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Using Blogging As An SEO Technique

by joebwharton on April 27, 2009

Blogging can be a great SEO technique. Why? Because every blog article adds a new page to your website. Search engines love fresh content. And every blog article gives you the opportunity to focus your message on one subject or keyword phrase. Search engines like focused pages.

One thing to remember when setting up your blog is to have it as part of your company website. It should be either a sub-domain of your company website (e.g. www.myblog.mycompany.com) or a folder on your company website (e.g. www.mycompany.com/myblog). Don’t use one of the free blogging sites such as typepad or wordpress. You can use their free software, just not their site to host your blog. Your blog must be part of your company’s domain in order for your company’s website to benefit from any so called “google juice”.

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Blog Help

by Christi on March 27, 2009

artist


I visited around 100 blogs yesterday. There are a lot of great blogs out there with great content but here are a few problems that I found that are easy to fix.

Slow loading background – When you have great content, you really are just distracting from it with a slow loading background with a lot of detail. It may look nice once it is loaded but it is the content that makes people stick around.

Difficulty leaving comments. I found several that only allowed you to leave your URL if you were using the blogging format that was also used by the blogger. After having visited all of these blogs, I could see that it was just a discussion setting that could be changed. Give your readers a lot of options and install a spam blocker like Akismet to handle the rest.

Give up a little control. I kind of found it off-putting when I visited a blog that started out right from the start telling me that everything on the blog belonged to the blogger and I had no right to use any of it. I’m not really sure that I would want to use any of it but it was kind of like being invited to someones home but when you got to the door they told you to take your shoes off and don’t touch anything. I don’t like people to steal “my stuff” but I do like for people to share “my stuff” and I like to share with you when I find something that will be helpful to you (of course always giving credit and links back to the original source). These people aren’t building a lot of link love or any other kind of love for that matter. Lighten up!

Don’t overload me. A few of the blogs I visited had so much going on that I’m sure I missed a lot. One had an article about her business and I had to search and search to find a link. It was on a sidebar that had tons of other stuff on it. I really want to see your content and pictures and links – just not all at once!

Like I said to start with, there are a lot of great blogs out there and a lot don’t need my free advice. But, some do, so . . . there it is.

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Norfork Lake near Mountain Home, Arkansas

Norfork Lake near Mountain Home, Arkansas




You are invited! These two upcoming seminars are a great low-cost opportunity to learn techniques to grow your business. They are both being held in beautiful Mountain Home, Arkansas which is located between beautiful Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes and surrounded by three rivers.

Don’t miss these opportunities!

Blogging and Social Networking for Business Profit

Small Businesses can Market Effectively… The key is finding unique and unconventional ways to GROW!  How would you like your product or service to be in the top 10 Internet search engines?  Did you know that many businesses have been quietly harnessing a new Internet technology to do just that?  This seminar business owners will:will introduce small business owners web logs (BLOGS) and social networking :

  • Get Introduction to web logs (Blogs) and Social Networking,
  • Learn simple, low-cost resources to position your product or service ahead of your competition,
  • Learn how your business can harness these tools to grow,
  • And Much More!

Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into information that will allow them to grow their businesses.  Learn why blogging and social networking are becoming the NEW BUSINESS SKILLS OF THE DECADE!  Your Competitors are on line and communicating with customers You Should Be TOO!

Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into information that will allow them to grow their businesses.  Learn why blogging and social networking are becoming the NEW BUSINESS SKILLS OF THE DECADE!  Your Competitors are on line and communicating with customers You Should Be TOO!

Event Info
Date:  Friday, March 20th
Time: 1-4:00 p.m.
Location: Room F308 FNBC Building ASU Mtn Home Campus
Registration Fee:   $49 per person
$35 for Chamber Members

Register at the ASU SBTDC  FOUR EASY WAYS!
Call:        (870) 972-3517
Fax:        (870) 972-3678
Mail:       ASU SBTDC P.O. Box 2650
State University, AR 72467
E-Mail:    [email protected]
On-Line: Training Schedule

Market Research for Small Businesses
Simple Tools for Every Business to GROW their Market!

Knowledge is Power… The right information at the right time is crucial to small business success.  In this 3 hour seminar find out how to tap into:

  • Industry Analysis Tools
  • Customer Segmentation Tools
  • Financial Benchmarking
  • Competitor Analysis with GIS Mapping
  • And Much More!

Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into information that will allow them to apply simple market research techniques to grow their businesses.  Now these market research tools and much more is available to to help grow your business at low, even no cost through the ASU SBTDC.
Event Info
Date: Tuesday, March 24th
Time: 6-9 p.m.
Location: Baxter County Library
Registration Fee:   $35 per person
$20 for Chamber & Main Street Members
ASU Mountain Home Faculty, staff and students
receive ASU employee discount 50% of registration fee.
Register at the ASU SBTDC  FOUR EASY WAYS!
Call:        (870) 972-3517
Fax:        (870) 972-3678
Mail:       ASU SBTDC P.O. Box 2650
State University, AR 72467
E-Mail:    [email protected]
On-Line: Training Schedule

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Marketing Your Blog

by Christi on March 2, 2009


Last week we discussed good reasons for your business to have a blog. Here are some really good tips from Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog:

With so many blogs being created every day, it’s a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them.Some companies choose to hire a blog consultant, but others like to try things internally. For those “DIY” companies and individuals interested in practical tips for marketing and optimizing a business blog, try out the following list of blog marketing and optimization tips: more . . .

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Can Blogging Help During a Recession?

by Christi on February 27, 2009

empty-pocket


During recessions, people generally cut down on spending which can really hurt small businesses. But, you may say, I have lower price alternatives that they may be interested in. Wonderful, that is great news. Now how do we tell them about it?

