We're constantly talking about how important it is to post regularly when you're working on blogging to market your industrial products... but there are times when it can be helpful to review the best practices to make sure your approach is on track to maximize results. Here's a quick checklist you can go through to be sure you're still on the right path.
- Configure Your Blog so that it properly directs traffic to the correct location and includes tracking analytics. Some blogging platforms have an automatic function in place to be sure this is working, but it never hurts to review and make sure it's still working correctly, especially if the software has been updated since the last time you checked.
- Know Your Target Persona - or, rather, know what problems and keywords your customers are searching for to find you. If you don't understand their business and problems, you're likely guessing and wasting valuable time and resources. To be truly effective, your blog topics should be informative and help solve real issues that resonate with your target persona. Don't just pitch and blatantly market your industrial products or service, create informative material that helps educate and inform your target persona.
- Do Your Research with real tools and real customers. You need to know what keywords are relevant, how often they're searched, and what kind of competition you're dealing with. If the keyword is too hard to rank for, you won't see meaningful results. Focus on keywords that aren't ultra competitive and offer you a reasonable opportunity to rank in organic search results.
- Create A Calendar that lists your editorial material, including a long list of blog topics. Several months worth, at minimum. Few things are more likely to stall the blogging process than not having list of researched topics you can get started on - that's where many people simply drop out and waste all their efforts getting ramped up. Develop a calendar and build a pipeline of posts ready to publish per your editorial calendar.
- Help Visitors Sign Up for automated updates on your business blog. Make it as easy as possible for them to subscribe to either email alerts or an RSS feed. However, be sure to avoid spamming them with unnecessary messages - it may be better to limit your emails to once a week or once a month, featuring the best blog posts added since the last update you sent. If you bother your followers too often, they'll lose interest or even worse, unsubscribe.
- Promote Your Blog through outlets like social media and physical interactions with customers. Yes, that does mean your sales and customer service personnel should be recommending the blog to existing and prospective customers.
- Keep The Title Short, with no more than 70 characters. Always include your keywords within the title, and try to make sure it's interesting enough to be worth clicking. As you can see at the top of the screen, that's exactly what we did with this post - and the fact that you're reading this demonstrates how well it works.
- Write Ahead Of Time, ideally one or more posts ahead of when you blog. This gives you some wiggle room in case you get side tracked by other priorities - consistency is important, as is the extra time to proofread and make sure the content is well organized.
- Keep It The Right Length. Most blogs should be between 500 and 1,000 words long if you want to keep the attention of your readers. For reference, that means no longer than what you're reading right now.
- Link Back To Your Site With Your Keywords, since business blogging sees significant added value from that.
- Add Calls to Action at the Bottom of each Post, since these are what encourage people to move deeper into your site and turn business blogging into a viable part of your business and marketing model.
- Use Graphics and Images to enhance the overall draw to your blog. Images also offer the chance to add more keyword-centric tags, which can improve your rank in search engines.
- Prominently Display Social Sharing Buttons and make them easy for readers to click. Business blogging does well when people are sharing the posts on social media.
- Keep An Eye On Performance - you don't need to worry too much about comments, but you have a real problem if the average number of readers is going down. That's the sort of warning sign that calls for some serious remedial effort.
- Blog as frequently as you can. It's hard to begin blogging at full force, but ideally, you'll be able to get up a new post two or even three times each week. This offers more chances for people to find you based on a variety of informative topics, and the long-term value of blogging means that you'll have a growing stream of new visitors month after month for as long as your blog is actively managed.
For most industrial B2B companies, blogging can be a very effective tactic in your Inbound Marketing tool kit. It takes dedication and time, but when done right, it's a proven approach to attract new visitors, convert visitors into leads and ultimately help close more business to meet your growth objectives.