One strategy that some SEOs and Internet marketers have used to build inbound links into their main website is to set up an off-site blog and link profusely to their main website. The question is, does this work? There are two parts to this discussion:
- First, yes, it can work to a limited degree.
- But only if approached in the right way.
The Real Purpose For Your Blog
Before you start talking about the link building aspect of your blog, you need to first understand the primary purpose for your blog, namely, to communicate with your customers and potential customers. Your blog is a marketing tool. You want it to draw in potential customers and drive them to your imporant web pages. The most effective blogs are the ones that do this using high quality, relevant content on a consistent basis.
There are three primary approaches to marketing with a blog and each of them should work in tendem to support the others. These are branding, pre-sales, and information publishing.
Let’s discuss these in backward order. Information publishing is all about delivering quality and helpful information to your readers. That doesn’t mean every blog post has to be a dynamic 1,000-word tome. Size doesn’t matter. Quality does.
Pre-sales information is not about closing. You can effectively use a blog as a sales closing tool, but it doesn’t have to be use that way. The way Blog Content Provider approaches blogging is to use each blog post as a pre-sales tool. We set up the sale by delivering useful, relevant information to your readers that interests them in more information and entices them toward your sales pages.
Branding is a term that simply means you develop a recognizable name for yourself in the marketplace. By using a blog as a branding tool you communicate an important message to your potential customers that you are professional and serous about doing business.
How To Build Inbound Links With Your Blog
Your off-site blog can be an important way to attract new business into your sales funnel. Each blog post has the potential to achieve high search engine rankings on its own with the proper search engine marketing techniques. But that alone will not be enough to drive massive traffic to your website.
Inbound links to your main website can increase your search engine positioning relative to your competition. Your off-site blog can play a part in that by adding links to your website from the body of each post as well as in your sidebar. Honestly, though, the links in each blog post – the in-text links – will be more valuable in this regard and can drive traffic to your main website as well as build links.
Another way to build links is through a signature at the bottom of each blog post.
The danger in using this method to build links is that it could be construed as a form of spam if not done properly. Mixing some outbound links into your blog posts to highly relevant, authoritative websites within your niche can assist you with your link building efforts as the search engines see this as a sign that you are using natural linking techniques. But you want to be sure of two things with regard to your outbound links:
- You aren’t link to your competitors
- And you are avoiding bad neighborhoods
The Limitations Of Blogging As A Linkbuilding Tool
Every search engine marketing technique has its limitations. Including blogging. While you can build relevant and authoritative links using an off-site blog, there are some concerns you should take into consideration before you start blogging.
No. 1, don’t put your blog on the same IP block as your website. Host it with a completely different hosting company. The search engines have been known to discount links from sites owned by the same owner just for being on the same IP block and in the same niche.
Secondly, don’t rely entirely on your blog for inbound links. This is one of the biggest mistakes that website owners make. Link diversity is very important. If all of your links are coming from the same source then you will likely cap out on your rankings, and there is a high degree of probability that it won’t be on page 1. You should also build links from other sources. This link diversity along with variation in your anchor text will bring you more search engine favor than your blog alone.
For more information about blogging, click here to speak to a blog consultant.
Why do I need a business blog and why should I hire someone to manage it for me?
By now, most business Website Owners have learned there are advantages to having a company blog. But why do I need a company blog? How will it really help me?
Most bloggers, even those who have been blogging for a long time, do not truly understand all of the ways a blog can benefit your business. They are good bloggers. They even may know a little about SEO and can put all the keywords and phrases into your blog. But do they really know about blog marketing and what the benefits are for their clients? Do they really know SEO or the technical aspects of operating a blog?
Do you know all of the benefits of having a business blog?
Why does my Business need a Blog?
A business blog is the most cost-effective way to add fresh content to your website daily.
It is the most affordable way to build link popularity.
A business blog can make you money through Conversational Marketing.
A business blog will help drive more traffic to your website.
It gives you a place to offer special deals, make announcements, issue press releases, and get feedback from customers.
You can have a private blog that your employees or shareholders read.
There are way too many ways your company can benefit from a business blog to list on one page. As they say; “Think Outside The Box” and create new ways blogs can be used. All the uses for a blog have not even been invented yet. Be the first to try something new. Call us at 786-317-8774 and get a free business blog consultation. We’ll brainstorm with you!
Your business blog can be within your website or on it’s own domain name.
Your company blog can be used to help capture a specific search phrase or phrases in the search engines.
You can have a company blog in your website and one on its’ own domain name, each achieving a different purpose.
