Eight things you’re doing wrong and seven ways to overcome them
I get a lot of people from businesses of all sizes coming to me asking why their website isn’t bringing in business. By the time you finish this piece, you’ll know exactly how make your business blog sing.
1. Easy doesn’t cut the mustard
Writing a few throwaway words every so often won’t do it.
Have a content strategy — what are you going to publish, for whom and why? — and a blogging schedule. Do your research.
Who are your customers? What’s causing them pain? Where are their problems? How can you provide what they need?
How do you get them to your website?
2. You’ve been posting ‘news’. Don’t even have a News section
This is going to be a tough one for many companies. Have a look at your blog. Do you have any pieces about your staff night out? Your accountant’s half marathon? Your new computer system?
The hard fact is that people don’t care about your new social media lead. They want to know if they’ll solve their business problems. Chances are, they may not. That’s not their job. So, if that’s the case, keep schtum. They’re right for your business, but of no direct help to your customers.
Let me tell you. 99.99% of your potential readers (let’s allow for the 0.01% of weirdos or terminally distracted) have zero interest in that stuff. They have lives that are at least as busy as yours. They have pressing business (and personal) problems they are desperately looking for solutions to.
News is Irrelevants. I say, don’t have a News section on your website, so no one will be tempted to post this kind of waffle.
Call it a blog and understand what a blog does. What it demands of you and your colleagues. Because it does demand of you.
3. You get no kudos for posting every day
Back in the day, we had this idea that Google liked fresh content. In fact, I used to advise my clients that they should keep posting frequently. I’ve stopped doing that because it’s a piece of advice that can be so easily misinterpreted.
The advice is to post lots of great content.
That’s why you need a publishing schedule, and you need to keep to it.
4. You’ve been sucked down the Branding rabbit hole
Branding. It’s a difficult one. Large corporations have values for their brands on their balance sheet. Your brand may well tip the balance when a purchasing decision is made.
But that doesn’t mean you should write so much branding content in your blog.
Branding is part of your marketing. Not all of it.
For businesses, branding is more often than not something you should think about as the customer progresses through the sales funnel. Solving problems is what will entice those prospects on to your website and tip them into the top of your funnel.
Blogging is excellent for getting prospects into the start of your sales funnel. Understand your potential readers, turn them into prospects. Later you can assure them you’re a brand they can trust and then sell to them.
5. There’s no such thing as free traffic
And don’t let anyone tell you there is. It’s one of the internet’s great lies.
Your time is worth something. If you or your business is engaging a writer to do it for you, they cost money. And you have the briefing, editing and managing to account for.
No. Traffic isn’t free. Nor has it ever been.
If traffic isn’t free, you should be careful to spend your blogging wisely. You can’t produce all the content you’d like to, so be clear what the most effective content is and prioritise it.
6. You haven’t been realistic about resources
Because traffic isn’t free and because great content doesn’t write itself, you need to make the budget or staff available.
No content for the past six months.
7. You don’t understand SEO
Writing for your audience is a great piece of advice. I would never disagree with it. Picturing your ideal customer and you write is a challenge in itself. You can be proud of yourself if you’re already doing it.
But SEO is more than simply writing for your audience. Are you sure your site is going to enable Google and other search engine crawlers to read your content efficiently? Can your readers find the content they’re looking for? Can they read your blog on their mobile? And that’s just the technical stuff.
Do you understand how semantic relationships can make your content more appealing to people and the search engines? Do you understand how doing your homework with Key Phrase Research can lead to better theming to make a better read for people and a more understandable piece for the search engines?
8. Your writing is lousy
There’s a reason for copywriters. They do what a lot of people struggle with. What a lot of people are frightened of.
If your writing is terrible, or you’re terrified of a blank screen, get in the specialists. Your top competitors probably have.
How can you make people care about your blog?
- Know who you’re writing for
- Know what they care about – what are their problems? Where is their pain?
- Be clear about why you’re putting scarce resources into a piece of content
- Learn SEO. Get the right people to your blog
- Write well. Or learn how to. Or get in an expert
- Publicise your content where your audience is
- Repeat. Regularly
Get more ideas for your business
This post was originally published on Writing For SEO.
David Rosam has been working on the internet for 25 years, after a career in direct marketing copywriting for the tech and financial services industries.
Today, he specialises in Content-Focused Search Engine Optimisation—from audits, through research and strategy to implementation.
He was probably the UK’s first SEO Copywriter.