When talking to clients, USM consistently recommends starting an on-site blog to help boost their website’s performance. At their most basic level, on-site Blogs are very beneficial to a lead generating website on two distinct fronts:
- On the human side of things blogs, offer a way for a business to show their clientele a more personal side with minimal time commitment. When writing copy for a business website, the author needs to think about maintaining professional voice and assuring that the piece that they are writing is consistent with the subject of the page they are posting it. The beauty of a blog is that by their very nature people expect blogs to be more informal and cover a variety of subjects. On a blog you can have two posts one after the other about completely opposite subjects and it is completely acceptable.
- As with everything on the Internet, you are writing for two audiences: people and search engines. There is lots of fancy language involved in Search Engine Optimization, but the keystone of SEO is “the keyword”. If, as you blog, you do so with an eye to your site’s primary keywords, you can turn your blog into a treasure trove of unique, keyword-rich content for search engines. The SEO value of blogs does not stop there, however. Because of the nature of blog software, every time you write a post, the software notifies Google that it has new content and the blog is re-indexed. The more frequently the site is indexed the better your placement in Google will be.
These are pretty standard, as long as you blog frequently on you own domain you will reap these benefits. Quality of writing and pertinence of subject also can provide their own benefits. Take for example our client, Brad Dinsmore, a Southern New Hampshire Realtor. Brad had us build him an on-site blog a few months ago and started blogging about subjects effecting his market area in and around Windham, NH. He was doing a great job, titling his posts with keyword rich language, blogging frequently and linking to the rest of his site. Because of this, he was receiving the benefits listed in the bullet points above. Because of the quality and originality of his posts, a reporter from a local paper called the Eagle Tribune came into his office last week with a copy of one of his blog posts titled Southern NH Home Sales: 1st Quarter 2009 the reporter wanted to write a feature article for the Sunday Edition based on Brad’s post. The end result of this was that on the front page of the Sunday edition of the Eagle Tribune were two large color photos of one of his office’s agents Debbie St Jean and two, first time-home buyers as part of an article entitled First-time buyers a ray of sunshine in dismal N.H. housing market. This is publicity that you cannot buy and a perfect example that when you put your expertise out there you will reap the benefits. If you know your market better than anyone else then let people know. Add content to your site and blog regularly. You may not get a featured article out of it but you will start to gain the recognition that you deserve.