There is no better way to create an experience where consumers get close to the companies and people they are dealing with, learn from others, read reviews, and buy on recommendation than using a blog.
If you are launching a blog or already have a blog but you don’t really know what to do with it, here are some top marketing tools for driving visitors to our blog and turn them into customers.
Google Analytics is an excellent free tool by Google that allows you to track the number of visits your blog gets and tells you how your readers have found you. Watching your visitors and understanding where they come from and how they have found you allows you to use that information to tailor your blog to your visitors needs. For example, if you are a cake maker for example, and most of your blog visitors are reading about birthdays, you can tailor your content to birthdays to give them more of what they are looking for and deepen your relationship with them.
A good way of increasing visitors to your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. Your comments are viewed by all of their readers who may get curious and follow the link you leave on your comment that directs them to your blog!
Google Blog Search is a great way to find blogs that are relevant to what you do. Rather than search through pages and pages of search results, doing a simple search and clicking on the blog field will result in thousands of blogs for you to comment on, which can kick up traffic to your blog.
Widgets are simple bits of code that are ready-made to be added to your blog, and they can be customized to carry whatever form of information you want and this is particularly true of WordPress- and Blogger-hosted blogs. Whether you want to add an SEO field, an RSS newsfeed, Facebook, a subscriber’s feature or your twitter stream to your blog, the widget section is a quick and easy way to do this.
Here are few of my favorite widgets used for marketing:
- Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin - The SEO plugin from Yoast is one of the most comprehensive SEO plugins that exist for WordPress users. It is free, easy to use and has loads of fantastic features including custom title tags and meta descriptions. It also comes with a great “focus keyword” tool that rates how well you have targeted your focus keyword and offers ideas for improvement.
- Sharebar - Sharebar is one of the best social sharing plugins around. This adds share buttons for all the major social networks to your blog, including Facebook and Twitter. The bar is fully customizable and can be placed both to the left of your posts and underneath them. Social sharing is one of the major drivers to increasing a blogs popularity so be sure to install this plugin ASAP.
- MailPress - MailPress is a very well developed newsletter plugin for use with WordPress. It has multiple features including html and plain text mails with dedicated themes and double opt-in subscription. Email marketing is a fantastic way to stay engaged with your readers, as well as attract new one.
- MediaRSS - MediaRSS makes it possible to show images and a brief from your blog posts, in your subscribers RSS feed. Needless to say this makes your RSS feed stand out over your competitors, bringing more attention and more readers to your site.
- Shrimptest Plugin - Don’t be put off by the name because this is a great plugin. It is an easy-to-use plugin that allows you to A/B test your site. It will help you make informed decisions about elements such as the layout, design and even the content. This plugin is essential for conversion optimization and increasing user interaction with your blog.
Twitter is a fantastic tool for gaining new readers. Users are six times more likely than any other user to be recommending, writing, and sharing information from the Internet, making Twitter a great tool for driving visitors to your blog.
Finding readers who are relevant to the subject you are blogging about requires a simple hashtag search. Also, users can retweet any of your tweets by including “Please RT” at the end of your tweets. Doing this gets your blog free advertising to all the followers of the user who retweeted your message.
Yahoo Pipes is a bit fiddly to begin with. However, once you have understood how it works, you can capture any kind of information from the web that you want, customize the information, and then stream that information live on your Twitter by converting your information into a customized RSS feed. That RSS feed can then be added to your Twitter through Twitterfeed that allows you to hashtag any words that you want your blog to be optimized for.