As a small business, your content strategy is the key to getting yourself seen. It drives traffic to your site, increases conversions, and strengthens your brand.
Creating blogs that rank, and rank well, isn’t easy — but it’s not impossible.
Read on to discover how to write and rank small business content that customers and search engines will love.
Embrace the benefits of local SEO
Local SEO is your small business’s secret weapon in the battle of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). It’s vital in a mobile-first market and will both net you sales and drive traffic.
Of course, local SEO won’t work for every small biz. If you own an online store and your customers come from all over the globe, locality won’t necessarily affect your sales. But for those small businesses that deal with face-to-face transactions, local SEO is an absolute must.
Beyond optimizing your website for local SEO, you should create a blog content strategy that addresses and explores local issues. When you write about regional places and events, search engines pick up on it and increase your ranking in local search queries.
Takeaway Tip: Identify the local keywords that relate to your small biz: your state, town or city, even your borough or street. Next, pick out local issues such as cultural events or news and write blogs about them.
Find the optimum word count
The perfect blog post length is a controversial topic. I’ve done my fair share of guest posting, and I’ve seen guidelines specifying everything from 500 to 2500 words minimum.
Unfortunately, regularly churning out 2500 word, high-quality blog posts is too demanding for most small businesses. Instead, shoot for around 1000 words. This gives you the scope to create a quality blog post, and won’t eat into too much of your time.
The more words, the better of course. But if you can’t manage more, don’t obsess over it. Aim for no less than 500 words as a minimum, and your content will still be readable and rankable.
It’s worth mentioning your title length here too. A clickable blog title drives traffic (e.g. “10 SEO Trends You Need To Know In 2019”), which in turn signals to search engines that it’s worth ranking. Your titles should also be between 50-60 characters long to display fully on SERPs.
Remember, your title tags, meta description, and URL all play a part in improving your content SEO. If that sounds daunting, don’t be put off. The Yoast plugin for WordPress makes it easy to optimize your tags and descriptions with intelligent keyword planning.
Plus, as WordPress integrates with most reliable online store creators, you can start optimizing your blog’s SERP data with whichever ecommerce platform you use. It’s a versatile blogging solution that makes it easy for small businesses to enhance their SEO, perfect for novices or experts.
While Yoast is one of the best SEO plugins out there, there are plenty more that can help you get your content ranking with ease.
Takeaway Tip: 1000 words is a good rule of thumb, but don’t sweat it too much. Quality is important, and an amazing 500 word blog post is better than a terrible 2500 word one. And don’t be afraid of bulking it out with some images and video either — it’s great for your readers, and great for your SEO too.
Leverage tech to go beyond keyword research
Struggling for inspiration for a blog post that ranks? Thankfully, there’s a number of useful tools to help you identify relevant topics to write about.
Topic ideation starts with keyword research. The premise is simple: identify industry-related phrases that your target customers search for, and then write optimized content around those keywords.
For example, if you’re an electronics business, your typical customer would search for related questions such as “how to factory reset an Android phone”. Write keyword-optimized and high-quality blogs that address these queries, and you’re set to go.
Another quick-win for blog content that ranks is identifying trending topics related to your industry. Tools such as Social Animal (or the more affordable Scoop.it) let you search for current popular content based on your business keywords.
Simply use these trending topics as inspiration for your own strategy, and you’ll have superb blog content that your customers — and the search engines — will love.
Takeaway tip: The key to a successful ranking blog strategy is keeping it fresh and current. Update yours regularly with content that addresses trending events and issues. It’s good for your SEO, great for your customers, and it positions your small business as modern and relevant too.
Don’t forget your image SEO
Did you know that the images and videos that you use in your blogs also affect your SEO? Last year, Google updated its image search function, including providing the option to filter results by theme.
For example, an image search for “cats” could be further sorted by categories such as: anime, baby, kitten, white, wallpaper, and so on. Consequently, those blogs that contain search engine optimized-images will be favored by Google’s crawlers.
Beyond that, having images or video in your blog increases your reader’s time on site, and generally enhances their experience of your website. Choose high-quality images and optimize their alt tags with relevant keywords. And avoid massive photos that take too long to load which will negatively impact your SEO.
Takeaway Tip: It goes without saying that original photos will always trump generic stock photos. But as a small biz owner, finding the time to take high-quality original snaps is tricky. So while generic stock photos are a no-no, there are some websites that offer quality free images for download that actually look and feel unique. Use a free online photo editor to give them a creative spin and truly make them your own.
Make the most of featured snippets
Google is increasingly keeping its users on the SERPs through the use of featured snippets. These are the text boxes that appear at the top of results pages, answering queries and often preventing people from clicking through to a website.
For small businesses, this is both good and bad. In many cases, a searcher might get the answer they need and not visit your website as a result. But savvy businesses use featured snippets to pique their visitor’s interest, compelling them to click through.
As with most things, it’s better to swim with the tide than against it, so it’s important that you optimize your blog content for these snippets where appropriate.
Takeaway Tip: If you’re writing a blog that answers a query (think evergreen content and essential guides), make it high-quality and comprehensive. Maybe that’s a given, but you should also format it in a way that works for Google. This is a multi-pronged task, so find out exactly what this entails here.
Your small business’s content strategy is a core path to online success. Simply writing blog posts isn’t enough — you have to play the SEO game to get them ranking on the SERPs. Follow these tips for how to write and rank small business content , and you’ll have high-quality optimized content in no time.
What are your tips for creating rankable small business content? Tell us in the comments below!
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