August 12, 2008
Blogs are a great link building tool and they are also great for customer relationship building, reputation management, and a good survey tool to get a feel for what people think about new products. To develop a blog so that it is a good search engine optimization (SEO) link building tool it’s important to use linking strategies that are effective with the search engines including Google or Yahoo.
Ideal for customer relations if done properly, a blog is an excellent way to get customer reactions to new products or services, and also as a tool to combat negative press. Just remember that anything you post on the Internet can come back and bite you later on because even a blog post will stay up for a long time. So be very careful what you say.
Starting conversations with your readers online is what works today, and in fact, it is the shift in marketing all together. Another aspect of blogging involves reputation management. For example, you can create a blog for an individual who has negative mentions on Google, and actually “push” the negative posts down to page two on the Internet. You could talk about this person’s activities on the Boards of charities, and post research or trends articles on their blog two to there times a week. The same content can also be written into articles, and posted on the Internet. But you cannot submit duplicate copy or the search engines will not count it. The content of each article must be at least 30 percent different.
Another aspect of blog writing that people often do not understand is the search engine optimization and PR value. Inside each blog post it’s a good idea to use a key word or phrase, and link that phrase back to a website. The linking strategy might be to link to specific pages in his website that are related to that topic or key phrase – not just to the home page. There are times when we have seen blog posts get picked up by other bloggers, who link to your post.
A goal is required in blogging, and writing and monitoring a blog can be a lot of work. The beauty of blogging is that it provides a marketing vehicle that does NOT rely on a third party, such as an editor writing an article about you. What’s more, corporate blogs provide you with an opportunity to tell your company’s story. Various executives in your company, large or small, can post to a corporate blog, so you can create a strategy ahead of time, then assign folks to write about specific topics.
Blogs are a great crisis management tool as well. Just look at how popular Martha Stewart’s blog was during her court battle. Blogs are a great way to build a database of interested people for later use in opt in email blasts. You can send people over to a sign up form on a blog, and you are certain to get an opt in database.
Insofar as a return on investment (ROI) for blog writing, it costs very little. You can set up a blog at blogger.com, for free. So it costs you in time – your time, the time of your employees, or the writing fees to hire someone to ghostwrite and monitor your blogs.
There are tracking programs to check and see if your blog is building traffic to your website, because of course, the better your blog’s linking strategies are, the more folks will visit your website. You can get details including what happens once a visitor comes in to your website from your blog, including what path they go down? Do they ultimately get funneled to a sale? These things must be tracked on your website by programs like Google Analytics, which is free, or HitsLink. And of course, you need the experience to be able to read and analyze the reports once they are generated on HitsLink, to track your successes.
Kristin Gabriel is writer and social media marketing professional with a Los Angeles SEO firm. Her company also handles marketing, public relations, and online advertising. Visit MarComNewMedia.com