If you want to start optimizing your website to attract targeted and local traffic, adding a blog to your strategy can help you accomplish this. When optimized correctly, a blog is a powerful search engine optimization (SEO) tool to support your current digital marketing strategy, but just having a blog will not be enough.

To get the best results with blogging it does take willingness, time, and effort from your part to write interesting and “magnetic” content to the target audience you would like to reach. With this said, if you are a local business that is a bit cash strapped for marketing, blogging can be quite an effective and economical solution for your business.

Find below a couple of tips on how you can take advantage of a blog if you are a local business to get the word out about what you are doing.

Keyword research

Research and identify a broad set of keywords and phrases that you can use to be found on the search engines such as restaurant, lawyer, second-hand cars, etc. With these keywords, you can combine them with your local city name such as Pretoria or Durban. So for a lawyer in Pretoria, you would end up with Pretoria lawyer and lawyer Pretoria. You can also include “lawyer in Pretoria”. People combine their search queries quite often with “in”.

Optimizing your blog

With the keywords you are going to use, optimize your blog by placing these keywords in the title tag, blog post headlines, and in the anchor text of your links. This will help to make your blogging very highly effective on the search engines.

One of the easiest blogging platforms that I constantly use for my clients is WordPress because it is so easy to optimize. Don’t use a free domain and install on WordPress.com. Download the WordPress software and install it on your own domain. Depending on where your domain is hosted, many of the hosting platforms provides an easy way to install a new WordPress blog with a simple push of a button. Once installed you can add all the plugins you are going to use for optimization such as SEO Plugins, Google Analytics, Google XML Sitemaps, Feedburner, etc. Once installed and optimized you can then start blogging journey.

Search engine optimization blogging

Search engine optimization blogging is a process in which you publish optimized blog posts on a regular basis. If you are starting with this, post at least 3 new blog posts a week with a minimum of at least 300 words. The most important part when you are writing a new blog post is the structure of the blog post. One important thing to take note of is to not only writing your blog posts for the search engines, but for your target market.

Each blog posting that you write should only be focused on one main keyword phrase. With our example above, if you wanted to optimize the blog post for the main keyword phrase “lawyer in Pretoria”, you will need to use that phrase in the title of the post and 2-3 times in the content of the post.

You could select a title such as “Lawyer in Pretoria” or some attention grabbing headline that uses the keyword phrase. In the content of the post, use one of the instances of this keyword to link to the most relevant page on your website that also targets that phrase. This will increase the rankings of the page you are linking to.

This is a very easy way on how you can get started by using your blog to market your local business.

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