The one platform where you have complete control of what your audience can see is a blog.
Blogging is one of the best ways of generating qualified leads for your business. It is estimated that over 70% of Canadians have access to the Internet. This means today’s consumers have more control on the information delivered to them. Consumers can choose your company or opt for your competitors depending on how you present yourself.
So, how can blogging help you to get prospects and win customers online?
Simply blogging for the sake of it will not do any good to your business. You must have a blogging plan to help you achieve your business objectives, be it increase traffic, generate more leads, improve brand awareness or increase sales.
Let’s look at a simple 3-step plan to increasing blog traffic and sales.
Step 1: Know Your Target Audience
Before you start blogging, you should know your target market (discussed in our previous blog article). These are the prospects you want to reach with your blog content to achieve your business goals. Your offer (services or products) will help you know your ideal prospect. In particular, the prospects should:
1. Have a problem that you can solve
2. Want the problem solved
3. Be willing to pay for the problem to be solved
For example, if you are selling a sales optimization software, this is how you can define your ideal prospect:
The ideal customer is a small/large company struggling with sales. The company wants more sales and is willing to pay for a software that will help increase sales.
After identifying your prospects, you need to know how they search for your products, services or solutions online. This this brings us to the next step: keyword research.
Step 2: Keyword Research
Keyword research is an important step in blogging and can affect the number and quality of visitors your blog post will get. You should find out the keywords that your target market uses when searching for your company or solutions online.
To find the probable keywords your target market uses, simply put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. If you were the customer and were looking for a solution to your problem, what words would you type on Google?
You can also use various keyword tools to get ideas on what prospects search for. Free tools like Google Keyword Planner and paid tools like Market Samurai are great for researching your market. Some commercial keyword research tools not only enable you to see the number of visitors that search for a particular keyword, but can also show how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword if you were to create content around it.
Choosing the Right Keywords
When doing keyword research, consider two things before creating your content around a particular keyword:
Keyword intent. What is the intent of a person who searches for the particular keyword? Is the person looking to buy, find out more information, compare solutions, looking for reviews, etc.?
Number of searches. The number of searches a particular keyword phrase gets will give you an idea on how many people search for that keyword and how much traffic you can get. Ideally, you want to target keywords that get a significant number of searches in your industry.
Now that we have our keywords sorted out, it’s time to create content optimized for the various keywords.
Step 3: SEO-Optimized Content Creation
Content creation is where the rubber meets the road. Content fuels the internet and optimized content will generate traffic and leads for your business. To get natural traffic from Google and social media networks like Facebook, you have to create awesome content that is tailored for your audience and optimized for the various keywords you are targeting.
Make sure you incorporate some of your target keywords in your blog posts. But you don’t just want to write for search engines i.e. stuffing keywords in the post. Rather, you want to write for your target audience. Therefore, focus on providing value to the audience.
Your blog posts should be entertaining, educative and interesting. People like to share educative or interesting stuff they find online. If you are just writing another bland post on the internet, good luck with getting any shares, traffic or leads.
Another benefit of writing great content is that other bloggers can link to it, hence increasing the number of inbound links to your website and generating new traffic.
Increase Visitors and Leads with Blogging
When blogging, you don’t just want to get massive traffic. Rather, you want targeted, qualified traffic. You want traffic that can turn to leads. When you know your target audience and the phrases they use to search for your products of services online, you can then create optimized content that will get traffic.
You should create different types of content to attract maximum traffic. Have a mix of posts, videos, infographics, eBooks and other content on your blog. Most of the content you create can also be used to generate leads.