Thursday 1 March 2012

To Blog or Not

"My Website's NOT being Found"

The big statement that gets Social Media Gurus across the world salivating and to which these "gurus" will tell you, for sure that "it's not" and that if you give them £1000 a month then they'll make sure it will be.

That's one route to go.

The other is to look at what you can (logically) do for yourself. The first logical thing to do is review your opening gambit and question your starting premise.

What do you mean by your website isn't being found? What is your "website"? Well it is probably an on line representation of your business (generally) and your products and services (specifically) and we all know that its not too often that we're purchasing generally on line but specifically so if your website is very general about what you offer, you can't expect to be found for the specifics. Make sense?

So when you say your website is not being found it's much better to be more clear. Maybe you're not being found for the specifics; you're not being found for business accommodation near the airport or golf breaks in the autumn in Ayrshire; or bistro dining near Ayr.

Once you start accepting that what people are looking for is specific products and services in equally specific location then you may have a chance of getting found by the right people for the right product.

It's a gentle leap, probably a small step actually, from understanding that your customer may be looking more often for products on your website than your website itself to recognising that the most important thing that you can provide for Google and the other search engines is good quality CONTENT.

This short blog has been itself written to provide specific content for a specific audience. In this case students in Ayr attending a one day seminar at Ayr Racecourse to examine on line marketing.

Plan B has been asked to present three short workshops to the students on blogging and this article plays a small part of the workshop leading to a specific call to action at the end of each session.

Blogging – web logging – is fundamentally another method which allows the business to create good quality, search and consumer friendly content that then links back to the core website. In old school marketing, the content helps raise Awareness and generates Interest, creates a Desire for the reader to find out more through the Action of clicking on the link to the offer or proposition on the core website.

Destination driven articles, product news, seasonal events and price lead promotions, even content like job vacancies are all candidates for Blogs and all can benefit from effective copy writing and understanding of who it is that may be looking for your content.

The blog article (and content) will help the business in being found for more of its target key words and phrases. If your business creates an article for example on a Local Golf Week and links it back to the events page on the business website it will achieve the following.
  • Quick indexing by Google of the article content and labels.
  • Increased backlinks to your own site’s relevant page

If you don't have a blog of your own or don't think you've got enough content to write articles on a regular basis, put your foot in the water and offer to write Guest Blogs or create a collaborative blog with businesses with similar markets.

It was for this reason the we set up Scotland's For Me blog - we recognised that there are a whole host of businesses who recognise the theory but struggle with the time to put it into practice. For our web and booking engine clients we provide both a complimentary and complementary service allowing them to publish their content onto our blog with their won images, tags and links directly back to their own pages.

This provides our blog with a great diversity of content but also ticks the box for the business in helping them with the distribution.

How Often Should I Blog?

Ideally write an article when you have something to say.

We often suggest setting up a separate blog site for your business or association and recommend that every time you add a new webpage, or update items, you should create a blog article with a short description, add an image some links back to the webpage and then add “labels” to help the content to be found.
Take it a step further - if you identify in a list all of the areas that you don't think your being found for online then starting proactively writing articles on the subjects. Write five blog articles a week and you will have generated unique and relevant content for more than 250 subjects by next Easter.

Is that going to help you're "website" being found? Rhetorical question.


Blog articles are indexed very quickly and can provide a great way of being found for key search terms that your website has not been getting found for. It is not unusual to be found for specific content and search terms at the top of Google’s first page only a couple of hours after posting.

Unlike Facebook, Blog content also provides a long term relevance too as the articles remain indexed and provide good content for potential visitors. 

The Process - Creating Good Content

Think of your blog article as an introduction piece to a full story - if you can remember those English writing tips and answer Who, What, Why, Where, When and How in the first couple of paragraphs and you'll have a relevant introduction for your readers and search engines alike. The same applies to your website pages as well.

Like a Press Release the first paragraph has to capture the attention and interest and emphasise the relevance to the reader. The objective is only to capture those who have an interest in finding out more and this is best done by making the title and content relevant and clearly defined.

The copy should use your keywords, (business name, product, location, offer, event, dates etc) which will achieve the aim of being found by the search engines and those looking for relevant information.
  • Make your content relevant.
  • Make the title punchy.
  • Tie in external events or news with your web page
  • Use images in every article where possible.
  • Always link back to your own website.
  • Always try to create a call to action.
  • Write relevant Tags for the search engines.
What Content?
Examine your plans for being found by 1) your potential customers and then 2) the search engines. Identify what are your key products, services, events or promotions that you're not being found for and then work towards promoting them through a structured series of Blog Articles.

Where you have a content managed site (and EVERYONE should!) look at your individual webpages and write articles that can convert your blog articles into bookings or sales and link back to them - DO NOT take the easy option and simply link back to your homepage. You have their interest, don't dilute it or weaken their resolve by expecting them to quickly work out your site navigation! Take them straight to the page they want or even to your boookings page.

  • Look at internal and external events and see how you can promote your business with blog content
  • Look at new menus and how they can be highlighted with PDF versions of articles and pages
  • Publish guest articles or reports of events that have taken place
  • Publish links to new image galleries when they become available
  • Stories about your staff and vacancies
  • And if you’re stuck even the weather...well maybe not!
So to the Workshop Task...

No comments: