Blogging is a major component to SEO success for small businesses. You’ve heard it from speakers, marketers, videos and white papers (heck, you may have even heard it from ME).
I think it’s worth restating why blogging is so important for showing up in Search Engines and why you should be doing it. This will in no way be an exhaustive analysis on the many intricacies of why or HOW to blog (I’ve written other articles for that), it will simply serve as a reminder of why it’s a good idea.
First, blogging ensures that you’re driving traffic to your site. Imagine your website is a brochure (because let’s face it, it is). Pretty pictures, carefully crafted content, a call-to-action and a method for contacting or purchasing directly from your business. What does the average person DO with a brochure? Well, they look at it once… maybe twice. And if your brochure is simply amazing, three times. After that? It ends up under a pile of mail, in the trash, or used as kindling to start a fire in the fireplace.
Your website functions the same way if it’s not constantly updated. A user will visit your site and enjoy what they’re looking at. But eventually they'll move on to double-tapping pictures of someone’s lunch. Blogging can provide a new perspective and unique value for your site, which can, in turn, improve your site’s rank in Google. (Diverse and consistent visits to your site + Lots of time spent on your site = Happy Google!)
Second, blogging gives you an opportunity to explore topics that your competition may not have considered. It’s no secret that most keywords have competition, and your ability to rank for them is determined by how you fare against that competition.
However, some keywords have more (or less) competition than others. A good example of this: The Triad has COUNTLESS small businesses, and all of them want to come up for their search term. But few consider specific venues within or on the outskirts of Greensboro for example. If your blog mentions these unique venues by name and gets a lot of traffic, you could rank for a keyword that has less competition. Then you can reap the benefits when you get found by customers visit that venue - like Friendly Avenue for instance.
The third benefit of blogging we'll mention is developing a personality for your brand.
Social Media is a great platform for sharing tidbits of information, but not going in depth. Let’s face it, the average social media user doesn’t have the patience to read your dissertation on your latest offering. But to some users, that information matters.
Knowing the passion that you put into your projects, the care and intricacy that you put into each client will appeal to some users. That’s why sharing a link on social media will ensure that the right (read: interested) audience is not only interacting with your content, they’re doing it on your website, which is good for SEO juju. You’re also able to go into more detail, revealing more about yourself and the passion you put into your work.
Now, I understand that all this doesn’t make blogging any easier to get started with or do consistently. Sure, the prospect of getting more users and improving your Google rank is great motivation – but having your goal in mind is only half the battle. How do we start?
Well, first you should practice blogging. You have to have content before you share it, and the best way to learn is by doing. (If you need a boost, follow my easy blogging template!) Set aside 30 minutes to practice blogging twice a week. Plan to do this for 6 weeks. (Set reminders if you need to!) Tell yourself, “I WILL practice blogging twice per week.” Then do it.
Remember: these blogs don’t have to be perfect. They’re meant to get you into the mindset that you CAN do this. I prefer the “stream of consciousness” method when starting out. Talk or tell a story out loud (like you’re teaching a class) and type as you’re talking. Don’t worry about grammar yet. You can review and edit after the idea is on the page.
Next, schedule your new blog articles. Zibster and many other tools allow you to schedule blog articles hours, days, weeks, and even months in advance. That way you don’t have to bang your head against the wall trying to write a blog right when you need to post.
Make it a habit: by making time at least once each week to blog, it will become routine. Some schedule writing for the first thing in the morning on a Monday. Others pair blogging with their office schedule. ("I have all these new products to share!") However you do it, blogging only becomes natural when you actively practice and make it part of your regimen.
Next, share share share! Your blogs don’t just share themselves.
It’s not hard at all to copy a link or click a share button to post to social media. Make sure you don’t forget that to achieve your goals, you can’t just write blogs. You have to share them too.
Lastly, if blogging just isn’t for you, seek help. Some folks may need outside help or motivation when attempting new fitness goals, so they hire personal trainers. Similarly, there are plenty of blogging training & coaching programs out there (there’s even one in our SEO Service!). Or, if you have the bandwidth and ability, you could consider hiring a content writer or recruiting a current team member who’s crafty with the keyboard.
However you do it, remember that blogging can have HUGE benefits as an SEO Strategy and a way to get new clients and leads for your business. There are plenty of excuses for not doing it, but you won’t achieve your goals if you don’t give it a shot!
New year, new you. Let’s pull out those wristbands and get to typing!
Alex C. is our senior SEO expert at Zibster. He is Google Analytics (GAIQ) certified, HubSpot Inbound Marketing certified & Moz Advanced SEO certified. Alex has helped hundreds of clients optimize their websites, blogs, and online portfolios.
Want Alex to review your site and see how it can perform better for your business? With an SEO kickstart, Alex will personally guide you through fine-tuning your website content and layout, crafting effective metadata, and building a blogging strategy that will get you more exposure online.