While many businesses use one or more blogs to support their social media and content marketing efforts, many don’t maximize the blogs’ effectiveness to drive sales. This becomes more important as these trends mature and there are fewer opportunities to drive revenues.
To ensure that your business blog takes advantage of every opportunity to contribute to sales, here are ten tricks.
- Focus your blog posts on your keyword phrases. The objective is to help its ranking by optimizing each blog post for search. Check every aspect of your blog post including the links, the title and alternative text for media elements such as photos and videos.
- Feature your product in one or more blog images. Don’t just reuse a poor catalog image. Create a photo that shows your product in action. Make it easy for your customers to imagine owning your product by seeing it in use. Think Instagram if you don’t have professional options available. Take this one step further by making these images pinnable.
- Link to product pages in your blog posts. Include one internal and one external link in every post. Wherever possible, link to appropriate product webpages in your blog posts. Craft product comparisons and how-tos for more content opportunities.
- Provide a shopping list highlighting your products at the end of each post. Take it one step further and add design elements to make it look like a shopping list. Of course, don’t forget to link to your products! This is particularly useful when your posts provide how-tos for customers such as a recipe, pattern or other DIY product. Make it easy for readers to get all of the supplies they need from you.
- Use contextually relevant calls-to-action. As a marketer, you’re often too close to your content to notice that readers aren’t being specifically asked to do anything. Once your content gets them primed to find out more about or buy the product, lead them to take the next step.
- Promote related articles for the featured product. Hand select articles to provide additional information customers may want. Include your FAQs and how-tos.
- Create tailored landing pages on your website. Use the same wording that was in your blog post. While technically not on your blog, this enables you to convert traffic from your blog better because you keep the scent going.
- Feature blog content on your website product pages. Once you’ve posted content on your blog, targeted for your various products, why not direct interested shoppers to it? Write a short extract that entices shoppers to access the full post content.
- Leverage the power of guest blog posts. Use guest blog posts to generate links back to your site to optimize search, build brand awareness and drive traffic. While it’s good manners to only link to one past article on your blog. Make this link more powerful by utilizing the guest blogger bio section to link to your sales page.
- Get your product into the action on other blogs. This can be done most efficiently by blogger outreach. BUT do your homework so that it doesn’t appear spammy or creepy. You have to provide some type of value for the other bloggers and their audiences.
Understand that these tactics must be integrated into your overall blog strategy to ensure that they help you maximize your results. Bear in mind that as the blogosphere matures, you’ll need to continually test and tweet your blog based on your goals and results.
What other suggestions would you add to this list and why?
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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/garethjmsaunders/2066690640/