When I talk to small business owners about their marketing, especially their blog, the usual response I get is how frustrated they are that it’s not getting them leads or clients and how they don’t know how to make their blog better so it works and helps them to grow their business.

In this blog, I’m going to share with how to get better blog results so you can get more leads and sales, and turn your audience into your raving fans.

#1: It’s all about how your audience engages with the internet

To understand how your audience uses the internet, let’s look at how you use it.

Something happens that you don’t know the answer to, what do you do?

You Google it.

From “Why is my washing machine making a loud grinding noise?”, “What’s the best bed for a small dog?”, “Best recipe for vegetarians”, “How long should I bake a potato for?”, “How much will a wheel for my bike cost?” to “washing machine bosch v beko”.

It’s the same for your audience.

Got a problem? They Google it.

This stat just in.

Today, on average, 70% of the buying decision is made BEFORE a prospect talks to the company. Chances are this figure is only going to increase.

Imagine what that number could be in the next 5 or 10 years? 80%? 90%

Oh, my goodness!

You may now decide to ask yourself?

  • How do they make this all-important buying decision?
  • Where do they get the information from?
  • What helped them make the decision to buy BEFORE talking to a company?

It’s all down to useful and helpful content on websites.

It’s more important than ever for you to create and share:

  • Content that answers your audience’s questions
  • Content that builds trust between you and your audience
  • Content that’s useful and helpful

Now you’ve got an insight into what they’re searching for what can you do to get your blog found?

#2: It’s up to you to help search engines do their best

I bet there’s times you feel you’re at the mercy of search engines when it comes to being found by your audience.

The good thing is you don’t need to know the techy ins and outs of how they work. Let’s be honest, does anyone know how they work? #JustSaying😊

All you need to keep in mind is the goal for Google and all other search engines (so you can get start to get better results for your blog).

Which is this.

To give the best answers and the best content that answers what the searcher has typed in.

What does your website need to do?

Create and share content that has the best and most specific answer to the questions your audience asks.

And next, I’m going to give you a tip on how to start thinking about your content that answers the questions your audience asks you.

#3: Answer the questions your audience asks

Let’s look at how you and your audience will use the internet to get answers and information.

There are different stages to a search.

I don’t know why this is happening

There’s the “I don’t know why this is happening” stage. This is going from being Unaware to Aware they have a problem, niggle, concern, need, query etc.

These searches tend to start with “Why”, “What is”, “How to” and “What to” type of searches.

At this stage of their search, they’re not ready to buy from you or anyone else. They are solely looking for help to a problem that’s presented itself to them.

Let’s use an example of a parent with a toddler that’s a fussy eater. The parent wants to know why and what’s causing it so they’re searching for specific solutions.

  • Why is my toddler a fussy eater?
  • Why won’t my toddler eat vegetables?
  • Why does my toddler have a tantrum at meal times?
  • What is causing my toddler to be a fussy eater?
  • What is the best way to get your toddler to eat vegetables?

This type of content helps them to identify a specific problem – which is what they wanted and they were looking for.

Now it’s got them thinking, and chances are they’ve not identified the problem.

What do they do when they’ve identified the problem?

They want more answers so they’ll change their search to include more “How to” and “What to” questions.

Let’s stick with the parent with the toddler that’s a fussy eater.

Their search could now look like this:

  • “How to cope with a fussy eater at meal times”
  • “How to make sure your fussy eater stays healthy”
  • “What to do to make meal times fun for your toddler”

Thinking about your audience and what they’re looking for, it’s important to write  content that answers their questions and share them as:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Social media posts

Put them where they’re looking for them and expecting to find them.

You can then build a relationship with these people. Before you created this content, they might not have known you existed. Now you stand a chance of them associating you as a solution to their problem and coming back to your website for more help. They may even sign-up for your lead magnet or book a call with you on the back of your useful and helpful content in your blog.

That would be fab, right?

Decision time

The next stage I like to call “Who will I buy from?”  also known as the consideration phase in proper marketing speak 😊

This is where they have had a light shone on their problem and they’re looking for a solution.

They’re now weighing up who to buy from and it could be you.

You need different content for this stage.

The type of content you create and publish is still focussing on answering their questions, but now it’s about your product/service, your competition and/or your industry.

