Local Search changes all of the time. Over the last 5 years, there has been a significant change in how search engines view local business and how they rank them. When testing out different tactics we have found that a blog was a top factor when one website was put against another.
Let’s dive into why this happens and how you can jump on it before your competitor does.
We originally posted this article in 2016 when businesses shied away from blogs. With the growing popularity of WordPress and other content management systems, the blog has become a resource for businesses to share more about their products and their company.
According to Hubspot…
“Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers’ questions. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site.”
We are going to look at the blog from both the search engine side as well as from your website visitors perspective. You can then determine if it is the right fit for your company.
Google has publicly stated that they use a formula known as E.A.T. when ranking a website. It is becoming even more apparent that it affects local search as well.
E.A.T. stands for Expertise – Authority – Trust. How a business achieves these three factors is the core of how local search works: Content, Links, and Reviews.
So how the heck does E.A.T. factor into local search?
Expertise – This is where you show that you know your industry, product, or service. Sharing your knowledge is the key to proving your expertise. Think of it as speaking at an industry/consumer conference.
Authority – How do others view your expertise? This is your authority. A good sign of authority are the links coming into your website from other websites. Before you go running to buy links, there is more to it than that, hold tight.
Trust – Trust is the sentiment of your business online. This is where reviews and recommendations come in.
How a blog helps your search rankings?
Content that shows your Expertise – Your blog is one way you share your expertise in the different articles you write for your clients/customers proving you know your stuff. Google sees these as useful articles that could help the visitor find out more information.
The articles in the blog also help distribute your keywords throughout the website. For every article that you write you are using the keywords that are related to your products and services. This strengthens the website for those given keywords by improving their saturation that extends beyond the service or product page of the website.
Every article you write should contain links pointing back to your product or service pages. This internal linking increase the “search juice” that search engines look at when determining rank.
How a blog helps your customers through the buying decision process
We have talked about how the buyer/customer is in control of the buying process extensively. In your blog, your goal should be:
- To provide them with the information they are looking for while researching an issue or problem
- Find which product or service they need to fix the problem
- Who to use or buy that product or service from
Think of each little piece of content as pebbles you are leaving for them through your sales funnel/process.
What types of blog posts help push buyers through the sales process?
Answer their questions about your products or services. This is a great way to expand on a frequently asked question or recurring concern, hidden benefits, etc. that your product or service provides.
Let them get to know you and your company by talking about employees, awards, certifications, events, and fun days. People like to get to know the company they are doing business with. This content also backs up what you have placed on the About Us page of your website.
Provide case studies and product demos. What better way to show the visitor that it solves their problem. This type of post is great info and directly responds to the main reason they are on your website.
Adding the local element to your blog
The local element is the one that usually stumps most but in reality search engines in all their elaborate algorithms do nothing more than scan for words. Simple as that! If you write about your local area it will help you rank better for your local area. It isn’t complicated but is challenging to make the content relevant to your area. That is where a little creativity comes in.
Service-based businesses have it a little easier on this part. They can simply say they helped a customer in XXX city with XXX service.
You can also talk about the other non-competitive, complimentary services that are available in your area. If you are an attorney and you want more pre-nuptial agreements you might have a reference guide to services in your area that are used while planning a wedding. This type of article is like a recommendation, so make sure you are referring businesses you would also work with.
Remember the Authority part of E.A.T. they may also refer to you or link to your article since you mentioned their business. These relationships are a crucial part of the local link building process.
The reality of a blog
Having a blog is easy and you don’t have to pay to write a post. The catch is the articles should have informative and unique content. It takes time – the business owner’s four-letter word. Delegate these tasks to the other people you work with or use a third-party agency that provides content marketing services. You can always review content prior to it being posted.
Posting on a regular basis is important as well. Some post monthly which is acceptable since the articles that are informative tend to be a little longer.
For your posts to gain traction in search it must be promoted. But this is a benefit, as that one piece of content can be repurposed in many ways that can benefit your company and your goals.
The other benefits of a blog
- Gives you social media content to share
- Provides content to include in a newsletter
- Send the articles to potential customers/clients. It could be the tipping point for them to choose your service/product over a competitor
Whether you decide if a blog is the right fit for your company is up to you. Time and resources are a huge factor when determining if it is a good fit. What you do not want is a blog on your website where your last article was a year ago…
We are a big fan, simply because we see what this content does for businesses on a daily basis. If you have questions about blogs and how they may benefit you let’s talk. Send us a message or give a quick call.
Filed In: Local Business Tips