Just having a blog is not enough. It should add credibility to your website and increase your online visibility via regular traffic. However, whether you want people to sign up to your newsletter, buy from you online or just comment on your blog, it's not always easy to convert visitors to your objectives
Mark White (MW), founder of marketing consultancy Better Business Blogging, explains how blogging can help generate conversions.
How do I attract traffic to my blog?
MW: "Include a link to your blog in your emails, put it on your business card or stationery, and mention it on your website's home page. You should also comment on other blogs and tell people about it through social networking sites.
"Make sure your blog is attractive to search engines such as Google - for example, find out how to put advanced search engine optimisation in place."
How can I set up a blog that will convert visitors to my objectives?
MW: "You need to have a clear idea of what you want your blog to achieve. Your objective could be to get subscriptions for your newsletter, to generate customer feedback or to encourage people to buy from your online shop."
What are the key steps to converting blog visitors?
MW: "Content and design are both very important, as a visitor will only convert if they like what they have read and if they can see where you want them to go next. But you need to have the technology in place to enable those conversions, for example, a comments option at the end of each blog post or a sign-up box where they can enter their details.
"Layout is also critical for conversions. When your eyes read a screen they focus more on the top and left-hand side, so those are the areas where you want your link to your product page or your contact details to be, depending on your objective."
What should I write on my blog to encourage conversions?
MW: "Write about things that will appeal to your identified audience and spell out what it is that you want them to do after reading the blog, for example 'click on this link to subscribe to our newsletter'."
How can I measure conversions?
MW: "If your objective is to get visitors to your online shop from your blog, use a free tracking system such as Google Analytics, which shows you where visitors are coming from to your website, and which posts or pages they are reading. For newsletter subscription lists, Wordpress will tell you how many recipients you have."
How much time do I need to invest?
MW: "If you have the technology and design in place, you only have to spend time writing content, marketing it and tracking your conversions.
"Try to write two posts a week. You don't have to update it every day, but once a month is too infrequent because the audience just won't engage with you."