Posted at Sep 29, 2019 8:06:43 PM by Katie Weedman | Share
The purpose of a business blog is twofold: it should provide ideal customers with useful information related to a business' products and services, and it should increase organic search traffic to a business' website. Unfortunately, the three biggest blogging mistakes for businesses can negate the purpose of blogging to begin with. Read on to find out if your business blog is guilty of one or more of these blunders.
As I stated above, the purpose of a business blog is to provide useful information. Synonyms for the word useful include helpful and practical. To be those things for your ideal customers, your blog content should provide information for their benefit, not just for the benefit of your business’ bottom line. In other words, don’t deliver a sales pitch. Deliver value.
What Is Value?
Value is not a laundry list of “exciting” or “amazing” features. Value is worth. Stop tooting your own horn and start showing your ideal customers why your products and services are worthwhile.
Look at each piece of your business’ blog content. Who is it talking about? Is it talking about how great your business is or about what your ideal customers stand to gain?
Remember: the more you use the name of your business (and/or the branded names of your products and services), the more salesy your blog content becomes.
Why Value Matters?
Value matters to potential customers. They need to understand what’s in it for them if they buy from you. How do your products and services solve their problems?
Value also applies to how your blog content is ranked in the organic search results. According to Google, it’s important to think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging.
If the blog posts on your business’ website are filled with regurgitated product specs and nondescript adjectives (e.g., exciting, amazing, great, etc.), what is unique, valuable, or engaging about that?
Not every business has a brand as uniquely named or as widely recognized as Coca-Cola or Pepsi. If this sounds like you, your business or brand name may not have a lot of targeted organic search volume.
In this case, sticking with branded keywords for your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts is one of your biggest blogging mistakes. You should expand your focus to include traditional SEO keywords.
Why Expand Beyond the Brand?
Branded keywords are used by searchers who have already heard about you. The goal of SEO is to increase your website’s organic search traffic from an audience who has yet to hear about your business or brand. By using traditional SEO keywords, you are more likely to reach an audience who has yet to type your business or brand name into Google’s search bar.
What Are Traditional Keywords?
According to Moz, keywords are the words and phrases searchers enter into search engines, also called "search queries." Traditional keywords are keywords that don’t contain your business or brand name. For example, a traditional keyword phrase would be “recipes using cola,” whereas a branded keyword phrase would be “recipes using Coca-Cola.”
However, you shouldn’t banish branded keywords from your website completely. “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages are ideal places for branded keywords. That way, searchers can easily find information specific to your business. Branded keywords also can come into play for paid search engine marketing. (More about that here.)
In school, you likely were taught that if you didn’t cite your sources, you were committing plagiarism. This principle doesn’t change just because you’re writing a blog post instead of a term paper. And yet, despite this, many businesses still forget to include outbound links for proper citation.
What Is an Outbound Link?
In layman’s terms, an outbound link is a link from your website to another website or domain.
Some businesses choose not to include outbound links in their blog content because they don’t want their readers leaving their website to visit someone else’s. Others worry about outbound links from an SEO perspective.
How Do Outbound Links Relate to SEO?
Outbound links give link equity, sometimes referred to as link juice, to other websites. This helps boost the organic search engine ranking power of the receiving websites, because search engines like Google view outbound links as third-party votes of confidence or authority.
Why Should I Give Other Websites Link Equity?
Outbound links to authoritative websites can have a positive impact on your organic search engine rankings. Studies have shown that Google appears to reward relevant outbound links, because they help the crawler determine a website’s niche. Therefore, high-authority outbound links in your business’ blog content can add legitimacy, much like citing your sources in your term paper did back in school.
There is that one caveat, though: high authority. It’s important to link to reputable research and relevant publications. In addition, it’s best to set all outbound links to open in new windows to discourage your readers from leaving your blog to pursue other references.
But don’t get carried away with outbound linking. Remember the lesson learned from blog mistake #1: the value your business blog content delivers should be unique -- so cite your sources, but be sure you're offering a fresh perspective on the information.
Contact the content marketing professionals at THAT Agency for help with your business blog. And be sure to sign up for email updates to get more practical tips like these delivered straight to your inbox.