What is Business Blogging and How Can it Help You as a Small Business Owner?
For small business owners, finding a way to direct more potential customers or clients to your website without having to spend a lot of money on advertising is essential.
One of the best tools to do this is a business blog.
A well-written blog is an invaluable digital marketing tool to be used alongside other channels and strategies such as SEO, social media and email marketing. Business blogs that contain useful, relevant and expert information can lead to higher search engine results, greater visibility, increased leads and ultimately, more sales or conversions.
When done correctly, a blog holds the potential to offer many benefits to your small business.
What is Business Blogging and Why Should I Do It?
A business blog is a piece of content, published to your business website, about a service, product or issue that is relevant to your target audience.
When business blogging is done right, and done regularly, it can increase your search engine rankings and bring you a steady flow of new customers.
Business blogging should be considered a vital part of your overall marketing strategy. Used alongside other marketing channels like paid advertising, email marketing, social media marketing etc., blogs are a cost-effective tool to improve user engagement, build a strong brand and increase market share.
Good business blogging isn’t just about throwing some words together and putting them on your website though. To get the best results, your blog needs to be properly SEO optimized.
Why SEO Optimization of Your Business Blog is Important
If you have a question or want to find out about a service or product, where do you go? Nine times out of 10 you’re going to google it.
So, it stands to reason that if you want more people to know about your business, products or services and to visit your website, then getting higher rankings on Google and other search engines will help.
A Search Engine Optimized (SEO) business blog is one of the ways that you can improve your search results rankings and generate more website visitors and more customers, without having to pay to promote your site.
What are the Benefits of Blogging for Small Businesses?
In addition to higher search rankings, business blogging can also benefit small businesses in a number of other ways:
Reduced marketing spend: Because blog content can be repurposed for use on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, less time and money needs to be spent generating unique content for those platforms. Blogs also generate more visitors to your website without having to pay for advertising.
More website traffic: When your blog post ranks highly in searches and gets shared on social media, people navigate to other pages of your site from your blog. This increases the number of unique visitors to your website. A study by HubSpot found websites with blogs had 55% more visitors than those without.
Increased conversion rates: Regular blogging creates a great potential for lead generation when you use a call to action. When people see your business as an expert, they will be more likely to sign up for regular newsletters or to reach out to book an appointment.
More backlinks: A backlink is a link to your site from another website. And to Google, it’s a form of endorsement – which is why backlinks are a big contributor to search engine rankings. So, even if the blog you wrote isn’t 100% written for your target market, it could pick up backlinks from other websites, thereby increasing your site’s overall rankings. This means that a popular blog post that is only somewhat related to your offerings has the chance to increase the rankings of the pages that really matter on your site – your product or services pages.
Makes you stand out from your competitors: Blogs with useful, relevant information, published regularly, show your clients that you have something to offer them that your rival doesn’t. A well-written and researched blog shows your expertise and creates a trustworthy reputation. People are more likely to buy from or use the services of a business they trust.
Builds good customer relationships: Blogs can facilitate conversations with customers and clients as they encourage feedback and interaction when shared on your website, through email or on social media platforms.
Long-term results: Blogs that are written to stand the test of time (i.e. evergreen content) will continue to rank and be read for years to come. Many customers and sales conversions start from a previously published blog.
How to Write a Successful Business Blog
Now you understand the benefits of blogging regularly, follow these tips on how to write a successful blog post:
- Have a strategy: There’s no point writing a blog if no one will want to read it. Do some topic/keyword research to find out what people want to know about that is relevant to your small business. Topics don’t always have to be specifically about your business or a product you sell, but should be of interest to your target audience. A good place to start is looking at the blog of the biggest players in your industry to see what they’re writing about.
- Research your keywords: Once you decide on a topic, you then need to find all the relevant keywords about said topic.
Make sure to include keywords that people search for, but that don’t have intense competition. This ensures your article actually gets found by those who are looking for information. If you write about intensely competitive keywords, you are not likely to rank as there are too many other websites competing for the same keyword. Use a keyword research tool to help with this.
Here are some free keyword research tools to get you started:
- Answer the Public
- Keyword Sheeter
- Google Trends
- People Also Ask section of Google search results
At IdeaZone, we use a handful of paid keyword research tools including AHREFs and SEMrush which provide much more information than the free tools above.
