SEO. You’ve read all the posts on how it’s important for your tech and sports tech website. You’ve tweaked all the keywords on your site, made sure to include them in your webpages, and you’re still wondering where the traffic is. So you hire an SEO consulting firm for several thousand dollars a month to see if that can move the needle at all. Instead, all you end up with is an emptier bank account and a website that’s only marginally improved. It’s no wonder you end up trying other marketing channels to generate leads and sales. You can’t afford the so-called expert until you make more sales, but you can’t make the sales till you hire the expert, right? But there’s actually one area you control that can have a big effect on your business: your business blog.
Why your blog helps your business
There’s really two main reasons why your tech or sports tech company needs a business blog: website traffic and lead conversion. A well-written and semi-regular business blog drives traffic to your website (all of your website, not just the home page or product pages.) The blog then helps you convert traffic into leads with an email drip campaign. But a business blog is a marathon race, not a sprint. You can’t simply publish a few posts and expect the world to come to you.
Tech & sports tech business blog tips
Here are my best tips to capitalize on natural organic search to drive new leads to your website.
1. Clarify your strategy
With over 59% of technology marketers still struggling on defining “success” for their content marketing strategies (of which business blogging is a part) and 47% of them committed to content marketing, it’s clear there’s still a bit of a mystery when it comes to blogging strategies. To clarify your strategy, think about your customers and what topics are relevant to them. Are they looking for advice on how to solve a business obstacle with a tech product? Maybe they want to see case studies and reviews of your sports tech products and how it’s relevant to their market. Dig deep into those questions to come up with the focus of your blog. That will help you develop an editorial calendar of posts to write and the writing and publishing schedule. Next think of the tone and voice of the blog. Are you going with an overtly technical and professional voice? Or a conversational and informative voice. Your blog should reflect what your audience is looking for, since you want it to be a valuable resource for them.
2. Determine your call to action
Every blog post you publish should have an offer. Now, that doesn’t mean it needs to be an outright “buy our product” kind of offer, but rather, a content offer. Ideally, the offer is tied in to the blog topic, so that it makes sense to readers. For example, if you’re talking about the subject of your next webinar, add in a CTA (call-to-action) for the webinar at the end of the post.
Here’s a quick list of some content offer ideas:
- an eBook, report, or white paper on a related topic
- a webinar sign up form
- research or survey results
- a checklist readers can use
3. Use engaging headlines
The headline is one of the most important elements in your post, which is why there are so many resources out there on how to write them. The headline is the main determining factor on whether your post gets read or ignored. It actually doesn’t matter if you have the most useful and helpful post ever written. If the headline’s terrible, no one’s going to read it. Practice writing engaging, attention-grabbing headlines that entice readers to click through to the post.
For help on writing better headlines, check out Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyzer, Sumo’s Headline Generator, and Impact’s Blog Title Generator. They’re great for inspiring some new titles for you or to give you feedback on whether the your headline’s quality. (Plus sometimes it’s just fun to see what they come up with.)
4. Publish well-written content
Seems like an obvious thing, doesn’t it? But it’s something many tech and sports tech companies struggle with. That’s why a lot of their blogs were started and then abandoned. They realized that it was hard to publish good content on a regular basis. That’s why 47% of B2B marketers outsource content creation to freelancer content writers like me to make sure they’re staying on top of their business blog. Having a good mix of content produced by both in- and out- side resources ensures your business blog has a variety of voices and perspectives on it, increasing the likelihood of readers coming back for more. If your budget doesn’t allow for a professional, freelance writer to write for your business blog, look inside your organization for someone who writes well. They may be up for the task of producing the occasional blog post for you. In those cases I recommend investing in a freelance copyeditor to go over the content before publishing, just to make sure the posts are free of grammar mistakes and typos.
5. Publish valuable content
The companion item to well-written content is valuable content. Just like the headline has to be engaging enough to get readers to click through to the post, the post itself must deliver as much value as possible. A good blog and blog post take work–a lot of work. Invest in the resources and time to write valuable content and it’ll pay off in the end.
6. Optimize for SEO
And you probably thought that this whole post was going to be about the technical aspects of SEO, right? Everything we’ve discussed so far is important when it comes to SEO, since it’s all part of how search engines determine search rankings. (Okay, maybe not the strategy tip, but the rest are all good for SEO.)
It’s not enough to simply write the post and hit Publish. You’ve got to optimize it for search engines (specifically Google.) To date, Google looks at 200+ factors to determine and rank search results. Obvious factors like the keywords or phrases that appear on your site and the number of times they appear; as well as the subtle ones like “the freshness of the content, to the number of times your search terms appear and whether the page has a good user experience.”
At a basic level ensure that the following items are set up for each blog post you publish:
- Page URL: make sure to put the keywords you’re optimizing for in the URL of your post. If you’re using WordPress for your site and blog, this is the content you put in the Permalink field just under the title.
- Page title: This is the headline for the blog. In WordPress it has a separate field at the top of the screen and it may appear elsewhere if you’re using a different CMS like Squarespace or Joomla.
- H1 tags: That’s Heading 1 for the non-techy folks out there. The H1 tag tells search engines what the content of your page is all about. Ideally, you should have an H1 at the very top of your post to increase the chances of Google’s bots finding it easily. Feel free to sprinkle other H1s in the post as well, especially if it’s a long one (1,000 words and up.)
- Backlinks: Backlinks are internal and external links from your page to other pages on the Internet. You should have a good mix of internal (links to other pages on your site) and external (links to other reputable website) that relate to the topic of the post.
Then you can focus on items like including keywords or phrases in the alt tag on your images, using WordPress SEO plugins like Yoast, and narrowing your post subject as much as possible so it’s still useful to your readers and is one of a smaller number of pages Google will return as a search result.
7. Broadcast and share the blog
By posting regularly on the blog you should get an SEO boost from Google because its bots will crawl your site regularly and bring the content into its SERPs. But you’re not done there! Include a link to the blog in your email signature and blast out messages through your social media channels whenever you publish a new one. All of this work tells Google that you’re a good site and the more shared it is on social media, the higher rankings you’ll achieve on the SERPs. (It’s another aspect of rank that Google considers, along with value, freshness, and reputation, among a million other things.)
There you have it, just the tips and information you can use to drive better SEO ranks to your tech or sports tech business blog. If you write it and tell people about it, they will come. 🙂
Note: I don’t guarantee any kind of increase or massive amount of traffic. I’m just saying that you’ll give your site a lift with the package.