Your website should, of course, look fabulous, with a consistent coloring and typeface scheme, beautiful layout and graphics, and modern and intuitive navigation controls, slideshows, and other widgets. Furthermore, the website needs to be responsive and auto-adapt its layout when visitors browse the Internet using mobile devices with a small screen.
It should also contain a lot of engaging and useful information on your products and services. In fact, the more web pages with lots of text information will be better. This is because search engines like Google can only drive traffic to your website if your pages contain the information Internet visitors are searching for. A website with mostly stunning photos (perhaps with text painted into the bitmap image) are entirely ineffective from a search engine optimization point of view.
Don’t forget: search engines can only look in text. Include relevant text on your website if you want search engines to send visitors your way. There will be no shortage of other books and articles covering the subject. We cover a lot of topics outside of websites in this article, but having an effective online presence starts there. Without a website, you can’t make use of the other online marketing tools either. Make sure your website looks great and contains all the information needed for both your visitors and search engines to be happy.
Up until a few years ago, attracting new visitors organically was done by having search engines like Google index your web pages and hoping they send traffic to your website. To improve the results, search engine optimization techniques were often used.
This has not changed, but the concept is now extended by also having a blog that adds to the amount of traffic search engines send to you. The website, and increasingly the blog, are your prime mechanisms for attracting new visitors. In addition to getting organic traffic, the website or the blog are usually the destination of various marketing campaigns, such as paid adverts, social media channels, or offline marketing.
Apart from the regular company website, the blog is the other major tool you can use to attract visitors. Some years ago, blogging was mostly confined to teenagers writing about their personal life, but things have changed and having a blog is now a critical asset in the Internet marketing strategy of any company. The key to this is that the website outlining your product offering will typically have a finite set of web pages, and they have to be written in corporate marketing language to make the website look professional. As such, it may be difficult to add a large number of additional web pages in a way that feels natural to website visitors.
In particular, it becomes difficult to add pages with slightly more informal content and language that may be needed to engage with your audience on a personal level. Since being found by search engines is crucial to getting more potential customers to see you, having more pages published increases your chances of search engines sending traffic your way. A blog is a perfect vehicle for this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your existing leads and customers visiting your blog frequently; in fact, it is great and can have many positive effects, including leads nurturing, thought leadership, and brand building. But one of the primary purposes of the blog is to fill it with many (perhaps hundreds of) blog articles over time.
Use the blog to add as many pages as possible on the Internet, thus increasing the chances Google searches result in traffic to your site. The great thing with blog articles is they stay “forever” on the Internet. It requires some effort to write a blog article, but once it is published, it will remain on the Internet for years, continuing to attract traffic from search engines like Google with no additional effort or expense on your part. The marketing value does not stop when the advertising budget is exhausted.
A blog is often hosted on a different server from your regular website (but it doesn’t have to be). If so, hyperlinks on your website promoting the blog may open it in a different browser window. There are many independent blog hosting solutions available on the Internet, and you can integrate it into your standard website if you prefer. If your blog is not hosted on your company website, I recommend using a subdomain like blog.mycompany.com if your site is on www.mycompany.com.
This means your blog uses your domain name (mycompany.com), which ensures that any blog traffic helps improve the search engine authority of your regular website and vice versa. I write more on website authority in a later articles, but for now consider it a score of how important search engines think your website is. In particular, you want to ensure that your blog does not use the domain name of the blog platform supplier, such as mycompany.somebloghosting.com, as your traffic will help improve their search engine authority instead of yours.
Blog article title and content
The blog should cover topics from your industry or pain points of your readers, and not promote or sell your products or company other than as a side effect. I try to follow these rules when writing blog articles:
A catchy title containing the search keywords I want to get traffic from Minimum 750-1000 words of text The text must contain the targeted search keywords a couple of times, but not so often to make the writing feel forced or awkward. A few times is enough. Minimum one photo or graphic to spice up the article A personal, warm, and friendly writing style Genuinely helpful, informative, and educational content, without strong product promotion. Alternatively, share your thoughts on something that relates to your industry
The first point is important. A great title is everything, both for search engines and human readers. It is commonly said that you should spend half the time writing the blog article, and the other half coming up with a great title. Make sure the title contains the search keywords you want to optimize the blog post for and make it attractive for human readers too. For some reasons, numbered lists seem to generate more clicks, as do words in square brackets.
Examples of this are:
- Best Place to visit in Delhi
- Become a blogger in 15 steps
- Learn more about cooking
Since a blogger is supposed to write many blog articles frequently, it is easy to run out of ideas for new blog posts. In fact, the problem is large enough for people to create blog topic or title generators that auto-generate ideas for blog articles. Search for “blog title generator” to find a few of them.
For search engines to find your article using the search phrase “backpacking Vietnam”, these keywords need to be present in the title, as well as a couple of times in the article copy. However, be sure not to add the keywords too many times (known as keyword stuffing) as this may cause search engines to reduce your ranking as a penalty. More on this in the section on search engine optimization.
In fact, you should probably write several different blog articles targeting the same search keywords to have more articles fishing for traffic from that specific search phrase. Having a number of articles targeting the same keywords increases the likelihood at least one will catch some of the traffic. Just make sure to modify the title and copy (body text) enough to make it look like a different post, even if they cover almost the same topic (but perhaps from a different angle). Post them a few weeks apart so as not to bore your frequent readers, who will otherwise notice the repetition.
I have also found it useful to write blog articles that ask questions that don’t need to be answered in the blog article, like “Is Porsche better than Ferrari?” In the article, just outline some pros and cons, and let the reader judge. There’s no need for you to provide an answer to the question, it is simply an excuse to publish an additional blog article for Google and other search engines to find.
Have you recently created some new digital assets or other offers that can be promoted? Be sure to write blog articles like:
Your blog articles should provide links, back to your website, or to other blog articles containing relevant information. This provides more visibility for your other pages and offers, and lets the reader engage more deeply with you for a longer time. Write blog posts with different targets, if you need to. The more, the better.
How often do you need to write new blog posts? I’d say at least once a week, more often if you can. However, when you start the blog, you will need to fill it with ten or so articles immediately, before too many visitors start coming. Otherwise they may deem it useless and not come back.
The more blog posts you have, the greater the chance potential readers will find an article using search engines. In all cases, make sure the articles are genuinely helpful to the visitors, providing high-quality reading, without too much apparent product promotion.
This chapter outlined how to attract visitors using a website and a blog, including details on how to set up the blog and write effective blog articles. While many Internet marketing strategies involve things outside of the website, it is still the centerpiece of it all, with the blog as the second most important part.