As a small business, you may not have time or budget to dedicate to an “SEO guru” or the hire of a marketing agency. SEO marketing on your company blog is a popular way to increase site traffic, impressions, leads and even sales. Small bakeries, boutiques and even banks can make the most of blogging. Here are 5 quick tips on blogging for SEO purposes for small businesses.

1. Keywords
What are people searching for? If you are in the cake making business, keywords such as “industry” and “construction” may not be the most relevant. Anticipate what people will be searching for when trying to find a business like yours. “Chocolate”, “cupcake” and “baker” are more relevant to a cake making business than “power tools”. Keyword research tools exist to show the top traditional searches, but it’s also important to research what keywords are trending. Google AdWords is a great place to start. Having a list of all the relevant keywords will come in handy as you create content. Keywords are one of the most, if not the most, important factors in SEO blogging.

2. Titles and Tags
Keywords should provide you with inspiration for blog articles. An article about the history of chocolate cake, for example, might appeal to your readers and is perfect for incorporating keywords. As you create content for your blog, use keywords in the title. Starting the title with a keyword is a great strategy for boosting your SEO. Your URL can also be optimized so that the article title appears before your page title. Some bloggers even remove their blog name from the permalink for better SEO results. Plugins are available for sites such as WordPress to help you optimize your blog titles. All blog images should have good alt and title tags. Traffic doesn’t always come straight from a keyword or phrase search, but also images.

3. Content
The phrase “Content is king” has become a mantra for many bloggers and marketers. If your content is not relevant or reads like it came from a robot, your chance of shares and comments greatly decreases. Posting content that is interesting and engaging is incredibly important. Don’t let the quality of your content fall because you want better search engine results. You can optimize blog content with links and keywords in bold. Write multiple articles on the same topic using the same keywords over a period of time, focusing on different aspects and viewpoints, to increase your rankings. Sub headings, and h tags, can also be a source for increasing SEO rankings.

4. Links
Linking to other blogs as well as your own in the copy of the post is one tactic for increasing your SEO. If you are writing a post about cute cupcakes and have posted an article about the best techniques for cupcake frosting, linking from one post to another with a keyword or phrase is one way to keep users reading and increase your blog’s rankings. Getting links from other sites that point back towards your own is great, but can sometimes be difficult. By linking to other sites you’ve visited or referenced, you can sometimes get a link back or a mention that drives people to your site. Commenting on the posts of others with a simple link after your relevant comment may not help your SEO, but it can help in increasing site traffic.

5. Plugins and Promotion
Different plugins can help make your SEO goals easier to achieve. If you’re using WordPress, which many small businesses are because of ease of use and a relatively low cost, there are a large number of plugins available. An All in One SEO Pack allows you to set the basic SEO stuff for your blog. You need page titles, meta tags, keywords, and descriptions and this can help you configure all that. SEO Friendly Images can help make the most of images on your blog posts for SEO purposes. Promoting your posts may not do much for SEO but it can help increase traffic to your blog. Tweet it, share it, and like it across all channels possible. Who knows? Maybe a company will see your Tweet and decide to give you a link back in a “Weekly Roundup.”

As with any form of marketing and business, things need to be measured. When it comes to your blog, it’s no different. What keywords are people using to find your site and click through? What types of blog posts are getting the most engagement? As your blog starts to build its traffic, you’ll be able to determine the best keywords and kinds of content for your audience. You can build your business’s and your blog’s search engine rankings by optimizing your blog’s content.

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About the author: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as PPC marketing and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com

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