An effective way to get noticed by the search engines (amongst others) these days is the creation and upkeep of a company blog. However, not everybody gets it right and sometimes, get it so wrong than rather than helping their rankings, they find themselves penalised.
A blog has to follow certain rules. If it doesn’t then it’s going to be ineffective, so ensure that before beginning a company blog, you know what you’re doing. The first step to this is choosing a writer. If you have someone in house who is a wizard with words, then great, if not you may have to hire a professional.
The beauty of hiring someone that writes for a living is that you won’t need to train them, they (should) already know all about the ins and outs of blogging and best practices.
Rules of the game
The point of a company blog is simple, entice your visitors to revisit your site by providing them with useful and interesting information. This ideally should be done as a part of a marketing campaign which includes social media. This means that alongside the other material you post on social, your blog should be one of the drivers to your site.
important that your blog should provide links to any sources that it cites. This means that any quotes, statistics, or other information that is used to write the blog must be linked to within the content.
This is vital to search results, but it’s also about keeping within the law. Copying content and facts from another website is plagiarism and could land you in hot water for breach of copyright law.
The same applies to any images used. It’s so easy to find images on the web that many people just go ahead and take them without permission. This is also a breach of copyright and it’s always wise to bear in mind that someone has spent their time making that image and so deserves the credit.
To use an image, you need permission from its creator; this can be done by tracking down the creator or using online resources which allow you to publish images.
The different types of license for the use of images online are:
Rights-managed typically request a small fee for using the image on a site, each time it’s used.
Royalty-free images may sound like anyone can use them but that’s not the case. It’s usually required that you pay a one-off fee and then can use the image on a site as often as you wish. These are also known as stock images and it’s usually required that you also credit the photographer or designer who owns the rights.
Creative commons is a site that allows image owners to share their work in such a way that it’s not restricted by copyright laws.
Spam – nobody likes it
A blog should be industry driven, not product. Posts should not extol the virtues of the business it’s connected to, as this is generally useless information, as far as readers are concerned.
Why would a reader want to read about what you think about your product? Obviously it’s never going to be an unbiased view and as such, it has no value to the reader. Providing useful, interesting and engaging posts, connected to your industry will drive traffic far more effectively than bragging.
This applies to social media posts too – mix it up and make it interesting – use images, infographics and video in the blog sometimes.
Keep your visitors informed
Finally, remember that a blog must be well-written, with good spelling and grammar and easy to read. Break it up with images and keep paragraphs short with white space in between them.
People don’t read what they find on the web like they do a book and so it’s vital that the information be easy to scan and easily digestible.