local-business-blog

What should you say and how should you say it to improve your search engine optimization?

For a small business, blogging can be a powerful tool for increasing traffic and therefore business leads. But about what should you be blogging to maximise success?

Today, almost every business seems to be blogging on almost every subject. It is heralded as one of the most powerful ways of increasing search engine optimization and establishing your company's credibility and expertise. However, the sheer volume of content available on the internet means that it is easy to get lost in the crowd unless you have something relevant to say and an attention-grabbing way of saying it.

Where To Focus?

As a small local business, there is a decision to be made whether to keep the content business-specific and relating to the product or service that your business is selling, or whether to make it area-specific and focus on what is happening locally.

There is no right answer, except in the form of another question: What is it that people want to know? It might sound obvious, but it is all too easy for the over enthusiastic new blogger to write at great length about his own passion or area of expertise, whether it is carbon steel bicycle frames, organically grown celery or the latest craze in Pilates…. When the sad truth is that nobody really cares!

Your blog needs to attract the attention of customers or potential customers by hitting on a topic that is important to them, that interests them or that can help them solve a problem or achieve a goal.

For example, by blogging about ways that people can get back in shape, you can soon get onto the subject of those bicycle frames, organic veg and Pilates classes!

Bringing In An Audience

People will find your blog in exactly the same way that they find your website – by typing a question or some keywords into their favourite search engine.

This is why it is so important to understand what people want to know – by predicting what they will type into the search box, you can use those words and phrases in the titles and body of the blog, and thereby increase the chances of the right kind of traffic.

You can also publicise your blog through social media by sharing it on your company's LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook page – Lori Wade provides some handy tips here. Don’t forget, you can also give your blog posts a timely boost on Facebook to help them reach more people when the moment is ripe. If you want to reach a huge audience instantly, consider investing in some Google PPC advertising – you can get your content straight to the top if the Google search engine if you pay!

Keep It Relevant

Writing about local and current topics keeps your content fresh. However, it can also be a two-edged sword if you do not keep constantly on top of your blogs. Having featured headlines discussing a forthcoming election two weeks after it is over can look as unprofessional as dog-eared Christmas decorations festooned around an office in early February, and can ultimately do more harm than good and turn people away.

Create An Editorial Calendar

Set up an editorial calendar and be aware of what is coming up and, as ever, what is on people's minds. This might be something as obvious as Christmas or the summer holidays, or could be something specific to your area of business (new car registration) or your area (new retail development).

Whatever it is, the key is to think ahead, ideally by 4-6 months. This way, with a little practice, you will know what your customers are thinking about before they do, and have the content all ready for them to find at the click of a mouse.