If your business is hurting, you probably do not want to spend a lot of money on newspaper ads and other, expensive traditional marketing. This is where a blog is a great answer. With your blog, you can tell your customers that you understand they need to cut back and how your business can help them. Not only do you get to offer alternative products and services, you get to connect with your customers by letting them know you understand their problems and you would like to help.

And . . . the best news is blogging is soooo much less expensive than traditional marketing.

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Are You Afraid?

by Christi on February 26, 2009

scared


More about blogging for business . . .

One of the fears we have run into about blogging for business is comments. “What is someone makes a bad comment?”

Depending on the subject of your blog, you may actually have negative comments. You can deal with them in a number of ways.

  • You can moderate your comments and only allow the comments you approve. This is not really a good idea. If people are talking negatively about you on your blog you can be sure they are talking negatively about you to other people. Negative comments can alert you to a blind spot in your business. Unless it is just a rant, allow the comments and address them directly. Which brings me to the next point . . .
  • Address the comment directly. Try to read the comment objectively. Does the commenter have a point? Is there something you can do to improve the situation? It could be that you just disagree and that is fine.

Personally, I moderate the first comment, just to make sure the commenter is human and not spam. Once the first comment is up, the person is free to comment anytime.

In most cases, business blogs don’t receive that many negative comments. Some business bloggers post something controversial just to get comments. This is fine as well as long as you can back up what you are posting.

Bottom line, don’t let fear of comments keep you from blogging. Take is as another opportunity to engage with your customers.

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Blogging for Small Businesses

by Christi on February 25, 2009


It seems that a lot of companies are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by blogging and social media. This is not so true for small businesses. Only about 41 percent have their own interactive websites, according to a 2008 survey by small-business advisory service Warrillow & Co. Most small businesses understand the necessity of having a website but don’t take advantage of the e-commerce and marketing opportunities offered by the internet.

Small business blogs are a great way to connect with customers and drive traffic to your business website.  Here are a couple of ways to get started:

  • Be a reader of blogs. Read blogs specific to your line of business, see what others are saying. This is a great way to find inspiration to write. Comment on other’s blogs. Start having conversations with others in your industry. This is also a great way to keep up with what is going on in your industry.
  • Don’t worry about writing long articles full of several concepts. Brief articles are actually more likely to be read than long ones. If you have several concepts you want to cover, break them up into several articles.
  • Don’t make you blog and ad about you. Self-promoting blogs are not popular in the blogosphere. Give your readers useful information that they can use in their own lives. You have expertise that is valuable. Give your readers a reason to come to your blog.
  • Stay true to your businesses purpose. Don’t go on personal rants. If you are writing a blog about internet marketing, don’t start ranting about politics or traffic or, well . . . you get the picture. It is great to be human and show your own personality but don’t rant. Ranting may be fine for some blogs, but not, typically for a business blog.
  • Learn to write reasonably well. Read copyblogger for great tips on writing for business blogs.
  • Run spellcheck on all your posts.
  • Be consistent. I tend to read blogs that have regular posts. I tend not to read blogs that post sporadically, even from bloggers that I like. If  I can’t count on new material on a regular basis, even if it is only once a week (e. g. every Monday) I usually pass.
  • And . . . be committed. It takes a while to get into a flow and build traffic. Stick with it and it will pay off in the end.

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Blogging and Social Media

by Christi on February 23, 2009


I will be doing a seminar on blogging and social media in conjunction with ASU’s, Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center on March 20th on the ASUMH campus. You can register for this seminar here or by calling (870) 972-3517. This seminar will offer great information on how to use blogging and social media to promote your business and connect with your customers.

If you are in the area, be sure to plan to attend. Hope to see you there.

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Effective Social Media Tactics

by Christi on February 13, 2009

social-media


What is holding you back from using social media as a marketing tool? Is it the fact that measuring the ROI of social media is difficult? Consider this from Marketing Sherpa:

The most effective social media tactics are the most difficult to measure quantitatively. Don’t employ less effective tactics for the sake of measuring ROI. Consider the value of qualitative factors to gauge more effective tactics.

chartofweek-02-10-09-lp

“Inability to measure ROI” ranks as the second most significant barrier to social media adoption. But as the chart above shows, the ability to accurately measure ROI has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the tactic in the minds of marketers. “Advertising on blogs or social networks,” the tactic rated as the most accurately measured (32%), was also rated least effective (16%).

Everyone has an opinion on social media measurement, but nobody agrees. Like any tactic that is more aligned with PR than direct marketing, social media is difficult to measure quantitatively.

What can marketers do? Measure the value of the resulting conversations and relationships qualitatively. Do not focus on moment-in-time transactions, such as traffic hits.
Marketers obsessed with tracking social media results quantitatively are missing the point. They may find themselves employing much less effective social media tactics for the sake of measurability.

Take advantage of the great opportunities provided by social media.
Social media illustration by Matt Hamm via Flickr

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Best Marketing Practices?

by Christi on February 6, 2009

Blogging Cat

Blogging Cat




Recently, Hubspot did a great report based on a survey they did in late 2008. One of the questions they asked respondents was for their top best and worst marketing programs they’ve done to drive leads and sales over the past year. respondents frequently cited “blogs,” “SEO,” “websites,” “campaigns” and “social media” in their answers for best marketing programs. Check out the complete report on Hubspot. The report offers 3 key findings.

#1 Inbound marketing channels deliver a dramatically lower cost-per-sales lead than outbound channels.

#2 Blogs lead other social media categories in terms of importance to business.

#3 Small businesses are most aggressively allocating lead generation budgets to blogging, social media and search engine optimization.

Read the complete report for more great information for businesses at Hubspot.

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