search engine optimisation

How to Start a Blog for Your Startup & Small Business

Blogging for Small Business

To answer that question, maybe we should first answer WHY entrepreneurs and business owners should start a blog for their business.

By harnessing the power of blogging, your small business can generate new leads, connect with customers, and ultimately build revenue. Starting a blog can effectively strengthen your SEO strategy and as you consistently build quality, content-rich pages for your site that lead back to your business, search engines reward your site with higher page rankings leading to more organic traffic.

So as you can see, blogging is an integral part of a content marketing strategy. It’s a cost-effective marketing tool, but it can also be the beating heart of your business marketing efforts in an elemental way. Your business blog is a huge piece of your business brand story.

It gives your customers clear insight into what your business is all about. A blog allows your business to access a voice that engages directly with your customers and clients. This builds awareness, conversations, and most importantly – trust with your company.

On a technical level building a blog for your business can help improve your site’s SEO and rankings on SERP (search engine results pages) without you needing to spend any advertising dollars. All you need is the time and investment into creating purposeful content.

How to Start a Blog for Your Small Business 

So you want to get started, but need a step-by-step guide? Here are the elements you need to start blogging for your business.

1.     Strategise.

Gather the elements you need to build your blog as an extension of your brand. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, do you want to tell stories? Do you want to showcase your team and their knowledge or experience? Do you want to share insight about how your product or service is used? Do you want to become an authority in your niche?  Decide the blog’s tone of voice and how how it reflects upon your brand image. Fun and aspirational? Informational but informal? There are endless possibilities here.

2.     Choose a Blog Platform.

The most important thing is that your blog is professional, easy to consume and shares a balance between search-engine and people friendly. www.yourcompany.com/blog looks better than www.yourcompany.blogger.com. There are simple and affordable blog platforms like Wordpress and Tumblr, and these days, many custom sites can have a blog platform built in, like Squarespace, you just need to invest in the web hosting. TIP – check out the blogging capabilities BEFORE you decide on a web platform or designer for your main site.

3.     Gather Your Team.

Epic content doesn’t create itself. Blogging takes time and energy and while the benefits are massive, it can often take some time before you see a healthy and consistent ROI. But don’t just hire any intern to do your blogging, social media and SEO.

You need flexible writers and creators who understand your industry and who can write to your company’s tone of voice while engaging an audience. We absolutely recommend hiring the right support of digital marketing and content writers to build a dedicated writing team. Also make sure to pick the brains of your current employees and your partners for contributions.

4.     Create a Content Plan.

Now is where you get down to business. Do some research on keywords and search terms in your industry and start building content around it. Great content can come in many forms – written articles, podcasts, e-books, video, images – anything your audience can consume. And remember, you are writing or creating this content for your readers, not for yourself. Answer their questions and cater to their needs.

5.     Stay Engaged & Consistent.

As we mentioned above, content can come in many forms so in an oversaturated market, you have to make it consistent, you have to make it resourceful, and you have to make it interesting. Keep up with trending news and media updates - find ways to integrate and connect your niche into breaking news. Give your readers a reason to comment and share. Collaborate with other networks. And make sure to post regularly to keep your site fresh.

6.     Promote Your Content.

You are not done once you hit publish. Make sure to fill your content with valuable links and mentions of influencers, and always reach out to people to help share your content. One post on a social platform won’t cut it, make sure you rotate and re-promote your content on a consistent basis.

7.     Monitor and Measure.

Make Google Analytics your best friend. Check where your traffic is coming from, see which posts are performing and which ones aren’t and refine your content plan from there. Rinse and repeat.

While building a blog is simple, making one work for your business requires thought, planning, and consistent effort. But the benefits are endless in this digital world of online marketing. If you are ready to improve your blogging game and want to the right support to help take your business to the next level, send us a message and we can create a custom package for you.

