(Photo by Abigail Elder)
The common low-cost marketing suggestions for business owners are: create a blog, create a Facebook page, and Tweet. But are your efforts working?
As a blogger, your likely goal is to attract new readers (and eventually clients). With over 42 million blogs and 329 million people reading blogs, your blog is a drop in the web surf. So how do your prospective clients find your blog?
It’s likely that the source of your readership is either from an online search or a mention by someone else (a link, a like, or a “shout out”). For an online search, do you know what your readers searched on to find your site? Do you know what your potential readers are searching for but wasn’t on your site? If not, you’re blogging in a vacuum, and hoping that somehow one of your blog articles will get a BIG mention by someone else.
To find what your prospects are searching for, you need web analytics on your website. If your needs are basic, then install (for free) Google Analytics on your website/blog. On a regular basis, visit your analytics account to better understand the volume of traffic you’re getting and what they’re searching for. If your top searches are in alignment with your business goals, continue blogging on the same topics, using the keywords that attracted your existing visitors.
If you’re not getting the traffic you’re looking for, then take a look at Google’s (free) Keyword Tool. You can use this tool to analyze your competitions’ websites, popular search terms, and even similar category searches. As a minimum, you want to ensure that your blog articles naturally include the phrases that people are searching for (if you include the phrases artificially, you’ll get more traffic, but fewer visitors will explore your site since they will realize you’re site is for search engines, and not people). If you include the “popular” search terms, then you’ll be in the same situation as your competition. What you really want is to stand out. Focus on long-tail terms – things that few people are searching for, but has little competition. This will be your niche – and where you’ll be able to distinguish yourself from the millions of other bloggers.
If you’re going to make the effort to increase your business, why not work smarter?
Bonus: Here’s an infographic that summarizes the state of blogging. Do you see yourself in the chart?