LionSky Media will share tips and solutions to making your business more effective and let you know how our other clients are using good business practices and solutions. We will also keep you up to date on some of the big news stories that can affect your business like; SEO & Web Presence Strategy Changes, Social Media, Customer Outreach, and Web Security Issues.
Our Client’s Digital Marketing News – LionSky Media – Albuquerque, NM
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Blog Outsourced Solution
In our increasingly competitive content marketing environment, most companies now have a common question—not what is the value, but how can we gain and maintain strategic momentum? Industry now knows that among many other types of benefits, a well-maintained blog can:
- Ratchet up a website’s SEO rankings.
- Drive quality traffic to your website.
- Convert website visitors into sales leads.
- Build an authoritative position in the industry. Important to become the SME (Subject Matter Expert) in your Industry.
- Become a library of content that your sales teams can use to validate your company’s expertise.
- And, unlike many other marketing investments you may make, the value of blogging can increases over time.
But doing it well takes time and resources that many mid-sized businesses don’t have. Keeping up with both the volume and high quality of blogging required to achieve these benefits can be daunting. Your sales team should be busy selling, your subject matter experts should be busy doing, and your leadership team should be busy leading. Even the marketing department should be so busy executing and running campaigns that the task of weekly blog writing is often overlooked.
Quality of Blog Writing
When we talk about quality of writing, we’re not just talking about proper grammar and words that flow nicely. Quality means that the writing incorporates a deeper understanding of the desired audience, aligns with focused business goals, is a pleasure to read, engages interest in the subject, and ultimately leads to a positive action.
You can hire a decent writer at lower rates, and they can probably put together work that you won’t be embarrassed to display, but they’re unlikely to have the depth of experience to achieve the quality needed. They may also need a lot of managing and back-and-forth revisions to produce useful content. A quality blogging partner can provide the desired level of quality quickly and with minimal fuss will produce content you’re not only proud to display, but that genuinely accomplishes the goals you set for it.
Blog SEO Optimization
Good blogging that is relevant to your buyers will contribute value to your site’s SEO efforts, even without specific optimization. However, if SEO is a high priority for your organization, then it’s worthwhile to invest extra to ensure each blog is fully optimized.
SEO optimization for blogging may include keyword research, content optimization (ensuring keywords are in the right places and at the right frequency within the blog), internal linking, meta-tags, and link building.
Length of Blog Entries
Conventional wisdom holds that short blogs are better. The logic goes that business people are busy, and our attention spans grow ever shorter. However, the evidence points in the opposite direction. All else being equal, longer content ranks better for SEO, gets shared more often, and is engaged with at a higher rate.
While more words does not always equate to more time or cost, in the case of blogging, in-depth pieces will usually cost more to produce. One way that many companies balance the cost of longer content with the need for greater frequency, is to intersperse quick bites of content on their blog with regular long content. In general, anything under 500 words is “short” content, while 500-1000 is medium. 750+ words is the gold standard for SEO and user engagement.
Frequency of Blogging
Blogs that publish on a regular schedule gain traction faster and more effectively than those that publish sporadically. The ideal frequency varies by industry, business goals, and audience. Some research shows that the value of blogging is greatest at a 2/week rate. On the other end of the spectrum, we’ve seen significant benefit from programs as infrequent as once a month. However, most companies gain the best cost to SEO benefit by publishing a minimum of twice a month.
Various Type of Blog Entries
Blogging comes in many different forms from the frequent, short snippets that alert readers to the latest news in an industry, to interactive quizzes, instructional how-tos, and long, detailed articles that can serve effectively as a white paper. What kind of content works best depends, as in so many other cases, on the type of industry you are in, your strategic business goals, and your unique audience.
- SEO Entries – Posts that are primarily written to support SEO cover topics with high search engine value, and include relevant keywords prominently throughout. They may include keyword research and technical add-ons such as meta-tags and title optimization. They’ll almost certainly include internal linking.
- Hot Topics Posts – Hot topic posts are exactly what they sound like—blog entries based on some current or trending topic. These tend to have a high timeliness factor, and may or may not be evergreen. These are often valuable for increasing traffic in the short term and/or growing your following.
