Maintaining an active and engaging blog is one of the best ways to market your small business. Our previous posts highlighted a few of the benefits of blogging for small business owners and outlined six steps to get started. Once you’ve got your blog up and running, the next challenge is to optimize the content to attract a relevant audience. Keep reading to discover six actionable tips to improve your small business blog.
Tip 1: Focus on quality over quantity.
When it comes to blogging, it is more important to post tailored, valuable content in regular intervals than it is to post at a high frequency. Don’t try to blog about topics outside of the scope of your business in an effort to reach all online users or post more frequently. Instead, focus only on your target market and deliver the type of content and answers that they would find valuable – with consistency. You’ll see more qualified traffic and leads come through on your site and build better relationships with the customers that matter most.
Tip 2: Research & refresh keywords.
A keyword list that you made a few months or even years ago may no longer be relevant -- customers may no longer have the same questions or be searching for the same things. As a small business owner, you may have completely new offerings to promote or insights to share! Consider conducting keyword research several times per year to continually refresh and update your target keyword list and blog topics. There are several search engine optimization (SEO) analytics tools like Semrush that can help you find the best keyword opportunities and blog topic ideas for your audience.
Tip 3: Write compelling meta titles and descriptions.
No matter what platform you choose to run your blog, you will have the opportunity to manage meta titles and descriptions alongside your written blog content. A meta title is the tag that displays on search engine result pages, and a meta description is the text displayed underneath meta title tags. Oftentimes, well-written meta titles and descriptions can be the difference between a user engaging with your blog content or scrolling right past it. Optimize your meta information by sticking to around 50-60 characters for titles and 155-160 characters for descriptions, including target search query keywords and giving potential readers an engaging intro and a clear idea of what they will find in your post.
Tip 4: Use visuals and alt text.
Adding visuals like images, videos, infographics or charts to your blog posts is a great way to highlight key points and takeaways for users. Visuals can help to break up text, making content more digestible for readers to understand and easier to remember long term. Additionally, visuals and graphics can help increase engagement and the amount of time users spend on your blog page and the rest of your site.
When including visuals in posts, another way to optimize your blogs for search engines is by utilizing “alt text.” Alt text is the descriptive copy that accompanies visuals to convey their meaning and context in a digital setting. Depending on the platform or hosting service you use for your blog, you will often be prompted to add this alt text to any image you add to a post or page. Not only does alt text help visually impaired readers understand what your images depict, but it lets search engines know as well. Writing simple, relevant alt text descriptions for blog images improves the accessibility of your blog along with your SEO score.
Tip 5: Cross link to relevant posts.
Cross linking is an internal link building strategy that involves linking between pages on the same website, like other blog posts or resources, for example. Cross linking makes it easy for readers to access additional useful content on your website or blog and helps drive more traffic towards other pages you want users to view or engage with. Search engines crawl those same links in order to discover and rank more of your content, so cross linking can boost your SEO score and traffic to your blog pages. A general rule of thumb when cross linking is to strive for about four links per blog, though placement should be intentional and links should only be included where they fit naturally within your content.
Tip 6: Include a call to action.
The strongest blog posts will always end in a way that encourages readers to convert or continue consuming your content. You should wrap up every post with a call-to-action, whether that’s a link to another post or a form for users to fill out their information. Every blog post is an opportunity to encourage readers to engage with your business.