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  • Launch Your Online Store with This 5-Step Plan

    Monday, April 16, 2018 by
    online store launch

    5 Steps to a Successful Online Store Launch

    Ready to open your online store? With all the excitement for the official launch, it’s important that you take time to map out your plan. You want to be ready to serve customers on day 1 (with little or no issues). Everything won’t be perfect, but the key is to keep pushing forward. Listen to Entrepreneur contributor Jonathan Long’s advice: “Do not wait until you think it is perfect to launch. You are going to need to constantly split-test and make changes—it’s never going to be perfect...Don’t let excuses or fear get in your way—you are never going to know if you have a viable online business unless you launch.” A strategy can help remove fear and doubt before launch day. Here’s our 5-step plan to assist you. best dedicated server hosting

    1. Optimize Your Product Descriptions

    In the e-commerce business, the website is the foundation for your brand. And similar to a house, a weak foundation can result in problems in the future. That’s why it’s vital for you to optimize your website from the start. This process includes everything from web hosting to branding to technical search engine optimization. There’s a lot to consider. Think about how easily a potential customer can access your navigation bar or what keyword phrases will help you rank on page one of Google. With the growing number of mobile consumers, you’ll also want to configure your site for smartphones and tablets. A few small changes can make the shopping experience better. Product descriptions are often overlooked when launching online stores. The content should provide all the product details with an image. Here’s an example below from TJ Maxx. From a price to social share buttons, shoppers receive all the necessary information to make their purchasing decisions. ecommerce product listing example Before you dazzle up your store, figure how you can enhance the site for your consumers. Every tweak gets you closer to a sale.  

    2. Know Your Shipping Strategy

    Most e-commerce stores sell physical products. If that’s your business, you need to ponder how you will deliver those products to your customers. Shipping is a big deal in business. From a brand’s perspective, you want the lowest costs to get items from point A to point B. Customers want their products to arrive at their doorsteps as soon as possible. These dilemmas leave very few options for e-commerce brands. For instance, you might have to offer free shipping to your shoppers. “Most customers not only want free shipping, they expect it. For this reason it can be difficult to sell a product with a hefty shipping fee. Many online retailers combat this by including the cost of shipping into the price tag while raising the price and offering ‘free shipping’,” writes Forbes contributor Brent Gleeson. Build a shipping strategy that ensures everyone involved gets what they desire. Answer the following questions:
    • What courier will ship your products?
    • What are the rates for your selected courier?
    • Will you fulfill international orders?
    • Will you purchase shipping insurance?
    • How will you keep track of your shipping costs?
    • What’s your shipping policy for refunds?
    The more details you provide upfront, the better your strategy. You don’t want to be guessing what to do next when customers start buying your products.  

    3. Build Your Email List

    While many industry leaders may declare that email marketing holds no significance, it’s still one of the best ways to communicate with potential buyers and longtime customers. Communication is essential in the customer relationship. Email offers you the chance to inform consumers about your latest products and confirm shipments of their most recent orders. Plus, on-the-go consumers can use their smart devices to check their emails. This access can help you become part of your buyer’s everyday tasks. But before you jump into all the complexities of email marketing, like segmentation and user profiling, your brand can start with the basic content—the welcome email. This email is the first greeting a consumer will receive for signing up for your newsletter. It’s the friendly introduction to your brand. Take a few tips from Urbanears below. Their welcome email gives the purpose of their newsletter  and what consumers can expect to receive. The 10% coupon code doesn’t hurt either! welcome email example for online store When creating your welcome email, you may want to include a small incentive, too. And don’t forget to add your branding to the message, like your logo or brand colors. Email marketing isn’t dead. You can take advantage of the benefits with a simple newsletter.  

