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Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog
Posted By Michelle V. Rafter On March 1, 2008 @ 12:00 am In Setting Up a Website | No Comments
It’s one thing to start a company blog. It’s something else entirely to get people to visit.
Driving traffic to your small business’ corporate blog takes equal parts old-fashioned marketing and contemporary Web tools. It’s a mix of common sense practices like printing a blog’s URL on company business cards with search engine optimization and blog software plug-ins to come up with the right formula to motivate people to visit, according to corporate bloggers and blog marketing experts.
Whatever methods you use, aim for quality, not quantity, says Tac Anderson, a Web 2.0 expert and blogger at the LaserJet business unit of HP  in Boise, Idaho. Using lots of Web-based bells and whistles can dramatically increase traffic. But if people don’t make return visits, or all that traffic doesn’t lead to more customers, better bonds with suppliers or other measures of success, it doesn’t mean much.
Old school marketing methods
No matter what your company’s blog is about or who writes it, start with the basics to spread the word that it’s there:
Search engine optimization and other tools
Professional blog marketers suggest using a different bag of tricks to drive traffic to the websites, including:
Search engine optimization (SEO) — An entire industry has developed around the science of placing frequently searched words and phrases into the text of blog posts so they’ll appear high in search-engine rankings and get more traffic as a result. Search engine optimization specialists such as Gary Pool, proprietor of White Rose Productions in Portland, Ore., swears by SEO software such as:
Plugins — Pool prefers to create blogs in WordPress because of the bounty of available plug-in software including:
Blog directories — Pool also suggests that companies submit their blogs to blog directories for specific states, industries, or professions.
If you use SEO keywords to drive traffic, don’t dwell on the details to the extent that you forget the big picture. If your blog is so crowded with key words people can’t find what they are looking for, you’ve defeated the purpose of bringing them to the blog in the first place, Pool says. And don’t forget to have fun with it. “If it’s personal, people will keep coming back. It doesn’t have to be heavy handed,” he says.
In the end, content is still king. Present interesting information visitors want to read, and you never know where it will lead. At MobileDataforce, Benedict had given up ever getting an order from a large New Zealand company that initially expressed interest then stopped returning emails and phone calls. But they didn’t stop reading his blog. After six months of silence they called. “Their employees read my blog every week and they were ready to buy,” Benedict says. The blog “is an ongoing communication with customers that we don’t even know we have.”
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URL to article: http://technology.inc.com/2008/03/01/drive-traffic-to-your-business-blog-4/
URLs in this post:
 HP: http://www.hp.com/
 MobileDataforce: http://www.mobiledataforce.com/
 a blog written by CEO Kevin Benedict: http://www.mobiledataforce.com/ceoblog/index.html
 Niche Bot: http://www.nichebot.com/
 SEO Book: http://www.seobook.com/
 Word Tracker: http://www.wordtracker.com/
 Add Meta Tags: http://www.wp-plugins-db.org/plugin/add-meta-tags/
 Share This: http://sharethis.com/
 XML Sitemaps: http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
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