Local business blog owners have it easy. There is no shortage of things to write about. Between what’s going on in town or in your city to what’s going on with your business, products and services, or industry, you’ll always have something to say.
Blogging is such an ideal tool for getting traffic to your website. It’s too bad that more local business owners don’t use blogging. If you do, though, you’re at a huge advantage. Don’t share this information with your competitors. Let them figure it out on their own!
As a local business blog owner, you have a leg up. You can and should write about two topics all the time: what’s going on in your city/town/location, and what’s going on at your company, with your customers, and with the industry. It’s that simple.
Don’t just take my word for it. As marketing expert Gary Dek explains,
“A blog is a cost-effective way to promote your company and control your online presence.”
- Blogging costs very little. If you outsource it to a company like mine, there’s a minimal investment that is always far less than people think.
- Blogging effectively promotes your company.
- Blogging controls your online presence by putting out the most information about your business.
Put another way, the Duct Tape Marketing blog explains blogging this way:
“A blog can establish you as an expert, open you up to organic search traffic, help you grow an audience, and be a part of a coherent marketing plan for your business.”
Will a local business blog really work?
Yes, but I understand why people get concerned about starting them. As a small business owner myself, I understand that if something doesn’t show results in short order, I have to ask myself, “Why should I invest my time or my money in this?”
To put your mind at ease, let me show you something. Blogging does really work. Here are some awesome blogging stats from TechClient.com:
- Websites with blogs get more pages indexed on search engines (434% more) — In plain English: This means that there’s a greater chance of people seeing your stuff in search engines. That’s the simplest way to explain this.
- Businesses that use blogs generate 67% more leads than ones that don’t. If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will.
- Companies using blogs get 97% more inbound links. In other words, if you have a blog, the chances of getting links to it (for SEO purposes AND for traffic) goes up by 97%.
And here is the kicker:
- 67% of consumers have purchased something through/because of a blog post. Boom!
If you take away anything from that information, here’s what you should know:
- You’ll drive more business to your website with a blog.
- More people/businesses will link to your website if it has a blog.
- If you have a blog, you will significantly increase your chances of getting search traffic.
How to Get Traffic To Your Local Business Blog – 11 Easy Ways
1. Shine a spotlight on your people.
You should be doing this anyway as a way to keep your people engaged and loving working for you, right? Shine a light on your folks through your blog! Every month, feature an employee. It can be a simple bio/profile, but if you were my client I would advise you to spice it up a bit. Instead of just writing a bio, talk about something great that employee has done or is doing, or a cause she or he is involved in.
Talk about volunteer work or going the extra mile, or shed light on a testimonial this person received.
Why is this a great traffic hack for a local business blog? Well, good employees probably have a tribe of people – friends and family – that love them, too and are happy about their achievements. Those people will go read the post just because it features someone they know. But then, they will most likely also share that post across their Facebook profile or Twitter feed, etc.
Everyone loves to talk about what mom and dad is being recognized for, what their sons and daughters are doing, and it’s just a great way to connect with your “extended employee family”.
2. Periodically, write a guest column in the local online newspaper.
Pitch an article to your local news media about something related to your industry. You’ll get yourself a nice back link to your website, plus you’ll get some free press. The article shouldn’t really be about your business.
Make it newsworthy and something worth sharing. You’ll be able to include a bio that tells people more about you as the writer, and inevitably, people will follow the link back to your business website to see what it’s all about.
3. Ask people to write for your blog.
Guest blogging can take your blog from invisible to extremely popular overnight. Ask your friends, family, or colleagues to submit posts to your blog. Let them help with promoting it – most people love to promote things that they’ve written themselves. Honestly, this is the best way to start getting extra promotion.
As your blog gets more popular, freelance writers and other bloggers may ask you if they can publish something on your blog. Say yes. Unless what they want to write is totally off-topic or will drive traffic to a competitor, let them publish on your blog.
You will get more traffic this way because these people (like me) are self-promotion machines. They will post links to that work and it will probably get shared more than you could alone.
Tip: You can also submit guest posts to other blogs to get more traffic back to your own!
4. Write better blog post titles.
Write the best, most interesting title you can think of for your post. Then you can tweak it. But you have to go way outside your comfort zone first. If your blog post title is boring, no one is going to bother clicking through to it.
Experts agree with me. Leadership coach John Michael Morgan said once,
“Spend more time writing the headline than the post itself.” (See more expert tips here)
CoSchedule, a social media management tool, wrote an entire article about the subject. They also included tons of examples. Check it out here.
5. Feature people who will share your article.
Write a feature story about someone related to your business or industry and link to their blog or website (preferably to their blog). Then, reach out to them and tell them that you wrote about them. Don’t ask them specifically to share your post.
If it’s great, they’ll share it. If not, they’ll ignore it. Sometimes, even if it’s really good, they might not do anything with it. This is still a good strategy.
Choose people wisely. For example, try writing about a local DJ who has an active Twitter account. Talk about something they said that is completely off the wall and funny. If you can, quote them on it.