    4. Gain Pre-Launch Feedback

    Like anything in life, you benefit when people lend you their expertise. Listening to others can provide insight on how to iron out launch issues. If possible, join a community of e-commerce store owners. You can learn from their mistakes and pick up a few pointers to improve your store. Think outside the box when finding communities. You may have to join multiple Slack groups or sit down face-to-face with folks in your local area. Prepare to ask specific questions and offer your skill set to others. Initiating a beta consumer group also is an effective way to get feedback before your launch. That way, you get real-life scenarios of what’s working (and not working) in your store. “E-commerce companies should aim to create quick and cost-effective prototypes which they can share with potential customers. Beta users can then offer feedback that will help reinvent your product so that it better meets their needs,” states Danny Wong, entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. Ask your beta users to navigate through your website and report any challenges that arise. You’ll also want to know if the products resonate with them. Of course, you want to give an incentive to your beta testers. Their honest feedback will only improve your launch. From communities to beta consumers, find ways to get feedback about your store. Then, make the changes quickly.  

    5. Develop Your Promotion Strategy

    Brand-new e-commerce stores face a heavy burden when it comes to promoting their businesses. While you’re offering an amazing product, people must know you exist. Promotion starts with knowing your audience. By learning who they are, you gain knowledge on where and how they consume information. For example, if you’re selling puppy accessories, you may find out they read a unique magazine tailored to dog owners. Then, you may want to purchase ads on the magazine’s site to connect with the audience. There’s a wide variety of promotional channels. You can begin with Facebook ads, strategic partnerships, or social media posts. Old Navy promotes their products with the help of influencers on Twitter. This tweet sets the tone of the brand with a call to action. ecommerce tweet Focus your promotional strategy on the consumer. It’s the time to show them why your brand deserves their attention. What separates you from the competition? How do your products solve their problems? Learn more about your customers to succeed with promotion. You’ll have the intel to attract and maintain their loyalty.  

    Launch Your Store Today

    Preparing for your launch day will help you move past any fears holding you back. With a strategy, you can make the customer experience better. Remember to optimize your product pages to convert visitors into buyers. Place email opt-ins around your site to capture window shoppers. And consider doing a beta launch to gain feedback. Plan. Then, launch! Learn how HostGator's web hosting can support your e-commerce store.
  • How to Add Google Fonts to Your WordPress Website

    Monday, April 16, 2018 by
    choose fonts for your website

    Is Your Site Using the Right Font?

    Thanks to the growing number of mobile internet users, finding the right font has become a big project for site designers, publishers, and retailers. The BBC and the Guardian have recently debuted new bespoke fonts designed to be easier to read on phones—and save the companies money on licenses for commercial fonts. Even if you don't have a flagship-media budget, there are ways you can update your site fonts for better readability, a more consistent appearance across browsers and devices, and faster page-load times to help your SEO. best WordPress hosting

    What Fonts Are Best for Your Site?

    Whether you're a design fan or someone who likes to consider all the options, it's really easy to fall down a rabbit hole of fonts. There are thousands of open-source fonts that anyone can download and use, and thousands more available for purchase. Because you want fonts that make your website easier to use and faster, it's probably best to limit yourself to Google Fonts, a repository of open-source fonts that are easy to read on small screens and which cache quickly to speed up page load times. At this writing, Google Fonts offers a mere 848 font families, 823 of which work for English-language copy. To narrow down your 800-plus choices, you'll need to apply some basic font choice principles, like those described by Janie Kliever at Canva.
    • Two to three fonts is the ideal number for most sites. If you stick with only one, your site may look sterile and visitors may have a hard time figuring out which text is a headline and which is your main copy. More than two or three fonts can make the site look chaotic and amateurish.
    • Choose fonts that have some contrast so that they create a visual hierarchy. For example, you could use a bold or serif font for your headlines so they stand out and a simple sans serif font for body copy so it's easy to scan, even on a smartphone.
    Google Design gives a broader overview of typography, fonts, and how to find the best fonts for your site in their Choosing Web Fonts: A Beginner's Guide. Among the things the authors say you should consider are:
    • Are you designing your site for the long-term or short-term? Long-term projects often need font families with many style options.
    • How long will your text blocks be? Even on-screen, serif fonts are a good idea if you'll feature five or more paragraphs at a time.
    • What size will your type be? Simpler fonts are easier to read at small sizes, but they may not stand out enough in headlines.
    • Will your visitors translate your site into other languages? If so, you'll need to choose a font family that supports multiscript characters so those translations display properly.
    The guide recommends a few fonts for specific situations to help you get started. You can also browse the entire Google Fonts library here.  

