Over 409 million people view blog posts every month, according to WordPress. If your business doesn’t have a blog, you’re missing out on reaching a large audience and the opportunity to convert viewers into paying customers.
Writing successful blog posts boils down to one starting point: you need to start writing. And, optimizing small business blogs is an important part of making sure people read what you write.
First, learn how an online business blog can help your business. Then, check out my tips for writing engaging content.
The Importance Of Small Business Blogs
There are many benefits of blogging on your website.
You might write articles related to your small business, which can help establish your authority in your industry. And if customers have questions, they can refer to your blog posts for answers. Further, a blog can spark a conversation between you and customers or potential customers.
One of the most common reasons that a business might create a blog is to drive traffic to their website, and for good reason—businesses with blogs receive 55% more traffic than businesses without blogs. This gives you the opportunity to advertise your company’s products or services, attract new customers, and boost your company’s bottom line.
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Business blogs also help improve your website’s ranking in search results. You want your business to rank toward the top of the search results on page one, not on pages two or three. Appearing higher in searches can translate to more clicks. Think about it: If you were searching something, would you want to comb through pages of search engine results?
7 Blogging Tips For Business
Once you decide that you want to begin a blog, or if your current blog needs a pick-me-up, you can try the following tips.
1. Blog Consistently
You don’t have to have a perfect blogging streak, but you should be consistent. Don’t post four blog articles one week and nothing for the next two months. Your blog will go stale if you aren’t consistent.
The more you blog, the easier it will be. You might consider establishing a posting schedule for consistency.
Some studies indicate that posting four times per week, or 16 times per month, is best. Businesses publishing 16 or more blog posts per month received almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies publishing between zero and four per month.
I’m not saying to devote all your time to writing blog articles. Your full-time job is running your small business, not writing about it. But setting aside a little bit of time to blog when you can is beneficial to growing your business. Or if applicable, you might have an employee update your business blog.
At my payroll and accounting software company, Patriot Software, we post approximately five times each week to update our blogs with fresh content. Our blogs tackle a variety of topics, like helping small business owners create small business growth strategies, manage payroll, understand accounting, etc.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
You already know that what you write about should relate to your small business. But, you also need to target what people are searching. What’s the use of having a blog that nobody reads? Cue keyword research.
Keyword research is the process of looking up popular keywords that people are typing into search engines. For example, how to tie a tie is something people search. If you owned a clothing store, you could write an article titled “Learn How to Tie a Tie in 5 Easy Steps.”
Incorporate keywords into your article title and lace them throughout your blog posts. That way, your articles have a better chance of ranking on search engines and people can find them. Plus, keyword research might also give you ideas about what to write.
3. Aim For Optimized Blog Lengths
How long should the average blog post be? You want your blog posts to be long enough that they can fit in all the information you want to convey to your readers. And, you need to make sure you can fit in all those keywords without making the whole article a string of keywords.
Your articles should be detailed and quality pieces that you can be proud of. Ask yourself, is it something you would want to read?
Generally, longer blog posts rank best in search engines. In one study, the top 10 search engine results contained articles that were over 2,000 words, on average. (Some of you might have figured out that I did not reach 2,000 words in this article. But before you start scolding me, remember—I’m a busy business owner like you, and not all articles need to be so long! Remember: quality over quantity.)
And what about the title of a blog post? Titles are important not just for catching a potential reader’s eye, but also for catching the eye of the search engines. Some sources reported that titles with six-13 words received the most traffic.
4. Incorporate Visuals
Adding images (or even videos) can help viewers engage with the page. For many of us, our attention spans are short. And, we want to absorb key takeaways after we’re done reading. Individuals retain 65% of information when visuals are paired with written content, vs. only 10% of information when there isn’t a visual.
You might want to add a visual, like an infographic or chart, to highlight key points from your articles. This can lead to increased time spent on your blog page. And, it can be easier for users to remember the content.
5. Address Customer Questions
Another goldmine of blog topics might come directly from your customers. When your customers have questions about something related to your business, you can jot down ideas and come up with blog topics.
Answering customer questions through your blog helps you kill two birds with one stone. You can answer common questions that are plaguing your customers. And, it helps you come up with actionable content that can engage others with similar questions.
6. Invite Guest Contributors
I know blogging can be time-consuming. Whether you want to alleviate some of your time or if you just want a fresh voice on your blog, you might invite guest contributors to contribute content or articles.
Having a fresh outlook on topics relating to your business can be enlightening. You might gain a new perspective on something.
You might invite an industry leader to write an article. Or, you can interview another business leader and print your conversation with them in question and answer format.
7. Do A Roundup Of Industry News
Another idea for your small business marketing blog is to publish a monthly or weekly roundup. You can include top articles your audience base would be interested in reading from the past month or week, summarize them, and explain how each could help them.
At Patriot, we publish a monthly small business roundup. We break the featured articles down into sections so readers can easily locate topics that interest them.