Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Hooked on a Book: Everybody Writes by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes by Ann Handley of MarketingProfs is a staple for anybody who has to write a lick of copy. Yes, I’m talking to you CEO, Sales Manager, Marketing Strategist, Social Media Manager and everything in between. Everybody Writes teaches you how to fall in love with writing, find your voice, and become a more confident and effective writer.

In true Ann Handley fashion, the book is exceptionally well written and makes you feel as though you’re chatting over a cup of coffee. Let’s dissect the six parts of the book, shall we?

Part I: Writing Rules: How to Write Better (And How to Hate Writing Less)

Part I delivers on its promises (an Ann Handley rule). By the end of this part, you’ll walk away having learned three lessons: how to organize your writing, how to find your voice, and how to craft content that doesn’t suck. It’s that simple.

Key takeaways:

  • Ditch (some of) the rules you learned in high school
  • Embrace writing as a part of your daily life; it’ll pay off in the end
  • Learn to love The Ugly First Draft (TUFD)
  • Write with simplicity and empathy for a more personal touch
  • Make content readability a high priority

“Empathy for the customer experience should be at the root of all of your content, because having a sense of the people you are writing for and a deep understanding of their problems is key to honing your skill.” — Ann Handley, Everybody Writes

Part II: Writing Rules: Grammar and Usage

I wouldn’t say this was the most exciting part of the book, but it’s certainly important and written in a way that doesn’t bore you to death (I promise). As noted in the title, Part II covers the technical stuff. Grammar, vocabulary, etc. There’s an entire section in this part that includes a long list of mistakes Handley’s seen marketers make over her 20+ years of content writing. It was really valuable and one of my favorite parts of the book.

Key takeaways:

  • Keep your vocabulary simple and easy to understand
  • Avoid moralizing (see what I did there?)
  • Focus on using an active voice versus a passive voice

“Lose the excessively prescriptive and the moralizing, because it can come off as condescending.”  — Ann Handley, Everybody Writes

Part III: Story Rules

Knowing how to write about your company’s story that doesn’t become a total snoozefest is hard. But believe it or not, people want to hear it! Part III teaches you how to use storytelling in your marketing in a way that engages your audience and keeps them interested. Handley explains how to take your story and make it about your customer, instead of you.

Key takeaways:

  • Use your brand’s story to emotionally connect with your audience
  • Lead with truth and relevance
  • Emphasize the human side of your brand
  • Find your voice and tone, then carry it into all of your content

“Make sure your customer is the hero of your story.” — Ann Handley, Everybody Writes

Part IV: Publishing Rules

This part of the book offers quick publishing guidelines and journalism best practices. Most of us open up our laptops and hit publish when we finish a piece of content, without taking a moment to hold our writing to a set of standards. Handley gives you a quick dip into the world of publishing with do’s an don’ts to carry into your writing process.

Key takeaways:

  • Cite as you write
  • Always fact check your work (no alternative facts please)
  • Read up on the basics of copyrighting

Part V: 13 Things Marketers Write

Part V of this book is AMAZING. This stuff is solid gold. Handley takes us through thirteen types of content and how to optimize that content for ROI and engagement. Sections include email, social media, blog posts, landing pages, headlines, and website pages.

Key takeaways:

  • For email: keep subject lines short, use personalization, use a human voice, specify your call-to-action
  • For landing pages: deliver what you promise, keep your headlines benefit driven, avoid TMI
  • For headlines: avoid clickbait, place your reader in the headline, create a curiosity gap
  • For social media: connect with existing communities, keep it brief, use visual assets

“Remember: your value is not what you do or what you sell, it’s what you do for your customers. That shift may seem subtle, but it’s everything.”  — Ann Handley, Everybody Writes

Part VI: Content Tools

Part VI seals the deal on making this book a must-read for anybody in marketing. Handley hand delivers a long list of free and paid content marketing tools that include writing, research, productivity, stock images, and blog idea generators.

successful content marketing tactics

Five Successful Content Marketing Tactics, Backed By Stats [Infographic]

New content marketing tactics are circulating every day. So how do you sift through them all to find the ones that really work? Turn to the ones backed by solid stats.

Content Marketing Tactics & Your Marketing Mix

Content marketing is essential to every business’ marketing mix, from the beginning of the sales cycle to the end. That means everything from a short blog post to a hefty white paper can mean the difference between a bounce and a sale.