    Finding Google Fonts for Your Site

    When you're ready to explore Google Fonts, it can be a bit of a challenge to navigate the somewhat clunky directory to find the right typefaces. As an example, let's walk through looking for a serif font to use for headlines on a site for a petsitting business—something bold and businesslike but a bit playful.
    • In the Google Fonts search filter sidebar, you can select the serif category and decide how you want the results presented—by age, popularity, or alphabetized by name.
    • Under languages, you can narrow your results to typefaces that support English by selecting 'Latin' (confusing, but we do use the Latin alphabet).
    • Next, you can check the boxes to open slider menus and fine-tune your options for number of styles (variations on the font, like lighter, bolder, or italic), thickness, slant, and width.
    google fonts library By choosing 'serif' and 'Latin,' you get 174 options for your petsitting website headline font. Bree Serif looks like it could work. To see how your copy will look, you can replace the dummy copy with your text by inserting the cursor, clearing out the dummy text, and entering 'Our Petsitting Service Menu.' (You can also click 'apply to all fonts' so we don't have to retype it.) google fonts serif fonts library You can use the slider menu to resize the text anywhere from 8 to 112 points. You can also use the dropdown menu on the left to see how your copy looks in a sentence or paragraph or the alphabet and numerals in that font. Clicking the + button adds Bree Serif to a tray at the bottom, where you can collect all the fonts you want to use. When you're ready to install them, click the black tray bar and you'll see HTML and CSS code to embed the font in your site. (More on this below.) You can download as many fonts as you like, but Google recommends that you don't download everything “just in case,” because of the time and space it would take.

    download google fontsHow Can You Use Google Fonts On Your Site?

    If you're comfortable adding code to your site, you can use the Get Started with Google Fonts API guide to using stylesheets to specify the font families and styles you want on your site. You'll also find out how to drastically reduce the font file size for headings and logos by optimizing font requests. For anyone who's not comfortable editing their own site code, there are several plugins for WordPress that can install and manage Google Fonts for you. One of the most popular options, with more than 300,000 installations, is Easy Google Fonts. With this plugin, you can avoid editing the code for your site's theme and you get a menu of all Google Fonts without having to manually select and download any of them. The plugin adds a typography menu in the WordPress Customize section of the dashboard, where you can select font families, styles, color, and other text elements for each type of header and text in your site theme. Easy Google Fonts WordPress plugin You can see a realtime preview of what each change you make will look like; visitors to your site will only see your changes if you save and publish them. To change text elements that aren't part of your theme's default controls, Easy Google Fonts allows you to create your own font controls that will show up in the Typography menu. After you choose the Google Fonts you want to use and make sure they look right in the preview, you're ready to save and publish to update your site.  

    Update Your Fonts, Upgrade Your Site

    By updating your site's fonts, you're not only giving it an updated look, you're also building a better user experience. Faster-loading fonts that are designed for on-screen readability and reliable WordPress hosting optimized for fast load times are the key to keeping visitors coming back, especially as more people do their browsing on their phones.
  • 5 Live Social Video Ideas for Small Businesses

    Thursday, April 12, 2018 by
    live social video ideas for small business

    Social Live Video Ideas from 5 Successful Brands

    Live social video is essential for marketing teams. With irrelevant messages consuming customers’ attention, your team needs content that will stand out from the rest. And that's where live social video becomes valuable to your small business. “Live streaming videos give you the chance to attract a much larger audience and generate more traffic and online visibility. Because of its immediate interaction, you can entice more viewers than you would from just a simple status update or post,” states Maggie Munley, account manager at Corporate Communications. Dust off your favorite outfit. It’s time for you to step in front of the camera. Here are five live social video ideas to get you started.  

