Without your constant effort to promote your small business blog and the help of search engines pointing to your blog, it is nothing more than a lonely online business diary. Much like the philosophical question, “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there…”, the same goes for your small business blog; if you write a blog and no one is there to read it, did it really happen?
Keeping your blog updated is a crucial step in improving your website SEO. However, what blog promotion steps do you take to help improve your readership?
Here are 3 tested blogging tips to drive more traffic and boost your readership.
Feed Your RSS
RSS is the acronym for Real Simple Syndication. RSS technology was developed around the turn of the century as a means to distribute online publication media. Using RSS your published content can be syndicated, or fed to readership programs, automatically.
RSS is a free syndication tool. For absolutely no money, you can get your new small business blog posts in front of readers instantly. RSS works on many platforms that are able to receive the RSS format, such as email, subscriber applications, or right to a reader’s desktop. Luckily, RSS is the most popular online publication syndication application, so putting RSS on your small business blog is a no-brainer.
While RSS works for you to broadcast your newly published content, it doesn’t make people subscribe to your small business blog. That is still your responsibility. As part of your small business blog strategy, establish how you will encourage readers to subscribe to your RSS feed. Offer the RSS icon on your website and every blog page. Promote RSS subscriptions through your other social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Ping Search Engines After Each Update
While you can get a RSS feed to instantly broadcast and syndicate your new blog updates, it doesn’t notify search engines about your new content. It is easy for people to think that major search engines like Google and Yahoo! are savvy about new website content the moment it happens. The truth is that while search engines of all sizes regularly send out crawlers or “bots” to scan for new website content, it doesn’t happen every day.
To get your new small business blog content available for search engine results quickly, you need to notify them with a “ping”. Pinging search engines is an electronic means of getting their attention that something new is on your website. That way, they will know it is time to log your new content and get it ready to present it as results to web surfers.
If your small business blog is already on a platform like Blogger, WordPress, or TypePad, their system will automatically ping search engines after every post. Otherwise, you will need to ping using third party tools such as:
- Weblogs (weblogs.com)
- Feed Ping (feedping.com)
- King Ping (kingping.com)
- Feed Shark (feedshark.brainbliss.com)
- Pingates (pingates.com)
Using Shortened URLs
If your small business has a Twitter account, you know a 140 character limitation prevents effectual linking to your website blog. But you’ve probably also noticed how other Twitter accounts easily post links to website pages using shortened or “snipped” links.
Snipping your blog update URL is easy using a third party tool like the ones listed below. By doing so, you can take a link that is dozens of characters long and reduce it to about 10 or 12 letters and numbers. That way, you can easily include it in a quick update to Twitter and on any other social media platform.
Here are a few of the popular snipping services:
- Bit.ly – Helps you shorten and track your links for hits and number of clicks.
- TinyURL.com – URLs that you shorten with this service never expire.
- Ow.ly – This is a link shortener offered by Hootsuite.
Note that there is a downfall for using shortened links. By using a third party service, you lose potential branding of your small business blog and website since the links do not contain any mention of your business name. However, the benefits of blog promotion on multiple social media sites far outweighs this disadvantage.