Trending: The Importance of Blogging

SEMA Member News—March/April 2014

Trending: The Importance of Blogging

By Regis Finn

The word “blog” originates from the word “weblog” (web log). In its simplest form, you can look at it as a digital online journal or a diary, but it can directly affect how high your webpage ranks. Here are some key points to keep in mind when writing blogs:We hear the term “blogging” often, but what is it? And how can it help your business?

The word “blog” originates from the word “weblog” (web log). In its simplest form, you can look at it as a digital online journal or a diary, but it can directly affect how high your webpage ranks. Here are some key points to keep in mind when writing blogs:

Tell your story: Blogs let you tell a story. They should be easy to read and compelling. They should include a properly organized structure that flows well and is informative. Try not to get too technical, because that may scare off potential new customers.

Google algorithm and rankings: Without going into too much detail about the sophisticated algorithm that Google uses to rank webpages, blogging plays a key role in the overall results. Ideally, your content should show up on the first page of results from an organic search. For the best potential, connect your blog to your Google+ profile using Authorship.

Become a subject expert: Writing a blog lets you tell your current and future customers that you are an expert in your field. Educate them in a way that is easy to understand and digest. When someone does a search for your type of product or service, your blogs should show up near the top of the search results.

Keywords: Keywords are vital in driving traffic to your website. Keywords should be included as often as possible in your blog, but try to steer away from making the article look unnatural from the use of too many keywords. Try to think of specific words that a customer might type into a search. For example, if you’re writing a blog about a TH400 transmission, you might embed the following key words into the blog: automatic transmission, TH400, Chevy, Chevrolet, General Motors and GM. You might also list a number of vehicles that the transmission can be found in, such as Camaro, Corvette, Chevelle, hot rod or 2500 series pickup. Again, think as a consumer, and try to imagine what words a shopper might type into a search engine to find your product.

Links (and backlinks): Embedded links in your blog act as direct paths to a product or specific landing page on your website. As a general rule, I try to include three links back to my own website. I also include four additional links to relevant forums. In return, I ask that the forums link back to my website. That is called “backlinking.”

Pictures: I recommend that each blog have a minimum of three appealing, quality pictures. They should include an image name made up of relevant keywords. Don’t use something like 12345.jpg. There should be a title for each image, also using relevant keywords. People will see the title of the image when they perform searches, so the use of a good title can increase your click-through rates. And don’t forget to include an Alt Tag for your image. This is an important component for your picture. Google will rank your content using this tag information, so use very good keywords. Finally, there is the caption. I often use this area to reference the source of the picture. If you or your company generated the picture, this is a great place to list part numbers or applications instead.

The most popular software for sharing your blog is WordPress, which can be used with most popular website software packages. It is easy to use but also very powerful. The software can be downloaded for free from the WordPress website, and many tutorials on how to use it can be found online.

I recommend that you post blogs at least three times a week. They don’t need to be very long to get your point across. I usually recommend somewhere between 300 and 600 words.

The content of the blog should be shared with your sales and marketing team before it is posted to ensure that you are not sending the wrong message or sharing bad info. There is nothing worse than a blog full of misspelled words and false assertions.

Don’t think blogging works? I recently increased the traffic to a client’s website by over 2,000% in a 12-month period just by writing five blogs per week. While I can’t guarantee you the same results, you get the general idea of how powerful blogging can be.

Don’t let your competition beat you at the game of blogging. It’s not difficult, and the results in increased traffic to your website will be well worth your effort!