    1. Interview Thought Leaders

    Education is important in today’s society. People are always seeking knowledge to advance their careers, help their businesses, or just find a product at a cheaper price. Knowledge is definitely power. If you’re seeking to impress your audience on live social video, you’ll want to start by interviewing thought leaders in your industry. Experts can offer unique insights on how to tackle small and big challenges affecting your consumers. By interviewing them, you also shine a light on your amazing brand. You’ll want to select thought leaders that your customers respect. So take the time to research the latest blogs, attend a few conferences, or listen to several podcasts. These spaces are prime areas to find well-qualified experts. But don’t miss the opportunity to interview the thought leaders on your team. They work day in and day out in particular areas that may interest your audience. Below is an live social video example from Socedo, a lead generation platform. While streaming on Periscope, the company interviewed their head of sales about direct messaging in the B2B social media marketing. social live video example on twitter You’ll also want to think about the topic and interview questions. Poll your audience before the chat and take live questions during the interview. That way, you’re engaging with the customer and not talking at them.  

    2. Explore Behind the Scenes

    Your team’s tasks and responsibilities may seem routine (and even mundane). Everyone is doing their job to contribute to a greater cause—the customer’s satisfaction. However, that’s not the case for your social media followers. You do something extraordinary in their eyes. You make a product they adore! On any given day, your team is working behind the scenes, planning new product launches, arranging customer appreciation events, or speaking at a major conference. Those actions you call “small” are a really big deal to your customers. People enjoy getting the inside scoop on what happens within your small business—and live video makes it possible. “Use streaming to create conversations, give customers important information, and highlight fans, partners, employees, and new technologies (and share the spotlight). Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses is yet another way to thank your biggest fans and enable them to help share your brand story,” says Kathy Klotz-Guest, founder of Keeping It Human. The New York Times is revered for its crossword puzzle. On Facebook Live, the team solves the puzzle with its followers. Plus, they give hints and viewers can put their guesses in the comments section. facebook live video from new york times Let your creativity run wild to show off your behind-the-scenes moments. It’s your opportunity to give your brand a personality.  

    3. Announce New Products

    You’re constantly seeking different ways to create brand awareness. You want to drive sales, too. Live social video can provide a helping hand. Streaming the announcement of your new products gets consumers excited. It’s a chance to see your product in real-time for the very first time. And guess what? They don’t have to leave their home or office. Then, your product announcement becomes a full-fledged event. On live video, you can explain the product features, demonstrate how it works, and talk to customers. “Sharing the event with your audience can make them feel included and enthusiastically engage with your brand. If it's not exactly viable to host an event on your own, you can still engage your audience by getting involved in a much bigger event and then sharing live videos of how you're helping out,” writes Inc. contributor Shane Barker. Time magazine highlights how to use Barker’s advice. When Apple made a big product announcement, the media publisher streamed the live event on its own YouTube channel. Bringing attention to industry news also can score you a larger audience.
    Whether it’s your product or industry news, make sure to invite your customers to the event. Their presence can lead to sale now or in the future.  

    4. Perform How-to Presentations

    When it comes to bringing products to life, there’s nothing better than a how-to presentation. It’s your moment of glory to give consumers that aha feeling. Demonstrating your product or service is an effective approach for prospective and current customers. When you turn on the camera, your main objective is to show them your product’s value. Before you get started, decide on what you want to demonstrate. You don’t want to risk fumbling over your own product with a live audience. You also don’t want to spend an hour or two explaining something; you’ll lose the attention of the audience quickly. Next, select who will be your on-air talent. You want a team member who can talk naturally about the product and won’t freeze up if he makes a mistake. You want someone who can handle the technical difficulties. How-to presentations don’t have to convey a serious tone. Have fun with your audience. Check out this example from Dunkin' Donuts. It’s a light-hearted live video to celebrate their super fans on Valentine’s Day. dunkin donuts facebook live video Killer presentations are all about organizing your ideas before the camera turns on. Do the hard work up front, so you can have fun with your customers on live social video.  

