The information age is here to stay. Every sidewalk is a sea of smartphones, every trend turns into a Twitter hashtag, and every business needs an official website to be successful. However, it’s a little more complicated than that; if you want anyone to find that website, you must also employ search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
That’s why so many business owners are building their own blogs. Each post gives them another opportunity to boost their search engine ranking, receive new traffic, and prove their specific expertise. If you’re creating or improving a blog for your own business, there are a few ways to make sure it starts strong and stays that way.
Keywords Are More Than Just Bait
The Internet is bursting with tips and tricks for business owners who want to boost their search engine rankings. However, if you focus too much on checking off these SEO boxes, no one will want to read your blog. “Keyword stuffing” is an example of this.
Commonly searched keywords are vital to your website’s visibility, but if you try too hard to stuff these terms into every paragraph, your blog posts won’t read naturally. Some business owners will hire a blogger to write a high-quality piece, then jam awkward keywords into the post before publishing it. This results in a business blog that’s all business, and doesn’t sound like a real blog at all.
Don’t make this mistake. Instead of fixating on industry buzzwords, think about the people you want your website to attract. What would they type into a search engine? What questions can you answer for them? When you think like your audience, it’s easier to come up with useful topics and titles they’ll want to click.
Location, Location, Location: Not Just a Keyword
If your business provides in-person services, the most effective keyword phrases will include the name of your city or region. For example, if you owned an HVAC company near Denver, you’d want to include phrases that local homeowners would type, such as “furnace repair in Denver” or “air conditioning services in Colorado”.
However, too many blogs simply squeeze these local keywords into very generic content, which does little to outshine their competitors. If you added “in Denver” to a generic sentence about the importance of clean ducts, you’d be no different from hundreds of other websites. Instead, you could explain ventilation needs that are specific to high altitudes, or energy-efficient tips that tie into Colorado tax deductions. This reminds your readers that you’re part of their community too.
Stories and Trivia Keeps Things Interesting
In a similar vein, if you’re a retailer who wants to encourage people to buy your products as gifts, you’ll want to use keywords that include holidays and demographics. For example, a jewelry boutique could incorporate the phrase “Valentine’s Day gift for mom” or “birthday gift for wife”. But countless competitors also know to do this.
To set your site apart and make your content unique, you could share trivia about old holiday traditions that include rings (“King Edward turned the gem into a birthday gift for his wife”), or share an anecdote about a gifted necklace that became a family heirloom because of its sentimental value (“she inherited a necklace that was her mom’s Valentine’s Day gift”). The specifics are up to you or your blogger.
Raise Your Blogging Standards to Raise Your Revenue
The only surefire way to get your blog noticed by Google or Bing is to fill it with interesting, high-quality content. If you can make readers laugh, teach them something new, or appeal to their emotions, you won’t just ensure that they keep coming back to your website; you’ll also increase the chances that they’ll become a customer, and inspire them to share your blog posts with friends.
Luckily for you, social media engagement is also vital for SEO purposes. Even if you don’t have the time or writing prowess to blog yourself, hire a blogger with industry experience who can reach your specific target audience. When your blog is both fun and useful, your business will be more appealing too.
Brittney B is is a Floridian freelancer who blogs about everything from eco-friendly water heaters to litter-training her pet rabbits. She loves brainstorming new ways for business owners to educate, entertain and enrich their customers’ lives.