Once you’ve decided on those questions, then it is time for the big one. How will you get readers to your website?
Search Engine Optimization
For years search engine optimization (and perhaps pay per click ads) was the way to go. To be sure it still plays a significant role and will for a very long time. However, the one problem today with seo is that it is a one way street. You only have to please the search engine.
But things have changed. It is not the only game in town anymore. There are multiple ways to get visitors to your website, and the options seem limitless. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Even Google has gotten into the social media game with Google+. And, there are blog aggregators like technorati, and sharing sites like Stumbleupon and Reddit.
Recently, tech investor Roger McNamee gave a presentation at a TED event in California. In the presentation, McNamee said that index search (Google) peaked in 2008 with 90% of all websites being discovered through Google. Now it is down to 50%.
Why is that? I can find what I want quicker and easier in other places. If I want to learn about a car, I can go to cars.com. If I want a house, I can go to realtor.com. If I want a date I can go to match.com.
That doesn’t mean Google is disappearing. They are not. What it means is that they are not what they were in 2008 and more opportunities on the Internet are presenting themselves to publishers of great content.
Purpose of Your Blog or Website
So, I am back to purpose and audience. In reality, the purpose of your blog is not to be the world’s #1 blog. Well, it may be, but suffice is to say there are very few of those.
The real purpose of your blog ought to be to deepen customer relationships and increase referrals.
A search engine cannot do that for you. It can only connect a request with a need. Once the connection has been made with the site visitor, the game fundamentally changes.
Engaging with Your Audience
How will you engage and interact with your audience?
That’s the next big question, and that is really for you to determine. The way you engage your audience may be different to mine, and it may require a different strategy to deepen relationships.
The one commonality amongst all blogs and websites is that they must provide rich content that can help your audience solve their problems or meet their needs. And, it must be free.
In addition to great content, you may have a killer email newsletter. Do you have an easy way for them to subscribe to it?
Do you encourage your blog readers to leave comments by asking them engaging questions, including something like; “Please tell us how you feel by leaving a comment below.”
If you use social media, ask questions and learn what your followers are looking for. Every business has an entry point to helping your readers and social media followers. They followed you initially because they had a problem or need, and you had the answer or were able to help them.
You are in business because someone had a problem and you were able to help them solve it. Treat your blog and social media that way and it will prosper. Maybe not in a week or a month, but perhaps in 6-12 months you will be in a vastly different place.
SEO is a much needed and valuable tool. But by itself it is no longer enough. It is great for helping people get to your blog, but what happens afterwards?
If the purpose of your blog is to deepen customer relationships and increase referrals, then provide free value based content and ask questions that help solve their problems.
So is it seo or engagement? I say it’s both. You just have to know their purpose in what you are trying to accomplish.
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