Last night I got a signed copy of Corporate Blogging for Dummies by Doug Karr and Chantelle Flannery. Doug and Chantelle were the featured speakers at the event I attended and although I don’t consider myself a “dummy”, I was eager to hear what they had to say and learn some new tips I can use to help clients. Note: I haven’t had time to read the book yet (since I just got it 12 hours ago!), but a few highlights from last nights talk that stood out:

Blogging helps to remove potential buyer’s fear.

Money back guarantee, free delivery, secure server connection… all of these help a buyer feel secure if they are making a purchase online. However, even for service providers who don’t sell directly online a blog can accomplish the same thing.

Here’s an example for a client I am currently coaching, Center for Christian Life Enrichment. They are a group of therapists in Northbrook, one of Chicago’s North Shore neighborhoods. What fear needs to be removed for their potential clients?

  • fear of confronting whatever issue they may need to face
  • fear that they will pick a therapist that doesn’t resonate with them or will not understand them
  • fear that the therapist is inexperienced, etc.

A blog is a perfect way for a particular therapist to express themselves and give (anonymous) examples of how they have helped other clients tackle life challenges similar to the reader’s. The potential client can get a sense for the therapist’s tone, sense of humor, ethics, interests, family life, etc. all of which may allow the client to build a sense of trust with the therapist, even before the first session begins. I’m willing to bet that relationships formed with a higher degree of understanding at the beginning are likely to go more smoothly than selecting a therapist from a list of names in a telephone book (does anyone use those anymore?) or just a listing on a web site.

Improve your odds of being found with organic search.

The other basic reason businesses need to be blogging is to improve their search engine optimization (SEO.) Doug Karr stated last night, “Do the math–it just stands to reason that when you use key words more frequently, you’re going to index higher with Google and other search engines. It’s a numbers game.” Organic (or natural, unpaid) search tends to be more trusted by consumers because they know that they earned the positioning because of content and consistency, not because they were the highest bidder in a pay-per-click ad campaign.

In my preliminary coaching session with clients, one of the first items we address is what key words or phrases do you need to “own” on Google in order to drive prospects and buyers to your site? This a critical first step. Otherwise, you’re just putting down random words on paper and hoping for the best. Intentionality and consistency are highly rewarded in the world of corporate blogging.

I’m happy to report that after just four weeks, my client the Center for Christian Life Enrichment is now ranking on the first page of Google (twice) for one of their key phrases: “Christian Counseling Northbrook.” At the beginning of our time together, they weren’t visible at all until page 4 or 5. They were delighted and so was I.

Some skeptics might claim the key phrase is too specific–who else would be competing for that phrase anyway? Doug Karr claims that local search is one of the most overlooked areas that companies miss. Corporate Blogging for Dummies states that local search has continued double digit growth for the last few years.

Chantelle Flannery says, “Using geographic terms in your content can help you appear on long-tail keyword searches that include geographic terms such as states, cities, zip codes, area codes, school districts, street names and so on.” They are some of the easiest terms to obtain ranking for. Even though the number of people searching for the term is generally quite limited, the quality of the lead tends to be very good precisely because the search result is a great fit for their query.

Look for Corporate Blogging and other group training opportunities soon or contact us to arrange private coaching.