Are you looking for ways to help local businesses get more traffic to their websites? Are your clients constantly telling you that they need more leads? What about getting placement in the top of Google search results?
With Google tightening up proximity searches in mobile and desktop search results, local businesses need to get more creative in how they drive local traffic to their business’ websites through organic search results.
Beyond having 100% optimized business listings around the web, being active on social media and emailing current customers, local businesses need to do more to rise above the competition.
What I’m referring to is not a paid social media campaign or PPC advertising (even though those are a great idea, too), but something more. It’s not new, it’s not ingenious, but it’s necessary.
I’m talking about blogging – creating content that will drive traffic to the business’ website. While some may feel blogging is an outdated practice or not right for their business, that’s not really the case.
There are countless reasons to publish new content on a business blog consistently. Here are just a few below:
Four Reasons Local Businesses Need to be Creating Content
- Educate current customers about products and services
- Keep current customers engaged
- Attract new customers
- Improve a local business’ placement in search results
Beyond the above list, the simple fact is Google likes websites that are active and have an engaged audience. They can and do reward these types of websites with site traffic.
Since many marketers (and business owners) don’t write content regularly because it can be difficult to think of a steady stream of topics, I thought I would share a few today.
17 Things to Start Creating Content About Today
1. New Team Members
The new guy or gal in the business can be the source of a quick, informative blog post that helps introduce customers to the amazing people who make it run. People like reading about other people, so sitting down with a new employee and getting their story for the business’ blog is always a winning idea.
2. Technology Upgrades
Businesses that provide services to customers like printing, shipping, etc. should share the excitement when they make an upgrade with their readers. It’s a good way to show customers the business is paying attention to customer needs, growing as a business and upgrading to the latest and greatest. There’s another positive side effect of these kinds of posts – it’s a great way to share about existing services or introduce new ones to the reader. Capitalizing on the big purchases can even be a bigger win.
3. Local Events
To drive potential new visitors to a business’ website and inform the local community about what’s happening around them, consider publishing a local events calendar. This not only provides a valuable and relevant service to readers, but it also increases the brand’s visibility when consumers perform a local search for events. Updating a resource like this at least once a month is recommended.
4. Common Myths or Misunderstandings in the Industry
Every industry has myths surrounding it that just aren’t true. Dentists, for example, get a bad rap for root canals, but most people who have had a root canal in the last 10 years will tell you it wasn’t too bad. Come up with a list of common myths or misunderstandings and debunk them. These types of blog posts tend to do well and distinguish the business as an industry thought leader.
5. Top 10 Lists
People love to click on “top 10 lists” and when you really think about it, they’re not that hard to make. For an air conditioning business – it could be the top 10 ways to save on the electric bill, or for a wine bar – it could be the top 10 wine picks for 2017. Or, it could even be a top 10 on the top blogs for specific industries. The simple fact is they are a quick, easy way to promote something specific and it could lead to some beneficial partnerships.
6. Happy Customers
Rather than claiming the business has “happy customers,” why not interview a few of them so they could say it for themselves? This not only showcases customer satisfaction, but it also informs prospects about the types of customers the business helps. This is a great topic idea for videos, but can also be written interviews as well. B2B businesses should ask the customer to share how they found out about the business, what kind of solution was provided, and how they felt about working with them.
7. Famous People
Everybody loves celebrities. When a business comes across a news story about a famous person using products they sell, they should share about it with readers. I would recommend the business take it a step further and do outreach to the celebrity with the link to the post after it’s published. You never know when the celebrity may click “like” or “retweet.”
8. How Times Have Changed
Industries change as new technology is created! This is a great topic to write about on a business blog. Sharing with readers about how the industry, business and products have evolved is always a fun topic. Perhaps it’s a look back at a business that has been around for 20 years and has gone through several iterations of a logo. Nostalgia resonates well with many audiences.
9. How Things Could Be Better
If there are problems in the industry that aren’t being addressed or are impacting the consumer, write a quick post about how it could be better. Be sure to include how the business is providing a solution – not just complaints. This will highlight the business’ expertise to readers and potential customers.
10. Highlight Good Deeds
If the business is engaged in any kind of charity or community action, writing about it to let readers know is always a good idea. Share what the business is doing, including a few pictures and how others can get involved. This type of post is good PR for the business, but more importantly, it’s a great way to shed light on causes the business cares about.
11. Problems the Local Business Solves
Businesses are successful because they do something great! They provide products or services that solve problems for consumers. Writing a series of posts about problems the business solves is a great way to provide consumers with what they want. The business needs to make sure and explain it in simple terms. By writing content this way, the business will also feed content to searchers who are looking to solve specific problems.
12. The Secret Sauce
Businesses that have a unique tool, method or process for creating a tangible product have content just waiting to be produced. These are great to use when producing videos, showing employees in action or just geting a tiny bit of buzz online. Readers want to know the “secret sauce,” so share it with them!
13. Share Real Life
Shows like “Real Housewives of Dallas” or “The Bachelorette” prove consumers like to watch people’s lives unfold on-screen. What about a series created for the sole purpose of sharing what a certain type of employee or department does at work every day? Businesses writing about “a day in the life” would be able to recognize employees for their accomplishments and keep customers coming back to learn what’s next.
14. Getting a Job in the Industry
Chances are some of the business’ blog readers want to know what it takes to land a job in the industry. They could even be researching the business because they are thinking about applying. Do prospective employee need certain credentials, training or education to work in the field? Does the business use recruiters to find employees, hire directly, or do people enter the industry in a different unique way? Sharing with readers the company hiring practices, especially if certain criteria is required like a background check, etc., only shows the business is serious about who works for them.
15. Frequently Asked Questions
This is another simple content idea. Consumers are constantly searching for answers to specific questions in the micro-moment, and writing about the questions and providing the answer is another way to get more traffic to the business website for specific search terms. It also answers questions of those already frequenting the business website.
People love stats. Appealing to a reader’s sense of logic by sharing interesting statistics about the business or the industry is a great way to show the business is on top of their game and gets that prospective customer to say “yes.” Using statistics to show the reader why the product is right for them is a winning idea.
17. Seasonal Content Themes
Leveraging popular times of the year like “Octoberfest” or “Fourth of July” to put more content on a business blog is a win for both the reader and the business. An example would be a restaurant featuring their favorite fall beer pairings, or perhaps how their patio is perfect for catching the fireworks and dinner. The content needs to be relevant to the business and provide value to the reader. It’s important to remember that when thinking seasonal, it doesn’t just mean Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Don’t Just Blog to be Blogging
Consumers want to read content that is interesting, educational and answers specific questions they may have. It’s important that each article demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Google wants businesses producing E-A-T content. Websites that meet this need are the real winners.
Please don’t take this post to mean that businesses should be blogging just for the sake of blogging. Blogging is the perfect opportunity for increasing brand trust, providing a valuable extra layer of service to customers, and meeting consumer needs in the moment!
I’ve just shared 17 ways to create more content for a business’ blog. Did you come up with any of your own? None of these ideas struck a chord with you? That’s ok. There are all kinds of ideas around you; starting asking questions and you’ll certainly find a few.
(By the way, did you notice, I just blogged about blogging?)
Want to produce more content for your clients but need some help getting started? The Advice Local team is here for you!