Operating a small business can be difficult, especially when you are first starting out. Trying to find leads, attract customers, and increase traffic to your website takes time and energy. The good news is that adding a blog to your small business website can take some of the pressure off. Over half of small businesses that post a new article on their blog every month have been able to attract new customers through their blog. If you run a small business, then check out these ways that you can use a blog as part of your marketing strategy.
Decide on the Focus of your Small Business Blog
The first step is deciding what you want your blog to focus on. Who are you trying to reach? What type of information do you plan on providing? Blogs should contain useful information, not a series of sales pitches. With a blog, you are trying to show your expertise in your field. For example, if you have a small business that sells shoes, you might provide articles about fitness, hiking, jogging, and how to pick out the right shoes.
As you think about your focus, also set your goals. What is the purpose of the blog? Are you using it to attract more customers to your site, show your expertise, interact with customers, or a combination of all three? These are factors that you should think about during the planning stages.
Choose a Platform for your Business Blog
Once you have set your focus and goals, decide on how you want to blog. Choose a blogging platform. The most popular blogging platform is WordPress, for its ease of use; though, using WordPress can lead to longer load times for your pages. Depending on the company that designed your website, they may be able to set up a custom blogging platform for you to use that is simpler than WordPress. Typically, your blog will be an extension of your company website – with a menu button along your standard menu. The look of the blog should match the look of your website.
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Set a Schedule and Team Leader
The next step is setting a schedule and deciding who should be in charge of posting content and moderating comments. Having one person handling these tasks simplifies the process and prevents confusion. This is an extension of your business, so choose your blog team leader wisely. They should be in charge of moderating and responding to comments and creating or editing articles to post.
After choosing a team lead for your blog, set a schedule for posting. If you want people to come back to your blog after reading an article, you should be consistent with your posting. Whether you post once a month, weekly, or daily, stick to your schedule.
With each posting, set a focus keyword or keyword phrase. A keyword phrase consists of two to three keywords, such as custom running shoes. This creates more focus and will increase the chances that visitors to your site will find what they are looking for. Also, as the articles are written, include your keyword phrase in the titles, subheadings, and throughout the article; however, try to not overuse the keyword. For a 500 word article, try to use the keyword no more than a dozen times. The keyword needs to seem natural as it appears in your content.
Promote Your Blog and Build Backlinks
Even though Google does not rely as heavily on the quantity of backlinks, when determining page rankings in search engine results, backlinks are still needed. Have your team leader look for blogs and websites that cover similar topics as your blog and comment on their articles whenever possible. This creates backlinks and will help increase the chances of your blog showing up in search engine results. Another way to create backlinks is with free web directories software.
Stick With It
You probably won’t see results immediately, so be patient. Stick with it and keep up with your schedule. It can take several months for your blog to start bringing in extra traffic. The blog is an extension of your marketing strategy and sometimes marketing campaigns take a while to get going. In the long run, you will see the benefits of adding a blog to your small business website.