a. For most small businesses, they do not have the financial resources to run a bunch of advertising and marketing campaigns. Many don’t have the resources to even have a professionally designed and optimized website built. At least with blogging and some simple SEO you can do yourself, you still have an opportunity to be present, be found, and get your business in front of your target market.
b. It can also give you a competitive advantage!
Disclaimer: In order for this to work right, you’ve got to be consistent and dedicated to the strategy.
When you apply a content driven marketing strategy or “a blogging strategy” it’s important that you be committed to creating content consistently, like clockwork, and it should be powered by a purposeful SEO strategy.
Here’s what could happen if you get serious about your content creation and SEO strategy.
- Your web traffic can increase by 55% (HubSpot)
- You could have better educated customers which will increase purchases (Jupiter Research)
- Your leads per month could increase anywhere from 67% to 88% (HubSpot)
- It has been proven that a blog with more than 51 articles can experience a 77% lift in median monthly leads (HubSpot)
Last year, 2011, eMarketer discovered that 39% of US companies are using blogs for marketing purposes. Which is a lot of companies, but as a micro-to-small business owner you have an advantage, less policy, less bureaucracy, and less red type; which means more flexibility, quicker time to market, and the ability to be a real person connecting with customers who are sick of dealing with faceless corporations.
Plus, 20% of Google searches are for local information or local companies. Meaning: If you’re pumping out the information people are searching for, and your site and content are optimized for local search, you’ll be the company your local market starts going to for more and more of the things they need!
And that is why having a blogging and SEO strategy gives you, the micro-to-small business owner an opportunity to gain the competitive advantage.
It’s important that you dedicate time to researching which keywords are important to target using keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Tool.
Here’s an SEO tip from the HubSpot blog worth remembering:
Focus on long tail keyword phrases, which comprise 70% of organic search traffic and are less competitive, letting you outrank your competitors for a huge amount of long tail keywords that actually drive qualified traffic instead of a small handful of head terms that will take months and months, if not years, to show results in both search engines and your bottom line. (http://bit.ly/uCbarH)
How to develop your blogging and SEO strategy
1. First you need to identify your goals, what do you want to accomplish by implementing this type of strategy?
Some ideas of good goals:
- To increase sales
- To add value to your products and services
- To open a dialog with your customers
- To raise awareness of your company, products, and services
- To demonstrate your knowledge and expertise
- To provide customer service and support
- To improve public relations (for example, media relations, reputation management, crisis management, and so on)
- To drive traffic to your other website(s)
- To give some personality to your corporate image
There is no reason why your blog can’t have a combination of these strategic goals.
2. Second thing to identify is how you are going to accomplish each of your goals and what specific things are required for implementation.
Some example of this process:
Goal: Position yourself as an expert
How to accomplish the goal: Share and demonstrate your knowledge and skills by providing original, high quality, and valuable content daily and distribute it in multiple mediums (written, video, audio).
Specifics Required: Be a resource for people’s questions and problems. Improve your writing, and communication skills. Learn SEO and copywriting best practices. Get to know your target market and understand what they need.
3. Thirdly, you need to develop a system to make it easier for you to publish new content on your blog daily and find tools that will lighten your work load. Tools that make things like SEO and content writing easier or quicker.
A sample system:
Select a time, 60 to 90 minutes, each day to create content. You can take that time to do research (if necessary) and write one article or multiple. If you write multiple you can, with WordPress, schedule them to publish to your blog automatically over the next couple of days. The important part, just because you got articles done for the next three days doesn’t mean you get to skip the next couple of days of content creation time. Once you have 1 or 2 weeks of content prepared and scheduled to post, you can spend your content creation time on developing an ebook.
Once you’ve written you content you want to make sure you do your SEO work so that the article ranks well in the search engines. There are a few best practices to implement for each article.
- The title length should not exceed 72 characters. This will ensure the full title is visible in a search result.
- The title length should include at least 4 words.
- Include the keyword phrase in the title. This will increase the relevancy of your content for that keyword phrase.
- The description length should not exceed 165 characters.
- Include the keyword phrase in the description.
- Include a Primary Keyword toward the beginning of your Description to increase the relevancy.
- The body length should be at least 300 words, ideally centered on one or two keyword phrase(s).
- For keyword density, each keyword or keyword phrase should not represent more than 5.5% of the total words on the page.
- Include one hyperlink for every 120 words of body content spread out evenly down the page.
- Include a hyperlink at the beginning of the body in order to show prominence.
- Ideally, hyperlinks should link to content that is relevant to the keywords, preferably to an interior page of your website.
Tools to lighten your load:
- Genesis / StudioPress (WP designs that convert!)
- After the Deadline
- All in One SEO Pack
- Scribe SEO
4. Fourth, regular and consistent implementation of your strategy.
This takes dedication and determination. But if you do it, you’ll experience a great deal of success. And this will work for any business.
If you need help developing your blogging strategy please contact me or ask your questions in the comments below.
You may also be interested in our workshops and webinars.