“Does blogging REALLY help SEO for my local business website?”
Even the answer is obvious to digital marketers, many business owners keep asking the question because they want to hear the opposite answer. When we answer, they usually reply “Really?” or “Even for the local business?”
We totally understand why they respond like that. We are also small business owners.
Yet, blogging is more powerful than they assume. It’s now changing the marketing trend substantially. Give us 7 minutes. Then, we will show you how blogging will help your business thrive. And, ‘hopefully’ inspire you to start your blog today.
In this article, you will read:
- Does blogging REALLY help SEO (Search Ranking) for my local business website?
- Users want fresh content. So does Google.
- New Marketing Trend – Users will find your business through your blog.
- Becoming an authority
- For us, a blog is a monthly report.
Does blogging REALLY help SEO (Search Ranking) for my business website?
The answer is YES! DEFINITELY!!
Yet, making your writing public is not easy. Sometimes it’s even scary. Or it may feel like time-consuming without getting quick returns.
So, when we plan for their websites, many business owners try to avoid blogging. They regard blogging as a chore or boring homework. Do you agree, too?
Users want fresh content. So does Google.
The most important reason for blogging is to provide fresh contents and update the website.
Have you visited a website displaying the last blog updated in 2012 or even 2010? Do you trust the website? Users may doubt if the business is still running. Users want fresh content.
Google also reads the metadata (updated date, author, comments, and so on) of the site. If the site was last updated 6 years ago, Google doubts the trustworthiness of the contents. In contrary, when it found that the site has been regularly updated and maintained, Google would consider to put it at a higher rank.
Keeping your site fresh and updated is critical to improving your search ranking. Blogging is one of the best SEO practice.
(*Having an outdated blog is better than not having one at all. You can hide the date and write whenever you can. Yet, even you hide the date, you cannot trick Google. So, we recommend you to update the blog regularly to gain credibility from Google.)
New Marketing Trend – Users will find your business through your blog.
Have you experienced finding a useful article and becoming a loyal customer to that brand? More consumers are experiencing it.
This case is not just applied to global brands but also applied to local businesses. Based on Google Internal Data (April 2016), nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches are related to location or local search. (resource: Google Consumer Insights, Edit Local search marketing)
As search engines evolve and improve the practicality, “googling” became a part of our everyday life. Search engines are contributing to our local businesses more and more.
Another trend is a long-tail keyword search. A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains descriptive words.
Examples of long-tail keywords
|whale watching||best spots to watch whales in hawaii|
|restaurant kauai||best family restaurant for weekend kauai|
|SEO tips||how to improve SEO for a new website|
|kauai SEO||kauai SEO for a local small business|
We use long-tail keywords in order to find the exact information we want. Some marketers say that about 90 percent of search queries are in the form of long tail keywords now. (resource)
Long-tail searches give your blog more chances to be searched in your local area when you use local keywords.
Changes in Consumer’s Awareness
The marketing trends are changing as consumer’s awareness is changing. We don’t believe advertisement as much as we did before. We believe the real value in improving our life. Awareness movements are also accelerating changes in consumer’s pattern. (examples: Dave Ramsey – 10 Ways to Stop Overspending on Impulse Buys, The Minimalist – The 30/30 Rule)
Researches show the changes in marketing trend:
- 70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads. (resource)
- 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them. (resource)
- Small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than small businesses that do not blog. (resource)
Becoming an authority
Contents are valuable assets.
If you share valuable information to help your customers solve problems and live a better life, they will trust your business. And, they will consider you as an authority in your industry or in your local area.
Joe Pulizzi introduced a success story of River Pools and Spa in his book, Content, Inc (2015, McGraw-Hill ).
*We edited the original story to make it shorter.
“River Pools and Spa, a local installer of fiberglass pools in Virginia faced a crisis during the Recession in 2009. Customers canceled contracts and requested their deposits back. To overcome the crisis, CEO started to write down every conceivable customer question and answered it on his blog. Two years later in 2011, while the average pool builder lost 50-75 percent in sales, River Pools increased sales to more than $5 million even if the company decreased the marketing spend from $250k to $40k. Later, CEO was being called upon by companies all over the world to install pools. Now, River Pools is manufacturing its own fiberglass pools and became an international company. By providing valuable contents, River Pools has become the leading company in the fiberglass pool industry.”
*You can read River Pools & Spa’s blog here.
Imagine that you have written 20 – 30 articles and helped people make their life easier. How much would they trust your business? You will be considered as an authority in that industry or at the local area.
When we write a blog, only focus on our customers. How to solve their problem and how to make their life better. When we add true value to their life, people will trust us and talk about our business. Yet, as soon as we try to advertise our business without providing value, people will leave.
For us, a blog is a monthly report.
We regard our blog as a monthly report of our business. If we ran our business properly, we would understand more about our customers’ pain. Then, we could find something to share in our blog every month.
We invest time to write a blog. We research and study to create valuable contents. Because we appreciate that visitors pay their precious time to read the blog, we give our best in each article. These monthly reports show how much we have grown since we started the business.
Blogging is critical for SEO. In this article, we tried to avoid using the technical jargon such ‘reducing bouncing rate’, ‘increasing user engagement’, or ‘getting backlinks’. Even so, we could find many substantial reasons why we blog.
Do you feel motivated to start/resume your blog? We hope so.
Don’t try to be perfect from the beginning. The more you write, the better it gets.
Let us conclude this article with our favorite quotes:
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
– Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn –
“You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.”
-Zig Ziglar, author, and motivational speaker-