Blogging is a task that most business owners dread or worse, ignore all together. That is because they are being told they need to blog, they are blogging for the wrong reasons and lastly, because they are not seeing the benefits in time to get excited about blogging. No matter if you are in the upper peninsula or in the middle of Detroit, all Michigan companies can take advantage of blogging to reach out to their audience.
You are in the business you are in because you are good at it and hopefully passionate about it. This in itself should make blogging easier. There are a few things you can do to increase the effectiveness of your blog. Once you start to see your blog bring in traffic you will then be much more excited about blogging.
SEO and Blogging
The first and most important reason blogging and local SEO are such good partners is because search engines needs to know that your website has a large amount of quality content to share with the internet. This is one of the largest trust factors in search engine optimization. Another major signal of trust for search engines is consistency. They will check to see how often you are posting on your blog. A blog that posts frequently is a sign that the website is fresh and active. Otherwise search engines may consider your website old or out dated.
The next thing about blogging that makes it powerful for SEO is that you can target many long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are terms people search for that are very specific and longer than broader, more popular terms. For example a broad term may be ‘shopping malls’. That term is very difficult to rank for and wouldn’t do you much good even if you could rank for it. You would get traffic from people all over the world searching for shopping malls. However a long tail version that you might want to ranks for would be ‘shopping malls in the Lansing Michigan area’. Obviously there will be far less people looking for this term but the ones who are will be far more likely to visit your mall or store.
So by blogging, you essential create an opportunity to rank for a new long tail keyword every time you publish a blog post. There may be many long tail keywords that pop up for one post. After you start to see traffic reach your website through your blog you can track these results using Google Analytics. You will be able to tell which posts are ranking for which keywords. This will help you dial in your efforts and make your blog that much more efficient.
Eventually people will look forward to what you are posting and you will notice you are building backlinks naturally from people that like your blog, much like SEO companies. Search engines love these backlinks because they are easily identified as organic backlinks, which means they are not created by the website owner in an attempt to manipulate their own rankings.
If you couple your efforts with social media the effect is that much more powerful. Build an online community with the Michigan people that are using social media. Create incentives to get them to interact with your social media page. Offer discounts to Facebook fans or when they ‘check in’ using foursquare. This will boost your brand awareness and create the community you want online. Once you have a community built up you can now post your blog posts on social media and count on your community to share and like those posts.
When people interact with you via social media it creates what is known as a social signal to search engines. Search engines recognize that social media is very popular and know that if people are interacting with content than it must mean something. So social signals have become a big part of the search engine algorithms.
You can see blogging being utilized by small and large companies all over Michigan, from East Bay to Lansing, Upper and Lower Peninsula alike. This means some of your competition has already discovered the power of blog marketing and the benefits it has for search engine optimization.
Us your blog to drive traffic to your website by taking advantage of long tail keywords. Write many posts to get as much long tail traffic as you can. Interact with your online community via social media and give them incentives to interact back. You will quickly learn that for a little effort you can gain a lot.