Applying fact-driven marketing tactics to your day-to-day marketing mix can have a lasting impact on your organic traffic, lead gen strategy, and sales funnel. Check out these five content marketing tactics that work, with the stats to prove it.

successful content marketing tactics

Sources:

9 Stats That Will Make You Want to Invest in Content Marketing
The 2017 Content Preferences Survey Report
How to Create a Content Strategy That Actually Drives Organic Traffic
2016 Content Preferences Survey: B2B Buyers Value Content That Offers Data And Analysis
B2B Content Marketing Report

How to Use Psychology to Become a Brand That People Trust

A lot happens before your customer makes a purchase. Chances are they look up your business, visit your website, read some content, read some testimonials and check you out on social media. What they’re looking for is a reason to trust you before they make a purchase.

If you want repeat customers and positive brand recognition, showing your customers why they can trust you (before and after they purchase) is imperative to your success.

Here are some ways to use psychology to gain the trust of your audience and turn them into customers that love your brand.

Use Social Proof

Become a Brand That People Trust - Social Proof

Social proof is the theory that if other people are doing it, maybe you should too. People are tired of businesses telling them why they need their product. They want to hear it from their peers, industry leaders, and celebrities (I’m talking to you, Beyoncé).

Put yourself in their shoes. How often do you look up a review for something on Amazon, or a restaurant’s rating on Yelp? My answer: a lot.

The more technology evolves, the more critical social proof becomes. So jump on the bandwagon!

Here are some examples of how to use social proof:

  • Add testimonials to your website and emails
  • Include ratings and reviews on your product pages
  • Showcase “trusted by” logos or client logos on your site
  • Include security logos on your checkout page and footer
  • Add the number of shares on your social share icons

Be Honest & Transparent

Become a Brand That People Trust - Honesty and Transparency

Leading with honesty and transparency is one of the fastest ways to connect with your audience. It humanizes your brand and makes you more relatable. That relatability will earn your audience’s trust and loyalty, eventually turning them into customers and influencers.

Transparency also plays a significant role in customer loyalty. According to a survey by Label Insight, 94% of respondents said they were more likely to be loyal to a brand that offered complete transparency. Transparency can even affect how you price your products/services. The same survey reports that 73% percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay more for a product that offered complete transparency.

It’s a no-brainer. Write with honesty and transparency and earn your audience’s trust and loyalty.

Here’s how to increase your brand transparency:

  • Showcase your company culture, team, and topical knowledge
  • Be honest about your product and what goes into it
  • Communicate with your audience often
  • Invest in a support team that your customers can lean on
  • If something goes wrong, address it head on and own it

Create High-Quality Visual Content

Become a Brand That People Trust - Visual Content

You have about eight seconds to grab your audience’s attention before they move on. What can grab a person’s attention in eight seconds? Visual content. According to Wyzowl, visual graphics are processed 60,000x faster than text. That’s a lot!

With the rise of the internet and social media, the way people learn and process information is changing. Creating visually appealing and benefit-driven visual content helps capture your audience’s attention and allows them to retain that information more quickly.

If you’re trying to earn your audience’s trust, why not do it in a way that sticks?

Here are some examples of visual content:

  • Videos
  • Shareable graphics (e.g. quotes, memes, gifs)
  • Infographics
  • Presentations
  • Quizzes

Ensure a Seamless User Experience

Become a Brand That People Trust - User Experience UX

Remember how I said you have eight seconds to grab your audience’s attention? That’s where user experience comes in.

User experience (UX) focuses on creating a positive visual experience on your website, while also ensuring that your audience can easily navigate your site and find what they’re looking for.

Good UX is especially important when it comes to mobile design. According to Sparity, 52% of users say that a bad mobile experience makes them less likely to engage with a company. That doesn’t just mean having a responsive website. It means not overwhelming your users with text, and making it engaging (good visual content helps).

Having poor UX can lead to high bounce rates and a negative first impression of your brand. Which eventually affects your bottom line. So put some thought (and budget) into your website’s usability.

Here are ways you can use UX to gain your audience’s trust:

  • Optimize your site for all devices
  • Make your navigation simple and clear
  • Pay attention to color theory and how it affects your brand
  • Make your contact information clear and easily accessible
  • Avoid too much clutter (i.e. not enough white space, too much text, etc.)

What’s the Point?

Marketing psychology works, why not use it to gain your audience’s trust? After all, trust is hard to gain and easy to lose, so it’s worth the time to focus on it. If you can create a product that delivers and a brand that has the trust of your customers, you can create an environment where customers become advocates for your brand that come back for more.