5 SEO Basics for Start-Ups

seo basics for startups

Are you building a start-up and need to know the basics of how to grow your business online organically? Do you have your website and maybe you’ve set up Google Analytics, but you are wondering why your ideal customers aren’t coming to your site and buying your products or services?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is still one of the most important factors to making your site search engine friendly and getting customers to your site. We love the guides from Moz, SEMRush, and Kissmetrics – but sometimes, it’s good to just have the basic fundamentals for your start-up – without too much technical jargon.

Optimising your website doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s an ongoing process that is essential to growing your business and it is constantly changing. So whether you choose to adapt to the waters and keep up to date with SEO or hire someone to do it for you, let’s take a look at the crucial elements for SEO for start-ups. 

Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups

Keywords

When doing keyword research, think about search intent, rather than just search terms. And then make sure that your site actually uses the words that people are searching for. Know your niche and stay relevant in it. We like using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool and Keyword.IO when doing keyword research.

A blog is an excellent way to stay relevant for both your audience and for Google bots as you are constantly updating your site and staying fresh in your industry. Moreover, there is an opportunity here for harnessing rankings for long tail keywords that your audience wants to know more about.

Using a combination of keyword research, Google suggest and related search, plus your customers’ questions and comments can help you in creating a regular content calendar that keeps your brand on the top of the Search Engine Results Page.

Content Creation

One of the keys to SEO is creating and scaling keyword-targeted, valuable, and unique content. It needs to be relevant, helpful, unique, and user-friendly.

This content can be in the form of blog posts, branded images, social media updates, email newsletter, infographics, white papers, e-books, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, video, webinars, workshops – any type of content that a consumer can engage with and consume. The first step in this is to know your audience and how they like to engage with your industry. Then create a funnel that takes your customer from discoverer of your brand to buyer.

And remember, once that content has been created, don't just hit publish. Share it, promote it on a rotating schedule, analyse it, expand it, make it better, mention it to influencers, etc.

Accessibility

Another important factor in improving search traffic is to simply make your site search friendly and accessible to search engines. Search engines are limited to how they can crawl the web and your site, so making your content indexable is an easy way to ensure visibility.

What does that mean? Images should be assigned relevant alt tags, audio and video should have transcripts, Flash content should have HTML text, URL links should have crawlable structures, images should be compressed, pages should load quickly. Does your start-up’s site pass these tests? See what we mean? Quite a bit of work, but worth it to have your site structured in the right way (

Also make sure to use Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to make sure your site and its new content are being indexed regularly.

Inbound and Outbound Links

Make sure to link to authoritative and respected sites in your industry to show your brand’s trustworthiness. And in turn, you want other sites to link back to you. Guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and sharing on forums are all great methods for providing this social proof.

But let’s take it one step further. Instead of simply thinking about buying (which Google may penalise you for) or building links, Google is more interested in how your website can earn links editorially. In other words, your website needs to be seen as an authority by other well-trafficked and reputable sites, and you have to earn your stripes with your content and partnerships.

It’s so much more important today to take the time to build relationships with influencers and sites who are willing to amplify your message and content. This can take time, but it’s also where an integrated PR, publicity and content strategy, both online and off, comes into play.

Social Media

Use social media to amplify your content. Schedule consistent social media updates at specified times throughout the day at a schedule that works for you and your audience. It’s not about spamming your customers or readers, it’s about sharing relevant and timely information to your audience and making your brand trustworthy and significant in your industry.

Quick tip - make sure that you are building relationships on Google+ and sharing your content updates there. It may be the outlier in terms of social media, but Google's algorithm makes it a must-have in your social toolbox. 

Do you need help with your site's SEO?

In 2017, great SEO encompasses so many different areas – including email, mobile, links, crawl, user experience, localisation, rankings and much more. Let's face it, a great content strategy takes time and investment.

If you’d like some help in improving and maintaining your SEO for your website, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation to discuss the value we can bring to your startup and we can create a customised quote for you.

How to Start a Blog for Your Small Business or Start-Up

Blogging for Small Business

To answer that question, maybe we should first answer why entrepreneurs and business owners should start a blog for their business.

