Blogging is a powerful thing. It not only creates valuable digital assets for your business, but it also has a huge impact on search engine optimization (SEO) - the very thing your small business needs to get discovered online.
Small Business Blogging — When A Website Alone Doesn’t Cut ItPlodding along with a website that you update when the mood strikes you will help you keep yourmost loyal of customers and nothing else. That’s not a solid growth strategy to build on, and ifyou’re like most small business owners, you want to develop more traffic, generate leads, becomea thought leader and sell more stuff. Small business blogging is one way to accomplish this in ahurry and improve your business communications.You likely already know what a small business blog is and how it works. What you may not realizeis how much it can boost your site’s traffic and search engine optimization (SEO). It’s no longera “neat trick” to add a blog to your site, it’s rapidly becoming a necessity and something everybusiness owner should be doing if they want to establish themselves as an authority in theirindustry.How A Blog Improves SEOAdding a blog (and posting regularly) immediately improvesthe content on your site, which benefits the humans whovisit by providing fresh material. Again, we all know thatany chance to add good, useful, optimized content to yoursite should be taken. The search engines will love your blogbecause every time you add keyword-optimized content,the search engines get another page, with another set oftitle tags and they start indexing these things.It’s simple. Better, more frequent content keeps yourdevoted visitors and the search engines coming to your site. People and search engines bothwant the same thing, new, hot and fresh content. That’s Web Marketing 101 and small businessblogging makes producing new content easier. Posting weekly, or better yet daily, sends themessage that your site is active and worthwhile. The people out there on the Internet will havemore reasons to visit, and the search engines will notice that you have an active and engaging site.Yes, search engines can detect if you have a site loaded with old information. Blogs generate a newURL for each post, making them a megaphone for the search engines to hear and index.The best SEO benefit a blog can crank out is the backlink — the holy grail of SEO actions. When youdeliver engaging, relevant content, your visitors do cool things like make comments at the bottomof your posts and put your link on their own blogs making you an authority. Search engines love thefolks who can be considered authorities. You can return the favor and link to other blogs and whenthose blogs link back to you, the content starts spreading and search engine rankings dramaticallyimprove.You Have A Blog. Make Sure It’s Working For Your Business.Anyone can start blogging about their small business, get excited and then let it dry up after theinitial excitement wears off. Make a plan to generate content consistently and consider outsourcingthe task if needed. Frequency matters because more posts mean, more indexed pages for thesearch engines to capture for their results. This leads to more organic traffic and more of yourcommunications reaching the eyeballs of folks interested in your services.
A study by HubSpot shows that publishing five posts in a seven-day period drives 6.9 times moreorganic search traffic and 1.12 referral traffic than website owners who don’t blog.Now that you put your frequency plan into action, make sure each post does its job. You mustoptimize your content. Title your posts with language that incorporates industry keywords andgenerates interest in what you have to say. Work those keywords into the first paragraph asnaturally as possible. Use the keywords consistently and keep publishing multiple posts every week. The Benefits Of Becoming An Authority On Your BlogBecoming an authority may sound a little far-fetched for some business owners. After all, no ofus dreamed we would be doing what we are doing, we just want to be successful. Other businessowners may not particularly care about being an authority they just want to sell more. They areboth right and they both still need to become an authority.You don’t need know everything about yourindustry to become an authority. Perhaps abetter term here would be, “reliable source ofinformation.” Remember earlier in this documentwhere we talked about “backlinks” and visitorsexchanging a link to your site if you link to theirs?Information about your industry can work the sameway. It’s called a conversation. (I know. That’s so1995.) If you attract active visitors they will sharewhat they know on your site. You will consistentlylearn more as you post more and everyone seesyour site as a reliable place to give and takeinformation. Now your blog/site is a hub for thebest and most valuable contacts in the industry.Now consider the customer’s point of view. If they visit two sites to learn about web-design servicesand one site is nothing but a gaudy commercial about the services they offer, are they learninganything? If they visit your blog, take part in an active conversation and learn more about webdesign, don’t you think they will use your service over the people beating a big bass drum. Theyknow more and you know more.Being an authority does not mean you are some omnipotent being, it means you offer goodinformation frequently. More people trust your site, they visit more often, share your links and thesearch engine rankings improve dramatically.Building A CommunityNow, if your site becomes a place where visitors offer up advice, provide insightful comments,come back often and recommend your services, you have a community of folks that are focused onyour business. The search engines will, once again, follow in a big way.This utopian community sets its foundation in the comments. You build trust from your visitors byreplying to their comments, but you can also speed the process along by commenting on the blogs
of businesses related to yours. Don’t leave a flippant comment on someone else’s blog like “nicework.” Read their stories and leave a thoughtful comment. This is an easy way to partner with arelated business, and it builds those precious backlinks we keep talking about.You can also analyze the comments of your subscribers and offer more content about those topicsin future posts. This shows your responsiveness and that the customer service you provide wouldalso be top-notch. Yes, you can build trust, as well as traffic and improved search engine rankingswith a blog.Extending That Community To Social NetworksThis is actually the easy part. Any blogging platform worth anickel will provide a simple widget for moving your contentout the social networks. Many businesses have a solidfoundation of subscribers on social media sites and theyare starving this captured audience. A blog, with its easyconnections to social networking sites, now gives this groupsomething to see and a good reason to take the plunge andvisit your site.Social networking sites also support the critical “backlink”action as your community members share your site withtheir friends. Again, your blog makes acquiring the preciousbacklinks easier on social networks as well.Think of social networks as a free and easy way to rapidlyextend your blossoming community. Don’t make Facebook,LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ a complicated thing. Use thesenetworks for what they are — a good communication vehicle. You can: • Learn what interests your community. • Highlight your projects. • Keep your site visible. • Use the social networks to communicate if your site ever runs into a snag and needs somedowntime.Don’t be a boreMany times you will see small business blogs that have an article with tremendous potential that’sruined with a boring headline or a lead paragraph the meanders for what seems like ages and nevergets to the point. Writing for blog requires that you put the most important points right at the top.Don’t waste time with an introductory paragraph that promises good things later. This is not yourcollege thesis. You will draw in your reader and improve your SEO by making your point quickly andincorporating those keywords in a natural way.
What Should I Avoid? Duplicate Content!While outsourcing or developing your own content, watch out for duplicate content. Google doesnot like duplicate content. Don’t copy and paste information from another one of your own pageand do not copy the words from another site. Google can detect duplicate content in a hurry. Manycompanies also offer duplicate content checkers to make sure your are not plagiarizing.Wrap It Up...Small business blogging requires an investment of time. Nevertheless, it is still one of the mosteconomical ways to boost traffic, communicate your company’s message and establish you as anauthority. If time is something you don’t have, it’s still inexpensive to outsource new content.The SEO benefits are enormous and a blog is rapidly moving into the “must-have” category formarketing your business.WAS THIS HELPFUL?SHARE OR CONNECT WITH US ONLINE!digitalsherpa.com/blogwww.facebook.com/digitalsherpaswww.twitter.com/digitalsherpaswww.linkedin.com/company/digital-sherpawww.youtube.com/digitalsherpas