A short blog post is all that’s necessary here. Tag them on Twitter to let them know you featured them. They will most likely retweet it, plus, people who follow them will be interested in it, too.
6. Talk about the news.
What’s going on in the news lately? I’m willing to bet there is at least one thing happening related to your business. Talk about it. More than that – share your opinion about it. This is an awesome way to drive relevant traffic to your blog if you share your post across all of your social media platforms (including Instagram).
Writing about trending searches is a great way to drive traffic to your local business blog. What’s trending on Google is trending everywhere.
Maybe your business sells security doors and unbreakable glass for small businesses. Why not write about the riots that have been happening across the country? Say your opinion, but then include a pitch at the end that will appeal to potential customers, too.
7. Include images. Always.
Did you know that blogs with images get 94% more traffic? It’s true. Because of this statistic and others, Jeff Bullas, a well-known Internet marketer, lists three really good rules for using images online:
“1. If you have an online store you need to include high definition images to drive higher engagement and sales
2. If your business issues press releases then include images with your article
3. If you use Facebook as an important part of your social media marketing strategy then you need to include photos in your updates and not just text and links.”
Read this rest of his super simple but important blog post here.
I always use images in my posts. Many times, I use more than one, especially if I am writing for an online magazine or article hub like Hubpages. The longer the article, the more images you need. Also, people will share links more often when there is an image with it. The image is so important, too. Don’t ruin your chances of getting more shares by including a poor image. Let us help you with that.
8. Promote your posts multiple times across multiple platforms.
This is a tricky one to get right. Here’s what you should do and what you shouldn’t do.
- Share your posts on your company page on LinkedIn (you need one), your Facebook page if you have one, and your Twitter account if you have that, too.
- Also share your post on your Facebook profile or in any Facebook groups you belong to.
- Then, share it anywhere else you normally share. If you have an email subscriber list, share there, too.
That’s the first round of sharing. After that’s over, re-share the post a couple of times the first week on Twitter. Twitter is an awesome network for sharing multiple times because people are only ever on Twitter for brief periods of time. The chances of seeing your post at the very moment you share it is rare. So don’t be shy. Share the post at least twice on Twitter in that first week.
Later on, especially as your follower count grows, start scheduling those posts into tweets so that at least once per day, you are sharing something from your own blog on your Twitter account.
9. Optimize your posts for search engines (SEO).
Remember when I mentioned that websites with blog posts are indexed 434% more than websites without blogs? That’s true. But if your posts aren’t optimized well, you make it way harder for people to find them. You have to optimize your local business blog.
Optimizing your blog posts means making sure the content is written well for your target keywords and shows up well in search engines. Not all blog posts need to be optimized. But the majority do. If you are publishing something you want someone to find in a search engine, then you should optimize it.
My favorite SEO tool for blogging is Yoast. It’s a free WordPress plugin. They have a premium option for serious SEO bloggers. The free version is just fine for a local business blog. Install the WordPress plugin, activate it, and optimize your entire site for search engines. Just do exactly what the plugin tells you to do. It’s that easy.
10. Let people subscribe (get updates) to your blog.
One super easy way to get more traffic to your blog is to let people subscribe to it. Sign up for MailChimp, a free email subscription service. Put a sign up form in your blog’s sidebar, and encourage people to subscribe to the latest updates. You may want to give something away free to those who subscribe as an incentive.
When you publish a new post, send out a message to your subscribers so they get the updates. If you tailor your message so that only a portion of your new post is included as a teaser, you’ll drive traffic back to your blog.
11. Publish posts every day – and remember the seasons and holidays!
I saved this tip for last because it’s the most important, most overlooked, and most involved. It’s still easy. It’s just time-consuming. For the most traffic, publish posts every day – seven days a week for business to consumer products or services, and every weekday for business-to-business.
The more posts you have on your local business blog, the more get indexed by search engines, and the more organic search traffic you’re going to get.
You might not be able to do this in the beginning. It’s much easier to do this if you can outsource the writing to a content writing services company. But if you can’t, just do as much as you can. If you find it hard to come up with topics, use an editorial calendar to give you some ideas.
Post seasonal and holiday content on your local business blog. Write about things that are relevant to your business in the spring, winter, summer, and fall. Talk about the holidays – write posts that help people prepare or make them much more special. These are search magnets. Year after year, you could get traffic to a seasonal post, as long as it’s still relevant.
It’s incredibly easy to get a local business blog off the ground. Make it a big deal by publishing a grand opening post announcing your new blog and what people can expect from it. Keep it relevant to the local crowd. Don’t be afraid of turning off people who aren’t in your location. Be special and exclusive to your target customers by making a local blog just for them.
Let me help your local business blog!
Keeping up with content is a challenge for local businesses. For best results, you have to publish as often as you can, and make sure the content is very high quality, optimized, and has an awesome title. I can help you do that with my ghostwriting or content writing services. I have great rates and awesome testimonials. Just email me today and we can take it from there.