Scott Gingrich owns Piggybank Technology, a web design and marketing firm devoted to delighting their customers with marketing websites that deliver measureable results. Scott and his wife and co-owner Jennifer have been marketing their own businesses on the Internet since the early 90’s and now bring those years of experience to every web marketing project they do.
Scott says, "Before we created websites for other people, we were running our own web-based businesses to put food on the family table and we learned very quickly that our web marketing better work!"
Linda: Welcome, Scott! So what are some of the benefits of having a blog as your website?
Scott: With content management systems such as Joomla and WordPress, your site can be more than just a blog. By adding the extra elements that these systems offer, your "blogsite" (combination of blog and website) truly is the only website you'll ever need.
My clients are mostly local businesses and their main reason to have a website is to generate qualified leads. To accomplish that objective, the website must serve two key functions:
- Attract qualified visitors (i.e., people who live in their area and are looking for information relevant to the company’s offerings)
- Convert those visitors into leads (prospective clients or customers)
Well-written blog content can certainly attract the qualified visitors. But when it comes to converting those visitors into leads, we'll need to bring in those additional elements I mentioned earlier – additional pages with:
- Overview of services
- Portfolio of project samples
- Testimonials from happy clients or customers
- Biographical information about the business owner
- Background information about the business
- Sales/order page with shopping card/payment buttons
Let’s look more closely at two scenarios:
- Visitor hears of a business and goes to their website. Perhaps they were referred there by a friend or found the website address on a business card. This potential customer is going to the website to "check out" that business. Looking at website statistics, we know that these visitors will often first check out pages such as Portfolio, Services and Testimonials before going to the blog.
- Visitor finds a blog post article through a Google Search. If this visitor is to wind up as a lead for the local business, we know that the visitor must take an action (e.g., read more about services, sign up for a mailing list, contact the business owner directly) before leaving to browse the next site that came up in the Google Search.
In both scenarios, the blog article attracts visitors and builds trust and credibility. However, without pages like Services, About Us, etc. there is a much smaller chance of conversion. You need both.
Linda: What options does Piggybank Technology have for someone who wants to launch their web presence with a blog?
Scott: We work with both Joomla and WordPress. Whether starting out with a simple blogsite or launching a more sophisticated site that also incorporates blogging, we have packages that suit.
We also build in best practices from the start, which can have a huge impact on a site’s results. Important things like:
- Enhanced security protocol
- Coded to be search engine-friendly
- Built-in social sharing and RSS feeds
- Marketing intelligence based on your goals (for example, if you want people to call you, we'll make sure your phone number is prominently displayed on every page)
- Choosing stable, secure extensions (third-party applications and plugins) that have a good track record for upgrades and support
Business owners can call us and we’ll have a conversation about your objectives, so we can put together the best plan for your budget and goals.
Linda: Thanks, Scott! Stay tuned for Part Two of this interview series, Read This Before You Set Up Your Blog. In the meantime, here is another blog post with some simple writing tips for your blogsite pages.