Many of my potential clients wonder why we believe so strongly in blogging for their small business. Some may argue that trying to produce viral content for a small business is near to impossible. The problem is that everyone wants to be a rock star, while they are completely missing the point of producing great content for their site.
Jon Cooper, of Point Blank SEO, spurred on part of this due to his recent article about natural link building. Without negating the fact that social media is playing a major role this day in age of online reputation, he makes an amazing point that a natural link is something that puts your reputation on the line. Earning one still means something. Google may not penalize you for being associated with a bad website (still up for debate), but 100 links from bad websites may mean nothing compared to 5 links from semi reputable websites.
How to Attract Natural Links
As Jon says in his article, content will almost always drive natural links. Quality, original content needs to be created by small business for many reasons, but natural link building is one of my personal favorites. Quality articles posted on your small business’s blog can attract the attention of others across the country. Natural link building isn’t just a walk in the park. It might be one of the toughest parts about SEO a website, especially small businesses. This is why small businesses should also focus on other SEO tactics for their blog.
Building Keyword Rich Content
We know that Google loves constantly and consistently updated websites. Adding blog posts to your web presence is an excellent way for adding new content. It is believed that Google even crawls your site looking for a blog section. Search engines crawl the site scanning for relevant content to your website. It picks up keywords in your meta data, in your title text, links, bolded words, and regular content. Every time a blog is published, it helps increase your site’s credibility to Google as long as it is accomplished in the “right” way. Of course, not everyone is a writer. Many small businesses have no idea what to write about in the first place when it comes to their blog. That is why, all too often, you see small businesses who started off the right way, but failed miserably when it came to producing content. Have you ever visited a beautiful WordPress site, visit the blog section, and then see “Quote of the Week” as a blog post? Yeah… 15 words will really do the trick for building up your keywords in your site.
Blogging allows you the opportunity to hit long tail keyword searches, along with building your website’s primary keyword list.
For example: My primary keywords for this website could be “SEO”, “social media”, “digital marketing”, and “Atlanta, GA”. The long tail keywords that I try to hit are phrases like “blogging for small business”, “why business should use Twitter”, or “Digital Marketing for Small Business”. Not every one of my blogs covers those topics, but I make it a point to focus on building those words throughout each post in as natural of a way as possible.
How Often Should Small Business Post?
Thanks to Google updates like Panda, small businesses need to be wary of posting too much at one time. Even if small business makes a blog post filled with quality content, posting too often might send up red flags to Google. We have seen this in many real estate websites when Google Panda first hit.
So… How often should a small business post to their blog? I believe that four times a month is not too little and not too much. Small business blogs that add new posts (pages) once a week are not adding more content than the size of their footprint of their brand. It allows time to build quality posts (great content) with quality primary and secondary keywords in mind. Besides… How many quality posts a year can a dentist make?
What to Do When You Are Not Blogging
When a small business is not blogging, they should assess the rest of their onsite SEO as well as their offsite SEO. Due to the new changes in Google, I would also strongly recommend focusing on connecting through social means. Find a few of your favorite blogs and comment on them with something real to say. Don’t just add crap to their comment field. In most cases, the links you add to blog comments are no follow, so leaving a crappy comment offers you no major benefit. Interacting with the author by leaving quality comments could land you a natural link in the future (if your content is solid as well.) Supporting other authors and interacting with them in a meaningful way will help you in the long run. Spend more time making connections through Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ (especially now) to help as well. That is best left for another post, but keep it in mind.
If you take away anything from this post, it should be that small business should be blogging because it will help them be found on the internet. The world uses search engines, not phone books. Don’t you want to make sure that your small business is found on Google, or are you fine with your website not working for you?