You can have multiple blogs all working for you at the same time. The options are endless.
It is not a one-size-fits-all deal. Our Blog Consultant will talk with you, analyze your business, and come up with a strategy that benefits your business. Click here to get a free business blog management quote.
Blog Management and Marketing
Your blog content will make a lot of difference to how well you do with both the search engines and with visitors. Whatever your goal is for your blog, to make your blog popular to read, to make sales, to drive traffic to your website, to get people to sign up for something like a newsletter or affiliate program, or something else, you will need good, original content.
Not only do you need good original content on your blog, you need it every single day.
Blog search websites like technorati.com and Google’s BlogSearch list blogs by the most recent posts that match the user’s keywords. If you are not posting daily, you can get buried beneath all of the other blogs that do one post or more every day. Our daily blogging service will make sure your blog is updated every day or more often if you choose that option.
Blog Posting is more than just writing. If you want your blog to be interesting to user and also rank well in the search engines, you need to know how to structure your blog posts properly.
Do you know the proper way to write your blog post titles?
Do you know how to use keywords in your blog post for the search engines without seeming spammy or obvious to your readers?
Do you know how to use good anchor text and a proper linking strategy?
Our bloggers are trained to write relevant, interesting blog posts that are also optimized for the search engines. Read more about our Daily Blog Posting Service.
Social Bookmarking and Social Networking
Social Bookmarking and Social Networking are extremely beneficial to your blog. It can help you with link popularity, attracting more visitors to your blog, more comments on your blog posts, and even help you rank better with the search engines. However, social bookmarking is time consuming.
Many people try to automate the process for that reason. Automated social bookmarking will not get you all of the benefits that social networking will get you if you take the time to do it yourself. Most business owners do not have the time it takes to participate on these social networks. That is why Blog Content Provider does it for you. Our basic social bookmarking package comes with our Daily Blogging Service, but we also offer social bookmarking as a standalone service. Read more about our Social Bookmarking Service.
Professional Full Service Blog Management
Let our staff completely manage your business blog for you. We will handle everything. We will choose a domain name for you where necessary, provide blog hosting, do the installation, create or choose a blog template, optimize your blog for the search engines, provide the daily content, and do the social bookmarking. You turn your business blog over to us and we do it all for you. Read more about our Complete Business Blog Management Service.
Blog SEO and Programming
WordPress claims you can install wordpress in just 7 minutes. Some cpanels have fantastico that will automatically create a database and install wordpress for you. But is that all there is to installing a wordpress blog? No. There are better ways to securely install a wordpress blog on your server.
Then you need to choose the right plugins to enhance the usability and improve the SEO of your blog. Every blog is different. Every blog has different goals and obstacles. So choosing the right plugins is more than just going to someone’s favorite list of plugins and using them all.
Some blog service companies brag that they install wordpress with more than 80 plugins! Wow! 80! How many of those plugins do you really need? Usually just a few. We securely install your wordpress blog and choose plugins for you that fit your specific needs. Read more about Blog Installation.
Blog Setup and Configuration
A lot of people will tell you that choosing the settings in the admin area of your wordpress blog is self-explanatory. To who? There are a lot of choices to make in the admin area.
An experienced Blog Manager knows which settings are best to use from experience. For instance;
Do you know the best sites to put into your ping list?
Do you know the proper way to create categories?
Is time-stamping a good idea?
Do you know how to configure all of the plugins or get an API Key?
Our Blog installation specialists will set everything up for you. Read more about Blog Configuration.
Blog Theme Installation and Editing
Here again, it sounds easy. You choose a theme, upload it to your themes directory, and voila! You’re done right? No. Choosing a theme isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are tons of free themes on the web. You could buy one from a designer. You can have one custom made for you.
Do you know a good theme from a bad one? I mean besides how pretty it is. Did you know that sometimes free themes have hidden malicious code in them, put there by the programmer/designer?
Are you able to determine good code from bad code? Is the code in the theme written in a way that will hurt your chances in the search engines?
Do you know how to edit the php in the header.php file, sidebar.php, or footer.php to add the enhancements that will make your blog both more attractive and more productive?
Choosing the right theme for your blog is more than just finding one that looks nice. You do not need to have a custom blog theme built. You can use a free blog theme. But you need to know how to choose the right one. Our Blog Installation Service includes choosing and installing the right theme for you. If you want a custom theme, you can read more about Custom Blog Themes here.
You need to optimize your blog for the search engines. That means editing the code of your blog theme, setting up proper permalink structure, creating the right categories, and even choosing the right plugins, among other things. Our Blog SEO specialists go over your blog theme line by line to get rid of unwanted or unnecessary code.