    5. Support Your Cause

    Sometimes, live social video isn’t all about you. If you want to generate brand awareness, your small business must spotlight other causes. Today’s consumer is searching for ways to connect with brands. Supporting your favorite charitable causes is one route to displaying your brand’s values. Maybe you donate a percentage of your sales to a local nonprofit. Or your team volunteers at a specific soup kitchen every year. Those defining moments give consumers an inside look at your small business. With live video, you can capture the selflessness of your team. Michael Quoc, founder and CEO of Dealspotr, offers his perspective: “Live streaming makes your brand feel real. It’s an opportunity for you to be less polished and more authentic. You can show the human side of your team versus the scripted, commercial side.” ASPCA hosts live adoption videos for rescued animals. It’s heartwarming and sincere. Audiences have no choice but to like and share the video. These videos would be perfect for a small business to show their support. social live video example support a charity There’s a wide-range of nonprofit organizations looking for help. Lend support to a cause that matters to your team.  

    Lights, Camera, Action

    Live social video is making a splash in every industry. Consumers want to see your brand’s personality and the people behind it. Engage your audience by interviewing thought leaders with bold ideas. Announce upcoming product ideas to gauge consumer interest. And of course, give your favorite nonprofit cause some support. It’s time for your close up. Start creating your own live social videos.
  • Discover The Best Type of Web Hosting for Your Online Store

    Thursday, April 12, 2018 by
    whats the best type of hosting for online stores

    What's The Best Type of Web Hosting for Online Stores?

    Choosing the right kind of hosting for your online store isn’t a decision you’ll want to rush into. In order to run a successful online store, you need to offer a streamlined and intuitive customer experience. By choosing the wrong kind of host you could end up slowing down your site’s performance to the point where people end up leaving your site. Your job as a store owner is to make it as easy as possible for people to buy from you. Your choice of host will influence your site’s loading speeds, performance, and uptime - all of which contribute to a solid customer experience. Below we look into how you can find the best type of web hosting for your new online store.  

    5 Online Store Hosting Factors to Consider

    When choosing a host for your online store there are a lot of factors you’ll want to consider. Below we look at some of the main features you’ll want to look for in a potential host.  

    1. High Performance and Traffic

    As your e-commerce site grows, you’ll need a host that can keep up. Chances are you’ll probably outgrow a shared host rather quickly. Look for a host that can support your existing traffic and resource needs, without experiencing a dip in performance. Depending on the size of your store and how much traffic you receive you might have to opt for a VPS, dedicated, cloud, or managed server from the start.  

    2. Solid Uptime

    When your store is offline it won’t be earning you any money. Even worse, is if your store experiences high uptime, then you’ll end up creating a poor customer experience. Some hosts will offer uptime guarantees, which give you some form of money back for the time your site was offline. But, this amount will probably pale to what your site would be earning if it wasn’t offline at all. So, instead of looking for cash-back uptime guarantees, make sure you find a host that has the highest uptime possible and can demonstrate a track record of those figures. Learn more about HostGator's 99.9% uptime guarantee!  

    3. SSL Support and Security Features

    Keeping your customer’s data secure should be at the top of your list in terms of priorities. Your customer’s data and sensitive information, like credit card details, should be encrypted every step of the way. The most effective way to do this is to install an SSL certificate on your site. Depending on your host you may have a bundled SSL certificate with your hosting plan. But, at the very least the use of SSL certificates need to be supported by your host. Other nice features to have are additional layers of security via tools like SiteLock, along with regular server monitoring. HostGator SSL Certificate

    4. An Awesome Support Team

    When you’re experiencing issues with your server you’ll want to get these resolved as soon as possible. After all, any dip in performance or uptime will lead to a poor user experience and potentially lost revenue. Having a support team might not seem like a big deal until you’re experiencing a server issue right in the middle of a big sale. Support is something you’ll want, even though you hopefully won’t need their assistance very often. Read rave reviews from HostGator customers!  