Why?

According to Responsive Inbound Marketing, 70% of consumers would rather learn about a product or service through content or blog posts rather than from an ad.

What type of questions will your audience be asking during their consideration stage?

The most common questions are around:

  1. Pricing and costs
  2. Problems
  3. Versus and comparisons
  4. Reviews
  5. Best in class

I’ve written a blog that shows you how to use these topics and I’ve included some fab examples for you too. You can read it here

But how do you keep ideas for your blog coming?

#4: Keep your content ideas flowing

Questions I get asked about creating content is “What should I write about?” and “What if I run out of ideas…?”

Starting Out

When you’re starting out on your plan of action to create the most useful and helpful content for your audience a great place to start is your inbox. Chances are you have emails from potential clients where they’ve mentioned what results they’re struggling to achieve on their own, and emails with questions from clients old and new.

Keep an eye on your inbox and look out for new questions.
Creating content that’s useful and helpful is going to help you improve your blog results.

Always be listening

There are so many conversations taking place on social media. When you see a question or a topic pop up that you know you can provide useful and helpful answers to, add it to your list of content ideas and if it’s a burning question for your audience, create and publish content that answers it for them.

Brain  dump your blog ideas

Do a brain dump. Cuppa and biscuit are optional 😊 or essential in my case.

Think of what you do and what you offer.

Break it down into categories.

Yes, we’re going to stick with the fussy toddler scenario.

The fussy toddler food specialist could have categories such as:

  • Vegetables
  • Meat
  • Nutrients
  • Food preparation

They could then take each category in turn and brainstorm questions using “Why”, “What is” “How to” “What to”.

They could include the big 5 too.

  • Price
  • Problems
  • Versus and comparisons
  • Reviews
  • Best in class

What questions could these question inducing prompts inspire?

Vegetables

Why are kids so fussy when it comes to eating vegetables?

What is the best way to cook vegetables for a toddler?

How to introduce your toddler to vegetables?

What to do with vegetables so your toddler eats them.

Price/Cost

How much does it cost to work with a food nutritionist to help me with my fussy toddler.

Problems

8 weaning problems all parents need to know

Versus and Comparisons

Baby food: Home cooked v jars

Reviews

The 5 best websites for parents with toddlers

Best

Best finger foods for your independent toddler

 

#5: Have a plan for creating your useful and helpful content

 

Once you’ve realised how much you have to write about and create for your audience, you’ll need a plan.

  • When will you create your content?
  • How often will you create it?
  • Where will you publish it and share it?
  • What else do you need in addition to your content?
  • How will you track your results?

When will you create your content?

Block out time for your content creation. For you, a whole day might be best or you might prefer to dedicate some time each day.

How often will you create it?

Create a new blog each week (taking time out for holidays, of course) and you could have 48 pieces of content to share with your audience. Sharing fab content consistently helps you to get better blog results.

Create a new blog each month and you could have 12 pieces of content to share with your audience.

And when you create content around the questions you get asked the most, this content will earn its keep time and time again.

Where will you publish it and share it?

Your website is an obvious choice but what other options are there?

The last thing you want is your content to be used once and then sit there to gather dust.

What you can do is repurpose your key piece of content to create smaller pieces of content that you can publish across a week.

Here’s how you do that.

You’ve written your Blog.

  • Take parts of the blog and turn them into individual posts for your social media.
  • Turn parts of your Blogs into images for social media.
  • You could turn your Blog into an infographic (Canva has some great templates. Check them out here)
  • Then you could turn your Blog into a Slideshare
  • Republish your Blog on LinkedIn and Medium
  • Record yourself reading the Blog for those that like to listen
  • Record a video on the topic of your Blog
  • Share your Blog with your email list

It’s worth remembering that it’s worth sharing your content more than once on social media.

What else do you need in addition to your content?

Before you hit publish, you’ll need:

  • An image for your blog
  • Include links to your other blogs that are useful for your audience
  • A call to action – ask them to sign up for your lead magnet, leave a comment, follow you on social media, email you, book a call

How will you track your results?

I know leads and clients are what you’re aiming for, but how do you know if you’re on the right track with your useful and helpful content?

How Is Your Website Performing?

