The Definition of Business Blogging and How it Can Help You as a Local Business Owner
Blogging is simply the practice of writing regular content on your website or blog. It’s a form of content marketing that has been around since the 1990s. When done properly, it can increase your site rankings, bring in more targeted traffic to your site and be an excellent source of new customers.
This article doesn’t focus on how to make money from blogging (well not directly anyway). Instead, this blog post is about how all businesses, from small, local companies to national corporations, can benefit from regular blogging.
Blogging is a great way to build brand authority and showcase your business as experts in your field. Blogs can also be used to educate people about your products or services and can help humanize your company in the eyes of your customers. And of course, a big benefit to blogging is that it’s a great way to improve SEO (search engine optimization).
But why should your business bother spending the time and energy in creating a successful blog? Read on to find out all the wonderful benefits of blogging.
Blogging: Where to Start?
Whatever the size of your business, blogging will help your company achieve its marketing objectives – think increased exposure, rankings and leads. A blog is a great resource for any type of business, whether you build custom homes, own a restaurant or provide HVAC services.
Starting a blog can be as simple as writing out a news or product announcement and posting it on your website. Doing this, however, is only one use of a blog….and not the best use.
Let’s start by talking about how businesses should use a company blog. There are essentially three different categories of blog posts that your company should be writing about.
- Posts about your company – these are things like product announcements, company news, new services offered, awards, employee recognition, community events etc. These types of blog posts are not meant to bring in more traffic or to increase your Google rankings as they don’t target any particular keywords. They are simply a way for you to communicate news to your audience and build up a relationship with your reader.
Eg. You just hired a big shot CEO to take over operations at your company and so you write a press release and add it to your site as a blog post.
- Posts that support your company’s products or services – these are the bread and butter of blogging for businesses. These are the types of posts that will bring positive results like increasing leads, sales and conversions and make blogging worth it for your business.
Eg. You own a digital marketing agency and many of your clients don’t really understand how blogs can help their business. So you put together a detailed blog post about the benefits of blogging and share it with your clients.
- Posts that are created to earn social engagement, backlinks and leads – this is where you put together resource-type content in the form of a downloadable PDF, checklist, tutorial, whitepaper etc. The benefits of this type of blog post (where you introduce and write about the resource you’ve created) are numerous. First, there is likely search volume for the resource keywords. Think about checklist-type keywords such as “on-page SEO checklist” or “website security checklist” where you have a solid chance of getting traffic for those keywords.
On top of that, you’re going to use the resource as a lead magnet (something given in exchange for a lead or email address so that you can start email marketing to the prospect) to gain email subscribers.
And finally, you’ll want to push this resource out to the public via outreach or paid ads to gain social engagement and backlinks from other website owners who think your resource is awesome.
All of which combine to equal higher rankings for the main product or service keywords on your site due to the increase in backlinks and engagement.
I’d like to stop right here and say this as I think it’s important:
No matter how high you’re able to climb in the search engines for “main keyword + your city”, there is only so much traffic that you can get from that keyword….even if you’re in the #1 spot.
There are only so many people who are at the “pull-the-trigger” stage of the buying process. But there are many, many people who don’t yet know about your company and who have yet to read anything about you that may convince them that you know what you’re talking about. These are the people and the keywords (that they’re typing into search engines) that we’re targeting with blog posts. With well-written and researched blogs, we’re introducing you to these people via your expertise. And just like that, you’ve brought them down to the next rung in the sales funnel.
Answering Questions for SEO Purposes
Answering questions in your blog posts is becoming increasingly important with the rise of services like Google Home and Alexa. “Google wants websites that answer questions,” says SearchEngineLand CEO Danny Sullivan.
People have questions about your business and products so answer them succinctly in your blog posts. Not only that, make sure that you add FAQ schema along with these questions. Schema, also called structured data, is essentially code that you add to your webpage that makes it easier for the search engines to know what your webpage is about. There are many schema types, but here you’d be adding the FAQ schema to tell Google that you have questions and answers on your page.
FAQ Schema Generator Tool
Adding schema to your website might be above your head as it does involve creating and then adding code to your site. There are, however, some tools that you can use to make things easier. For a start, many top SEO plugins, such as Rank Math and Yoast SEO Plugin have a built-in FAQ schema generator. And to do it yourself, there are free FAQ schema generator tools.
Write Blogs that are Relevant to your Target Market
It seems obvious but remember that the content should match the purpose of your website or blog. If your local business is about chiropractic care, don’t write about your favourite dessert recipes. You can save that kind of content for your personal blog or for Facebook.
Remember that you’re writing these blog posts to help support your company’s products or services, which you do by including internal linking from the blog you’re writing to the relevant product or services page(s) on your site.
The Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses
There are many benefits to running a blog for your local business:
- Builds Brand Authority and Trust
When consumers trust your blog posts, they tend to believe what you say on other platforms too. If your readers have confidence in what you write, they’ll feel more comfortable buying from you. If you publish thoughtful posts about topics that interest your followers, they’ll come back for more.
- Provides Value to Your Customers
Your readers will enjoy learning something new every time they read your posts. If you provide useful tips or advice, they’ll be happy to share your content with friends and family which in turn will increase your reach and audience.
- Generates More Website Traffic
Blogging is one of the best ways to increase your website traffic and rank higher in search engines. It allows you to connect with your audience directly, get feedback and interact with them. You can use blogging to promote your business, show off your expertise, and even help others.
- Increases Sales
One of the biggest benefits of blogging is that it helps create an online presence for your business. This means that when people do a Google search about your company they will be able to find out what kind of products or services you offer because you’ll be ranking for a variety of niche-relevant keywords. Even if they don’t become customers right away, they are likely to remember your company and come back to you when they are ready to make a purchase.
