Besides just being a good idea in general, what are the other benefits to starting and maintaining a small business blog? Well, there are countless--dozens, really--but the simple answer is that a business blog's posts are indexed individually, providing even more exposure for your business. This is especially helpful for those tight marketing budgets because business blogging can be practically free and still have a high ROI! Blogging is also free PR, inexpensive advertising, and a great hub for content marketing efforts.
Okay, so now you're convinced that your small business needs to start blogging ASAP: what now? Well, it's time to dive into the wonderful world of blogging and all of the free and inexpensive tips you can use right now to make sure you have a successful business blog. These just happen to be the top three.
1. Include Local Information
Small businesses all rely on their local community and that closeness can now be taken to the Internet through a blog. You see, like mentioned earlier, all of that content is going to be indexed by web crawlers and ranked appropriately on search engines. In order to get to that front page of Google, don't forget to add local information.
Your address in the footer of your blog is a great place to start. If you want to really tap into the local online advertising market, use your small business blog to talk about the local area and collaborate with fellow small businesses. Not only will you be helping your SEO, but also gaining more networks throughout the community.
2. Become an Authority Blog
You've probably heard the term before, or something similar. Authority sites, authority blogs, and authority content are pretty much the same: you need to show that you have the de facto information and "authority" in your niche in order to gain credibility and exposure online.
In order to do that, you need to have a consistently updated blog which provides highly engaging and informational content that is niche specific, but can normally be read by a general audience. It might sound hard, but once you get to it, it's actually quite easy. Like this article, for example! This is for a generalized demographic, instead of saying "blogging tips for the SaaS small business."
There is also the relevancy and uniqueness of your content writing to worry about, too. SEO best practices in 2012 and beyond include blogs, even a small business blog, need to keep their ideas fresh and not just produce boring, tired content (like yet another generic sales pitch or press release).
3. Incentive Calls-to-Action
Don't forget about the all mighty call-to-action (CTA)! Small businesses need to make sure their blog is another channel for a sales funnel, since that's the whole point of blogging in the first place! A CTA can be embedded or placed about anywhere, especially when it comes to a blog.
Where are the best places for your CTAs on your small business blog?
The sidebar of your blog, whether it's on the left or right side. Especially if it can be embedded somewhere near a high click zone for the best conversion rates.
Top of the page somewhere, though you have to be careful with "above the fold" advertisements on your blog as you might feel the burn from Google.
The footer of your blog is another place a lot of people forget about.
The end of a blog post, especially if you include a suite of social sharing buttons at the bottom of the article rather than the top.
If you already have a small business blog, what are some other tips that are good to know? If you're a new-comer, what has prevented you from creating a blog so far?