Here is a great check list for local businesses who want to get their blog right and get better local SEO
- Use WordPress. It already has a lot of search engine optimization built in. Always good to get some additional advice to avoid any pitfalls and get off on the right foot
- Pick a theme you can customise. Some are not as flexible as others
- Integrate your blog as part of your existing site. It could be in a dedicated subdirectory or it could be set as a subdomain. Each blog page will add to your site increasing your critical mass
- Avoid menu navigation set up that do not use SEO-friendly links. Usually you can select how page names and titles will appear – giving you the SEO benefit
- Incorporate author pages. People are interesting, personal and therefore attractive. They will also add to your authorship credits if you are using Google + author markup. NB Multiple authors also spreads the workload
- Perform your SEO research and create a keyword list, target future blog posts to your ideal keyword combinations over time. Once you have done your research always use it when you are creating a new post. Seek to use local and regional references to boost your relevance in search queries
- Include page tags and related post links. Internal links will help the targeted keyword associations with your pages and useful navigation for the reader
- Post frequently.Several times a week is great but best to find a frequency that your resources can sustain. As you become more experienced it will become easier – make a content plan to help you stay on track it will give you a regular supply of ideas, seasonal tips, special offers to write about.
- Keep it interesting Its not all about you and your products and services. Keep thinking about the reader and what might get their attention. Local news and industry updates can be tweaked to keep you name in the frame and the readers eyeballs. Emphasise the local as it will help place your business or service in the right location. Answer questions that your audience will find useful. Helpful articles are the ones that get mentioned and shared on social media.
- Use images. Pages will look better and get more interest if you use images.
- Start a conversation with the blogosphere. Write a blog item giving your comments on another person’s post in your industry. Get their interest and they may well reply and link back to you. These interactions will send positive signals to search engine algorithms that you are a quality page or site that deserves a higher ranking in the results table. Maintain a local angle.
- Short posts are ok. You don’t have to write reams of material for each post. Short (35o words minimum), digestible and interesting will work for most readers and give good SEO value.
- Share on social media. Tweet and post links to your new posts to promote traffic and other social sharing. Have buttons and links on your page to encourage others to share as well. Seek out friends and followers in you town or locality.
Blog right and you will get found
Increasingly search engines are looking at content quality and social signals to discern the best pages that will rank well in the search results. Blogging will allow you to respond to both these points; adding lots of relevant content to your site and providing a mechanism to show social engagement.
Reference your location regularly, address local issues and interests and your blog will work hard to boost your local SEO.
Its not a quick fix but over time this approach will create what you need to be effective online.
Get in touch if you need any help integrating a blog into your business