In the early days of the internet, a blog was a personal journal where you shared your ideas, opinions, life updates, and even favorite recipes and personal style. Many lifestyle bloggers still use this format and pepper their content with ads, paid content, and affiliate links.
But blogs today have grown into a powerful marketing tool you can use to rank on search engines and attract visitors to your home services website. You can create content your customers are already searching for, answer their questions, and convert them to leads. Blogging is a marketing tactic that brings engaged customers to your doorstep.
The basic requirements are to publish regular updates and to deliver excellent content. It takes commitment, planning, and a focused blogging strategy. Here’s why and how to go about it.
The Benefits of Blogging for Your Business
Nearly 4 billion people use the internet and make an average of 40,000 searches a second on Google. While not all of these people are your customers, many can be, and a good blogging strategy helps you become more visible to access this potential customer base. Blogging can help you build customer trust and grow your business with more traffic, leads, and sales.
Increase Web Traffic
The best way to understand blogging is as another online marketing tool, like social media or email marketing. The goal is the same: to attract customers to your business. By using key search queries (known as keywords) and regularly adding new posts for search engines to crawl, you will gain visibility.
Search engine indexes are like a library. When a customer enters keywords, the engine brings up all the sites that match the request. Every time you add a new blog post, you give the search engine another reason to scan your website and list your site in the results.
This helps your site rank higher on Google results. And, as you rank higher, more people will see and visit your website, helping you gain authority with Google, which keeps showing your pages in return. The result is increased visibility and traffic.
Meaningful Content as Marketing
After over 30 years of the internet and even longer exposure to traditional advertising, customers no longer jump at marketing in the same way. Content marketing, like blogging, is a creative way to reach your customers. Rather than blasting them with ads and hoping they click through, you can give them valuable and relevant information to their questions. These are passive but useful ways to showcase your skills and market your services.
Converts Traffic to Leads
For each post that brings a viewer to your site, you have another chance to convert your traffic into leads. Your home and About Us pages are important, but there’s only so much you can do with those. With blog posts, you can solve someone's problem with helpful information and invite them to take a step with your business.
This next step is a simple call to action, where you can give them a free, high-value e-book or white paper in exchange for their email. Or you can lead them to book an appointment, learn more information, or get a free quote, for example. With the right blogging strategy, you can access potential customers and convert them into leads.
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Builds Brand as Thought Leader
If you run a home services business, you and your staff likely have licensed trade skills and years of experience and knowledge. You can use blogging to showcase your training and solve problems or teach your customers. Not only does this build your brand as a leader in the industry, but it builds customer trust.
How to Plan Your Blogging Strategy
Like your other marketing channels, you need a blog content strategy. A good plan includes a goal, a schedule, SEO strategies, and ongoing review and adjustment. As sales depend on customers, your customers should be at the center of your strategy.
Define Your Target Audience
The first step of your strategy is to figure out who you’re trying to reach. Who is your target audience and what are their pain points? Once you know your reader, you can adopt this view for your entire blog and make your marketing more effective.
Plan Your Content
Decide what topics your blog will cover. Think about the services you offer and your customers' problems. What questions do they usually ask your sales or technician teams? What useful tips can you teach your customers?
For example, if you run an HVAC business, you might create content about furnace maintenance. You could cover a whole series of topics like:
- Why you need to service your furnace
- How to prepare your furnace for the winter
- The best filters for high-efficiency furnaces
- How to change a furnace filter
- How much does a new furnace cost to install or replace?
Blogging is also a long-term strategy, which means you need regular updates and a schedule. One reason people don’t keep up with blogs is because of a lack of time and ideas. With a content calendar, you know exactly what’s next, so you can avoid lost time and creative dry spells.
It’s also a good idea to sync your social media, email marketing, and blogging schedules. That way, you can repurpose your content across all your marketing channels and make the best of your ideas and time.
Decide on Frequency
Most content marketing experts suggest you update your blog two to four times a week. This will help you rank higher and faster and drive more traffic, but you should pick a schedule that you can follow. If it’s too overwhelming or you don’t have the team to do the job, you’ll quickly fizzle out. Aim for a schedule you can manage that’s at least weekly or hire a content marketing team who can manage your schedule for you.
Create High-Value Content
The actual information you post is one of the most important pieces of your blog content strategy. You work hard to get visits to your site, so make sure that you keep them there with high-value content.
Your blog posts should give your customers relevant and helpful information. The goal is to teach, inspire, or inform your customers with answers to problems or questions. You should add calls to action or explain your services, but don't write an ad. Those are landing pages or sales pages, not blog posts.
Most customers are jaded by traditional advertising and generally want quick answers. If your content is too hard to read or navigate, they will tune out and leave your site. Make your content digestible and break it up into sections they can scan quickly.
Use SEO Strategies
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It covers a lot of different techniques to help make your content look better to search engines. When a user looks something up online, Google looks through pages that use those keywords. If you want customers to find your blog, use SEO content.
Research popular keywords related to your business and include them in your blog posts. Mix them throughout your:
- First 100 words
- Meta description
- Image descriptions
Get Exposure with Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is when you post content on someone else’s website or blog. There are two reasons to do this: You get traffic back to your website and you build brand awareness.
Look for blogs or websites related to your services that have engaged readers and are open to guest blogging. The readers should regularly share blog posts on social media and should care about your industry. For example, if you provide home cleaning services, look for lifestyle blogs, professional organizing companies, or home decor blogs.
Your posts should be on-topic and helpful, not an advertisement for your business. The exception is when you need to highlight a point. You can use examples or stories but keep the overall post short and light. Add links back to your website naturally throughout the text and where allowed. Not only will you build traffic to your site, but you’ll gain authority in your industry and reach new customers.
Track Your Results
Once your blog post is up and running, check back on how it’s doing. Monitor your traffic and watch for growth and trends. Ideally, your traffic should increase over time, but there might be some months that are typically slower. If you know what’s normal for your blog, you can ramp up your content strategy for those months.
Next, go through your traffic and see where your visitors come from. What keywords are they using to find your content? Are they finding you through online searches (organic search) or email campaigns? Use this information to figure out if and how you should tweak your blogging strategy.
Try Content Marketing With Scorpion
A good business blog has many benefits for your business, but it’s only as good as your content strategy. If that seems overwhelming to you, don’t go it alone. Scorpion’s marketing experts and technology can help you build a blog content strategy that increases your traffic and lands you jobs. Get started today.
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