Blogging is an important part of many businesses. But in the world of managed IT services, important news and information flows in at such a rapid pace that a well-thought-out blog is an absolute must-have. When it comes to MSPs, we're working with the best of the best. So, we decided to show some love to the blogs that we think are going above and beyond when it comes to sharing important, helpful, and relevant content. Are you on the list?!?
Maintaining and constantly feeding a well organized and thoughtful blog is a sure-fire way to generate organic traffic to your website and increase lead conversion. One of the most important features of a blog is that it is designed to help the reader. When creating a blog you should think to yourself, "What kind of content would my clients and potential clients like to hear about?" With that in mind, we selected specific examples from each of our five super-blogs that illustrate some of the best blogging practices.
Facebook is something that almost everyone is involved with. By blogging about the security issues associated with the social network, a topic of concern for many, NSI is increasing their chance of traffic to their website. Additionally, the "102 Great Hill Blog" does a solid job of utilizing images and media within their posts. Rather than just discussing the TED Talk or linking to it, the blog embeds the video so you can watch it within the post. This both breaks up content and prevents readers from leaving the page, increasing the likelihood that they'll click the CTA at the end.
PCSI Solutions at Work
Having a recurring blog is a good way to get readers to re-visit your website on a weekly or monthly basis. PCSI Solutions at work uses their "Tip of the Week" to answer commonly asked questions on a regular schedule. Recurring blogs also build credibility, as your readers are reassured that you are updating your website regularly. Notice how PCSI also shows readers steps, rather than simply tell them. Uploading screenshots is often the best way to do this. The images walk readers through a process clearly and succinctly, and that's why this tactic is a blogging best practice, especially for "How-to" articles like this one. Would you really want to read through a wall of text?
Making your blog easy to follow for your readers is key. MySherpa's blog does a great job of breaking down blogs into sections. Not only does this make the blog easier to follow, but it also allows the reader to skim the content to find the specific information that they're looking for. Notice how MySherpa segments the content. Readers are able to scroll by commonly asked questions, questions they're likely to seek the answers to. Here's something to remember: If they're looking for it, they're searching for it. These same questions are likely to be "Googled," so by wording the headers around high search volume keywords, MySherpa is optimizing search engine results and increasing their blog's visibility. Indeed, wrapping your blog in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices is a tactic to adopt! Finally, the MySherpa blog offers a section for feedback. This is a good way to get input from your readers and adjust your blog to fit their needs!
You should always take advantage of a Call to Action (CTA) by using one within your blog. This is the best way to convert blog visits into leads. CTAs are clickable buttons that link readers to pages, on which they fill out their contact information. Think of CTAs as a vehicle for moving leads down the sales funnel. They prompt readers to extend time on your website by offering additional content at each stage. CTAs can have multiple destinations and best use depends on where your audience is in the buyer's journey. Often, however, CTAs suggest visiting another page, downloading a piece of content, or, as you see expertly executed in SWKTech's blog, reaching out for more information!
Possibly more important than anything, you need to contribute to your blog on a consistent basis. This can seem like a tall task at first, but there are ways to make it happen. Neoscope Technology Solutions publishes at least one blog every day of the work week. This is a great schedule to follow. If you don't have the time to contribute to a post per day, reach out to some of your peers or clients. Many bloggers would jump at the opportunity to have their content hosted in multiple places. Your readers will also appreciate multiple viewpoints. Who wants to read the same thing day-after-day?
Get on the list!
If you don't have a blog, or if your blog could use some work to optimize conversion, it's not too late! Build yourself a schedule and make sure to take our best practices into consideration. Before you know it, you'll see increased traffic to not only your blog, but your website as well!
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By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock