We live in a digital world. While that was already true, the events of 2020 brought us even deeper into virtual reality.
Google search traffic jumped from an average of 3.6 billion searches per day to 6 billion since March 2020.
Out of more than 1.7 billion websites, there are over 500 million blogs and more than 2 million new blog posts published every day.
That’s a LOT of content being consumed online!
Blogging, especially SEO-focused blogging that pushes your site to the top of Google, has drastically evolved from its early days. Now, it’s an important marketing tool for businesses, influencers, and freelancers around the world.
And not just those wide buckets—the small business, too, can gain massive momentum from SEO blogging.
Yes! SEO blogging for small businesses works.
And we’re not talking the icky, backlink-y, yucky type of SEO content…
We’re talking about the type of marketing where you work on getting FOUND for the pain point your offer/product solves.
There is no better place then your website in Google to build a presence for that, my friends.
In today’s post, we’ll cover:
- What is business blogging?
- The importance of having a blog on your small business website
- Sample blog post topics for inspiration to get started
Ready to build a 7-figure business through the power of content marketing? Sign up for my FREE training to learn how.
What Is Business Blogging?
Business blogging is a form of content marketing that improves a business’s online visibility.
Think of a business blog as another marketing channel in your arsenal of resources to reach new customers and engage with your existing audience, just like social media, email marketing, PPC, etc.
Content marketing is a highly effective form of marketing that yields a high ROI while costing 62% less than traditional marketing and generating 3 times as many leads.
If you’ve shrugged off the idea of blogging in the past as a waste of time, this post will make you reconsider the benefits of introducing business blogging into your content marketing plan.
SEO Blogging for Small Business Marketing
When blogging first started in the 90s, people primarily used blogs to share their personal stories online like a digital diary available to the public for anyone to read.
Blogs have come a long way over the past few decades.
Blogging isn’t just your mom’s hobby blogging idea. Oh no. There are many, many businesses in many, many industries making $70,000 and far more per month simply because of the traffic they earn on their SEO-driven blog that brings conversions and sales. (Express Writers, my former content agency, is one of those case studies.)
The caveat? Note the term SEO. You need to think in terms of SEO blogging.
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. Basically, it means optimizing a website and its content for Google and other search engines to easily read, rank, and index.
However, SEO isn’t all about Google’s bots. There are a number of different factors used in the ranking system, and most of them focus on user experience. The goal is to strike a balance between appealing to your human readers and making it easy for Google to process your content.
Breaking up large blocks of text with headings, subheading, and graphics, for example, allows your audience to skim over the article, and it also allows the bots crawling your page to quickly understand what your content is about and categorize it appropriately.
Using targeted keywords helps Google recognize your content is relevant when someone types a query into the search box. Based on the quality of your content, Google will then populate your article on the search engine results page (SERP).
This is what I mean when I say SEO is a balancing act.
If you write only for your human readers, you’re probably missing keywords. Most writers tend to instinctively avoid repeating the same words and phrases, so Google might not make the connection and put your content on the SERP.
But if you write only for Google, your content probably won’t be enjoyable to read. It will sound stiff, robotic, and repetitive with keywords constantly forced into sentences in ways that don’t sound natural.
That will do you more harm than good – Google’s primary focus is to provide relevant, high-quality content to people looking for information. Keyword stuffing is an outdated practice, not to mention an immediate turn-off for your consumers.
Done correctly, SEO turns your content into the best of both worlds. People will find your content useful and easy to read, and Google will categorize and rank your website.
9 Benefits of SEO Blogging for Small Business Marketing
Many content marketers like to say “Content is king.”
While I don’t disagree, I think it’s more accurate to say the audience is king. Content is the castle.
Building a marketing strategy based on content has enormous benefits for small businesses. Here are 9 reasons why SEO business blogging is a smart move:
1. Boost Your Website’s SEO
We briefly touched on SEO in the beginning of this article.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website for Google so it’s rewarded with higher page rankings and a better chance of landing on the first SERP.
The truth is, without great content, you’re highly unlikely to get much organic traffic without paying for PPC and other traditional ads.
SEO covers a broad range of factors, including keywords, subheadings, sentence and paragraph length, multimedia, and more.
So, how important is content for SEO? Google says: VERY!
