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Hands up if you want more website visitors and customers. We all do, including me.

One way you can do this is by blogging, namely writing useful and engaging articles about your area of expertise and posting them to your website.

Every time you write a blog and post it to your website it has the potential to show up in search engines when people are looking for information on your chosen topic. Google prioritises websites that are being regularly updated with fresh, original content and improves their ranking accordingly. This drives more traffic to your site. If people like your article and link to it, your rankings get a further boost, so it becomes a virtuous circle – the more fresh content you have, the better your rankings, and the more website visitors you will get. Let’s be honest here, most websites, once they’re built, never have their pages updated so there’s a real opportunity to gain an advantage over your competitors.

Blogging can also help you with your social media by keeping your feeds current and engaging. Every post should be promoted to increase its readership and social media is one of the best channels for this. Blog posts can be shared using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest amongst others. This will attract a new audience to your business and one that wouldn’t normally find you by other means.

If you blog regularly and well, you might even start to build a following. Fitness tips, furniture restoration, IT fixes, buying and selling property – whatever your line of business, there are people out there who want to learn something about it. You can create a very engaged audience with a regular and entertaining blog if you put your mind to it.

So where to start? At The Marketing Eye, we always recommend starting with frequently asked questions. What are the things that your customers ask you about most often? The chances are, these are the things that all of your potential customers want to know about too and will be searching online for. A short post with the question at the top, followed by the answer is all you need.

You don’t have to be a professional writer to produce a blog. While I would always recommend getting something proof read for any obvious howlers before you post it, the most important thing is that you are authentic and enthusiastic. As with most things in life, you will quickly improve with practice. If you can’t face writing, try doing a selfie video and uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo. A little amateurishness in the production can come across as approachable and real.

Once you are in the swing of it, you can start to think about using your blog as a source of new customers or leads. The best way to do this is to add a call to action into your blog. This could be an opportunity to buy the product or service you are talking about, perhaps with a discount, or the opportunity to sign-up for a newsletter, factsheet or event – it can be anything that a reader might want to buy or be willing to exchange their contact details for.

A word of caution here, though, don’t make your posts too salesy or self-promotional. Nobody wants to read an advert. Instead, make the call to action fit naturally with the genuine advice you are giving.

This is how it works

  1. A visitor comes to your website to read your blog, perhaps attracted by seeing it in their social media feeds
  2. The visitor sees the call to action for the free offer
  3. The visitor clicks on the call to action and goes through to a landing page, which contains a form for them to fill out with their information or a shopping cart
  4. The visitor fills out the form, the form is submitted, and they receive the offer.

Voila – you’ve got your sale or lead. This doesn’t happen every time, of course, no one ever gets 100% conversion rate, but what you do get are leads and sales that you wouldn’t have had before.

Things to remember:

  • Keep your content fresh and blog regularly, once in a blue moon doesn’t work
  • Blog about what you know, be generous with free tips and advice – avoid being too promotional
  • Promote your posts when you write them, e.g. on social media.
  • Be authentic
  • Remember the call to action.

People who read your blogs are unlikely to become your customers straight away – it might be months before they pick up the phone to you, but stick with it. We like nothing better than when a prospect says to us: “we read a blog of yours earlier this year and thought you would be able to help us” – it doesn’t get any better than that!

If you would like help with writing and promoting blogs, or any other aspect of your marketing, The Marketing Eye is always happy to help

Contact us by email hello@themarketingeye.com or telephone 01825 765617.

Jan Edwards
The Marketing Eye