by Martina Iring | Featured Contributor
I’m always being asked by small business owners about how to get their website higher in search rankings. While each and every industry and market is unique, and how much SEO work is needed is different for every business, one strategy that is always a good idea is blogging.
I love blogging for small business. Why?
- It gives you content that you can use for your social media and email marketing.
- It allows you to communicate with your customers and share news and updates about your business and your industry.
- It offers up the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and boost your credibility.
And of course, it plays a role in your search marketing efforts. Search engines prefer websites with new, updated, refreshing content. Here are some of my top tips for pumping up the SEO power of your blog.
Blog on your own URL. When setting up a blog, some businesses start one up on a free platform, such as WordPress, and give it its own separate home apart from the main website. This is not ideal. What you want is your blog on your URL, such as www.yourwebsitename.com/blog. This way, all the content you produce adds strength and credibility to that URL.
Write good tags. While meta tags used to have more of a direct influence on search rankings, the days when Google actually took your tags at face value is long gone. They still matter though. Title and description tags do show up in search results and they influence whether someone decides to click, a factor that search engines take into consideration.
Use categories to organize your posts. Categories allow you to organize your blog content into topics. You can use keywords as appropriate. Categories can also be helpful for your readers, allowing them to access all your posts on a particular subject and encouraging them to spend more time on your site, something search engines also notice.
Research what people want to know. Back in the day, it was all about focusing on your keywords, and then writing whatever just to get some content with them online. That was then. This is now. Value is the name of the game and it’s a good idea to blog about topics that your target market is interested in and that can offer them assistance with what they want to know as it relates to your industry or service offering. Using research tools, such as the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool, can give you some great insights into what questions people are asking.
Get your posts on social media. Search engines take into account social signals as a sign of credibility and value, so be sure to get your blog posts out on your social channels.
Have social media share buttons on your posts. As per the point above, you want your posts to make the rounds on social media. So you need to be sure that they are easily shareable with just a click.
Use keywords in your post title. If it makes sense, you can use a keyword string in your title. It may not be appropriate for each and every post, so use some common sense and make sure the use feels natural. For example, if you’re a yoga studio in Vancouver (where I live) and you’re blogging about your summer promotion, a title like Vancouver yoga studio summer promo seems a bit awkward and obvious, right? A more engaging and appropriate title here would be something like Hot summer promotion on all yoga packages! Remember, first and foremost you are writing for people, not search engines.
Go easy on the keywords. As per the point above, keywords must be used appropriately and flow naturally. Don’t over-optimize the content of your post by stuffing in a keyword at every chance you get. Think about sprinkling in a keyword now and then, not pouring them all over your copy.
Do you blog for your small business? Have your posts helped you gain more visibility in search results? Would love to hear about your personal experiences in the comments!
Martina Iring – Internet marketing consultant & small business cheerleader
Martina Iring is a marketing consultant who works with small businesses and entrepreneurs unsure of how to make the internet work for them and their success. Whether they need to take their online presence to the next level, bring it up to date, or even get something going in the first place. This can be super overwhelming, especially if web stuff isn’t your thing. She’s on a mission to help the little guys make sense of internet marketing, teaching small biz owners how being online is not only profitable, but enjoyable! She is based in Vancouver, Canada but works with businesses all over the world.
She loves marketing. She loves small business. Bringing them together is her bliss. You can call her the small business cheerleader!
As a small business owner herself, Martina can relate to the whole magical journey of entrepreneurship – the challenges and the struggles, but also the joys and the amazing freedoms. Her blog, Small Business Bliss, offers up plenty of marketing info and doses of inspiration. Be sure to get your free website improvement guide here.