Customer Survey

8 Survey Questions That Will Supercharge Your Content Strategy

Creating a customer survey is a great way to get to know your audience (which is pretty essential if you’re a marketer). Customer surveys benefit the entire organization, giving insight that can impact your sales strategy, product pricing, website, and the list goes on.

Once you have a good idea of who your customer is, you can tailor your marketing strategy to fit their needs. Instead of screaming into the void. I’m skipping the essentials (e.g. demographics, job title, etc.) and giving you eight unique questions that can directly impact your content strategy.

Plus, download the 25 Kickass Survey Question Bonus Sheet.

1. What Are Three Topics You’d Like to Learn More About?

Asking your audience what they would like to learn more about is the easiest way to layout your editorial calendar. I’d recommend making this a multiple choice question, so your answers aren’t all over the place. Include an “Other” option for those who don’t see what they’re looking for.

The goal here is to learn your customer’s pain points and to help them find solutions. That’s what builds brand trust and a community of influencers.

2. What Are Your Top Three Job Responsibilities?

If you’re in the business of creating products that help your customers do their job better, this is the question for you. You might have a rough idea of your target audience’s job titles are, but this gives you a more in-depth look at their real stressors. Make this an open-ended question, allowing you to gather as much detail as possible.

3. What’s Standing Between You and Your Next Promotion?

We all want to grow and make more money. So how can your product/service help do that? This question will help you write content for each stage of your customer’s professional growth. It’s a great way to figure out how your organization can fill the gap between where they are now and where they want to be, with content and new products/services.

4. What Are Your Biggest Day-to-Day Challenges?

Here’s where we get down to the nitty-gritty. Use the answers to this question to create freebie resources AKA lead gen resources for your audience. Do they have trouble staying organized? Provide a white paper that helps them do so.

Answers to this question can also help your company on a deeper level. Are your customers working on a tight budget? Start offering payment plans or consider lowering your prices. Are your customers suffering from a lack of technical support? Beef up your customer support team to help them out.

5. Where Do You Go for Industry News?

Learning where your audience goes for industry news allows you to create partnerships or share for share relationships with the right sources. If most of your audience say they like to read product reviews on Jane Doe’s blog, reach out to Jane and ask her if you can do a guest post on her blog. Link that guest post to a lead gen form and you have a steady stream of qualified leads coming in from a credible source.

6. What is Your Preferred Method of Communication?

Where are your ideal customers hanging out? Are they active on social media? Would they prefer print media or email newsletters? Make this question a drop down and learn the best way (and place) to communicate to your audience. Content lives everywhere, from social media to print. Making sure that you are delivering content to your audience in all mediums is extremely important.

7. On a Scale of 1-5, How Would You Rate Our Website?

Your product isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to hitting your goals. If your website isn’t well designed, your sales will suffer. Asking customers to rate your site gives you a look at how they view your company and brand. I’d recommend including a follow-up question here that asks for ways that you can improve your customer’s experience on your site.

8. Why Did You Purchase From Us Versus Our Competitors?

Knowing why your customers purchased from you versus your competitors gives you solid talking points in your content and sales strategy. Now that the internet has taken over the world, consumers have all of the power (as they should). So standing out from your competitors has never been more important. Hearing why they chose you helps you better outline your key selling points. It’s also a great way to use social proof.

What’s the Point?

Customer surveys serve many purposes and benefit the business as a whole. Understanding your customer and taking a look at your organization through their eyes can change the way you approach your marketing mix and sales strategy. If you’re looking for free survey tools, try Survey Monkey or Google Forms. Build your survey and send it to your list with an incentive. If there’s no incentive, your chances of getting people to take the survey are pretty low. Go get ‘em!

Audience

3 Easy Ways to Get to Know Your Audience

Let’s take a few steps back from the content and talk about your audience. Understanding your audience is essential to creating a marketing strategy that really works. Here are three easy ways to get to know your audience.

Create Customer Personas

The idea here is to create a persona for each type of customer. This process allows you to understand the persona’s pain points, why they might be interested in your product and how to best market to them.

HubSpot is big on creating personas, and they offer a bunch of free resources to help you do so including persona templates and the MakeMyPersona Tool.

The HubSpot templates break the persona’s profile into four sections:

  1. The Who: background, demographics, identifiers
  2. The What: goals, challenges, solutions
  3. The Why: read quotes, common objections
  4. The How: marketing message, elevator pitch

Ask Your Clients

I’m a big fan of direct feedback from existing clients. It gives you a realistic look at how others view your product and why they ended up making a purchase.

