Stay ahead of competitors with good content, frequent updates, and keyword optimization.
Blogging is one of the most important ways to generate traffic to your website — and traffic generates customer leads. How do you let others know about your blog? Just like promoting anything else, you need to do some marketing. Below are 15 ideas that will help to drive traffic to your blog.
1. Provide good content. If you post content that is interesting and helpful to your audience, they will share it with others. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog. In the HVACR, plumbing, and electrical industries, customers frequently have questions and do Internet research to find answers. Focus your blog on topics they are likely to research. Ask your friends, family, neighbors, and employees what questions they have about products and services that you provide as well as what home-improvement subjects would be of interest to them. Spend time studying your list, and deliver content that will demonstrate your expertise. “Link-worthy” content will attract new visitors and subscribers.
2. Update frequently. Make a commitment to update your blog frequently. Frequent updates will help you to increase traffic because regular readers will read more and share more with new readers. Frequent posts also attract search-engine spiders. Stay ahead of your competition — if your competitors update their blogs once a month, make a new blog post once a week. Note the dates your calendar, so you don’t forget to write a post.
3. Write keyword-driven title tags. Make sure to write title tags with both your visitors and search-engine crawlers in mind. Title tags should be short, catchy, and on topic. Keywords in the title tags are imperative for attracting search-engine crawlers that will help to drive traffic to your blog. You can use tools such as WordTracker or Google Analytics to study keywords and then come up with more-targeted key words and phrases over time.
4. Host your blog on your domain. Make sure that your blog is hosted directly on your domain and not on a domain that is different from your primary site. Hosting a blog on your domain will give you publicity, links from other sites, and credit from search engines, which improves your rankings.
5. Link your blog to Facebook and Twitter. Customize your blog so that every post also will result in a Facebook page update and a Twitter post. This will greatly expand the reach of your message every time you blog.
6. Promote your blog URL. Advertise a link to your blog on your letterhead, business cards, brochures, and flyers. If you publish a newsletter, make sure to add a blurb on every issue encouraging your readers to visit your blog. Tell your friends, family members, and neighbors about your blog. Also add social media icons for Facebook and Twitter to your publications. Adding these icons will not only help you to look like a professional blogger, it will also help your readers share your content with their friends’ network, therefore, increasing an opportunity for you to get additional readers. Add a blog link to your email signature.
7. Create a video about your blog and post in on YouTube. Create a short video that describes the purpose of your blog and post it on YouTube. People respond well to humor, so adding some fun to the video might catch more attention. Create a YouTube profile and post your video there as well. Make sure to include your blog’s URL.
8. Use more than just text in you blog. Make your blog more interesting by incorporating images, videos, graphs, charts, or any other kind of visual element. Looking at line after line of text might get less interesting and harder to read after a while. Make sure to break the content up by using bullet points, indentations — anything that makes your blog more visually appealing. If you’re finding it difficult to come up with your own images, there are many stock photo websites that sell photos for a small fee
9. Make sure you have an RSS feed that people can subscribe to. RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. It allows an opportunity for your readers to get updates when the new blog is posted without going back to your site. Make sure you also have an email subscription available on your blog for non-RSS subscribers — every time a new article is posted, an email goes out with a link to that article.
10. Get involved with other blogs. Read and comment on blogs of businesses that write about similar topics. Make sure your comments are valuable and provide additional insight on the topic. If you thought the article was interesting, others might think that too, and will link to your blog because of your comments. As you write on other blogs, always include a link to your own blog. If you provide insightful feedback, people will want to follow you on to your own blog.
11. Become a guest writer on other blogs. Offer to write blog articles for businesses that you are not in direct competition with, but offer similar product and services. For example, if you do HVACR only, partner with plumbing companies that can give you a link from their sites to yours in exchange for a blog article that you would provide.
12. Run promotions or giveaways on your blog. From time to time, you can run contests and giveaways to generate new traffic. The opportunity to win exciting prizes will incentivize your readers to follow your blog closely. As you write on other blogs, advertise the promotions that you are running on your own blog to get visitors interested into coming to your blog.
13. Submit your blog to directories. Being listed in some of the hundreds of blog directories available can increase traffic and readership of your blog. When you are ready to submit your blog, you will need its URL, title, and a brief description of the blog.
14. Create an account with Technorati. Technorati, a search engine for blogs, allows bloggers to use and assign related tags to their blogs. Tags are keyword or phrases that give a brief description of the blog’s topic. Technorati visitors will be able to search tags to find blogs they are interested in. Having an account with Technorati allows you an opportunity to expose your blog to many readers.
15. Add links to other blogs in your blog content. Linking out to other website articles from you blog could be very beneficial, if it’s done properly. But don’t overdo it just for the sake of creating a link. When you decide to reference another article, make sure that article provides beneficial information to the reader.
Nadia Romeo is president of iMarket Solutions, which specializes in professionally designed and search engine optimized HVAC and plumbing contractor websites.
For more infromation: www.imarketsolutions.com