- Authority Articles – Also sometimes called “thought leadership” articles, these are blog entries designed to increase the site’s and the company’s perceived authority in the industry. They are generally carefully researched, include at least one interview with an internal subject matter expert from your company, are relevant to a topic important to your audience, and are filled with substantial information. They are often comparable in scope and detail to a white paper.
- Interview Blogs – An interview article consists of an artfully edited transcript of an interview with an expert or celebrity in your industry. They may be faster to produce than an authority piece, while providing similar benefits in some circumstances.
- Big Five Blogs – You may have heard of the Big Five blogging topics: Cost, problems, comparisons, reviews, best of. These are the topics your competitors don’t want to touch but that buyers are avidly interested in. They have the potential to boost engagement in the short term as well as drive long-term SEO value.
- Quizzes, Q&A, How tos, Videos – There are nearly as many blog types as there are types of writing. Some easier, some harder, and they’ll all have a different value for your organization.
- Combination Blogs – A skillful blogger will often combine several types of content. Authority articles can be SEO optimized. Big Five blogs can serve as both authority and SEO pieces. A hot topics article, if managed well, can also be an authority piece. The additional time and skill required to serve multiple purposes will raise the cost of blogging, but probably not by as much as writing multiple articles will. Combining purposes, where practical, is usually a good value.
Benefits of Business Blogs for Marketing
Blogging helps drive traffic to your website.
Think about the ways customers find your website:
- They could type your company name right in to their browser, but that’s an audience you already have. They know who you are, you’re on their radar, and that doesn’t help you get more traffic on top of what you’re already getting.
- You could pay for traffic by buying an email list (don’t do it!), blasting them, and hoping some people open and click on the emails. But that’s expensive and, you know, illegal.
- You could pay for traffic by placing tons of paid ads, which isn’t illegal, but can be quite expensive, depends on your marketing plan. And if you run out of money, your traffic stops flowing.
So, how can you drive natural traffic to your website? In short: blogging, social media, and search engines. Here’s how blogging works.
Think about how many pages there are on your website. Probably not a ton, right? And think about how often you update those pages. Probably not that often, right. How often can you really update your About Us page?
Well, blogging helps solve both of those problems.
Every time you write a blog post, it is one more page on your website that can be indexed, which means it is another opportunity to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in organic search(the ideal!). We will cover more of the benefits of blogging on your SEO a bit later, but it’s also one more cue to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking in frequently to see what new content they should index.
Blogging also helps you get discovered via social media. Every time you write a blog post, you’re creating content that people can share on social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest – which helps expose your business to new audiences that may not have thought about yet.
Blog content also helps keep your social media presence going – instead of asking your social media team to come up with brand new original content for social media (or creating that content yourself), your blog can serve as that content. You’re adding to your social reach with blog content and driving new website visitors to your blog via social channels.
So, the first benefit of blogging? It helps drive new traffic to your website and works with search engines and social media to do that.
Blogging helps convert that traffic into leads.
Now that you have traffic coming to your website from your blog, you have an opportunity to convert that traffic into business leads.
Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. The way this works is really simple: Just add a lead-generating call-to-action to every blog post.
Often, these calls-to-action lead to things like free ebooks, free whitepapers, free fact sheets, free trials, coupons for services… basically, any content asset for which someone would be willing to exchange their information. To be super clear for anyone unfamiliar with how traffic-to-lead conversions work, it’s as simple as this:
- Visitor comes to website
- Visitor sees call-to-action for a free offer
- Visitor clicks call-to-action and gets to a contact form page, to fill in with their information
- Visitor fills out form, submits information, and receives the free offer
- 99.9% of the blog posts the top publishers publish have call-to-action buttons … and yours should, too. That is how you turn traffic coming to your blog into leads for your sales team.
Blogging helps establish authority.
The best business blogs answer common questions their market and customers have. If you’re consistently creating content that’s helpful for your target market and customers, it will help establish you as an authority in their eyes and you become a Subject Matter Expert (or SME).
Establishing authority can be a hard to measure metric – certainly not as concrete as traffic and leads, but it’s pretty powerful stuff and helps your overall branding. Think about the opportunities blogging presents:
- If prospects find answers to their questions via blog posts written by people at your company, they’re much more likely to trust the sales process because you’ve helped them in the past, even before they were interested in purchasing anything from you.
- Customers or prospects that read your blog posts will enter the sales process more educated on your place in the industry, your market, and what you have to offer. That makes for a more productive sales conversation chance than between two relative strangers.
