Why Start a Home Furnishings Blog Anyway?
In 2004, “Blog” was deemed Merriam Webster’s Word of the Year. Since then, the popularity of blogging remains apparent, both for individuals and companies. Why start and maintain a blog for your retail store?
#1 Improve your SEO
Fresh content is still a key to beating out your competitors in the search engine results page, and engaging with target audiences. By consistently blogging, you’ll move up in rank on search result pages, which will drive more relevant traffic to your website.
#2 Validate Expertise
Want to be known as an expert in your field? Blogging can get you there. Blogging about topics you are particularly knowledgeable in can illustrate to readers, employers, and your network, that you know what you’re talking about. This builds trust in your brand and products.
#3 Build Relationships & Engagement
The data doesn’t lie; blogging can convert traffic into customers. Often, blogging can “warm up” your cold leads and get them interested in your business and products over time. In fact, customers are more receptive if they’ve read your blog and gotten some value from it.
Now that we’re on the same (web)page on how a blog can be a major win, here’s how to get started:
Your home furnishings blog should cover topics your target customers are interested in that also relate to your business. Whenever you create content, your primary focus should be on what matters to your audience. If you’re a Rug Store, write blog posts that cover interesting topics that rug shoppers want to learn more about. For example, a blog post on “Tips for Buying a Rug” or a “How-To Guide for Decorating with Rugs” would both be very relevant topics for the shoppers you want to engage with. Start by coming up with a list of blog subjects that you think potential customers would be interested in. Many successful blogs provide helpful content that simultaneously showcases a product or service.
Here are some popular Home Furnishings retailer blogs to get your brainstorming started:
Step 2: SEO optimization
To improve your website’s SEO, each of your blog posts should be optimized for a search term you want to target. These should be those keywords customers may use to find your content. Consider the user’s search the question, and your blog post the answer. If you’re selling rugs, a rug shopper might type in “how to buy an oriental rug” or “ways to determine rug quality.” If you have a blog post optimized for these keywords, then you have a chance to show up in search results for this inquiry. And if you show up well in online results, you have the chance to gain a customer.
How to come up with a list of keywords to target? Do some research. Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that lets you research keywords to gauge how many searches they get per month. You want to optimize your blog for keywords that actually have demand—as in, you don’t want to waste time optimizing for a keyword that NO ONE searches for because that doesn’t have potential to bring in traffic. Another helpful tool is Spyfu. With Spyfu, you can enter in your competitor’s websites and see which search terms they rank for organically, and then decide which of those you should also be targeting with your content.
Once you have an idea of which keywords you should be targeting to reach the most relevant customers for your business, you’ll need to do some actual SEO optimization. Primarily, you’ll want the keyword in the blog post’s URL, woven throughout the text, in the page title, and in image alt tags. To learn more about this, you can check out this very helpful SEO checklist from Hubspot.
Step 3: Set up a schedule
Be realistic; how much time or how many resources do you have to commit to blogging? If you’re a small retailer without a full-time marketer on staff, you may not be able to do more than 1-2 blog posts every couple of months. Ideally, you will push out as much fresh (and high quality) content as possible on your website, because this bodes well for how Google ranks you in search results. Regardless, set up a blogging schedule and stick to it, even if it’s not as often as you’d prefer. If you need assistance with writing blogs and creating SEO-optimized content, there are a lot of great freelancers who can assist, especially on websites like Upwork.
Step 4: Share your posts
You’ve created an amazing blog post you know your audience will love… Now all you have to do is sit around and wait for the traffic to roll in, right? Well, not so fast. You need to share your blog post for people to see it, especially if you’re just getting started with your blog. Once you build up your organic ranking and start getting a steady flow of consistent blog readers, then that’s one thing. But for every post you create, consider sharing it via Email and all of your social channels. If you do not have a strong following on social media, consider paying to boost the post to a relevant audience to get the ball rolling on engagement. The more people who view, share, and link to your blog post, the better it is for your SEO (and for traffic + potential sales).
Now for the last step, which comes a little later down the road: tracking and analytics. If you have Google Analytics, you can easily collect data. This includes how many people visit your blog, how long they stay, and where they go from there. You can even track how many people come to your site via your blog and then make a purchase. You’ll also want to keep track of how you’ve moving up in search results. Spyfu, and various other SEO tools can help with this too. Each month, Spyfu will pull an organic SEO report. This shows you which keywords you’re ranking for, and how you’ve progressed from the previous month.
There you have it, a game plan for how to get started with your Home Furnishings blog. Just keep in mind– SEO is a long-term strategy. It takes time to build your presence in search results. With consistency, you can turn a Home Furnishings blog into a new marketing channel.