As marketers, it’s so easy to get sucked into the “we know what’s best for our clients” mindset versus the “what do our clients need from us” mindset. It happens to the best of us. But when it does it’s time to take a step back and hear from the source.

The easiest way to get to know your clients is to create a survey and send it out via email. These surveys can help you craft your customer personas, and allow you to ask the burning questions most businesses have for their clients. There are tons of free survey tools out there, my favorites are Survey Monkey and Google Forms.

Get Social

Social media is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it basically serve as a free advertising platform (excluding paid ads, of course), it also gives you insight into what your customers are thinking and allows you to engage with them in a non-invasive way.

When getting to know your audience, look for places on the internet where they might be hanging out. Join social media groups to see what they’re talking about. What pain-points are they discussing that your product might be able to solve? What’s their tone when speaking to one another? (Tone is a big deal!)

Don’t just limit it to social media. There are a ton of online forums that might hold pockets of your customers. Scour the internet!

What’s the Point?

Long story short, researching your target audience is important. Like, REALLY important, especially when it comes to creating content. Having a good idea of who they are, where they hang out, and their wants and needs play a big role in your marketing and content strategy.

Use the data you’ve collected to create content for those specific personas, or the specific problems addressed in your survey. It’ll ensure that your messaging is sharply targeted and that you’re not just screaming into the void.

free marketing tools

12 Free Online Tools That Will Make You a Better Marketer

If you’re in marketing you know one thing to be true: the internet is your friend. I would even go as far as to say the internet is your BEST friend. Sorry, Gretchen Wieners. Online tools can help you work smarter and faster, giving you more time to focus on analyzing and optimizing versus creating and implementing. Check out my favorite free marketing tools below.

1. Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule

If you haven’t heard of CoSchedule yet, allow me to introduce you to your new favorite all-in-one marketing calendar, project management, social campaign scheduling platform. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, and they do much more than that. On top of delivering a great product, they also have a bunch of free resources for busy marketers like you and me.

Let’s start with their Headline Analyzer. Using this tool is simple, paste your headline, click “Analyze Now” and receive a score of 1-100. The closer to 100 the better (obvi). The Analyzer looks at your headline and gives you suggestions based on your score, allowing you to optimize your headline for higher open rates and engagement.

Here are a few things the Headline Analyzer looks at:

  • Word balance
  • Length
  • First and last words
  • Keywords
  • Sentiment

2. Email Subject Line Tester by CoSchedule

If email marketing is apart of your marketing mix (which it absolutely should be) then you know the power of a well-written subject line. We want high open rates people! The Email Subject Line Tester is similar to the Headline Analyzer where you paste your subject line into the tool and are given a score from 1-100.

Here are a few things the Email Subject Line Tester looks at:

  • Words that increase opens
  • Words that decrease opens
  • Letter case
  • Whether you include numbers or not
  • Character count
  • Word count
  • Emoji count

3. Social Message Optimizer by CoSchedule

You guys, I swear I’m not being paid by CoSchedule to name drop these tools. I just love them! The Social Message Optimizer helps you write posts that boost engagement, build trust and drive traffic. Once you enter your post content, they’ll give you a score (you guessed it, 1-100) for each social platform.

Here are a few things the Social Message Optimizer looks at:

  • Message type
  • Characters
  • Hashtags
  • Sentiment
  • Emojis

Plus, at the end, they’ll tell you the best day and time to post your content. 👍

4. Blog Ideas Generator by HubSpot

HubSpot is another incredible marketing tool that manages just about everything from email marketing to lead gen and closing sales. I live for it, it’s amazing. Their Blog Ideas Generator is great for content writers who feel a little burnt out and find themselves asking the forever looming question: what will I write about next? The way it works is stupid simple: enter three nouns, get five new content ideas.

5. Keyword Explorer by Moz

Moz is your all-in-one SEO tool. If you’re not ready to allocate some of your budget for Moz Pro, check out the Keyword Explorer. This tool allows you to enter your URL (or a competitor’s URL) and see what keywords are trending for that specific page. This is an easy way to grow your keyword list, and see what other people are using/writing about to gain web traffic.