Blogging drives long-term results.
Let’s say you sit down for an hour and write and publish a blog post today. Let’s say that blog post gets you 100 views and 10 leads. You get another 50 views and 5 leads tomorrow as a few more people find it on social media and some of your subscribers get caught up on their email. But after a couple days, most of the fanfare from that post dies down and you’ve netted 150 views and 15 leads. It’s not done. That blog post is now ranking in search engines. That means for days, weeks, months, and years to come, you can continue to get traffic and leads from that blog post.
In fact, for top trafficked sites about 70% of the traffic each month comes from posts that weren’t published in the current month. They come from old posts. Same goes for the leads generated in a current month — about 90% of the leads generated every month come from blog posts that were published in previous months. Sometimes years ago.
Are you already well underway when it comes to business blogging? Just starting out? Share your thoughts on business blogging below and what you’re looking to get out of it.
1) AdWords is Measurable and Flexible
One of the main advantages that online marketing has over traditional marketing channels, like TV or print, is that it’s extremely easy to measure. However, it can be a challenge to effectively measure your SEO campaign since you can’t always get a precise measurement on what increased or decreased your rankings. Enter AdWords PPC. This is probably one of the best resources you have to measure what’s working and what is not because it comes equipped with plenty of PPC metrics that do that task for you. AdWords can be used to:
Specific keyword matches – This allows you to display your ad for exact keyword searches. You could set it up to “New York pizza,” as opposed to general “New York” or “pizza.”
Narrows your audience – You can have it set up so that you can discover your audience by their location, the time of day, their language, and even their browser or device they’re using.
Access to non-search sites – Gmail, YouTube and lots of other of partner sites are at your fingertips.
2) Faster Than SEO
A drawback with SEO is that it can take months before you notice any results thanks to competition and the time it take to “prove itself”. This is not the case with AdWords. Once your AdWords campaign goes live, ads will appear and you’ll get instant results, like visitor data. Not only will this bring in a little bit of money right away, but because of its speed, you have the time to discover how effective your keywords are, which can then be used to construct an effective SEO campaign based on your AdWords data that compliments your organic SEO efforts.
3) More Engaging
Google is constantly improving AdWords because it’s one of its primary sources of income. Along the way Google noticed that product listing ads and in-video ads on YouTube get more more clicks from users. These engaging ads mean more revenue for Google, and advertisers as well because of new ad formats and extensions. Also consider this. YouTube has over 1 billion uniques a month as well as several billion views a day. If you were to compare that to search engines, it would rank second and it’s also 2X bigger than Bing and Yahoo YHOO -1.52% search combined. So, why wouldn’t you want your ads to be seen where the people are?
4) Can Control Your Advertising Costs
Here’s something that’s really awesome about AdWords. You can set a maximum cost per day for your campaign. And, it’s help to you on how much that amount is set at. How does this help your business? It allows you to budget your campaign accordingly without worrying if you’re going to go over budget. The worst case scenario is that the amount of ads will begin to decrease as your budget gets lower. However, you can increase your budget accordingly. This scalability is a nice option if you want a lot of leads in a short amount of time.
5) Helps Beat Your Competitors
Because of the speed of AdWords, when compared to SEO, you have a major advantage of your competitors. Because you’ll already be appearing in search engines, your site will be receiving more clicks from search results than all of the other companies in your industry. But, what if you’re competitors are also using AdWords? That’s not an excuse. According to Moz, 80% of search results now contain AdWords ad placements. Furthermore, those ad placements are covering as much as 85% of the space above the fold on the results page. This doesn’t just mean that Google is making a hefty profit, it illustrates that AdWords are being used by more and more advertisers. So, the only way to beat them is to join them.
Simplicity Simplicity makes it possible for you to get online and get publishing, quickly. Nothing should get in the way of you getting your website up and your content out there. WordPress is built to make that happen.
Flexibility With WordPress, you can create any type of website you want: a personal blog or website, a photoblog, a business website, a professional portfolio, a government website, a magazine or news website, an online community, even a network of websites. You can make your website beautiful with themes, and extend it with plugins. You can even build your very own application.
Publish with Ease If you’ve ever created a document, you’re already a whizz at creating content with WordPress. You can create Posts and Pages, format them easily, insert media, and with the click of a button your content is live and on the web.
