niche market. While millions of websites are being built and indexed daily, only a small percentage is making any mark. This is because of the stiff competition in all industries. Whatever keywords you are ranking for, there are competitors who are also angling to stay ahead.
Well, you can’t give up just because of stiff competition. Instead, you need to get more innovative in order to attract more traffic. How do you do this? A business blog might not be a priority in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy but recent studies indicate that this is one of the best marketing tools on the internet platform.
The Impact of Blogging for SEO
According to a 2016 marketing study,346 million people read blogs for different reasons. 79% of online shoppers read blogs and spend 50% of their time researching products before buying. It is no surprise then that 60% of marketers surveyed in 2016 said blog content creation is a priority in their inbound marketing campaigns. A similar report by FactBrowser shows that 61% of online shoppersin the U.S have made a purchase based on a recommendationfrom a blog. 71%of bloggers say they have increased visibility in their industries through these platforms.
These numbers reveal the importance of a blog for your business. If you are planning to start a business blog, it is advisable to use WordPress (WP) which is free and easily customizable. WP blogs and websites dominate the internet platform and it iseasy to find community support in case your blog encounters any technical glitches. Moreimportantly,there are thousands of free plugins which makes it easier for bloggers to boost the performance of their blogs as it grows bigger.
In summary, a blog has a profound impact on your business; there is increased traffic and conversion rates, better brand recognition in your niche, high visibility on social media networks, better customer engagement, higher ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) and much more.
Building a Blog for Internet marketing
If you are planning to build a WP blog, it is understandable if you are apprehensive but creating a WordPress blog has never been this easier. Take a look at some tips will help you build a highly effective blog for your business:
- Research and Identify Your Audience
Who is your target audience? Are you selling products and services for teenagers? Your blog reader will most likely fit the profile of your customer. Therefore, go back to your business and look at the audience you normally target. This will help you create personas that can be used to know what readers will be looking for you. As a rule of thumb, remember a visitor to your blog is already further on the purchase process and is most likely looking for more details before making a purchase.
- Start with Definite Blog Goals
One of the biggest mistakes most bloggers make is starting a blog without having a clear goal in mind. Once they have a platform, it becomes an anything-goes scenario where any content can be published with abandon. Eventually the whole project collapses. To avoid this pitfall, ask yourself what you want to achieve with your blog. Are you looking for brand recognition or are you focused more on conversion? These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound).
- Decide on a Blogging Platform
You need to take your time when looking at the available blogging platforms. A wrong choice can make or break your marketing campaign. WordPress (WP) is the most recommendedplatform because it is cost-effective,something every business today is looking for. More importantly, it allows you to set up in minutes. Other platforms include Weebly, Yola, Joomla and Drupal.
- Choose the Best WP Theme
Now that you have opted for a WordPress platform, it is time to choose a theme which will define the layout of your website. There are thousands of free themes to choose from found on the WP Theme Directory. You can also opt for premium themes which you will have to pay for. When choosing a theme, make sure you assess its responsiveness. More internet users today are using smartphones and other internet devices and your blog should be adjustable to all screen sizes.
In addition, check for the level of customer support that comes with the theme you choose in case you encounter some problems during installation or in the course of using it. A good WP theme should also allow easy customization including color changes, navigation menu, and widgets among other things.
- Create a Blogging Strategy
Now that you have an audience, a blog layout and clear goals, it is important to look forward and determine how you will run this blog. This includes identifying the person who will be in control, type of content to be published, and posting frequency among other things. With a clear blogging strategy, you will have a uniform blogging sequence and consistent content. All these factors contribute tobetter blog performance.
It is also important to keep updating your content and make sure you stay uptodate with the happenings in your niche. All in all, a blog boosts your internet marketing campaign by increasing traffic and conversion rates. Better still, you are able to build brad authority and broaden your circle of influence, which will be reflected in the bottom-line. Ifyou had not factored a blog in your internet marketing campaign, it is time to get down to work.
Carolyn Steves is an experienced SEO specialist, blogger and writer with over 16 years’ experience in the industry. Her article, ‘Creating a WordPress blog has never been this easier’,has been featured in different blogging meetings in the country. She lives with her family in Manhattan, NY.