Use Google Analytics to see how much traffic you’ve had to your website and what pages your visitors have been looking at.

No need to freak out because Google Analytics lays it all out nicely for you with numbers and graphs.

What I’d like you take note of are:

  • Users
  • Session duration

You’ll find this at the top of your Google Analytics page.

Users

“Users” in Google Analytics is defined as users who have visited your service within a selected amount of days. Good to know this stuff, right?

Session Duration

You want to know how long your visitors are hanging around for.

What pages do your users visit?

Scroll down to the very bottom and you’ll see a section:

What pages do your users visit?

You want to know what pages they’re looking at when they visit so take a note of your:

  • Best-performing page on your website
  • Worst-performing page on your website

Why Do You Need To Know This Stuff?

Let’s say, your best performing page with the most traffic is a sales page for your product or service, but you’re not getting enquiries. Rather than throwing marketing out there in the hope something sticks, you now know people are going to your sales page but you need to do more to help your visitor take that next step to bring them closer.

And the same goes for your worst-performing page. If this is a page you’re expecting to do well for you, and it isn’t, you need to take action.

What Else Can You Keep A Check On?

As well as visitors to your website you’ll want to know:

  • How is your email list doing?
  • How’s engagement going on social media (reach, engagement, likes, comments and shares).

Perhaps there’s other things, like:

  • Being invited onto a Podcast or to speak at an event
  • Comments on your blogs
  • Asked to write a guest blog
  • PR opportunities

What Will You Gain From Tracking Your Contents Performance? 

You’ll know what’s working and what isn’t which is always good to know as a business owner.

Want to know how to plan your marketing for 12 months to achieve your business goals and objectives? Check out my blog here.

#6: Be chatty

Creating useful and helpful content consistently is fab but there’s something else you can do to give your blogging efforts a bit of oomph.

Be chatty. This is something I love to do on social media. Ooh, getting chatting with a cuppa. Can’t beat it. On Twitter I use the hashtag #StartTheChat in some of my posts. That’s how much I love a natter.

Share links to your content on your website but then:

Engage. Engage. Engage and engage some more. The risk with social media is it can become a time-suck so block out time and be clear on what you’re going to do while you’re there.

How to chat on social media so you can build your audience

It might not be something that comes naturally to you or maybe you need a few ideas to mix-up your activity.

Some ideas are:

  • Share your blogs
  • Comment on posts
  • Help out when people are stuck
  • Give fab people shout-outs
  • Introduce people to each other
  • Join a Twitter hour
  • Tag people in your posts
  • Use hashtags in your posts

For you: Questions are a fab way to get engagement going. Need inspiration? Check out my 50 questions to boost engagement on social media (no email required) on my free resources page

#7: Recognise obstacles and find a way

The world isn’t perfect and I wish that all you had to do was create content and share it. Wouldn’t that be fab.

The thing is, there may be obstacles in your way that could prevent you from creating useful and helpful content consistently so I’ve written a blog to help you out. What to consider before you start blogging for your business

Before you embark on a blogging adventure for your business, it’s wise and sensible to get clear on a few important blogging-related details:

– Why are you blogging for your business?
– Who are you blogging for?
– Where are you going to put your blog?
– How often will you blog?
– When will you write your blog?
– What will you blog about?
– What makes a great blog?

Spend time answering these questions and you’ll have made a great start to blogging for your business. It may seem a pain to do but once you do it, you’ll have a greater understanding of the purpose behind your blog, recognise how blogging can become part of your marketing strategy and how much more impact you can make when you create useful and helpful content for your audience.

And if you feel you need more help with getting leads and clients from your website and social media efforts, check out my free resources page

In Summary:

If you are going to put your efforts into your blog, you’ll want to know how to go about it so you can get better results for your blog.

#1: It’s all about how your audience engages with the internet

#2: It’s up to you to help search engines do their best

#3: Answer the questions your audience asks

#4: Keep your content ideas flowing

#5: Have a plan for creating your useful and helpful content

#6: Be chatty

#7: Recognise obstacles and find a way

How will you approach your blogging efforts now? 

 

Want more help with getting leads and clients from your website and social media efforts?

Check out my free resources page and get your hands on Blogs, Podcasts, and Downloads all for free.

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