Publishing Tools WordPress makes it easy for you to manage your content. Create drafts, schedule publications, and look at your post revisions. Make your content public or private, and secure posts and pages with a password.
User Management Not everyone requires the same access to your website. Administrators manage the site, editors work with content, authors and contributors write that content, and subscribers have a profile that they can manage. This lets you have a variety of contributors to your website, and let others simply be part of your community.
Media Management They say a picture says a thousand words, which is why it’s important for you to be able to quickly and easily upload images (batching too!) and media to WordPress. Drag and drop your media into the uploader to add it to your website. Add alt text, captions, and titles, and insert images and galleries into your content.
Full Standards Compliance Every piece of WordPress generated code is in full compliance with the standards set by the W3C. This means that your website will work in today’s browser, while maintaining forward compatibility with the next generation of browser. Your website is a beautiful thing, now and in the future.
Easy Theme System WordPress comes bundled with two default themes, but if they aren’t for you there’s a theme directory with thousands of themes for you to create a beautiful website. None of those to your taste? Upload your own theme with the click of a button. It only takes a few seconds for you to give your website a complete makeover.
Extend with Plugins WordPress comes packed full of features for every user, for every other feature there’s a plugin directory with thousands of plugins. Add complex galleries, social networking, forums, social media widgets, spam protection, calendars, fine-tune controls for search engine optimization, and forms.
Built-in Comments Your blog is your home, and comments provide a space for your friends and followers to engage with your content. WordPress’s comment tools give you everything you need to be a forum for discussion and to moderate that discussion.
Search Engine Optimized When the head of Google’s web spam team says that WordPress is a great choice, taking care of 80-90% of the mechanics of search engine optimization for you, you know you’re on to a good thing. For more fine-grained SEO control, there are plenty of SEO plugins to take care of that for you.
Easy Installation and Upgrades WordPress has always been easy to install and upgrade. If you’re happy using an FTP program, you can create a database, upload WordPress using FTP, and run the installer. Not familiar with FTP? Plenty of web hosts offer one-click WordPress installers that let you install WordPress with, well, just one click!
Importers Using blog or website software that you aren’t happy with? Running your blog on a hosted service that’s about to shut down? WordPress comes with importers for blogger, LiveJournal, Movable Type, TypePad, Tumblr, and WordPress. If you’re ready to make the move, we’ve made it easy for you.
Own Your Data Hosted services come and go. If you’ve ever used a service that disappeared, you know how traumatic that can be. If you’ve ever seen adverts appear on your website, you’ve probably been pretty annoyed. Using WordPress means no one has access to your content. Own your data, all of it – your website, your content, your data.
Freedom WordPress is licensed under the GPL which was created to protect your freedoms. You are free to use WordPress in any way you choose: install it, use it, modify it, distribute it. Software freedom is the foundation that WordPress is built on.
Community As the most popular open source CMS on the web, WordPress has a vibrant and supportive community. Ask a question on the support forums and get help from a volunteer, attend a WordCamp or Meetup to learn more about WordPress, read blogs posts and tutorials about WordPress. Community is at the heart of WordPress, making it what it is today.
Non-Profit Soccer Focused Foundation Helping Nurture the Game Worldwide. The Gift of Soccer Foundation was formed as a support system for the existing soccer organizations locally, around the country, and across the world. Many organizations do great things and work very hard, but they need assistance to grow and perform at their best. Help comes in the form of fiscal donations, organizational structuring, marketing & strategic planning, volunteering, and sometimes just simple praise on a job well done.
Global Kinetics is an International Business Accelerator, assisting businesses that want to sell globally. We compliment existing management with expertise that enables them to execute expansion into global markets. Together we develop efficient solutions with our experience and partners, versus the alternative of costly trial and error. Our goal is to be the mechanism through which companies are successful entering global markets.
Global Kinetics is your experienced management partner. We understand the costs and time needed to build an international team: from recruiting the sales and marketing staff, to efficiently controlling it remotely, and then growing sales to become a known player with predictable revenue stream. Our global expertise enables our clients to focus on what they do best: creating innovative products. It is Global Kinetics’s privilege to help our clients take their innovations to broader, international markets by providing immediate local presence for sales, marketing & operational activities.