Blogging is supposed to drive traffic and sales to your site. But it is not working, is it? You have spent a lot of time, energy and money creating blog posts, and your traffic is still lagging. Worse yet, you have a high bounce rate, Those that visit your blog don’t go any deeper than the initial post. Your business is doing blogging wrong.
Everything you have read tells you that blogging is an essential element of your inbound marketing funnel. Your blog entries, with social media and search engines, is for the purpose of making your business discoverable. Your content creates trust, converting visitors to potential customers.
At the end of the blogging strategy, these potential customers take up a call to action and become actual sales. However, this has not been working out for you. Traffic to your website is slow, and conversion is not happening, with a high bounce rate. It is frustrating, isn’t it?
Your Marketing Firm
I see this many times. A business owner understands the importance of online marketing but does not have the knowledge, experience, skills, or time to do it on their own. The logical decision is hiring an online marketing agency to handle all this for you, including blogging. They promise to create content for your blog and social media accounts. They will monitor and respond to engagement, They will drive traffic to your site.
There is a problem. Many of these so-called online marketing agencies are empty shells who consist of little more than a sales team selling snake oil. They know how to sell their service, but they are not marketers. After selling you, they will often outsource the work to a freelancer or ghostwriter. The freelancer follows the plan developed by the agency, regardless if it is effective or not.
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Poor Content Creation
Many marketing firms do not have staff writers. They use freelancers and ghostwriters for blogging. The only qualifications to become a freelance ghostwriter, in many cases, is the ability to write well. That is it. They can write a great 5 paragraph essay that their English Comp professor would love, but they don’t know how to write an effective blog entry.
There are different styles of writing: academic, business, legal, technical, and so on. Each style works best for a specific target audience in different environments. Blogs are designed for people who are primarily skimming for information. Here are some aspects of effective blog content:
- Eye-catching and shareable titles,
- Creation and use of lists,
- Formatted content, using subheadings and bullet points, and
- Use of quality images. infographics, or videos.
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Poor Keyword Strategy
Your marketing firm has promised to get your website ranked for a specific keyword. However, after months, your site is not ranking for “home buying in West Chester PA” or whatever the long-tail keyword phrase may be. They have created dozens or hundreds of blog entries for this one specific keyword or phrase, and you are getting nowhere.
Here is a secret your online marketing agency has not told you, and may not even know themselves. Sites do not rank; only pages rank. Your business does not need hundreds of blog entries with the phrase “home buying in West Chester PA” stuffed into them. All you need is one good, authoritative entry. This is called cornerstone content. This one entry becomes the focus of promotion and internal links.
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Poor Internal Links
This relates back to a poor keyword strategy. Your marketing firm starts with a blogging strategy of creating hundreds of blogs with a specific keyword, or multiple targeted keywords. They then use internal links to link this keyword or phrase back to your site’s main page. The idea is blog content focused on this keyword, with a link to the main page, will increase the SEO for the main page. Wrong!
Not only does this practice not work for ranking the main page of most business sites, it can have a negative effect. The main page of most businesses is optimized to make that business discoverable on the internet. This way, when a person searches for “ABC Realty in West Chester PA.” your site is in the first position of results. It is typically not designed, optimized, or authoritative for other phrases like “home buying in West Chester PA.” Google and other search engines will know the link does not reference related content, and could give it negative weight.
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Blogging for Marketing vs Sales
Online salespeople perceive a visitor to your blog in the same way a car salesperson perceives a person walking into an automobile dealership. They want the sale now. They perceive a person leaving as a lost sale, and push for immediate conversion. Many online marketing firms, because they are run by salespeople, require freelancers and ghostwriters to write blog content as a sales pitch. Their goal is to immediately move a visitor from social media or search engine to blog entry and then to a sales lead.
There is a step missing in their process. Blog entries, via social media and search engines, turn strangers into visitors. Quality content turns visitors into followers and subscribers. The positive experience of followers and subscribers identifies your business as an authority and develops trust. This authority and trust earns you the right to sell, converting followers and subscribers into customers and clients when they are comfortable and ready.
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The majority of your content should not be designed to convert visitors into sales. The majority of your content should be designed to convert visitors into subscribers and followers. Roughly 80 percent of blog content needs to be informative, useful, or entertaining. The remaining 20 percent can be used for promotion and lead generation.
Effective blogging will focus on developing trust and authority. The best business blogs will answer questions. Your content needs to be helpful, establishing you as an authority. At this point, when a prospect or lead enters the sales process, one does not have to sell the company before selling the product or service. You have already done the work.