Posted by: Joe Ryan
Date posted: August 25 2014
One of the most frequent queries I receive is how to drive organic web traffic to a company’s site. Some of the answers are obvious, and require a serious investment of cash in advertising. However, while advertising may help to temporarily raise a company’s profile, becoming perceived as an industry leader can actually be achieved with minimal outlay with the use of blogging on your own site. The internet has an insatiable desire for new content which can be read, shared and learned from. Publishing regular blog posts has been shown to drive traffic to a site, leading to increased traffic, leads and business.
You are an authority
You have expertise that someone out there doesn’t have. As you engage with the trials and tribulations of your working life, remember that there are others out there looking for the solutions that you might have already figured out. They are relying on you to get that message out! By speaking like an authority figure you will come to be seen as one, especially if you can write in an engaging way about your industry. Even failures make for good stories and help to give your brand a personality and humanity that is memorable.
It’s all in the numbers
A recent article on Over Go Studio’s site crunched the numbers on the correlation between blogging and traffic. The results were startling. One of their test cases saw an almost 10,000% increase in organic traffic over the course of one year, driven primarily by publishing as few as one blog posts per month to increase brand awareness. There are differences of opinion on how many posts you should be putting online: the old quality vs. quantity debate. It seems the optimum number is between two per week and one per day. Enough to stay fresh, without being overwhelming and spammy. I’m personally sticking to one per month as a minimum due to schedule time restraints and my commitment to other blogs I contribute to.
Make it social: sharing, commenting
Google’s algorithms seem to be forever being tweaked, always towards rewarding sites that are genuinely most useful, rather than those that have been given an artificial bump up the rankings. These days, the only sure-fire way to rank well is to provide engaging content, and one of the true measurements of engaging content is how much interaction the public-at-large have with it. This can be measured by comments on a post, as well as how often it is shared on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Therefore, it’s essential that your blog has buttons that allow for sharing, as well as a comment section below. Another useful thing to remember is that controversy sells. If you can build a reputation as a maverick then you will be even more memorable and perhaps be able to engage in debates with other leading figures in your industry. People are always willing to come out and watch when the gladiators go into battle.
While your interaction with others in your industry could be adversarial, another option is to provide reciprocal attention to each other. Contribute on others’ sites, as well as inviting others to contribute to your own site. This way both companies are exposed to a wider range of viewers and perspectives, again these are the metrics which Google looks upon favourably when deciding who the top rankers should be on any topic (industry experts). Also, be sure to link to others and spread the love around. Reciprocity is the name of the game and by curating from far and wide you only add to your own perception as an expert on the topic in hand.
As any good SEO specialists will tell you, you need to have a list of keywords that represent your company: ideally words that are as specific as possible at representing what you do.
- Ensure that your blog posts contain these words as the more frequently your articles are read and shared, the more these terms will become associated with your firm and your Google results will benefit accordingly.
- The title of your blog posts should also try and fit these keywords in, where appropriate. Only do this if it works naturally, people are becoming ever more adept at spotting such attempts at optimisation.
One of the best things about getting traffic in this way is that it is guilt free. Driving traffic to content that is genuinely helpful and informative benefits everyone. Readers are engaged and entertained, while potential revenue opportunities are created for the blogger. What’s more, you get to share your experiences which can often be a cathartic experience and a lesson for you moving forward. In the earlier days of Google, it was possible for companies to boost their rankings through more nefarious means. Those days are over, which means we may have to work a little harder to rank well, but we can do so with a clear conscience.
Go forth and multiply
You might be sat there thinking, yes, but I don’t have anything interesting to say. Balderdash, I say! Day-to-day you are putting in the work, even if it isn’t going so well – that is still something to say. You might want to analyse the experiences you are having and where they are going wrong. You may even find advice and support coming from the most unlikely of places.
Get to writing. Note down now some of the keywords that apply to your industry. You might not have any ideas about what to say about them, but keep looking at them and your subconscious will throw something together for you in time. Don’t force it.
In conclusion, building up brand awareness, organic traffic and authority can be easily achieved through regular blogging. Aim for at least a couple of times a week, and be sure to share what you write with your network, whether that be on Facebook, LinkedIn, or your client list. The more hits you are getting, the more people are going to notice and remember you, and you will also see your Google ranking improve which, let’s be honest, is really what we all want at the end of the day.