- Generates Leads
When visitors read a well-written, informative post, they are more likely to visit your site and investigate your company and services further. Once you’ve earned a visitor’s trust by constantly providing valuable, relevant information and resources, they are much more likely to reach out to you when they’re ready to make a purchase. Many conversions on a site can be traced back to a blog post.
- Increases Conversions
If you consistently post helpful articles, your visitors will see you as a trustworthy information source. When customers trust a business they are much more likely to make a purchase. To think of it a different way, if you wanted to get your car fixed and you were looking at two different sites and one of them had a blog with all kinds of useful information and the other just had a homepage, which one do you think you would instinctively trust more?
Blogging for SEO: Blogging can help with your SEO Strategy too
So how does blogging help with your website’s search engine optimization? In a nutshell, SEO is the tweaking of the structure and content of your website’s pages to improve the user experience and ultimately, your search engine rankings.
Blogging helps your SEO by:
- Better On-Page Metrics: Search engines reward websites that have lots of regular visitors with more visitors. When readers use the links in your blogs to visit other pages of your site, this boosts on-page metrics such as Average Time on Site and Pages per Visit. It also works to decrease your website’s Bounce Rate (by getting visitors to visit more than one page on your site).
- Higher Keyword Rankings / Ranking for More Keywords: Your blogs should target keywords that have a decent amount of search volume, but that do not have huge competition. Using niche keywords or long-tail keywords relevant to your business is a good way to ensure your blog ranks for as many different niche-relevant keywords as possible.
- Earning Backlinks: Sometimes, writing a blog that isn’t directly related to your target market is a useful thing to do. This might not make sense at first, but if that blog gets shared on other people’s websites because it’s a well-written and useful resource, it has the possibility to earn backlinks and thereby boosts your SEO. Of course, the blog should still have something to do with your company/industry. An example of this might be a chiropractor putting out a resource on the best stretching exercises. This type of resource has a much wider reach than just people interested in chiro.
- Increased Social Engagement: The amount that people engage with your content on your site and on social platforms plays a part in your content ranking. The more Google can see that people like your content – leaving comments, sharing etc – the more love it will get in the search engines.
Blogging Should be Considered a Key Part of your Digital Marketing Strategy
The purpose of your digital marketing strategy should be to target potential customers at every stage of the ‘buying process’ – also called the sales funnel.
Think about the sales funnel as having three parts:
Bottom of Funnel
At the bottom of the funnel are people who are typing a specific question or need into a search engine. For example, Chiropractors in Victoria. They know they want a chiropractor and are looking for some contact information.
- The bottom of the funnel would be your website home page and / or your chiropractor service page.
Middle of Funnel
In the middle of the funnel is someone searching for ‘back pain’, ‘neck pain’ or similar, they want a suggestion of where to go for help (but may not have thought about a chiropractor).
- The middle of the funnel would be the content pages of your website that detail specific services or products you offer, such as pages about Lower Back Pain, Migraines, Neck Pain etc
Top of Funnel
At the top of the funnel are people who are suffering from pain, maybe for some time but are not directly thinking about searching for a chiropractor but they do want answers.
- The top of the funnel would be your blog posts which contain keywords that someone seeking general help and answers may input into a search engine such as “how to get rid of a migraine” or “stretches for lower back pain”
In the above top of funnel example, the blog post would serve 4 purposes:
- To target people who are in pain but who aren’t aware of or who haven’t thought about a chiropractor for their particular pain condition.
- To boost up the middle and bottom of your marketing funnel by way of internal linking. This is linking keywords in your blog to the relevant information page on your website.
- To build up your authority as an expert. Any company can run a Pay-Per-Click campaign on Google and show up in the top position for any and all of their keywords. But that doesn’t translate into trust and credibility because any other company can pay to do the same thing. Expertise comes from showing you know your niche/industry and educating customers about your brand as well as your products and/or services.
- To “earn” backlinks from other websites. This is when another website links to your blog from their website. By doing this, they are increasing your credibility with search engines.
Writing blogs can also support your other digital marketing channels as you can repurpose the content in multiple ways. Re-using blog content as social media posts will not only direct even more traffic back to your website, but it will save you time and money as you don’t need to write original content for every platform.
- Write about topics that people are searching for – make sure that you do proper blog topic and keyword research so that you know you’re writing about something that people are actually searching for.
- Research your competitors to see what keywords they are ranking for – take a look at the biggest players in your industry to see what they’re blogging about.
- Create content that’s worthy of sharing – make sure your content is awesome. That will make it more shareable and increase the possibility of other website owners linking back to it.
- Write awesome headlines – people are busy and tend to skim the headlines so make sure that they are keyword optimized and written so that they draw the user into the rest of the article.
- Write “summary” introductions that appease Google (people also ask) – get into a tendency of writing a mini summary as your introduction as this will have a better chance of showing up as an answer in Google’s People Also Ask section of the search results.
- Pay attention to on-page SEO principles – you want to make sure that your blog post is SEO-optimized. This includes the images you add as well as the title and description, internal / external links etc.
- Continually update older content – this is a great way to further increase the reach and rankings of older blog posts. Take a look at Google Search Console to see what keywords the page is already ranking for as well as other keywords that you can use to build more content around when you update the page.
- Write evergreen content and stay away from dates in the URL – many people search using the current year so they might search for “best SEO practices 2022” as they want current SEO strategies that are working in 2022. While you can add the date to your page’s headlines, don’t add it to the URL. Instead, update the headline each year with the current year so that the page stays relevant as years go by (you should also look to add / edit content as needed).
As you can see, there are many reasons why you should consider starting a blog for your business. For assistance with digital marketing strategies, SEO strategies or content writing, such as blog writing, contact RankPast today.