6. Keyword Planner by Google

You guys have heard of Google, right? Just kidding, I know you have. Frankly, I’d be worried if you hadn’t. Aside from being the Beyonce of the internet (amazing, revolutionary, etc, etc, etc.), they also offer a bunch of online tools. Including Google AdWords. AdWords has become the number one tool when it comes to digital advertising. Within that tool is the Keyword Planner. Use it to search for keywords related to your business and help budget your PPC ads.

7. Google Analytics

I’m not ashamed to say that I am a Google Analytics addict. If you’re big on ROI (which you should be) then you’re probably an addict too. Google Analytics analyzes your website, giving you insights on how many people visit your site, how they got there, what pages they’re viewing, whether they’re staying around or bouncing, and so much more. Really, a lot more. I use Google Analytics for a lot of things, but it’s a big help when it comes to figuring out what to write. What pages are your visitors going to the most? Do you see a trend in the article topics they’re looking at? What can you learn from their behavior?

8. Grammarly

Grammarly is probably the tool that I use the most, seeing as I have it installed on every device I own. One part of being a good content marketer is making sure that your writing is well written technically. That means grammar, spelling, and all of the other important stuff. Grammarly scans your writing and offers suggestions to make it more readable, and notifies you of any technical errors that might exist. It’s a great tool that will make a lasting impact your day-to-day productivity.

9. Hemingway

If you want to strive for ultimate readability, use Hemingway to perfect your content. It’s really easy to use. Just paste your text, they’ll score your readability and tell you how to make it better. They even highlight the passages that they recommend fixing and tell you how to fix it. It can’t get much easier than that.

10. Canva

Most small businesses rely heavily on “wearer of many hats,” especially when it comes to the marketing department (or lack thereof). I’ve worked at businesses where I make up the entire marketing department, and that’s where tools like Canva become an important resource. If you’re not a graphic designer but don’t want your social media, print media and digital media assets to suck, allow me to introduce you to Canva. Canva is an easy to use tool that uses drag and drop features to create eye-catching assets. They even provide free (and paid) templates, icons, images, and more.

11. Yoast

If you’re using WordPress and you’re NOT using Yoast, you cray. Or you just haven’t heard of it yet. Yoast is a free plugin that helps you optimize your content. SEO is really important when it comes to gaining organic traffic for your website, and it impacts your overall rank. Yoast makes it easy to modify and optimize your content and enhance your on-site SEO.

Here are some of the best features included in the free version:

  • Keyword optimization
  • Google preview
  • Readability check
  • Heading and meta description modification
  • Set cornerstone content

12. Evernote

Okay so Evernote might not have much to do with the nitty-gritty of marketing, but it is a great tool for any type of professional. Evernote is a project manager and electronic notebook that helps keep you and your team organized. I used to be big on writing all of my notes by hand, but after using Evernote I am now a firm believer in electronic note-taking. Evernote lets you create notebooks, web snippets, to do lists, reminders, and more. It’s good for the environment, great for your workflow and very user-friendly.

What’s the Point?

There are a ton of free tools out there. The internet is a vast and wonderful (sometimes scary) place. I hope you try some of these tools out, and let me know what you think. If I missed a tool you really love, mention it in the comments below!

How to Start a Small Business Blog That Nurtures & Converts

Having an active blog on your company’s website can make a big impact on your business. Blogging provides shareable social media content, allows you to point to lead gen forms, positions you as a thought leader in your industry, and helps you rank higher and improve your site’s SEO.

Blogging is so effective that according to a study done by HubSpot, companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about 4.5x more leads than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. Check out the steps below to get started.

Choose a Host & Platform

Chances are if you already have a website, there’s a blog feature you’re not using. If you’re just starting out, I recommend using WordPress for your website/blog. It’s user-friendly, cost-effective and easy to set up. No matter what you choose, make sure to do your research. Changing platforms with an existing website in the future can be a pain.

I would also recommend hiring a professional designer to build your website. (Nobody likes a Frankenstein website!)

Here are some of my favorite WordPress hosts:*

  • WP Engine
    WP Engine is the best platform for WordPress hosting. It’s wicked fast, has great customer service, staging capabilities, automated SSL certificates and a bunch of other great add-ons. Cons? It’s a little pricey (but so worth it if you’re thinking longterm). Click the link above and save 20% on your order.
  • GreenGeeks
    GreenGeeks comes in second because it offers easy setup at a great price AND is environmentally friendly. Click the link above and get a free domain, 1-click WordPress install, and web hosting for $3.95 a month.
  • Blue Host
    Blue Host is probably the most well known if you’ve been researching WordPress hosting. They also easy setup and great customer service. Click the link above and get a free domain, 1-click WordPress install, and web hosting for $3.95 a month.

