Have you ever wished that someone could grade your business blog?
I’ve read a lot of blogs over the years.
During that time I’ve seen how I’ve personally interacted on these blogs. I’ve also seen how others interact on these blogs.
Many will tell you that you should do what your readers or customers want you to do, but I think that for a business to be successful it should be about what the business wants.
With your business blog you can steer visitors in the right direction so they become customers.
That’s the point, isn’t it?
Here are the things you business blog needs in order to convert those visitors into customers.
1. Helpful Content
This is the #1 most important thing for any blog. It’s obvious, but I’ll mention it just to get it out of the way.
The content on your blog is the most important element. Some of my favorite blogs and posts over the years have been published on very basic blogs. We’re talking default themes with little to nothing going on in the sidebar or anywhere else on the blog. It’s all about the content and that’s how it should be on your business blog.
The content I’ve had the most success with when it comes to getting the right readers interested in the GBW brand is helpful content. This is the type of content that readers can take action on. You’re reading an example of a helpful post.
If you can weave in stories that’s good. Stories seem to make content more compelling.
I’m not too big on word count, but longer (~1,500 words) seems to be better, but short content (~300 words) can do well too.
2. End Of Post Call To Action
Let your readers read the post, but then give them something to do next. If you don’t they’ll just leave your blog.
There are many different calls to action you can put at the end of the post.
Here on GBW we have the email subscription, which we’ll discuss next, but I’ve seen some other really good calls to action.
Some blogs offer a free guide or white paper. Others offer a free trial of some kind. When you provide something that is low level effort for the reader you get them moving down your sales funnel.
3. Email Subscription
I use absolutes too much and I try to stay away from them, but I do think that almost every blog should have an email program. It’s so easy to setup even if you just do something that’s automated.
I use Aweber for email programs here on GBW and on my other blogs. It works really well.
Once you get that setup include some calls to action on your blog. I think two calls to action are good. One at the bottom of the post (see: above) and one at the top right of your sidebar. That’s where readers expect to find the email subscription form.
Email programs are easy entry for readers and you get them moving down the sales funnel.
4. Internal Links
I try to do this whenever it makes sense. Internal links keep readers on your site. If you want readers to read more than just the post they originally found on your blog you need internal links.
Some people talk about the SEO importance of internal links, but it’s mostly important for keeping readers on your site and moving through your sales funnel.
5. Real Photos Of Real People
I’m finding more and more that people like seeing real photos on your website. We use them for authors on the blog and on our About page. It seems that our readers and customers like seeing the people behind the brand. A real face is more trustworthy than a logo.
I think that even though we may do business with a company we actually do business with the people that represent the company. We want to know those people and real photos help that.
The faces will change with your business. That’s why some shy away from using real photos, but your customers know that things change.
Show real photos on your site. It will help your company earn new business.
Bonus: Page Speed
I thought of this one as I was writing so you’re getting a bonus.
Speed is hugely important for websites and apps. People want things now in today’s world and that includes blog posts.
There is nothing more frustrating than a blog post that takes forever to load. It seems to even happen on some of the most popular blogs out there and it drives me nuts. I don’t read many of them anymore because they’re so slow.
Having too many elements on your page will slow things down. Resize your images so they’re not giant. Keep it under 600px if you can.
Don’t put too many social sharing buttons on your site especially the widgets from the social sites themselves. Those little numbers next to the sharing buttons really slow things down. They have to call information from the social site and that takes time.
And get a fast host optimized for your WordPress blog. We use Synthesis and it’s been one of the best things we’ve done to speed up GBW.
There are lots of things that can make your business blog successful.
Useful content is the most important. If your content isn’t helpful, interesting or entertaining you’re not going to succeed. You might get a few visitors to your site with catchy titles, but they won’t feel like you’ve given them anything and they’ll just leave.
The other items listed are important based on my experience, but you can try variations to find success for your unique business.
But hopefully this gives you a gauge as you build and design your business blog.