For a growing business, a blog is a vital marketing tool, offering a place to highlight news, educate readers about your products and services and show off your expertise. But what is the benefit of a blog that is not read? Here are 5 surefire ways to boost your blog visibility.
1. Repost Top Content on LinkedIn
Although LinkedIn is often considered suitable only for B2B companies, don't forget that every professional is a person too! They have pets, get married, go on vacation and shop online just like everyone else. LinkedIn is a great place to reach them where your competitors might not be.
EConsultancy did a study that found that LinkedIn is responsible for 64% of all visits from social media networks to corporate websites. While this will vary from site to site, this statistic shows the potential power LinkedIn has to drive traffic to your business blog.
However, to some, the thought of reposting on LinkedIn is confusing, particularly after Google updated its algorithms to punish sites publishing "excessive duplicate content." Should you publish on LinkedIn or your blog? Can you publish the same content on both?
According to Matt Cutts, the head of webspam team at Google, there isn't cause for major concern. "For the largest part, duplicate content is not really viewed as spam. Rather, it is treated as content we need to cluster properly and Google tries to make sure it is ranked appropriately."
HubSpot recommend reposting 1 in every 5 of your articles. Another option is to post on LinkedIn first, and then repost on your own blog, attributing source to the LinkedIn article by using the rel="canonical" tag. This is a useful tactic if you have a strong LinkedIn audience that brings you more potential clients than search engine traffic.
Top Tip: When posting content to LinkedIn, add a powerful call to action at the bottom of the post directing readers to your site for more information or resources.
2. Add Visual Elements
Add photos, graphics, videos or infographics to your articles to break up the monotony of text and potentially boost your views by 94%. Studies consistently show that blog posts and social media updates that include visuals get substantially higher views than plain text.
Not only do visuals spice up your content, but they capture your visitors' attention and more easily transfer information.
Jerome Bruner, a psychologist at the University of New York, reports that "people remember only 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and a staggering 80 percent of what they see." We also process visual information a whopping 60,000 times faster than text!
Visuals are particularly important if you are conveying a lot of instructions or complex information.
Top Tip: Be sure to include alt text for your videos and images. This is best practice to help both search engines and visitors who cannot view the images better understand their context.
3. Schedule Social Posts More Than Just Once
Too many small business owners invest considerable time in crafting quality content, only to share it once with their networks and never mention it again.
Share links to your content at multiple times to make sure as many people see it as possible. Vary the title slightly each time you share, and post at different times. If you use a social media management tool such as Hootsuite you can easily schedule several posts about your content over a period of time.
Top Tip: Review the performance of your content once a month and re-share the most popular posts. This is a great way to maintain momentum on content that is working well for you.
4. Network with Other Bloggers and Experts in Your Niche
One of the great things about being a small business owner is that you belong to a friendly community of like minded people.
Building relationships with other businesses lets you tap into each other's networks and create a win-win marketing opportunity.
Start a list of businesses that complement, rather than compete, with yours. Look at their websites to see if they have regularly updated blogs and health, active social media profiles.
Begin a relationship by following them on social media and sharing their updates. Leave comments on their blogs. You will often find that they will reciprocate, sharing your updates with their own followers and fans.
Top Tip: Before reaching out to other bloggers write a blog post about their business. Include comments about why you admire their work and chose to feature them on your blog. Most business owners will appreciate the free publicity and be open to you publishing a guest post on their blog. As well as expanding your audience, this is a good SEO strategy to build natural backlinks to your website.
5. Promote on Facebook
Facebook boasts one of the most powerful advertising platforms available to small business owners. It allows you to be extremely detailed in choosing who should see your ad, letting you invest in reaching your ideal target customers.
Even a small campaign can hugely increase the visibility of your post.
The quickest, easiest and most affordable way to start with Facebook ads is to select the "Boost Post" option when you share your latest blog posts on your page. For as little as $20 you can choose to promote a post to people who match criteria that you select, significantly increasing the number of people seeing your post.
Top Tip: Given the huge volume of Facebook posts that appear in a person's timeline each day, your update is likely to disappear from feeds within a short time after posting. Choosing to boost your post to people following your page will also helps the update to remain visible in people's newsfeeds after the first initial post.
Try one or more of these simple, low cost ways to boost your blog visibility and experiment to see which ideas work best for your business.