4 simple steps to maximizing a small business blog

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Your clients all have the same challenge. They must a) find new customers and b) find them at the lowest cost possible—and they are looking to you for help. So what do you tell them?

Your client must have a website that is properly optimized for search engines; that is pretty much a given. Keyword research is critical to a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy, and should be your highest priority. But how can you further expand your SEO efforts, strengthen your client’s online visibility and continuously drive targeted traffic to your client’s site?

One of the things that Astonish Results encourages our clients to do is to create an onsite blog. The results I have seen when a small business blogs on a regular basis is nearly mind-blowing. I have witnessed as much as 25 percent of a client’s in-bound leads (from contact forms and phone calls) come from a business owner’s strategic blogging efforts.

So how can you get your clients on the fast track to the same kind of success?

1. Set up Google Analytics conversion tracking.

If you haven’t done so already, set up conversion tracking on your client’s website using Google Analytics. With this simple tracking in place, you’ll be able to determine which keywords a visitor typed in prior to visiting the site and prior to filling out a contact form.

2. Start blogging.

Tell them: simply start writing.

Remind your client that they are the expert in their industry, and encourage them to write about what they believe their customer needs to know. Whether it’s information regarding a specific product, industry or just community news, the goal of blogging is to position your client at the forefront of their customers’ minds.

A business blog allows your client not only to brand themselves as the knowledgeable expert that they are, but also provides the opportunity for your client to portray themselves as an active member within their community. Many small businesses are afraid to blog because they don’t know what to do. They are afraid they will make a mistake. Help your clients get over their hurdle of fear—assure them that they can do it. You can even help them with a couple of initial posts to start.

3. Set the right expectations.

In my experience, clients want results fast, but that’s not how a blogging strategy works. You can easily combat this initial mindset by setting the right expectations from the start. Let your client know that it will take time, sincere dedication and effort. Blogging is like caring for a newly fertilized lawn. You need to water (blog) daily over time.

4. Track the results.

Each month, keep track of the number of organic keywords that are driving visits/conversions and review the results with your client. Typically, these will be three- to four-word “long-tail” phrases. You’ll be amazed at what you find. Once your client starts seeing some traction, it will encourage them to continue with their blogging efforts.

Small business blogging is no different than any other activity worth pursuing. It takes focused effort over time to see results. Remember to encourage your client to have fun as well — the more they connect to and relate with their blog, the more genuine and appealing their content will appear to consumers. You may have to play the role of motivator and coach to get your clients started, but they will thank you for it in the end.