I could write this entire blog in three words: write great content.
But that’s probably not what you came for is it? OK, I’ll go deeper than that but know that engaging your audience starts with great content. You can have out-of-this-world SEO capabilities but never convert a single visitor into a customer if you don’t focus on great content.
SEO blogging for small business is not that complicated. Here’s a quick summary:
- Be consistent: set a publishing schedule and stick to it. The minimum is once a month.
- Use headings and bulleted lists as much as possible.
- Keep it simple. Jargon doesn’t make you sound smart or rank well for SEO.
- Run your post through Grammarly and proofread it thoroughly, preferably on a different day than the day you wrote it.
- Choose a target keyword for your blog post. Longtail keywords are best (for example, this blog is targeted to SEO blogging for small businesses instead of just SEO blogging).
- Distribute your blog posts across social media and email marketing.
- WRITE GREAT CONTENT (seriously, it all starts with great content)
Here’s an in-depth look at each of these pointers so you can get started blogging for your business.
1. Be consistent in blogging frequency
Set a goal to write one blog post per month. Aim to publish it at the same time each month, such as the first Tuesday of the month.
Don’t stretch yourself too much by trying to blog too frequently. From my experience, this just minimizes the quality of your blog posts as you rush to publish constantly.
Plus, unless you’re someone super special, chances are your readers won’t be looking for content super often.
Once you master the monthly blog and you feel like you have tons of content, up your game to every other week or even weekly. Just make sure this is something you can commit to before taking it on. Blogging certainly takes up some serious time when done well.
2. Use headings and bulleted lists as much as possible
Bullets make things easier to skim and less daunting. So do headings because they allow readers to go directly to the section of your content that interests them.
Plus, search engines love headings and bullets. Headings tell search engines more about the hierarchy of your content and they know readers enjoy bullets so they tend to favor articles that use these formats.
You also might find it easier to organize your thoughts by outlining your blog post with headings. And bullets are easier to write than long, complicated sentences.
As you write your headings, try to put your target keyword in one of the headings. Longtail keywords can be tough to get exact in a heading but get close. Search engines are very intuitive now and they can use context to fill in the blanks if your full longtail keyword isn’t present in a heading.
3. Keep it simple when blogging for your business
The longer your sentences, the less SEO power they’ll have. Harder words mean the blog is harder for the average person to read. So avoid these practices.
Vary your sentence structure and don’t start every sentence or paragraph with the same word.
Write how you would explain something to a friend or a middle schooler. Your goal is to make your subject matter simple and easy to understand for your reader, and search engines.
4. Run your post through Grammarly and proofread it
I think my grammar is pretty darn good. But then I run something through Grammarly and it tells me that I’m just OK. I’ve found more mistakes and contextual errors that way than I would have ever imagined. The free account tells you everything you need to know to publish polished blog posts.
Additionally, I don’t proofread the same day that I write an SEO blog (and no, Grammarly is not a substitute for proofreading). The reason for putting a day between writing and proofreading is simple. I can remember what I think I wrote when I proofread the same day, which means I’m not evaluating the words on the page with as much scrutiny as I should.
5. Choose a target keyword for your SEO blog for your small business
I’ve gotten blog requests that have 8-10 keywords the client wants to be included. That’s too many and can result in search engines flagging your content for keyword stuffing, and you don’t want that!
Choose one target keyword. You could have another secondary and even tertiary keyword that you’re targeting as well but stop there. And remember which keyword is your primary because that’s the one that should really shine.
Here are the key locations you want your target keyword to appear on the page:
- Meta description
- Page title (blog headline)
- Image alt text
- Body text
6. Post your blogs to social media and distribute via email
You put a ton of work into your content. Now’s the time to let it shine. Share it every way that you can.
Post it to your social media, distribute it via email and share it with your contacts who you think could benefit from it.
And don’t forget to repost it again later. You should have a schedule for how often you bring back your old content into your social media mix and even as an honorable mention in your email marketing. For example, this blog post is rather timeless. As I earn new followers and build out my email list, there’s no reason not to include this post again later on.
7. WRITE GREAT CONTENT (seriously, it all starts with great content)
Honestly, I write first and think about SEO second. That might make some SEO experts feel faint, but if a blog post is all about SEO, it’s failing miserably at educating your audience. Yes, it’s possible to do both, but I find it easier to write great content first and then optimize it for search engines instead of writing content for search engines and trying to make that into something of value for my audience later.
I teach a class for my alma mater on integrated marketing communication. By the end of the course, my students are probably so tired of hearing me say that all marketing starts and ends with your audience. But it’s so true and I feel like I can’t say it enough. You could draft an awesome article but if it doesn’t resonate with your audience, it’s pointless.
Freelance SEO blogging for small businesses
If blogging still seems too daunting, that’s OK. There are many talented freelance SEO blog writers out there. I’d be honored to discuss your SEO blogging project for your small business with you. Contact me to get started!