SEO for Small Businesses
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips & Tricks
The Importance of Blogging
THE most frequent question I am asked about SEO is almost always about the importance of blogging. For small businesses who strive for local clients and/or visitors, for purposes of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to rank on the first page of Google, the importance of blogging is immense!
HOWEVER, blogging in this sense isn’t necessarily the stereotypical publishing every moment of your life like a Facebook wall newsfeed, but rather in the definition of posting new, relevant, and important content for your readers. This also means you can have different categories of posts to publish about completely different topics, ideally relating to your business product and/or service. The main thing is to have a purpose and goal to your blog, other than for SEO of course! For example, a client of mine who owns a baby sleep consulting business often writes about different techniques on helping babies sleep, at different ages, and how to combat different sleep problems. Her topics are sorted into baby’s age for easy navigation for parents, because her blog’s goal is to provide education to her readers, increase her number of followers, and to eventually incorporate all of these helpful articles into her published book. She is creating a name brand for herself. Another client of mine, a newborn baby photographer often publishes images from recent sessions to show an ever-growing portfolio, about upcoming community events that cater to prenatal and family clients, and encourages guest-articles from local businesses. Her goal is to encourage clients and potential clients to come back and read the new content, learn about new events, and see her work. She is creating a safe space for people to trust the information, want to come back for more because they don’t feel pressured to buy, and keep her work top-of-mind (so when they DO decide to buy, she is their first thought). Every business is different, so take a look at your website and decide what you want your goal to be, and then figure out how to achieve that goal and what you need to do and/or post about. Can’t write? No problem! Grab some guest-posters or purchase some pre-written content (original work!).
I do offer this service (offering text and photo content), and there are many other great minds out there with expanding knowledge! Don’t forget that a photo is worth 1000 words and goes a long way when included as a CORRELATING visual aid to your post. Professional photographs are highly recommended; especially when you can incorporate your brand without it being the sole focus!
SEO is the art of balancing relevant content for your readers and keyword-rich content for search engines. Too much fluff and you either get black-listed or your real readers don’t come back, or both! You want to make sure you write your content for real readers first, and then optimize each article separately for their topic. Let’s say your business and website is about a doggy spa. You will want to write your content for pet owners, more specifically dog owners or those wanting to become dog owners. One day you could write about dig biscuit recipes, so you will make sure that particular post page is optimized for being found for people searching world wide for dog biscuit recipes. Another day you could write about great local dog-friendly parks, so you will be focusing on getting local dog owners to your page with your optimization. While you don’t want to be sales-y or pressure people to buy, you also don’t want to forget to mention your services though, even with something as simple as a call-to-action to your offerings or contact page so that those who are local and found your post know what to do next if they want to use your doggy spa.
The importance of blogging should be very apparent by now, and hopefully it’s been clarified about the type of content that can be considered blogging. Here are a few other blogging ideas for the ideal combination of awesome content for your readers, and great topics to be found for your services:
- blogging about local community events brings news to your readers, and encourages your website to pop up in local searches
- blogging about your products and ideas for how to use them creates trust between you and the reader, and encourages your website to pop up in searches for your products as important and trustworthy content
- blogging about YOU creates a personal connection with your readers (professional photography is a huge bonus), and builds trust
- blogging about random topics only works if you can relate the topic back to the product or service you provide, so you can stay top of mind with your readers and provide insight on that particular topic and therefore create trust in your business
- blogging about local businesses create an image of a wonderful friendly community in your local area between businesses, creates trust for the readers to know you all work together in harmony instead of menacing competition, and can encourage referrals from those businesses
Blogging isn’t always about SEO, and should be used for much more to stay top-of-search-results AND top-of-mind. Remember to find your goal and the steps to make it happen!
Stay tuned for the next post on ‘Blogging SEO Etiquette’ and how to rank on the first page of Google by ensure each post is optimized.
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Totally confused and need help getting things set up?
Send me a message and I am happy to offer my services to help get you set up, or to help you through the entire process.
STEPHANIE DE MONTIGNY
Local SEO & Website Management | Business Branding & Photography