Something I often hear from small business owners is, “Does SEO really matter for my blog? I mean, it’s just a blog, right?” The answer is: Yes. It matters quite a bit. On the off chance you’re the only show in town, it might not mean quite as much. But it still matters.
Half of all businesses will fail in the first five years and the biggest reason for going out of business is low profits or the company has no one willing to invest in their growth, so they get stuck. Either way, it’s all about the money.
SEO can be the difference between success and failure. Keep reading. Let me show you how a few tweaks to your website or blog can make all the difference.
The Company Blog
Content gets stale. If you think search engines and people don’t notice, you’re wrong.
Google rewards those who keep their content fresh and updated and customers do the same by continuing to visit the site and buy products or services.
However, there is a sea of content out there. Most of it is pretty bad. It’s either poorly written or it’s just a bunch of random chatter that doesn’t provide any real value to the readers. You can change that with your blog.
Some entrepreneurs think that they can get away with running their business from 9-5 like any normal job. But you don’t have to do that. You can write your blog posts in the evening, from the comfort of your wfh office, drink in hand with Netflix on another screen or television. Heck, the right SEO WordPress plugin will do most of the work for you.
Contrary to popular belief, the length of your blog posts also doesn’t matter. If you write two thousand words of garbage, how many people are going to come back to your site in the future if you just tried to make them sit through a bunch of nonsense?
Here is what matters: Write SEO friendly content that helps to provide solutions to a customer’s problems.
How to Write SEO Friendly Content
The first part of this is the hardest. You need to know what people want. You need to know what they’re searching for as far as what they’re typing into search engines.
“X near me” or “X in City, State” is a good place to start. There are only so many posts you can write with these kinds of keywords, though. You want to branch out.
Use tools like Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMRush to find keywords. The best thing about these tools is most of them can help you to find a competitor’s keywords. You can use them or you can look for holes or gaps in any niche specific keywords you think might be successful.
You don’t need to jam a million keywords into a piece of content. Have one in your opening paragraph or introduction, one in a header, and one or two in other places throughout the content. That’s really all it takes to get your point across to search engines.
Synonyms also work just fine as Google’s Algorithm has gotten a lot better about picking those up over the years.
Not every post should have sales pitches. In fact, most of them shouldn’t. The best part of your company blog is you can hit people who are in different places in the sales funnel. This is why a blog is so versatile.
The best way to continue funneling prospects is interlinking. Link to other posts or pieces of content on the blog to help drive your prospects to the next step.
You also want to link externally to other authoritative sites. The purpose of this is to show readers that there is data out there that backs up your claims. Or at the very least, other trustworthy souls who believe and say and do exactly as you and your company do.
Above, we mentioned “X near me” and “X in City, State”.
This is a part of what’s called local SEO and it can make a huge difference in your visibility to people in your local area, either residents or folks just passing through.
If you run an oil change and tire shop, you want people to find you if they’re on a road trip and need an oil change, right?
The first order of business is to go to Big Daddy Google and get yourself a Google My Business account.
Accuracy is the name of the game when it comes to local SEO. You want your NAP (name, address, phone number) to be accurate across the board. This should be on your main page, usually in the footer, as well as your contact page.
Once you’ve got your GMB listing set up, copy all of this information on other directories. This tactic will help to boost your listings and shoot you to the top of Google rankings.
Off Page SEO
There are two things you can do to help boost your SEO that don’t directly involve your website or company blog.
The first is to hop on social media. Many companies over-utilize these resources and stretch themselves too thin. Go after 3-4 of these social networks, but only the ones that are going to work the best for your business.
Share your content. Make some friends and share their content. Use your social networks to provide the best of what’s out there. This will help to establish you as an authority in your niche and you’ll gain followers quickly.
The next aspect of off-page SEO is link building. If you’re a new business, it’s hard to get noticed. Building links is really a two-pronged attack. The more links there are to your site means that more people will see them and click to your site, where they will find the awesome content you wrote.
This is why search engines place so much emphasis on links. The more people like a company, the more they will link to it. The more authority and credibility it has, the more people will use link to that site in their own content.
You can build links yourself, but I suggest having pros do them for you. There are a lot of great services out there. But there are also some shady businesses building bad links. Do your best to vet and research these services to find the one that’s right for you.
The Bottom Line
You need SEO in your life. Just opening up your doors and telling your friends and family isn’t good enough.
Marketing is one of the toughest parts of owning a small business and it’s also one of the most important parts. SEO has become one of the biggest parts of it.
Luckily for you, most of these tips you can do completely on your own. They may be a bit time-consuming, but the bottom line is they’re cheap and they matter. So get started!