What does your blog really say about you?
Wherever you turn on the wonderful world of the web, you will be told/encouraged/advised/bamboozled (*delete as appropriate) into including a blog on your website.
In terms of content generation, creating that all-important authority on the web, this is a great idea. Providing that you regularly create and publish high quality, relevant content with some delicious links to authoritative, relevant websites, you are on to a sure-fire winner (slap thigh, whistle a tune and sit back, basking in the delight of knowing you HAVE done something right…).
You can feel it coming, can’t you? The word that throws everything is to disarray, the word that dashes a thousand dreams and renders your blogs useless (that’s an over exaggeration for dramatic affect)…
Does your blog build trust in your company?
Every blog should be written in a way that shows the customer that you can be trusted as a seller, an online retailer and that what you say is ‘right’.
NB This confirms something we have been talking about for years… and that is the fact that your blogs, for all the content marketing speak out there, MUST BE WRITTEN FOR YOUR CUSTOMER and not a search engine.
To help you out with your blogs, we have created a list of 10 words or phrases you could use to enhance your blogs, and make them a more trusted source. Blogs need to have
- an authoritative tone
- be consistent in the number of times blogs are published (if you haven’t blogged since November 2009, you may be in a spot of bother)
- high quality
- with social signals
- and also have a good reputation.
A bit like the blog here at Locally… (blows own trumpet).
Are they worth it?
It seems the whole world is blogging and this should tell you something. Content experts often talk about how wonderful content needs to be and, as part of this argument, blogs add credibility to you, your website and business.
In fact, don’t just take our word for it. Jeff Bullas, a blogging master conducted a survey around what customers thought about blogs that they came across and how they informed their decision to buy, or not.
To the question “do blogs add credibility to a website?” an astounding 68% of respondents said yes, they did. That’s a BIG proportion of people who use the signals given off by a blog as a positive endorsement of the company, their products and services. It seems if you are not blogging regularly, keeping your online, local business website ‘alive’, then customers may be navigating away.
When Jeff Bullas looked in to this a little deeper, he found that the factors that added this all-important credibility to a blog were quality content, followed by regularly published content. There were other factor too, from a good social media presence to good design. So you see, blogs are important after all…
Good blogging words
If you are writing a blog that is part of your online marketing and selling strategy, then your blogs must have some delightful words sprinkled through them that sub-consciously send signals to your potential consumer…
Here is Locally’ 10 ‘sprinkle them through your blog’ words or phrases:
Ah yes, being fair. We like that. We like to think that by being or playing fair, we have the moral high ground. We love it and your consumers love it. From sayings such as ‘one thing you can say about so-and-so, she is fair’ to ‘fair pricing policy’, by using this word and applying it to your online, local business, you are showing people just how lovely and fair your business is.
- Fair treatment
This is listed as a separate phrase as, according to research, ‘fair treatment’ is very ‘user-centred’. This has an important psychological impact. If people think that you will treat them fairly as consumers, they are more likely to gravitate to your business.
Yup, an online purchase still needs to have the ability to show consumers you care about them and their purchase. And so, weaving this word into a blog can go a long way in showing the human face to your business. All too often, when things go wrong with a purchase, we find that the company we are trying to contact has an outsourced helpline to foreign climes and it is impossible to make any form of meaningful contact. Dispel these fears with a blog that tells people how much you care… anything from their purchase to the environment is perfectly acceptable.
A bit obvious? You would have thought so but apparently being told that they can trust you as an online retailer WILL create the feeling of trust, so use it! Little word, big impact.
A great buzzword but one that works. We all like to think that the product we are buying is the highest quality but this is about creating the feeling of quality with a blog, not just saying the word. For example, is it error-free? Does it say what it needs to, clearly? Is it enjoyable? Does the design of the website also ooze quality…? (If not, call us… everything we do is QUALITY driven).
A longer word but one that spells out just how much your business can be trusted as you know what you are doing and you do it well, all the time.
Now, on one hand you would think that this would set alarm bells ringing but, according to various studies, when a company tells its customers it is changing (for the better) – and why – people like it. It shows that you care and want their custom, as well as their experience of buying from you, to be the best that it possibly can be.
Ah yes, another great word that shows you are committed as a company to do the best for your customers, from always offering the best price to always producing great blogs.
We would always counsel caution when it comes to using negative words and ‘never’ is one of those words BUT, you can turn this word around to give it a positive connotation. Why not try ‘never being beaten on price’ or ‘never compromising on quality’?
People’s information is sensitive. They like to know that their data is kept safe, guarded and private. Sometimes, telling people this is a good way forward.
The next time you blog, think about what it is your blog is ‘saying’ in both an obvious and sub-conscious way. Is it oozing trust? Is it inviting customers to trust you, your business and the content they are reading…?