The biggest complaint I get from clients both Small and Multinational is, why do i need to produce extra content?
Look I get it, I am a small business too, and after you have spent 12 hours working, the last thing i want to do is work on a blog post.
Google is not the all seeing eye that you imagine it to be, it is a complex algorithmic based computer programme that requires signals in order to return the best possible search results to the user. One of these signals is “Fresh”. With the millions and millions of websites and content available, one way for Google to determine a relevant search result to return is by Date. Think about it, when you search for something online, you want to see the most relevant information available, not something 2 years old …. opportunity Knocks!
Blog or News pages also help you build up an “authority voice” within Google, it helps you reach customers on an intimate level and increases cutomer and brand loyalty.
As a Northamptonshire business (43% of all search terms carry a localised search query) can target local customers specifically with a news or blog update … But How?
You have just added 5 new products to the site – blog about them. You clean carpets, get into the habit of taking a before, during and after picture, then add it to your site – be sure to get a relevant title for the posts : Recent triple weave carpet cleaned – Nothampton.
This encompasses, what type of carpet, yes, people want to know you can clean a tripple weave carpet, then cleaned and an area. All of these provide valuable information to 1) a search engine 2) a searcher.
*** Note, this article applies to all small businesses, however my title includes Northants , WHY ? my main business is in this area and will appear prominently within a Northants search results, it will build up co-citation references for Google ***
Small Business Blogging
How to Get Started
Before blogging, it’s essential to figure out what the small business blog will be about. Cutting and pasting previous marketing materials will not compel readers to return or create brand loyalty the business needs. If the business is interior design, the blog can consist of tips for the average homeowner trying to decorate their home, latest set of blinds installed in a particularly odd shape. If the business is painting supplies, the blog can give painting tips for homeowners trying to do it themselves. The key is to give customers real value and reach them on a personal level.
It might not be practical to blog every single day, but once a week or once every two weeks can be manageable. Blogging can still provide value with intermittent posts if they are a topic that stays relevant. Setting a schedule of completed blog posts weeks in advance can help make the schedule more realistic.
At times, it might not be possible for a busy business owner to sit down to compose blog posts. It might need to be delegated to a trusted employee. The business owner can keep an idea file to suggest ideas to the employee who will write the blog posts. This type of ghost writing is common. Guest posts provide another point of view and customers appreciate hearing another voice on a blog. All people (employees) have mobile phones with a camera, if they are out on a job, get them to take some pictures, an image really helps you to craft some words around the image.
Blogging has its own rules and values, but it’s not so different from a website. A business owner wants his or her business to rank high in search engines. Keywords are essential to ranking on Google and other search engines. There are many Google analytic tools that will help narrow down keywords and find what’s popular. I would also say not to get too bogged down with research … as long as your title conveys what is in the article, you have more then likely incorporated your target keywords.
Call to Action
At the end of any blog post or articles, it’s important to add a call to action like asking them to call with questions or inviting them to comment on the topic. It helps to get customers involved in the conversation.
Sign Up | Share
On the blog, have ways for the customer to sign up for emails directly to their inbox or a way to follow the blog so they can get blog posts immediately. You may not want to provide a sign up, but certainly have sharing functionality on your blog posts, top 3 would be Google+1, FB and Twit.
This is another place to advertise products, not only information. The blog shouldn’t be another place to promote products directly in the articles or posts, but it’s a great place for links and ads on the side during sales and other events.