    5. Regular Automated Backups

    Can you imagine waking up one morning only to see all of your site’s product listings gone? You’d hate to think that issues like this occur, but they do. The last thing you want is to not be prepared if data loss or hacking occurs. The best plan of protection is having regular, automated site backups. Depending on your host you may have regular backups as part of your hosting plan. However, it’s also a good idea to create your own backups as well, via a plugin or other software.  

    Finding the Best Hosting Option for Your Store

    Now that you have a better idea of what features to look for in a host for your online store, it’s time to examine a few different hosting types, so you can find the best fit.  

    Shared Hosting

    Most people come to shared hosting due to its price and easy setup for beginners. The downside, however, is that you’re sharing those server resources with hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of other sites. A shared host can work if you don’t receive much traffic, but as your e-commerce site starts to grow you may run into performance, uptime, and security issues. If you plan to scale your site, then you’ll probably need to upgrade to a cloud or dedicated host.  

    Cloud Hosting

    Cloud hosting is similar to a VPS, but instead of having a single server environment it draws from multiple servers, which creates a huge network of resources you can draw upon. The nature of cloud hosting makes it incredibly easy to scale with your site. With cloud hosting, you’ll get very high levels of performance, security, and you won’t have to worry about your site going offline due to a traffic surge. Cloud hosting also offers you a flexible pricing structure, where you only pay for the resources you use.  

    Dedicated Hosting

    Using a dedicated server means that you won’t be sharing server resources with anyone. You have the entire server at your disposal. This means that your site won’t experience any issues with loading speeds, performance, or uptime, due to other sites on the server. Dedicated hosting will be more expensive. However, it will offer your online store incredible performance, along with very high levels of security. For most dedicated servers you’ll also need some technical skills in order to manage your server effectively.  

    Conclusion

    If you’re serious about your eCommerce site, then you’ll probably want to start with a cloud or dedicated host from the beginning, if your budget allows. However, you can also start on a shared host and upgrade plans if you choose a host that offers multiple styles of hosting. Finally, you’ll want to be sure that your host actually supports the e-commerce platform you’d like to use. For example, some hosts offer WordPress tailored hosting or WooCommerce tailored hosting where the server environment is optimized for that platform. While others simply have multiple types of eCommerce software you can install like Magento, BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and OpenCart. Hopefully, you have a better understanding of the features you should look for in an e-commerce host, as well as some of the hosting options you can explore. Get started with HostGator now! Buy HostGator Web Hosting
  • Does Blogging Help SEO? Yes, Here Are 6 Reasons Why

    Thursday, April 12, 2018 by
    Does blogging help SEO

    Does Blogging Help SEO?

    For just about any question or need you have, you know Google is there. For many people, the wildly popular search engine is their first stop when trying to look for just about anything. That means that no matter what type of website you have, if you want people to find it, you need it to show up in the search engine. And that’s hard. One of the best things you can do to improve your chances of ranking high in the search engines is to start a blog. Creating a blog

    Does Blogging Really Help SEO?

    Yes, it does. That’s the simple answer. But having a blog isn’t in and of itself a ranking factor. Blogging is good for SEO because it helps with a number of things that are important ranking factors. When you have a blog that’s updated regularly with blog posts that are high quality and on topics relevant to your audience, it can make a huge difference to how your overall website performs in the search engines. There are six main reasons why.  

    1. Blogging keeps your website fresh and current.

    If you ever happen upon a website that you realize hasn’t been updated in years, you probably immediately lose some trust in the information you’re seeing. The company it represents could have gone out of business completely or the website could be providing information that’s been completely debunked or changed since that last update. Google doesn’t want to deliver its searchers outdated information. Websites that are regularly updated signal to them that the website is alive and offering fresh content. It also gives the search engine algorithms more reason to index your website more often, keeping it more on their radar over time. You’re probably not going to have reason to update your homepage frequently (and it wouldn’t necessarily be a good business move to do so), so a blog is a more practical tool for adding new content to your website on a regular basis.  