Note: if you’re running Google Ads, you can use the Google Planner Keyword Tool that’s located inside of Google Ads. Without a paid ads account, however, you get minimal results and data.
Think about your keywords this way – your product and services pages are meant to target your main keywords and your blog is to target what are called “long tail keywords” – which are keywords that are typically made up of 3 or more words, are more specific and have less search volume, making them easier to rank for.
Note: you don’t want your blogs to target the same keywords as your homepage, product or services pages as that’s what’s called keyword cannibalization and it actually works against you.
- Internal / External Links: Including links from your blog to other relevant pages on your website (called internal linking) will help to improve your site’s SEO. It also helps keep visitors on your site longer.
You also want to make sure to include links to other non-competing websites (called external linking) that add value to your blog. A good example of this is linking out from your blog to Wikipedia.
- Consistency: Posting blogs regularly creates loyal readers as well as more indexed pages for search engines to find, so you show up in more search results for more keywords.
- Topics: What should you write about? Good question! All your blog posts should be focused on one of the following:
A topic that is about or directly related to a product / service you sell. These are where the money is at as they have the highest probability of converting into a customer.
Eg. If you’re a chiropractor, a blog post about why people shouldn’t crack their own back would be perfect.
The purpose of this type of blog post is to attract new customers and increase conversions. Through internal linking, it also has the ability to increase the rankings of your main product / services pages.
A niche-relevant resource-type topic such as a checklist, PDF, whitepaper, video tutorial etc
Eg. Keeping with the chiropractor theme, a PDF containing all the most effective stretches.
The purpose of this type of blog post is that it has the ability to earn your site backlinks (ie. other website owners like it and link to it from their blog / website) and social engagement and can also be used as a lead magnet (something you give in exchange for someone’s email address so you can start marketing to them via email).
Company news such as a new product / service announcement, a sale, an award your company has won, new staff you hired, employee of the month etc
Eg. An interview with one of your employees such as this blog post here.
The purpose of this type of blog post is to keep your customers and the public up-to-date about your company. These blog posts will not rank and don’t directly contribute to increased search engine rankings.
- Add media content: Images, graphs, videos and downloadable guides or checklists all create extra interest in your blog and help you stand out from the competition.
- Use a call to action: Always direct your readers towards an action you want them to take. Whether it’s to visit your store, buy online, sign up to receive emails or call for an appointment, adding a call to action to your blog will convert leads into paying customers. The best way to do this is through an outro paragraph at the end of the blog which highlights your company.
Want to Start Blogging But Don’t Have the Time?
Maybe you’ve already considered starting a blog for your company but you haven’t for any number of reasons.
- You don’t have the time to write a blog post every month
- You don’t consider yourself to be a good writer
- You don’t know the ins and outs of writing SEO optimized blogs
- You don’t know what to write about
- etc etc
If, after reading this far, you understand the benefits of blogging and would like to get a blog started for your company, let us help.
For the first time, we are now offering a standalone monthly blogging service. This is the same service we provide for our monthly SEO clients but now we’re offering it as a standalone service.
Here is what our blogging service includes:
- Blog Topic Research – our team will research your niche and come up with a list of blog topics that are relevant to your business. We’ll compile a list of at least 15 blog topics which we then send to you for approval before sending them off to our writers.
- Keyword Research – once you’ve approved the topics, we’ll do in-depth keyword research on each of the approved topics to come up with a list of relevant keywords with search volume.
- Writer’s Brief – now that we have a list of approved topics and relevant keywords, we then research the top search results to come up with an outline that we send to the writer. This outline or brief contains the headings, subheadings and main points from the top ranking websites.
- Write the Blog Post – writing from the brief, our writers will now do further research and craft a well-written, informative 1000-word blog post on the subject. We then send this to you for approval before uploading it live to your site.
- Image – we need an image to accompany the blog post. We’ll search through our stock photo accounts to find a relevant and engaging image to add to the blog post.
- Upload the Blog Post – once the article is approved, we’ll publish it live to your website, ensuring that we optimize both the image and the blog post so that it has the best chance possible of ranking.
- Publish Blog to Social Media – once the blog post has been uploaded and optimized, our team will then push the blog post out to Facebook and your Google My Business (ie. Google Maps) page.
If you’re interested in getting going with blogging, content marketing or any other digital marketing strategy, reach out to us and let’s set up a time to chat. IdeaZone is your one stop for all things digital marketing.