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How to Blog for SEO: A Step-by-Step Guide for Small Businesses

Updated: Mar 15

Small business owners often think that they have to spend lots of money on advertising in order to drive traffic to their website and start making sales. However, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a free and effective way to generate visibility and sales through your website. In the SEO world, we have a saying: “content is king”. It is true that regularly publishing quality content is essential to getting your website found, and blogging is the main way to do this. My guide explains how to blog for SEO and drive visibility, traffic and sales through your website. 


Topics covered in this article:


How Do Blogs Help SEO?


Ultimately, blogging is a free source of sales for your business.


Blogs are a form of content, which can be optimised to help your website get found in Google Search. Once your target audience finds your blogs, you can use them to build trust and ultimately turn those readers into customers. 


Your blog articles should always serve a purpose:

  • To educate

  • To inspire

  • To motivate

  • To provide instructions

  • To reassure

  • To answer a question

  • To entertain


Ultimately, your content should always provide value to the reader. Your content should also aim to convince your reader to do something that you want them to do, such as sign up to your email newsletter, buy a product, register for a webinar, etc.


By providing what Google describes as “helpful content”, your blogs are helping to increase opportunities for your website to be shown more often (and higher up the results), get seen by search engine users, receive traffic and ultimately generate more sales for your business. Blogging plays a significant role in increasing online sales by building your small business’s visibility and credibility, as well as giving you extra opportunities to sell your products or services to your target audience. So, if you haven't already started leveraging the power of blogging for SEO and sales, now is the time to get started!


Step 1: Keyword Research & Choosing Your Topic


For your blog article to generate traffic, you need to target the topics that your audience are searching for, and this means selecting the right keywords. There are a number of free tools that you can use to help you with this, including Google Trends


However, I also strongly recommend that you combine what your audience wants you to write about with what you want to write about. Creating quality, engaging long form content is so much easier when you have that passion and motivation to drive you forward. 


Below are some examples of how small businesses can blend keywords with their passion and expertise:


  •  A freelance riding instructor could use their blog to outline the various training methods or exercises they use with their clients (e.g. lunge lessons, Franklin balls, a dressage simulator, polework) and how these methods help with different aspects of riding. Keywords might include “how to use franklin balls”, “how to improve xxx when riding”, or “best polework exercises for xxx”.

  • An artisan selling their handcrafted, rural themed hair accessories could use their blog to highlight what makes their products ethical, genuine and unique, and how people could wear their hair accessories. Keywords might include “is using feathers in fashion ethical”, “how to choose ethical hair accessories”, “ladies hairstyles for cheltenham” or “hair inspiration for rural ladies”. 


Ultimately, the keywords and topics you choose will depend on you and your target audience, but aiming to blend your audience’s areas of interest with your own is key to helping you write fantastic content that actually generates sales. 


By conducting keyword research and strategically selecting the right terms for your blog posts, you'll be able to SEO your content and help it get found in Google Search. This will increase the visibility of your blog posts in search engine results and ultimately drive more targeted traffic to your website.


Step 2: Create High-Quality and Engaging Blog Content


Creating high-quality and engaging content does not have to be complicated, but there are a few things to consider. Essentially, every blog article needs a brief, engaging introduction and conclusion, the main content, and at least one call-to-action. This section provides some pointers on how to create quality blog content:


Use AI to Help You


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a really useful tool, which I use to produce content. Free tools, such as Chat GPT 3.5, can help you to defeat the blank page, find alternative words or phrases, and give you ideas for what to include in your content. Always fact check, edit and tailor AI-generated content before publishing. AI is an assistive technology, not a do-it-for-you solution. 


Connect Your Customer to the Outcome (via your content and your business)


Ultimately, our blog articles are there to help us sell to our customers. To do this, we need to connect our reader to the outcome of buying our product or service:


  • Do you sell a product or service that solves the problems discussed in the blog? 

  • Do you have a book, course or programme that goes into more depth than your blog article? For example, my online self-study course, Blogging for Small Business, helps small businesses get found online and make sales using blogging.

  • Do you have a service that saves the reader the time, money or hassle of doing something themselves? 


The reader is reading your blog article because they think it will help them with something. They are already in a frame of mind to do or purchase something that will provide the outcome they are looking for, solve their problem, or make them feel a certain way. This provides you with a great opportunity to present your product or service as a solution, which is where your call-to-action (CTA) comes in. 