By harnessing the power of blogging, your small business can generate new leads, connect with customers, and ultimately build revenue. Starting a blog can effectively strengthen your SEO strategy and as you consistently build quality, content-rich pages for your site that lead back to your business, search engines reward your site with higher page rankings leading to more organic traffic.

So as you can see, blogging is an integral part of a content marketing strategy. It’s a cost-effective marketing tool, but it can also be the beating heart of your business marketing efforts in an elemental way. Your business blog is a huge piece of your business brand story. It gives your customers clear insight into what your business is all about. A blog allows your business to access a voice that engages directly with your customers and clients. This builds awareness, conversations, and most importantly – trust with your company.

On a technical level building a blog for your business can help improve your site’s SEO and rankings on SERP (search engine results pages) without you needing to spend any advertising dollars. All you need is the time and investment into creating purposeful content.

How to Start a Blog for Your Small Business 

So you want to get started, but need a step-by-step guide? Here are the elements you need to start blogging for your business.

1.     Strategise.

Gather the elements you need to build your blog as an extension of your brand. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, do you want to tell stories? Do you want to showcase your team and their knowledge or experience? Do you want to share insight about how your product or service is used? Do you want to become an authority in your niche?  Decide the blog’s tone of voice and how how it reflects upon your brand image. Fun and aspirational? Informational but informal? There are endless possibilities here.

2.     Choose a Blog Platform.

The most important thing is that your blog is professional, easy to consume and shares a balance between search-engine and people friendly. www.yourcompany.com/blog looks better than www.yourcompany.blogger.com. There are simple and affordable blog platforms like Wordpress and Tumblr, and these days, many custom sites can have a blog platform built in, like Squarespace, you just need to invest in the web hosting. TIP – check out the blogging capabilities BEFORE you decide on a web platform or designer for your main site.

3.     Gather Your Team.

Epic content doesn’t create itself. Blogging takes time and energy and while the benefits are massive, it can often take some time before you see a healthy and consistent ROI. But don’t just hire any intern to do your blogging, social media and SEO. You need flexible writers and creators who understand your industry and who can write to your company’s tone of voice while engaging an audience. We absolutely recommend hiring virtual assistants and copywriters to build a dedicated writing team. Also make sure to pick the brains of your current employees and your partners for contributions.

4.     Create a Content Plan.

Now is where you get down to business. Do some research on keywords and search terms in your industry and start building content around it. Great content can come in many forms – written articles, podcasts, e-books, video, images – anything your audience can consume. And remember, you are writing or creating this content for your readers, not for yourself. Answer their questions and cater to their needs.

5.     Stay Engaged & Consistent.

As we mentioned above, content can come in many forms so in an oversaturated market, you have to make it consistent, you have to make it resourceful, and you have to make it interesting. Keep up with trending news and media updates - find ways to integrate and connect your niche into breaking news. Give your readers a reason to comment and share. Collaborate with other networks. And make sure to post regularly to keep your site fresh.

6.     Promote Your Content.

You are not done once you hit publish. Make sure to fill your content with valuable links and mentions of influencers, and always reach out to people to help share your content. One post on a social platform won’t cut it, make sure you rotate and re-promote your content on a consistent basis.

7.     Monitor and Measure.

Make Google Analytics your best friend. Check where your traffic is coming from, see which posts are performing and which ones aren’t and refine your content plan from there. Rinse and repeat.

While building a blog is simple, making one work for your business requires thought, planning, and consistent effort. But the benefits are endless in this digital world of online marketing. If you are ready to improve your blogging game and want to invest in virtual support to help take your business to the next level, send us a message and we can create a custom package for you.

5 SEO Basics for Start-Ups

seo basics for startups

Are you building a start-up and need to know the basics of how to grow your business online organically? Do you have your website and maybe you’ve set up Google Analytics, but you are wondering why your ideal customers aren’t coming to your site and buying your products or services?

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is still one of the most important factors to making your site search engine friendly and getting customers to your site. We love the guides from Moz, SEMRush, and Kissmetrics – but sometimes, it’s good to just have the basic fundamentals for your start-up – without too much technical jargon.

Optimising your website doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s an ongoing process that is essential to growing your business and it is constantly changing. So whether you choose to adapt to the waters and keep up to date with SEO or hire someone to do it for you, let’s take a look at the crucial elements for SEO for start-ups. 

Search Engine Optimisation for Start-Ups

Keywords

When doing keyword research, think about search intent, rather than just search terms. And then make sure that your site actually uses the words that people are searching for. Know your niche and stay relevant in it. We like using Google's AdWords Keyword Tool and Keyword.IO when doing keyword research.

A blog is an excellent way to stay relevant for both your audience and for Google bots as you are constantly updating your site and staying fresh in your industry. Moreover, there is an opportunity here for harnessing rankings for long tail keywords that your audience wants to know more about.

Using a combination of keyword research, Google suggest and related search, plus your customers’ questions and comments can help you in creating a regular content calendar that keeps your brand on the top of the Search Engine Results Page.

Content Creation

One of the keys to SEO is creating and scaling keyword-targeted, valuable, and unique content. It needs to be relevant, helpful, unique, and user-friendly.

This content can be in the form of blog posts, branded images, social media updates, email newsletter, infographics, white papers, e-books, downloadable PDFs, podcasts, video, webinars, workshops – any type of content that a consumer can engage with and consume. The first step in this is to know your audience and how they like to engage with your industry. Then create a funnel that takes your customer from discoverer of your brand to buyer.

And remember, once that content has been created, don't just hit publish. Share it, promote it on a rotating schedule, analyse it, expand it, make it better, mention it to influencers, etc.

Accessibility

Another important factor in improving search traffic is to simply make your site search friendly and accessible to search engines. Search engines are limited to how they can crawl the web and your site, so making your content indexable is an easy way to ensure visibility.

What does that mean? Images should be assigned relevant alt tags, audio and video should have transcripts, Flash content should have HTML text, URL links should have crawlable structures, images should be compressed, pages should load quickly. Does your start-up’s site pass these tests? See what we mean? Quite a bit of work, but worth it to have your site structured in the right way (Let us know if you're stuck here - we can help you).

Also make sure to use Webmaster Tools (Search Console) to make sure your site and its new content are being indexed regularly.

Inbound and Outbound Links

Make sure to link to authoritative and respected sites in your industry to show your brand’s trustworthiness. And in turn, you want other sites to link back to you. Guest posting, commenting on other blogs, and sharing on forums are all great methods for providing this social proof.

But let’s take it one step further. Instead of simply thinking about buying (which Google may penalise you for) or building links, Google is more interested in how your website can earn links editorially. In other words, your website needs to be seen as an authority by other well-trafficked and reputable sites, and you have to earn your stripes with your content and partnerships.

It’s so much more important today to take the time to build relationships with influencers and sites who are willing to amplify your message and content. This can take time, but it’s also where an integrated PR, publicity and content strategy, both online and off, comes into play.

Social Media

Use social media to amplify your content. Schedule consistent social media updates at specified times throughout the day at a schedule that works for you and your audience. It’s not about spamming your customers or readers, it’s about sharing relevant and timely information to your audience and making your brand trustworthy and significant in your industry.

Quick tip - make sure that you are building relationships on Google+ and sharing your content updates there. It may be the outlier in terms of social media, but Google's algorithm makes it a must-have in your social toolbox. 

Do you need help with your site's SEO?

In 2017, great SEO encompasses so many different areas – including email, mobile, links, crawl, user experience, localisation, rankings and much more. Let's face it, a great content strategy takes time and investment.

If you’d like some help in improving and maintaining your SEO for your website, feel free to get in touch with us for a complimentary consultation to discuss the value we can bring to your startup and we can create a customised quote for you. Email us at sales@costartupandgo.com