The Indianapolis Star “Careers” section posed an interesting question for job seekers: “Would you hire you?” Writer Michael Goss advised that seeing ourselves as others see us is a good way to prepare for interviews. Goss added a caution: Making a good impression with an interviewer might be the least of your worries if no one grants you an interview in the first place! The real question, he admits, is “How can I get someone to look at me?”
When I thought about it, I realized that’s precisely the challenge I help my business owner clients face in the world of online marketing. While there are different sorts of blogs for different purposes (see Cat Blogs And Boss Blogs Are Fine, But Viral Blogs Mean Business), the overriding purpose of the business blogs I help my clients write is to attract consumer traffic to that business’ website.
Businessowners who are not yet on board with blogging have heard all the buzz about blogs, but may be wondering whether they need a new marketing initiative. And that’s exactly when I pop the question “Would you find you?” I challenge business owners to imagine someone seated at a home computer, or perhaps navigating the Web on a laptop at the corner WiFi coffee shop, searching for information about the kinds of information, the kinds of products or services their business has to offer. Except, I add, you have to remember – that customer has never heard of your business name!
“Go ahead”, I say, “assuming you don’t know the name of your business, type into Google (or Yahoo, or MSN) what you as a customer need. Does your website come up? On what page of the search engine?” (Are you a mortgage broker? Search under “mortgage rates in Indianapolis” or “qualifying for a mortgage in Morgan County” .) (Are you a home health care provider? Type in “home healthcare for mom in Indiana” or “nurses at home for parents”.) Try many different combinations – how easily would you find you?
Posting content on the Web is the best form of marketing there is, says David Scott in his book “Cashing In With Content”. With blogging, Scott explains, content is not forced on people – they access it because they want to. Search engines organize the content, and direct people to it.
A business blog targets organic search. Simply put, that means people who don’t know your name. They don’t know that you have exactly the information, the products, and the services they’re looking for, and they won’t know that until they’re “introduced” to you by the search engine through your blog. So, if you were in those customers’ seats right now, the question is, Would You Find You??