The Benefits of Blogging For Local Businesses
A few years ago blogging was seen as something of a hobby for enthusiasts wanting to share their passion. Now it’s one of the dominant ways in which businesses attract inbound traffic their websites. 53% of marketers now consider blogging their top content marketing item.
How did this happen?
In 2018 Google changed its algorithms to favour businesses that provide useful information for searchers. This means is that Google uses content created by businesses to respond to the search queries it receives. If a local company produces relevant content, therefore, it will rise like a star in the search engine rankings. Which is why blogging has become so important to businesses.
What is Blogging?
Many of our clients tell us that they know perfectly well what blogging is until they sit down to do it, and then they’re at a loss. Blogs can be many things, and take different forms, so as a guide, here are a few of the most common types:
- Case Studies. If you’re a plumber, an electrician, a printer or a security gate installer – in fact, if you do anything practical – a case study gives readers an insight into your work. And it’s a great opportunity to share photos.
- News. If your business has presented or won an award, or been to a conference, or run an event, share it with your readers. It shows that you’re an active player in your sector.
- Opinions. These are known as ‘thought leadership pieces’ and they offer your opinion on sector, or industry-based issues. If there’s new legislation, for example, that will impact your business, you may want to share how you’re managing the change.
- Hints and Tips. If you sell flowers, cakes or clothes, for example, you might offer some professional tips, or suggestions to your readers.
How Do Blogs Help a Local Business?
Blogging isn’t like a pay-per-click strategy; it won’t provide instant results. What it will do, though, is help your business rise in Google’s search engine, making you easier to find, and build a loyal network of visitors to your site. For local businesses, there’s the additional benefit of developing a local community following across social media and your website.
The are 4 key elements to successful local blogging:
1. Use SEO Enriched Copy
In order to promote your blog, Google has to find it. It does this by picking up ‘keywords’ in your copy that match search queries. Bloggers should do their keyword research before starting to blog. You can do this by checking out the search terms used to find products like yours, and the questions people ask in online forums. Then use relevant keywords in your copy and provide content that is genuinely useful. This offers authentic value, and gives Google the keywords it needs to find you.
2. Blog Regularly
Blogging is a long-term strategy, so don’t be disheartened if your first few blogs don’t appear to make much of an impact. Just remember that businesses providing regular SEO enriched blogs receive up to 8 times more traffic than those that don’t. 4 blogs per month is the minimum for any impact, and the more blogs you write, the more quickly you’ll see results.
3. Post Your Blogs on Google My Business
A great way to advertise your blogs is by providing a snippet and link on what Google call their ‘Knowledge Graph’. This is a panel of information about your business that appears on screen when your company name is searched. You can add links and snippets to this panel via your Google My Business page.
4. Social Media
Local businesses tend to build lively and engaged followings on social media. Facebook and Twitter are great platforms for sharing your blogs, therefore, and learning what it is that followers want to find out about. If you’re a B2B business your blogs can be shared in a variety of ways on LinkedIn. You can post in groups, or on your business page, or as an article.
About Outsource Your Marketing
The majority of small businesses that decide to use blogging as an integral part of their marketing strategy outsource the writing of them. This has nothing to do with laziness, or lack of knowledge; they simply don’t have the time to devote to this activity. Outsource Your Marketing has a team of blog writers with expertise across a broad range of sectors. We can write your copy, develop your strategy, and provide SEO enriched, good looking blogs for publication.