Get to Know Your Audience

Before you start to write your first blog post, it’s important to know who you’re writing for. Getting to know your audience is one of the first steps towards a successful content strategy. That way, you can write content that speaks directly to them instead of taking a shot in the dark.

One of the easiest ways to gather this information is by sending out a customer survey via email. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are great free tools that allow you to easily collect responses and export them into a spreadsheet.

Brainstorm Article Topics

Brainstorming ideas for blog posts is no easy task. Especially if your goal is to write content that people actually want to read (which it should be). Your content should be educational, entertaining, and

So how do you come up with article topics that keep them coming back for more?

Try these five brainstorming techniques:

  • Join social media groups that cater to your audience and listen in
  • Engage your social media followers with an online poll
  • Look at what your competitors are writing about and fill in the gaps (and do it better)
  • Use websites like Quora to see what people are asking about online

If you sent out a customer survey, use your response data. That stuff is marketing gold! 🏆

Do Keyword Research

Understanding keywords and SEO is a beast of its own. But for the sake of brevity, I’ll give you a quick overview.

Keywords are what search engines use to validate your content. Using the right keywords helps you move up in search engine rank, but it’s not as simple as just stuffing keywords into your posts and clicking publish.

In fact, keyword stuffing is a big no-no.

Long Tail vs Short Tail Keywords

To properly optimize your blog, it’s important to know the difference between long tail and short tail keywords.

Here’s a quick overview:

  • Long tail keywords: Longer search phrases that help you reach a narrow, more qualified audience. By being specific, you’re targeting your posts to your audience and cutting out the fluff.
  • Short tail keywords: Shorter, broad search phrases that receive more traffic, however that traffic is less qualified and less likely to purchase. Plus, by using short tail keywords you’re more likely to compete with brands that have a much higher rank than you.

For example, here’s how I would decipher my keywords for this blog post:

  • Long tail keywords: how to create a blog for a small business, setting up a blog for a small business, small business blogging
  • Versus short tail keywords like: how to set up a blog, starting a blog, business blog, blogging

By using the long tail examples above, my potential for traffic volume might be lower, but the amount of qualified traffic will be higher. People searching how to set up a blog or, blogging, probably aren’t my target audience. So even if they land on my site, they’re not the people I’m interested in talking to.

Long Tail Keywords vs Short Tail Keywords

There are a lot of tools out there that can help you find the right keyword(s) for your content. Start with the Keyword Explorer by Moz, it allows you to explore keywords in relation to your audience and/or competitors.

Don’t use the same keyword for every post. You should be using unique keywords and phrases to diversify your content.

A lot of people skip this step, but it’s essential if you’re trying to increase your organic traffic and rank.

Write Your First Blog Post & Hit Publish

Now that you’re all set up and know who you’re writing for, it’s time to actually start writing. The point of your blog is to provide a resource to your readers, not to just talk about your product or service.

The goal is to educate your readers so that they learn to trust your business and keep coming back for more content. That trust and assurance will help push them in the right direction when it comes to deciding whether or not they should buy your product or service. Make sure to end each article with a strong CTA (Call-to-Action).

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

Once you start generating valuable content, your blog should be increasing your organic search results and therefore positively impacting your amount of leads. How do track your progress? First, make sure your site is connected to Google Analytics.

This is one of my favorite tools and is essential to any business. Google Analytics gives you insight on just about everything when it comes to website traffic including demographics, user acquisition, website referrals, top pages and real-time website users. If you don’t have it set up, do it right now.

Once you’re all set up and your traffic starts to trickle in, pay attention to what your customers are doing on your website. Are they looking at one article more than the others? What is the topic of that article and how can you create more content like it? Do you have a lead generator on that page?

Google Analytics helps you answer my favorite question: how can I create an exceptional experience for my audience?

What’s the Point?

Having a successful blog for your business takes work, but it’ll pay off in the long run. Blogs help your business establish credibility, gain the trust of potential customers, educate them on new products and product benefits and give them an inside look into your company culture. Having an active blog is one of the first steps to nurturing prospective clients into customers who keep coming back for more.

*This post includes affiliate links, which means I will get a commission if you purchase through that link. Every product recommend has been vetted and I stand behind 100%. If you have a problem with one of these companies once you have made your purchase, please let me know and I will consider removing them from my website.