Content and SEO go hand-in-hand. In fact, content is one of the most important factors Google takes into account when analyzing and indexing your website.
You really can’t have one without the other and expect to impress Google.
Beautiful website with low-quality, clickbait content linking to spammy website? No good.
Grammatically correct, well-researched blog articles published as one long paragraph with no subheadings? Also no good.
There isn’t one or the other. You either have both, or you have nothing.
Even if you’ve formatted your website for every known SEO best practice, your content MUST be valuable for your readers. That means real substance, proper grammar, few-to-no typos, research with credible links to back up your claims, etc.
Good content + proper SEO = a winning formula for your content strategy.
Have questions about SEO content writing? Check out my FREE in-depth SEO cheat sheet.
2. Drive Organic Traffic to Your Website
When you publish content that readers find valuable, you’re signaling Google and other search engines to show your posts on the search engine results page (SERP) when people are looking for information.
This is FREE traffic. You aren’t paying for ad space – all you’re doing is writing about topics that are relevant to your business and audience.
With a keyword-focused approach, your posts will be more discoverable and will funnel traffic to your site.
Companies that maintain an active blog have an average of 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links.
Those percentages are so high they almost don’t seem real, do they?
But ask real estate investor and agent Tyler Ford, and he’ll tell you they most certainly are.
Tyler is a real-life example of just how powerful SEO business blogging can be for small businesses. After only four months of focusing on SEO, he made $200,000 in revenue. Prior to that valuable investment, his business was in the red by $20,000.
This is what Tyler had to say about the quality of his SEO leads:
“For the most part, they’re all motivated. I would say 80% of the leads that come in are motivated sellers. You send out direct mail and you’re dealing with 90% that are unmotivated. SEO is the exact opposite. They’re chasing you, you’re not chasing them.”
What did Tyler and other small business owners discover once they harnessed the power of SEO business blogging?
Not only did it drive more traffic to their websites, it also drove the RIGHT traffic. This is what content marketing is all about. Tyler summed it up perfectly: Your consumers will be chasing you.
Stop wasting your money running after an uninterested audience with traditional forms of advertising. That’s like swimming after the fish and trying to catch them with your bare hands instead of baiting the hook and sitting back to relax. Don’t make extra work for yourself.
3. Get Serious Conversions
Blog content is informative rather than interruptive advertising.
Think of it this way – instead of spamming potential customers with pop-ups or demanding actions from them (usually pushing them to spend their hard-earned money), you’re engaging them in a casual conversation.
The primary purpose of content is to educate or entertain your readers, not sell them something. This is the best way to introduce people to your brand and provide a good first impression.
You don’t burst onto the scene with a sales pitch that makes you come across as a sleazy car salesman with a “great deal.”
Instead, you start the transaction by giving, not demanding. You provide valuable and helpful information first, then casually end with a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.
This nonintrusive method works. 52% of buyers said they were “definitely more likely” to make a purchase after reading a vendor’s content.
At Express Writers, we built our presence through SEO blogging, 100%.
No ads. The Write Blog, containing more than 1,200 long-form blogs, brings in most of the customers and revenue. EW still publishes one blog every week, and has for ten years. Here’s what one month in ecommerce sales from those customers looks like.
4. Own Your Marketing Real Estate with an SEO Blog
One of the best ways to start building your brand authority is to have your own website.
You could technically start building your content marketing framework on a third-party platform such as Blogger, WordPress.com, or even Facebook. In most cases, this option would be free or cost very little.
However – I can’t stress this enough – I HIGHLY recommend against doing that.
Let’s say you decide that Facebook is going to be the home base for your content. Everything you post is on Facebook.
However, at no point do you ever actually own that content. If Facebook were to go bankrupt and pull the plug overnight, what do you think is going to happen to all of that content you spent years creating?
Time to start over from scratch.
You NEED a website if you’re going to invest in a profitable, long-term content marketing strategy. When you host a website on your own instead of putting all of your faith into a third-party platform, your content is safer, and it also has a much more professional appearance.
This is where you should be laying the foundation to build your content house.
Your website needs to be the singular point where your traffic is directed (hence, your house). All of your content lives here. You can and should still share it across multiple platforms and channels, but it needs a safe place where you can maintain total control over it.
