Blogging for Business: Inside-Out Method

Nowadays we’re being forced to describe our business on the Internet in 140 characters or less (for Twitter). How can we write effective, search engine-friendly ad copy that drives new business?

One popular new article format, the blog, is around 3-5 paragraphs in length. Blogs are used in many locations to post short news and events stories on the Web. White papers and press releases are just a bit longer than blogs.

Writing good ad copy isn’t a science or an art, but a skill you can develop. The goal of this kind of writing is to persuade the customer to take action (“call to action”). But first you must describe the benefit of your product or service.

Keep in mind part of your audience on the Web is the search engine itself. Higher ranking in the search engines means more people will see your articles. Use lots of keyword phrases, links and calls to action.

Try the method below to develop your blog writing “from the inside out” and get your message out over the Web.

1. Determine your most popular keywords.

Go to your Google Analytics to see which AdWords keywords are the most searched for and drive the most traffic to your website. These are your most popular keywords.

If you don’t use Google Analytics, come up with five or six words or phrases people would use to find your business on the Web, to use as your most popular keywords.

2. Determine your landing pages.

Landing pages are pages on your website where you want your visitors to land, from the search engines or other ad campaign. For example, Tom’s Bike Shop website may have a unique page about bike repair service.

3. Start your article or blog with three pieces of information:

A. Your company name
B. Your most popular keywords
C. Your desired landing page(s)

The main idea of my method is to create several links back to your website landing pages. (If you don’t have a special landing page, you can use your home page or online contact form as a landing page.)

Start with keyword phrases like “bike shop,” “bike flat tire” and “fix a bike.” Then create sentences using your company name and the keyword phrase, like this: “Tom’s Bike Shop is the best place to fix a bike.”

You can get “extra points” by combining keyword phrases (“fix a bike flat tire”) and using multiple phrases in one sentence:

Tom’s Bike Shop is the best bike shop to fix a bike flat tire.”

If you use (at a minimum) three keyword phrases twice each, the subject of your campaign should be well understood by the reader and Google. By following these directions, you should have six or more solid sentences to build your article around. Fill in the rest with strong emotional content (“20 years in business”) that draws readers but doesn’t help your SEO.

Be sure to add several clearly-labeled links back to your website main page, landing page or contact page. The text within the link itself is important. Highlight the keyword phrases to improve SEO and make Google’s job easier, or link your company name for branding on the Web.

Avoid keyword stuffing. The text of your white paper, press release, article or blog should be readable (and enjoyable) by humans.

Use Google Analytics and Google AdWords to track the number of people who clicked through (from a campaign) to your landing page. This is called a “conversion.”

If you get lost remember you are always seeking a “call to action.” You want to direct the visitor to make a purchase, send their contact info, join a newsletter, etc. Keep the parameters of your campaign defined including your target audience and desired results.