So you've made the decision to start a business blog . Good for you! A blog is a powerful tool to help your business get found online, increase organic traffic, and generate leads and customers.
But before you dive head-first into business blogging , it's important to take precaution when evaluating blogging software options. While there are a number of different blogging tools available, many of them are meant for personal blogging, and because a business blog requires additional functionality, it's critical to be critical in your evaluation.
11 Key Blog Software Features for Businesses
To help make your blogging software decision easier, we've highlighted 11 essential features that a business blogging software tool should offer in terms of blogging functionality, analytics functionality, and support/expertise.
1. Uses Your Business' Own URL: For maximum search engine optimization (SEO) benefit, it's important that your blog's URL is owned by you (e.g. http://blog.hubspot.com) and is not a subdomain of someone else’s URL (e.g. http://blog.blogplatform.com).
2. Enables Subscriptions Via RSS
blogging platform shouldn't limit subscriptions to RSS. Email is
an important option and the preferred method of receiving new
content for many readers. Your blogging tool should also have the capability to automatically send new blog posts to subscribers via email if they've chosen to opt in that way.
4. Makes Publishing Easy: Your blogging software's content management system (CMS) should make creating, collaborating on, editing, and publishing your articles simple and easy.
5. Reports Email & RSS Subscriber Growth Over Time: You should be able to track how your subscriber base has grown over time, as well as reference stats for specific points in time. It's also helpful to be able to segment subscriber growth by email versus RSS, as HubSpot's Blog Analytics tool offers.
6. Tracks Article Performance: Being able to monitor different metrics (e.g. number of inbound links, comments, and views) for individual articles will help you glean insights from and discover trends in your blog posts. Over time, you can use this data to help you make decisions about which types of articles perform better than others. Blogging tool, Typepad , for example, offers insight into day-to-day blog performance and can also integrate with Google Analytics.
7. Measures Visitors and Leads: Blogging software that is integrated with your main website can provide powerful insight into how your blog is contributing to your company's overall success. An integrated tool like HubSpot, whose Sources Tool analyzes the traffic, leads, and customers your blog provides, can be invaluable.
8. Offers SEO Help Based on Keywords: A helpful blogging platform that is integrated with your main website will help you track how your targeted keywords rank in search engines as well as offer SEO suggestions for your blog articles based on your preferred keywords.
9. Tracks Your Competition as Compared to You: Software that offers tools to analyze how your blog is performing compared to your competitors ' can provide valuable benchmarking data and help you compare strengths and weaknesses.
Support and Expertise
10. Offers Technical Support: While technical support may not be a deal breaker for someone launching a personal blog, it should definitely be a consideration in the launch of a business blog, when professionalism is at stake. Your blogging software should offer the availability of support technicians who can answer technical/support questions in a timely manner. Movable Type , for example, offers support for businesses.
11. Offers Marketing Expertise: Just like you wouldn't hire an interior decorator whose own house is poorly decorated, you probably shouldn't purchase from a blogging software provider that knows nothing about business blogging. Look for signs from your prospective blogging platform that it offers articles, how-to videos, services, etc. on how to succeed with your blog.
While HubSpot's Blogging Software offers all of the features mentioned above, it's important to remember that any blogging software you end up choosing should be evaluated for these features and functionality so your blog can be as successful as possible. Happy decision-making!Photo by Andy Spearing