Blogging is a critical part of most social media marketing strategies. A good blog helps you achieve several important goals, including
- Provide regular content updates for your website, which gives customers and prospects a reason to return to your site and tells the search engines the site is active and updated regularly
- Provide proof of your knowledge of an industry, market or customer segment
- Demonstrate the relevance of your business to current events and trends
- Provide content followers can share with others
- Provide opportunity for followers to interact with you/your content
- Build credibility
For your blog to accomplish these goals for your business, you need people reading the blog and sharing the content with others. Successful blogs provide interesting content that answers customer questions or helps them solve problems. You blog posts should be readable, have compelling titles, and use appropriate keywords in critical places.
Most people estimate the “shelf life” of a blog at about 72 hours. This is not much time to create interest and get people to read and share your blog content. Here are three things you can do to increase traffic to your blog:
- Blog more often – A study by HubSpot demonstrated that the frequency of your blogs produces a proportionate increase in blog traffic. To keep a steady flow of traffic, you need to post at least every 72 hours. However, the study showed that businesses that post daily generate five times more traffic than those posting weekly. In addition, the study found that posting multiple times per day produces 15 percent more results than posting daily. (There is no simple formula for how often a particular business should post blogs. You must balance the time required to write the post with other demands on your time or your writer’s time. Many small and mid-sized businesses find that blogging three times per week creates a reasonable balance.)
- Post immediate and simultaneous updates to your primary social media accounts. Most blogging platforms provide a mechanism for an immediate update to the most popular social media platforms. These should begin with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. If you use other social platforms, they should be updated also as soon as possible. Simultaneous update to basic platforms sends a powerful signal to the search engines about the new content on your site.
- After 30 minutes or an hour, update social media accounts again. This update should include text (taken from your blog post or about the key message of the blog post) and a relevant picture. Why? Search engines give greater weight to text updates than to mere links, and they give more weight to pictures. Combining a text update and a picture creates the most powerful type of update.
- Encourage readers of your blog to share your content. First, ensure that share buttons appear on every page of your website and at the bottom or the side of every blog post. Second, ask people to share your content. You can accomplish this with a static statement above the share buttons to the effect of “if you like this post, please share it.” Third, encourage people to share your update by re-tweeting or forwarding your updates. There is nothing wrong with a simple reminder or a gentle request.
- Add a reminder to share the content to blog subscribers.
If you are creating relevant and helpful content in your blog posts and you post new blog content as frequently as possible, you can expect traffic to your blog to increase steadily. By sharing and encouraging sharing via social networking platforms and social bookmarking, your followers will help you spread the word and increasing blog traffic will happen naturally.
By Staff, Little Black Dog Social Media and More