You’ve heard it time and time again: “Search engines love blogs.” You’ve read in one too many places that your website should include a blog in order to get better positioning in search engine results.
It’s not as simple as some may lead you to believe.
First, there’s the issue of relevance. A blog won’t magically give you a top ranking position on Google, Yahoo! or the like. The content your blog has, the frequency with which such content is being updated, and the amount of relevant incoming links to your site are some of the factors that will make-or-break the effectiveness of your weblog.
Don’t add a blog to your site if you’re not willing to consistently invest time and effort. An outdated blog will reflect the opposite image of whatever it is you want potential customers to know about your company.
Some bloggers are a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to “keeping it fresh.” No, you don’t need to add 10+ posts per day; what you need is consistency and relevance. You can update your blog daily, weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly, but you need to do it on a regular basis.
More importantly, write about your product/service/industry from as many angles as you can imagine. Link and opine on news and commentary related to your business. Doing so will benefit your customers as they try to wrap their heads around the issue (or problem) that your organization is able to solve.
If you are selling Piñatas, talk about piñatas; how they originated, the different materials/manufacturing techniques being utilized, market share, growth opportunities, or give examples of when and where it’s appropriate to have one. Show piñatas across the world, client testimonials, the most commonly used characters, licensing issues, what NOT to put inside them, the best sticks used to break them, how to liven any party, how to grab the kid’s attention during a birthday party . . . you get the picture.
Don’t go off on a weird tangent by addressing personal interests (outside of Piñata World) in your company blog. Have the need to do it? Start a personal blog and be as weird, nerdy, cool, public or anonymous as you wish to be. And, when it’s appropriate, link to your company’s blog.
Here’s a personal example of the true power or blogs: “Hi, my name’s Juan, and I’m an obsessive-compulsive blogger.” I have to blog on a daily basis about my passion, the Hispanic Community.
Every single post on my blog has something to do with Latinos; marketing and advertising, culture, religion, language, sports, business, buying power, politics, education, health. Bottom line: If it’s relevant information that will help you acquire a stronger grasp of Hispanics, you will find it on Hispanic Trending.
Through many years of non-stop blogging on the subject, I’ve been blessed to have established good relationships with many interesting people, from all walks of life, with the same interests as me.
One such individual is Dave Schechter, a news editor at CNN. In late September 2007, when interest regarding Hispanic Heritage Month was reaching its zenith, CNN and CNN.com launched a very insightful initiative, both on and off line, under the name, “Uncovering America,” with humongous coverage of everything Latino in a very professional and thorough manner. Early morning on September 28th, I received an email from Dave, requesting that “Uncovering America” be mentioned on Hispanic Trending. He even emphasized that coverage would be on both CNN and CNN.com.
Knowing that the entire coverage would be extremely relevant to the blog’s readers, I complied with my friend’s request and added a simple (and truly short) post that evening, with a link to “Uncovering America’s” landing page on CNN.com. Programming began on September 29th and everything was business as usual at Hispanic Trending. Being addicted beyond hope to my site’s analytics, on October 1st, I noticed abnormally high traffic numbers (trending towards 4 times the “normal” number of visitors for a single day). My analytics showed that the traffic spike was being generated through Google, specifically for the search term: “cnn.com/uncoveringamerica.”
I was fascinated by the phenomenon and kept digging deeper into it. I went to Google Trends (also captivating) and finally grasped the magnitude what was going on. For reasons beyond my control (I’m guessing the mention of the website on CNN’s TV coverage), “CNN.com/UncoveringAmerica” had reached, according to Google Trends, “On Fire” search term status that day; ranked #2, right between “veratril” and “aliens in america.”
Google Trends not only shows the most popular search terms of the day, it provides links to the news articles, blog posts and websites people are visiting after performing that specific search. There were no results under the news articles section, and my guess is that there wasn’t one article from any tracked media outlet that included the specific term being searched.
Under blog posts, I was pleasantly surprised to see my blog ranked number one. Then, looking closer, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The actual CNN.com site had the #2 and #3 positions behind, you guessed it, my blog. People were searching for the term “cnn.com/uncovering america” and clicking on my blog. Once there, they found a prominent and clear link to the information they were looking for and off they went. Since that day, the blog’s readership — although not at the record level it reached — was permanently increased to a new level that otherwise would have taken much longer to achieve.
The power of a relevant and consistently updated blog is not to be taken lightly, nor is it for the faint of heart. Years and years of posting relevant information about the subject made Google consider the blog so relevant that, when this specific term was searched, they listed it “Numero Uno.”
Advertising investment: $0.00
Hispanic Trending didn’t reach this milestone because of a catchy name, a nice design, or by who I know; it was a combination of perseverance and focus over time.
Sure, a blog can do wonders to increase traffic to your site, but do you must consider it a long-term investment.
Has blogging helped your organization? Got any lesser-known examples of how blogging has or hasn’t helped business?
[Editor's Note: This is Juan Tornoe's first guest post for GrokDotCom. He'll be joining us at least once a month to share his insights about blogging and online Hispanic marketing trends.]