I also recommend buying a domain for your website.
A domain is your unique online identity and URL. My domain, for example, is contenthacker.com.
If the thought of coming up with a clever business name on the spot makes you sweat, don’t stress about it! Lots of business owners, especially online entrepreneurs, use their name for their domain.
Joe Pulizzi, for example, owns the domain joepulizzi.com, which is where he built his content base. Nice and simple, right? His name is his brand.
If you are using a third-party platform to house your website, you have the option of using a free URL provided by the host. For example, if you were using Wix, your URL would be “accountname.wixsite.com/siteaddress”.
Let’s be honest… that’s not a pretty URL. It doesn’t look professional at all.
But if you purchase a domain, which you would then own, your URL would be “yourbusinessname.com”. Your site could still be created and hosted through Wix, but the domain would be yours.
That’s a much more professional website that visitors would feel confident visiting. And, with that small but impactful change, you’re on your way toward building your brand into a trustworthy authority.
5. Drive Long-Term Results with Evergreen Content
Short social media posts or topics that are currently trending will be short-lived.
If you want to drive long-term results, think about long-form SEO content that is evergreen.
Evergreen content is thorough, highly relevant material that won’t go out of date anytime soon. Basically, it’s the opposite of breaking news.
Take a look at these two search results about blogging:
Which of those two articles is still going to be relevant in a couple of years? The one dated for 2021, or the one that isn’t tied to a specific period of time?
(Hint… it’s #2)
Even when you have evergreen content in your wheelhouse, it’s important to update it regularly. I am constantly updating my articles to make sure they’re still relevant and up-to-date with the right facts and statistics.
Why is this important?
Even if you’re choosing evergreen topics, they will eventually become outdated. It’s inevitable. There are always new insights, studies, and statistics to include. You don’t have to completely rewrite old articles, but you do need to make sure they’re still relevant and useful to your readers.
Maintaining evergreen content is one of the easiest ways to ensure you maximize every bit of ROI out of your content marketing strategy.
Now that you’re aware of how important it is to update your content, you’ll probably notice that many online articles, especially ones that are outdated, will display when the last update was made at the top of the article.
This is a common practice to let your readers know that even if the post was originally published a while ago, it’s still valuable and up-to-date.
6. Build Backlinks and Internal Links
First… what are backlinks?
Backlinks are what we call the connection when another website is linking back to yours.
This connection is a factor that impacts Google’s ranking algorithm. When a credible website references your material and includes a link back to your site, that signals to Google your website is also credible and should be taken more seriously.
Internal links are also important, as these help Google better understand your website when its bots crawl your pages.
Publishing blog content that includes internal links and earns backlinks from other sources is one of the best ways to give your website a boost in the search engine rankings.
Let me clue you in on a little secret – 98% of the link building methods you hear from SEO experts are a complete waste of time.
Instead, I recommend these 3 methods to earn links that will be WAY more valuable than short-term hacks:
- Commit to brand consistency in content and design
- Grow your expertise and add value to your industry by using your own original concepts
- Be a guest on other platforms to earn links through your bio
Here’s the deal – backlinks are a byproduct. If you spend most of your time trying to build backlinks instead of building your brand, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Instead, you should be dedicated to developing your authority, content, audience, traffic, and overall brand. Focus on those aspects, and the links will follow.
7. Establish Yourself as an Expert Authority
Imagine two people are trying to convince you to hire them:
- One says, “You should hire me. Trust me, I’m an expert in the industry. Take my word for it.”
- The other hands you a portfolio and says, “Let me tell you about my 25 years of experience. As you can see, I’ve been writing articles about the industry for a long time, and I’ve done a lot of research in addition to having personal experience. Please let me know if I can answer any questions.”
Which of these two people are you more likely to trust and hire?
Think of your SEO-driven blog as an example of your best work.
You aren’t just claiming that you’re an expert – you can put your money where your mouth is and show people you actually know what you’re talking about.
Regularly publishing content about your business and industry builds your credibility, authority, and trustworthiness. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
For example, I teach content marketing. But before I taught it, I did it by building my own seven-figure business through content. I have a blog with long-form, trust-building posts (some of them over 5,000 words). I also give away a free 30-page guide and a free 30-minute masterclass on content marketing.)
