How to Increase Your Search Engine Ranking – Part II

D. Bots Love Blogs

Whatever business or service you have these days you must have a blog.  It doesn’t matter what you do, they are now essential marketing tools for any online business. They are one of the most cost-effective marketing tools out there today.

Bots and spiders love blogs, they are often indexed faster than a normal website, and just like a normal website they should be keyword rich, with regularly posted content of high quality.  They are one of the fastest ways to move your site up through the rankings, or search engine results pages (SERPS).

Do not waste your time setting up a blog if you never post anything on it!  The spiders will go away disappointed and your ranking will stagnate.  Make a point of adding fresh, relevant content at regular intervals.  A normal webpage is 500 words, a blog can be 250 words, so it is not a major task.  A good blog will make your company much more visible in the SERPS.

WordPress is the easiest platform to use for your blog and has full functionality for search engines built in.

E. Blogs are Personal

Blogs should be chatty like personal correspondence, full of useful snippets of information on your particular product.  It is not they are a sales tool per se, more like a pre-selling tool.  Stimulate your reader’s interest so they will keep coming back to visit your site and see what you have to offer.  It should be much more subtle than a regular sales pitch.  A blog is definitely not a “squeeze page” – more like an affectionate hug!

Here are some examples of content you could use:

1. Do you have a happy customer who has emailed you raving about how great your product is?  Ask them if you could use their testimonial on your blog! They always say yes, because they love to see their own name and writing on the internet. Testimonials are a proven way of growing a potential customer’s confidence in your product or service.  But please, don’t make up testimonials; it is done all the time.  It’s dishonest and rarely fools anyone.  I have seen lists of testimonials, all in the same ‘voice’, same style and with the same spelling mistakes!  Guess what, I will never go back to that site again!

Now you must optimize your blog pages and make them appropriate with your newly-researched keywords.

2.  If you are in network marketing and have recruited some good reps into your downline, contact them and ask them to write a short article about themselves. Perhaps they could say how unhappy they were with their previous job, and how much more money they are earning in network marketing with your company. When someone else considers joining you, direct them to your blog to see all the positive and encouraging articles.  It will be another plus for your recruiting efforts.

Whatever business you are in these days, you must have an online presence. Nobody uses the Yellow Pages these days, they automatically search online.  They want a blog or website that shows a map of where you are, all your contact information and opening hours.  If you have a blog or website, you can entice new customers by offering a money-off coupon, and remember anything offered free is the greatest incentive for getting new customers.

3. Create interest.  People buy from people they know and trust.  You can personalize your pages by including an “About Me” page.  Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story, but don’t overdo it.  Tell people how your life has changed doing whatever you do, and how you would like to help them to have a better life. You will find that one page will be one of the most visited on your site.  Add a photograph, perhaps with your family or your dog, to make it that much more personal.

If people perceive you to be an honest and truthful person, they are more likely to open their wallets!

F. A Blog Sets You Up as an Expert

Give people useful information and you will become an expert in their eyes.  Little tips and regular advice – even if it isn’t on your regular subject, will warm people to you. They will feel like they know you and may recommend your product to others.  It is a good idea to stay well away from controversial subjects though, especially politics and religion.  Remain neutral, at least in your online dealings.

If you are in the weight loss industry, you could provide people with tips about nutrition, or mention how diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise – it is still related to your industry.  You are pre-selling, warming up your potential customers.  Tell them a funny story about when you were trying to lose weight.  Tell them you know personally how hard it is to exercise and eat the right food, and then slowly introduce your product.  Don’t just bombard your visitors with talk about how great your product is straight off the bat; it will turn most people off.

G. Blogs Build Relationships

Blogging is interactive and encourages customers and potential customers to ask questions.  Include an opt in form with a section for people to ask questions.  This is easily done in WordPress, and if you can set up an auto responder in Aweber, you are well on the way to building a list.  Always make sure that you answer these questions as quickly as possible, you should set up the auto responder to send an email back to the inquirer saying you will get back to them as soon as you can.  Aweber can be set up so you have your company logo at the top of the auto responder, another way to promote your brand.

What’s All This Going to Cost?

In dollars, not much. WordPress and Blogger.com are free; Aweber charges a few dollars a month.  Do not forget to factor in your time for these activities.  These can easily be set up in a few hours, but if you are not a technical person you could hire someone to do it for you.

WordPress and Blogger do have one disadvantage.  Your domain will read mycompanyname.blogger.com or .wordpress.com.  Not impressive from the branding point of view, so buy a domain name through a reputable hosting company like Host Gator or Go Daddy, and to repeat a note above, try to get a domain name that contains a keyword relevant to your business.  A .com name is always the first choice, so try your best; it will pay off in the long run.

WordPress is free and there are hundreds of themes to choose from that may suit your business.  If you haven’t yet got a logo or header, visit Fiverr.com, you can advertise on there for someone to make you a logo or header and it will only cost $5!  Do be sure to specify the width and height the logo should be, but most designers are familiar with WordPress anyway. WooThemes is also recommended, and in the Theme section of WordPress there are links to other design companies.

Gabriele Cramer-Knebel
Internet Marketing Training

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