For many business owners, especially those who run a startup or small business, starting a blog is probably one of the least desirable ways of attempting to win customers.
However, blogging can be one of the standout ways of attracting customers to your site and engaging with them enough to convince them to make a purchase.
Research suggests that with an onsite blog, traffic to a website can generate six times as much traffic compared to not having a blog at all – a significant boost in the volume of potential customers accessing your pages.
Fundamentally, blogging is the most effective and least intrusive way of engaging with customers and drawing in organic traffic. But exactly how can starting a blog for your business lead to winning over new customers? Here are four key ways in which blogging can generate more sales.
Lure customers in with quality organic search.
Search engine optimization makes the world go round, and as far as the internet is concerned, all worlds revolve around Google.
Google has evolved to be the most powerful entity on the World Wide Web, and businesses have spent billions optimizing their content to be favored by the digital behemoth.
SEO helps Google to identify what content is worthy of being ranked highly within its search results and what isn't. When prospective customers use Google, it's because they're looking for answers. Creating a blog allows you to explore the sorts of things that are being asked of the search engine and build content that can guide customers on to your pages.
As the research suggests, keywords make up a heavy portion of a page's relevance to Google. What this means is that if your content features the same words that are used in search queries on Google, chances are, your page will be ranked higher on the list of search engine results.
Be sure to spend more time thinking about article titles that utilize more relevant keywords that are searchable. While it may seem intuitive to pick out the most common associated words with your industry to build content on, it's more effective to look for less commonplace words and terms – these will still generate plenty of queries, but fewer competitor websites will have used the keywords themselves. These are known as high-value, low-volume keywords, and they can be a goldmine to smaller businesses.
Successful bloggers are capable of knowing which keywords users are asking of Google that competitors haven't yet addressed, allowing them to rise to the top of search pages with little other content around to pose a threat.
Great blogging content transcends the simple use of keywords, however, and content can be crafted in a way that engages visitors, luring them from Google and onto a website with an alluring title and a strong introduction.
Remember to address the sort of topics users will be searching for and offer up a hypothesis to be explored in the body of your content. By utilizing your blog accordingly to suit these types of queries, you could not only win over customers but secure a steady stream of organic traffic onto your site.
Generate more customer visits through backlinks.
The visibility that your blog provides you won't just be limited to Google rankings. If other websites like your content, they'll likely either share it or link to it.
Building backlinks with reputable websites can work wonders in attracting customers who clearly have an interest in your industry or niche. They'll browse a relevant website, notice your link and feel compelled to navigate over to your pages to find out more.
The value of backlinks is such that many websites create actionable content that other sites can link to. Extensive guides, in particular, are very popular among similar-minded websites. The appeal is clear, the website owners get to add value to their own pages by referencing high-quality content that they didn’t actually have to write themselves.
According to Backlinko, the longer the content, the more effective it is for attracting links from referring domains. Of course, writing content that's over 3,000 words in length can be time-consuming, so make sure that your work is evergreen, in the sense that it will always be relevant over time.
Anticipate and answer customer questions.
As we've touched on before, everybody who uses Google is looking for answers. Even if it's as simple as "Meghan Markle’s age," or "how long do sharks live?" people always want to know answers, and Google gets an awful lot of weird and wonderful queries.
One of the most effective ways you can set up a blog in order to start winning customers is by anticipating the sorts of questions that your customers will be asking. This can be highly industry-specific, but you can work on finding out by offering surveys to customers after they make a purchase.
By learning what sort of things are going through their minds while buying from your site, you can build blog content that anticipates more customers thinking the same thing and easing their concerns. What's more, if your customers are worried about the same thing while making a purchase from your site, then chances are they're doing the same thing on your competitors' sites too.
Blogging content can effectively answer the questions that both your prospective customers are asking and those of rival companies too. By properly keywording your anticipatory answers, you could comfortably swoop in to win the customers that your rivals failed to cater to.
By taking a more FAQ-based approach for your blog, it's possible that you can double up as a troubleshooting hub in case customers become stuck at certain points in your sales funnel or after making a purchase.
Calls to action can turn curiosity into sales.
As long as your content is engaging and not overtly salesy, it can essentially act as an open goal in bringing readers back to the rest of your blog with a call to action. There are also plenty of other ways to capitalize on the curiosity of your reader. Whether you simply invite them to read more posts, offer them the chance to read about your products or services, or simply invite them to communicate more in a comments section.
Calls to actions help readers to get to know you and your website better, and build a bond with you in the process.
As the statistics show, calls to action can be an effective way of helping to encourage prospective customers to take the plunge and make a purchase or simply sign up to a mailing list.
The great thing about calls to action is that they can be as discreet or overt as you want them to be. But if you've created a long-form blog post covering a great deal of background research about one of the products you sell, it's worth gently reminding a reader that you, in fact, are selling something relevant on your store and that it could be worth them checking it out.
Remember that it's imperative you offer something tangible in return for readers taking you up on your calls to action. If they liked your blog content, then there's a chance that they'll do it out of interest, but make sure that you offer them the opportunity to "read more" or to sign up for "a free newsletter."
Always think about your reader, and appreciate the fact that somebody has chosen to spend their time on your blog. Every visitor is valuable to a business, so respect them by keeping things informative, factual and not too salesy.