Tuesday 13 March 2012

Why Your Blog is the Signpost to your Website

One of the really amazing things about blogs is how much content you build up over a period of time.
 keep blogging and your blog will be full of useful content

On your website, you might have, for instance, 20 or 30 pages.  Whatever the number is, it doesn't usually grow at a rapid rate and might stay at a similar level for several years, despite updates.

Your blog, on the other hand, grows every time you write a blog post.  If you write, say, three posts a week, then you will have around 150 posts at the end of the year.  So, what happens to all these posts?

At first, it might seem that all these old posts get buried by new ones.  However, in the search engines they are all still highly visible - even the ones you wrote three years ago (or more).  Google and the others bring up relevant blog posts every time they "fit" a new search.
pay attention to key phrases

Think about this carefully - and think long terrm . . . 

If each blog post can come up in search results, how many key phrases can you use to make your blog work hard for you?  Bear in mind that most people search using phrases rather than single words.  Then think about all the variations they might use.  Your blog could potentially use pretty much all your relevant key phrases (eventually, given several years!).  Your website couldn't possibly hope to do the same.

I've just been over to my other (more established) blog to copy and paste yesterday's search engine results (the key words and phrases my blog was found for) just to illustrate my point and realised it's just far too big to reproduce here!  Some of those people were possibly lost (hen pecking on glass, frosting nannas [huh?], broken floorboards - I've no idea what they were looking for or if they found it on my blog!) but others were clearly potential customers (toilet door plaques, bathroom door plaques, money box new york, 50th birthday gift ideas for women, mothers day plaques uk, etc). 

 This second group formed the vast majority of my visitors and some of them did buy something.  I know this because customers sometimes contact me via my blog to ask questions, they ring or email when they're looking at my blog (the message here is to be easily contactable) and the stats clearly show them clicking through to my website!
 sometimes blog visitors want to buy exactly what you make -
plaque available at 1st Unique Gifts

There are a few things to remember if you're aiming to attract search engine visitors in this way:
  • Make it easy for your visitors and potential customers.  They won't all realise they've landed on a blog so provide a very clear link through to where they can buy whatever it is you've just talked about.  Providing a relevant link embedded into text seems to be the best way of linking as far as the mighty Mr Google is concerned.
  • Don't blog about too much in one post - it dilutes your message in the search engines.  If your post is short and sweet, it might just score better for your key words and phrases. If you have a lot to say, see if you can separate your post into maybe two or three posts.
  • Speaking of key words - pop them in your post title, your tags/labels, and give your image a relevant name too.  Images come up on Google image searches if they are appropriately titled.  Key phrases should be in the main body of text, too - but don't overdo it. 
  • Sales messages can be quite subtle - you shouldn't need to persuade anybody - because these are people who have found you because they are looking to buy what you make.
  • Blog frequently.  It shows the search engines that your blog is an up-to-date site with relevant, up-to-the-minute content.
  •  Don't alienate your regular readers by only blogging sales messages.  People follow you for all sorts of reasons and many want to see something of the real you - and maybe some hints and tips, or tutorials.
So why is your blog your signpost?

It's where all those people on the big search engine motorway take a turn off to come and  knock on your front door (hopefully not literally).
 the information superhighway 
(OK, so maybe it's just the M6 on a rainy day)

The more signposts (key phrases) on different routes (search engine results pages), the more traffic you'll get. 

Best get the kettle on then if we're expecting visitors.


Myth Illogical said...

Very useful info as always Wendy! Thanks!

Free Spirit Designs said...

Hmmmmm.. definitely food for thought, thanks Wendy :) i'm about to become a blogger myself and this has given me some great tips!

Ron said...

As they say all publicity is good publicity, just need to be a bit focused on this one. Well done on interesting idea's anyway, see you at abbybeads.com, is that how its done or am I just poaching!

Wendy said...

Thanks everyone.

Ron, maybe we need a blog post around the topic of commenting - watch this space! You're not poaching, because we all read each other's blogs, but your link is in your name :-)

Unknown said...

Very helpful... x

Anonymous said...

Hi wendy was just reading the craft forum and saw you started a new blog about blogging so here I am having a wee look. Very interesting read. I seem to be getting it all wrong though I have been using my blog as a forum to tell people what I have been up to (well when I was updating it). I don't think I have really used it to sell from, untill now that is as I have intergrated my blog with some static pages.


Wendy said...

Hi Drew - it's not that you've beeon getting it wrong, a blog can be anything you want it to be. It's just that sometimes a blog can be working hard for you as well as being a place you can chat about your makes! Good luck!

Claire Mackaness said...

great blog Wendy, how did I miss you setting this up?

Anonymous said...

I never realised that the photos should be labelled correctly - I shall be doing that from now on. Thanks :)

Fiddly Fingers said...

Very interesting as always. Please keep them coming and thank you so much or organising Handmade Monday :)