SEO Tip: Blogging for your small business

So you’ve probably heard that your company needs to be blogging. But it’s hard. and why?? and you probably need to get back to work by now.

But you REALLY need to have a blog on your website, so let’s talk about why, what, when, how, and all the details. I’m skipping “who” because the answer is everyone! Everyone should be blogging!

Why? Blogging helps your SEO strategy

You’ll hear that blogging helps your client know you better and builds an authentic brand. While that is true, you need to blog for the SEO benefits.

  • Frequent Updates: Google searches for websites that are updated frequently (as in within the past month). You might not be updating the information on your home or services pages, so you need a blog to tell google your business is alive and well.
  • Content Building: The google algorithm tries to provide searchers with informative websites, which is why it overlooks sites with very little content. A blog can build up the overall content on your site (but you’ll need over 500 words to actually make a difference).
  • Keyword Searches: Blog posts also provide an opportunity to utilize all those keywords everyone’s searching. If you want local business, you should probably write posts related to the local market – maybe they’re not exactly about your industry, but now you’ll be pulled into searches about your town. More on that in the what section.
  • Spread the Word: If you’re a contractor and write a post on the questions to ask before starting a renovation, I can *almost guarantee you that homeowners will read, tweet, and share that post. Now people will consider you an expert (hopefully you are) and want to work with you, aaaand you’ll have more educated customers. Bonus: If that blog content is useful, other blogs and businesses will link to it (called backlinking) which tells google your site is a credible source and boosts SEO ranking.

What should I write about??

This goes back to KEYWORDS. Google Analytics and Adwords provides ways to find keywords and tell you to rank for things no one else is ranking for, etc etc… that’s for another day. If you’re just getting started, think of what you google when searching for a business. For restaurants maybe, “lunch in [your town],” for contractors “best builder in [town]”… start using those words in your writing.

Because google avoids “spammy content” you don’t want to overuse the keywords. If you write like you speak (I’m assuming you don’t say the same words over and over), then you should be good to go.

Industry Topics: You want your customer to view you as the expert in your field. Also, they don’t want to be SOLD TO constantly, so it’s good to mix up your website with some purely educational content.  They’ll begin to think of you and your website as a resource, and guess what – they’ll hire you when they can’t do it themselves.

  • 5 things you didn’t know about [your industry]
  • When to DIY vs When to Hire
  • 10 questions to ask during an estimate
  • 10 things to think about before hiring a [whatever you are]
  • Recap an industry trade show you attended and what you learned

Local Content Topics: For local businesses, it’s very important to rank for your town/ county/ region. Sometimes, this means blogging about topics that may not relate to your business, but provide information about the town. You don’t have to write a bunch of these, but a few might be fun. Non-industry posts also give your customers a reason to visit your website when they don’t need your services, keeping you on their mind.

  • Fun summer activities in [your town]
  • Buying a home in [your town]
  • Plan a day trip to [your town]
  • Best Holiday activities in/ near [your town]
  • Recap a fun local event you and your employees participated in (local 5ks – oh you’re not doing those? you should be, and you should all have tshirts)

When/ how often should I blog?

The minimum is once a month, and that needs to be a long post. I like to post weekly: I have time to write a good article, my readers haven’t forgotten about me yet, and the posts don’t need to be quite so long. Weekly posts should be at least 500 words, and a monthly post should be around 2,000. It’s totally up to you and what your work load can manage. Based on what I’ve read and results I’ve seen, I made up a system of at least 2,000 words per month.

You can’t really post a 200-word post once a year… that won’t help your ranking, and to be honest, you’re not really trying….

How do I get started?

Let’s check out these steps to begin…

  1. Brainstorm: What topics are you an expert in? What can you educate your clients on? Why do you love your industry? Why do you love your town? What are a few industry-related tips everyone needs to know? Ok, you should have a few things to start with
  2. Create an Editorial Calendar: Take that list of post ideas and put them on a calendar. If your industry is seasonal (boating, landscaping) you might want to consider a “ramp up” to the season where you remind people that you exist and they need you. And maybe post less frequently in your off-season… this means you could write all the posts in off-season and schedule them to go live while you’re too busy to think about them 🙂
  3. Start Writing! Think of those keywords and start incorporating them into your posts!
  4. Don’t forget photos! Remember how alt tags help your SEO? Well, you’ll need a photo to help with that too…. So you might want to grab a free stock photo or a photo from a past job.
  5. Schedule ahead: When I’m in the writing zone, I don’t want to take a break and lose the momentum, so just write write write everything you can, and then post it to appear when you need it. It’s really hard to sit down each week and think, “what am I doing here again??”

Helpful Apps:

  • Google Docs: Great for blogging on the go. You can access the documents from any device.
  • Yoast SEO: I think I’ve mentioned this before, but you simply tell Yoast the keyword, and it will tell you how you’re doing and what you need to fix! Such a great tool! Just keep writing until you get the green light! It will also tell you when you’re getting spammy.
  • Trello: I store all my ideas in Trello, and then move them around in columns to see which ones I’m researching, outlining, taking photos, editing, etc. Here’s a great example of a content calendar board.

I hope this article helped you and can get started building your business blog! Of course, if blogging overwhelms you, I can help with building an editorial calendar, coming up with topic ideas, and actually doing the blogging!

why your small local business needs a blog!

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