Readability is Key


Readability is key for reader engagement and SEO. Making your content easy to read will help to keep your reader on your website and increase your chances of making a sale. Use headings and subheadings to break up the text and make it more scannable. Include bullet points or numbered lists when appropriate, as they can help convey information in a concise and organised manner. Finally, make your calls-to-action really clear, so people know what to do and what they can expect. 


Provide Value


The most important aspect of writing blogs is providing value to your readers. Offer insightful information, practical tips, or unique perspectives that resonate with your target audience. This will not only keep them engaged but also help you to stand out as an expert in your field. Always remember that no matter how many other people there are writing about the same topic or doing the same thing, you will have your own unique value to add to the conversation. 


Finally, don’t fixate on a word count. You want to answer your reader’s question(s), provide unique value and ultimately get the reader to take some kind of action. Aim to fulfil these criteria, but don’t ramble on and on just to hit an arbitrary word count. At the same time, if you really cannot write more than a handful of sentences on a topic, then it is probably more suitable for a social media post than a blog article. 


Step 3: SEO Your Blog Posts


Now that you've written a great blog article, it's time to optimise it for search engines and improve its visibility. This step is crucial in ensuring that your content reaches the right audience and drives organic traffic to your website. Below are three key SEO tasks to carry out on your blog article:


Write an SEO Title & Description


SEO titles and descriptions (also known as meta titles and descriptions) indicate to Google and its users what a website page is about. You can see SEO Titles and Descriptions in the search engines results - Titles are usually in blue, and Descriptions tend to be in smaller grey text. 


I have already written guides on how to write SEO titles and how to write SEO descriptions, so I won’t go into detail here.


Compress Your Image(s)


Depending on the nature of your business and the topic you are writing about, you may choose to use one or more images for your blog article. My business generally doesn’t lend itself to using lots of images, so I tend to include one on-brand image and maybe a couple of screenshots as required. 


Images can help to boost engagement and SEO, and they can also help to sell your products or services. However, large image files can slow down page loading times, negatively impacting user experience and SEO rankings. Compressing images reduces their file size without compromising quality, resulting in faster loading times and improved website performance. Use a free tool, such as Tiny PNG, to compress your images and reduce the file sizes. 


Internal Linking


Lastly, don't forget about internal linking within your blog article. Internal links are hyperlinks that connect different pages within the same website. They help search engines understand the structure of your site and improve navigation for users. Look for opportunities to link relevant keywords or phrases within your blog post to other related articles or pages on your website. For example you might use internal links with your CTAs to take readers to a product page or sign-up page.


Start Making Sales With Blogging


Consistently publishing optimised blog articles can help establish you as an expert in your industry, drive organic traffic to your website, and ultimately boost your business's online sales. By carefully selecting your keywords and blog topics, creating quality content and optimising your blog article for search engines, you are well on your way to making organic sales through your website. 


Online Self-Study Course: Blogging for Small Business


If you want to take your website from stagnant to selling, without paid ads, then my online self-study course, Blogging for Small Business, is for you. This course will take you from choosing a blog topic, right through to publishing your optimised blog article. 


You will cover everything in this article, plus extra modules on making your blog go further and creating your blog strategy. Along the way, there are videos, downloads and more to help you transform your small business website into a source of consistent, organic traffic and sales. 


If you want to:

  • Increase your conversion rate

  • Stop forking out for paid ads

  • Create content that generates visibility, trust and sales over and over again

  • All in just one hour a week!


Then this course is just what you need! 


I specialise in helping equine businesses grow online through SEO, and since 2020 I’ve worked with clients to generate more organic website traffic and sales for their products- and service-based businesses. Furthermore, my own businesses benefit enormously from blogging and search engine optimisation:

  • Virtually all of my Discovery Call bookings, enquiries and marketing clients come from SEO, so I know it works! 

  • My products business has seen a 137% increase in organic search traffic year-on-year (1st Jan-3rd Mar 2024)

  • And a 27% year-on-year increase in sales from organic search in the same period

  • Furthermore, my organic search traffic and sales increased year-on-year during the crucial festive season:

    • Organic search traffic increased by 45% year-on-year

    • Sales from organic search increased by 189% year-on-year

    • Conversion rate increased by 32% year-on-year


Join my online self-study course, Blogging for Small Business, today and take your website from stagnant to selling. Plus, everyone who joins the course by 11:59pm on 28th March 2024 will be entered into a draw to win a FREE SEO Audit worth £250!*


*You must have a live website to be entered into this draw


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