8. Improve Your Online Presence and Exposure
When someone hears about your business and googles you, only to find one search result linking to your homepage… that’s not good.
But when hundreds of results populate in the SERP thanks to your blog posts? Customers are more likely to trust your business.
Remember, if you expect people to find you online, you have to make it as easy as possible.
If you own a hair salon and have no content except your business details, the average person typing “how to fix bad haircut” into Google’s search bar isn’t going to find your business.
Instead, they’ll likely stumble upon your competitor, who happened to write a blog post titled “5 Tips to Fix a Bad Haircut” with a CTA guiding the reader to make an appointment at their salon. Google recognized the keyword, article relevancy, and locality of the business and made sure that article appeared on the first SERP.
You just lost out on an easy appointment that didn’t cost your competitor a dime to win.
Smart SEO content marketers also know keywords are important for your general website copy and metadata. See how this Texas salon capitalized on the “fix a bad haircut” keyword on their services page so their business populated on the SERP:
The point is, people shouldn’t have to know the name of your business to find you online.
This is where having a blog and a content marketing strategy become invaluable. You have an online presence, and that presence gives you more exposure and more opportunities for potential customers to find you all on their own, with nothing more than a relevant keyword search.
Let’s take a look at this example in real life:
What did the featured top result do right?
First, they organized their article into a list with numbered subheadings that Google was able to compile for the featured snippet. Take a look at the layout when you click into the article itself:
Second, their content matched the article headline to a T. When someone clicks on an article titled “How to Fix a Bad Haircut,” you can bet they’re expecting to see a step-by-step list of instructions to help them solve their problem. That’s exactly what HelloGiggles delivered, and Google rewarded them for it.
Third, notice how they have internal links in their post. SEO content marketing isn’t as in-your-face as traditional advertising. If you want people to explore your website and see your products, mention them naturally in the content itself and include a link.
You can see how SEO makes your brand more discoverable online, whether you’re optimizing your business blog posts or your website copy.
25 Business Blog Post Topics and Ideas for Inspiration
For some, content creation is easier said than done.
Sometimes the hardest part is sitting down and coming up with a list of topics you think readers will find interesting.
If that’s the case, use this list of 25 profitable small business blog post ideas as a jumping-off point to get the ball rolling:
- A day in the life of a business owner
- Behind the scenes of your office, studio, production facility, etc.
- List of the best tools, products, apps, software, books, etc. that you use and recommend
- Step-by-step post demonstrating how to do a process that is relevant in your industry
- Your story and journey as an entrepreneur
- Unique industry insights and history using your personal experiences to showcase your authority on the topic
- Q&A-style interviews with employees, business partners, influencers, industry leaders, etc.
- Lessons you’ve learned while building your business
- The history of your business in storyteller format
- Top mistakes people in your industry often make, A.K.A. a “what not to do” post
- Product feature
- Biggest mistakes that taught you valuable lessons
- Quotes that inspire you
- List of influencers worth following in your niche
- New business updates
- Collection of customer testimonials
- Relevant product review
- Relevant book review
- Local charities you support
- Success stories
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Free resources such as templates, infographics, checklists, etc.
- Guest posts
- Before-and-after images of big changes such as an office redesign, new logo, facility construction, website updates, etc.
- Important announcements in your town, industry, etc.
Pssst… download my FREE content strategy guide and cheat sheet to get a head start on your small business blog!
The Importance of Having a Small Business Blog for Your Small but Mighty Biz Is Undeniable
Seriously, don’t just take my word for it.
You saw the statistics, and the numbers don’t lie.
Small- to medium-size businesses that have an active SEO-focused blog and regularly post high-quality content see more website traffic and have higher conversions, not to mention better brand recognition and a stronger online presence.
That’s not to say there aren’t any disadvantages of blogging for business. Writing content, especially if you’re putting the extra work into making sure your articles are truly valuable, is a massive time commitment.
It’s not much of a surprise, then, that content creation is the top outsourced activity in content marketing. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your business blog, outsourcing is always an option.
But whether you write the articles yourself, hire a writer for your team, or outsource the content, you simply can’t afford to keep making excuses and putting off your business blog any longer.