We fix the blog title structure. We install and configure your blog plugins. We create a proper permalink structure. We edit your blog template to install feedburner, email scripts, affiliate buttons, or whatever else you need. Our clients are very happy with the search engine rankings their blogs are getting. Let us show you how we can improve your results. Read more about Blog SEO.
If you are not sure what you need, call us at 786-317-8774 for a free business blog management or SEO consultation.
It might seem prudent, if you have a business blog, to make all of your links point inward – that is, to your internal web pages. Indeed, I think you should for the most part, but there are times when you might want to do a little outbound linking.
The most important thing to understand about links is they are the currency of the web. On the one hand, “paying” another website owner with a link is an act of good will. But even more importantly, providing valuable information for your readers builds your own credibility and authority. If that means linking out then by all means do what is best for your readership.
But you do want your readers to stay on your blog, right? Of course you do. So should you chain them in and never let them leave? Let’s not be harsh. Here are three ways you can link to other websites outside of your property and benefit yourself and your readers:
- Source Links – I usually just add the word (Source) – exactly like that, parentheses and all – in front of blockquotes that I use from other websites and link the phrase to the source to show attribution for what I borrow. This technique is best used sparingly, but it’s a useful technique. It gives attribution without encouraging the click through.
- Trackbacks – Trackbacks are links out that also link back. You see a blog post on another blog that you want to comment on. Instead of commenting directly on the blog, you write a blog post about it and link to it. Your blog post will appear in the comments of that other blog with a link back to your post. This is a useful technique for sparking dialogue among peers and readers.
- Outbound Anchor Text – The least desirable of the three methods is the outbound anchor text. You are actually benefiting the website that you link to with the anchor text, which is relevant, but the link also benefits you through relevant outbound linking. One thing to keep in mind is those outbound links keep you “tied” to relevant information elsewhere and if you do that often enough then the search engines, Google particularly, sees you as willing to provide valuable information for your visitors and rewards you with higher PageRank authority. That in turn benefits you with more readers and commenters.
The Internet is one big web where all the pages are interconnected. It’s OK to link out as long as you realize that you may lose some readers temporarily. But if your blog provides useful and valuable information, those readers will come back time and time and time again.
Seth Godin is a genius. He thinks like I do.
A couple of weeks ago he wrote a blog post encouraging real estate agents to start a local newspaper online. Then he went on to say that anyone in any kind of business could do it. Of course, I’ve been saying the same thing for over a year now.
Seth’s idea is a good one. It’s really a community blog. We’ve got clients that run something similar in their communities. You can too. In fact, there are several ways that you can tap into your local market to gain more influence and to attract more customers. Here are a few ideas for you to ponder:
- Live in a tourist town? Start a blog telling tourists about places they can visit in your local area. Don’t just stick to the well known places. Also share ideas about out of the way places that most people don’t know about. A good example of this is the Gettysburg Pennsylvania Blog. Make sure that your readers know that you sponsor the blog and that you provide a link back to your business site.
- Sponsor a local charity blog. Approach a charity that you support and and ask them if they have a blog. If not, offer to sponsor the blog. Dedicate someone to write the blog daily or ask if the charity has someone who can do it. Either way, you can place your business logo on the blog as the sponsor. If neither your business nor the charity have someone who can write the blog, hire a ghostwriter to write it for you. Just make sure everyone in the community knows that your business sponsors the blog.
- Support a local little league or children’s organization. This is great if you have a child that plays baseball, soccer, or is in Cub Scouts. Check to see if the team has a blog. If not, start one and blog about the games during the season. Link back to your business website as the sponsor of the blog.
- Partner with a professional association in your area. If there are several other businesses in your area that target the same, or complimentary, market, start a joint blog and make sure a link back to your website is included in the sidebar or on the About page. Of course, the other partners will get a link too, but this type of blog shows that there is good will among your peers and you could see additional traffic from it (not to mention an inbound link or two)
- Write an activity blog. Join a local social club that is centered around a certain activity (ie racquetball, chess, Friday night card games, movie watching) and write about the group’s activities. Link back to your site as the sponsor
That’s only 5 ideas. I’m sure I could think of more (and so can you). These types of blog are called indirect marketing blogs. They appeal to a certain audience that might be segmented into your overall market. You build good will with your community by sponsoring these types of blogs and that’s great for PR, plus you never know what kind of business might come your way. On some of these blogs you could even sell advertising that pays for the expense and maintenance of the blog or the ghostwriting fees.