Author: Jackie Holbrook
Online business marketing seems to evolve daily, which creates a real struggle for business owners who try to keep up. Not only do platforms change, but so do algorithms that determine which content customers view.
Keeping your digital presence relevant can seem overwhelming. You might even be studying ways to scale back. With the rise of 140-character messaging and photo-packed social-media feeds, you might wonder if blogs are already irrelevant. They’re not. And if anyone tells you blogs are dead, tell them they’re dead wrong.
Blogging is a vital element in any digital business plan. Let’s review a few ways blogging can boost your business.
The Big Dogs are Doing It
Fortune 500 companies are consistently successful, partly because they hire skilled people to do jobs right. Most major companies have in-house marketing staffs, but many hire advertising agencies to do their marketing. And what do many advertising experts do for their client-companies with their strategic-marketing expertise? They blog.
You don’t have to be a big business to blog. Blogging is accessible to everyone. You just need a story to tell and a web platform to share it. Walmart, Coca-Cola and Whole Foods are just three of many big companies investing in blogs. They wouldn’t keep blogging if they weren’t seeing success.
Blogs drive traffic to websites, get people talking and improve brand awareness. Big companies love blogs because they also increase their SEO – “search engine optimization” – rankings. High SEO rankings mean you’re high atop the list when people do online searches for keywords related to your company. High rankings mean more clicks, which means more customers walking through your door to buy products and services. Learn more about blogs and SEO below.
Boost Your SEO Rankings
“SEO” might sound like just another buzzword, but it’s vital to your business plan. Having a website isn’t enough. People must be able to find you, and that’s why you need to know the subtleties of SEO. Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines rank websites based on their SEO. The higher you rank, the higher you appear on the results list when people do online searches using terms related to your business.
Why does this matter? Websites appearing atop search lists receive 33 percent of the clicks, according to a study by Chitika. Clicks drop off dramatically after the No. 1 spot. Further, half of the consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphone go to the store within 24 hours, and nearly 20 percent buy something within a day, according to Google’s 2015 data.
Blogging boosts your SEO in many ways by providing fresh links, content and keywords. In her article “9 Reasons Why Blogging is Essential to Good SEO Results,” Jennifer Barry writes, “If your site hasn’t been updated with new information in over a year, you can bet someone else’s will rank higher than yours in the results.”
For more tips on boosting your Google ranking, read “Does your Google Ranking Translate to Higher Sales?”
The ATA is here to supplement your blogs. As an ATA member, you can post content from ATA’s consumer sites and social-media accounts, Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360. Photo Credit: ATA.
Blogging is Content Marketing
Content marketing isn’t just a buzz-term. It’s a vital part of marketing strategies. Content marketing can be tricky. It doesn’t explicitly promote your brand, but it creates and shares content that piques people’s interest in your products or services.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, most successful marketers use content marketing. To be effective, content must be valuable, relevant and consistent, the Institute says. Executed properly, blogging is a great medium for content marketing. If you post a blog about testing new products at the ATA Trade Show, and tell customers you’ll have those products in the shop by a specific date, you’re educating customers about new products and encouraging them to come in and buy them.
Establish Yourself as an Authority
You want customers to know you’re an expert in the bowhunting and archery industry. A good blog helps persuade them. It gives you a voice on industry issues and more. Blog about what you know, whether it’s new products, bowhunting tactics or league opportunities. By sharing relevant and credible information, you enhance your image as your area’s go-to expert.
Social Media isn’t Stable
Social-media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat became increasingly popular marketing tools. But as these platforms constantly change, so do the algorithms that dictate who sees their content. It’s challenging to keep up with those changing formulas to ensure your content gets seen. With blogs, you produce valuable content you own. Social media can be great ways to share your blog and spark conversations about its content.
ATA Can Help!
The first step to creating a blog is to establish its platform on your website. If your website isn’t set up for a blog, ATA can put you in touch with Footsteps Marketing. Its experts help ATA members develop their websites’ full potential. Footsteps’ experts will assess your website and make sure it’s optimized for tablets and smartphones, and designed for blog-friendly access.
We also understand it takes time to create quality content. The ATA is here to supplement your blogs. As an ATA member, you can post content from ATA’s consumer sites and social-media accounts, Archery 360 and Bowhunting 360. Our writers craft these articles to engage customers through lifestyle blogs, human-interest features, and how-to tips and tricks articles.
These articles also promote your business through ATA’s store locator, which helps customers find nearby shops. Be sure to confirm or update your shop’s contact information in the member login portal on the ATA website.
What happens online directly affects your in-store sales. Therefore, a strong, professional online presence is a great way to boost your business.