    2. A blog keeps people on your website for longer.

    Google’s number one priority is providing the people performing searches with the information they’re looking for, so they’ll keep coming back to use Google again. If someone who does a search clicks on the first link, then finds it unhelpful and immediately leaves to go back to the search page – that tells Google that the first result wasn’t as helpful as they thought. On the other hand, when someone clicks on a result and stays on the website for a while, that signals to Google that this website is actually very helpful. While Google hasn’t said outright that dwell time, or the time that people spend on your website once they land on it, is definitely a ranking factor, they’ve made other statements that make it clear it’s something they pay attention to and impart value to. Someone who comes to your website from a blog post that shows up in the search results is going to have more reason to stick around for a while and read the whole thing than someone who lands on a page with less text or information. And that becomes even more the case with longer, more comprehensive posts. SEO researchers have found that longform blog posts tend to perform better than shorter ones – the average first-page result on Google is nearly 2,000 words long. longer blog posts better for seo

    3. Blogging helps you target long-tail keywords.

    A lot of people start out doing SEO wanting to aim for the most relevant keywords for your business. For example, if you sell camping gear, you want to show up on page one for the term “camping gear.” While that’s a nice goal, unless you’re the biggest camping gear brand in the country, you’re probably going to have a hard time landing a top spot for that search. SEO is really competitive. The best bet for most brands is to look for longer, more specific keywords people are searching for that are relevant to the business and try to rank for those. These are called long-tail keywords and they’re extremely important for any SEO strategy – half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer. But they can be awkward to try to fit into your product pages. However, they’re the perfect kind of terms to target in a blog post. A store that sells camping gear can use their blog posts to provide information on terms like “best camping gear for cold weather” or “what do you need when you go car camping?” These searches don’t attract as much traffic as “camping gear” does, but they come from people clearly in your target audience of campers and, if you can make it onto page one, you’ll get way more traffic from these topics than you would on page five or ten for broader more popular terms.  

    4. A blog gives you opportunities for internal linking.

    So much of SEO is about links and internal links are the easiest ones for you to get since you can create them for yourself. Failing to include internal links on your website that point users from one page on the site to another is one of the simplest SEO mistakes you can make. While you can probably find some good internal linking possibilities on the main pages of your website, once you start publishing blog posts, the opportunities will really blossom. As you add more pages on various but related topics, you add more opportunities to naturally link those pages to each other. Every time you do so, you can strategically use the anchor text to better tell Google what the page you’re linking to is about – strengthening its connection to your target keywords in how the algorithm sees it.  

    5. A quality blog gives others sites more reasons to link back to your site.

    Those internal links matter, but the hardest part of SEO is earning external links. For Google to see your website as trustworthy and authoritative, other sites (and respected ones) have to link back to yours. It’s not impossible to get external links without a blog, but it’s much, much harder. When you write a blog you fill your website with page after page of valuable information. Any time another website decides it’s valuable to their readers to point them to useful information on a different site, there’s a far higher likelihood that your website will provide that information that’s worth linking to if you’ve got a bunch of great blog posts. Research bears this out. HubSpot has found that companies that have a blog on their website earn up to 97% more inbound links. It just makes sense that more websites will link to that really helpful post you wrote about how to find the best Mother’s Day gift for a picky mom than to your homepage.  

    6. A blog helps you connect with your audience.

    This isn’t a direct linking factor like links are, but it is something that significantly contributes to linking factors. When your audience reads a post they love, they’re more likely to share it, drive more traffic to it, come back to your website again to see more of your content and maybe even sign up for your email list. When you get lots of traffic and repeat visitors, that shows Google that people like your website and raises your authority level in their algorithm. And while that’s pretty great from an SEO perspective, it’s ultimately more important to the success of your website than where you are in the rankings. People in your target audience visiting your website, connecting with it, and becoming regular followers is more valuable than any #1 spot on Google (that’s the whole reason you want the spot in Google to begin with). A blog is a good way to make those connections and start a continued relationship with the people you want to reach.