If only life were like the movie ‘Field of Dreams’….unfortunately, it’s not. You can’t just build a website for, say, your snow removal business and wait for locals to start calling you. You have got to put yourself, and your website, out there…but how?

One of our secret weapon here at Asterisk? Build a blog…and they will come.

Blogging is the secret to SEO (search engine optimization) superstar status. Search engines have one goal: to give searchers quality, relevant answers to their questions.

A well-written, and consistently updated, blog tells search engines two big things:

1. What your website is all about

and

2. That your website will help answer a searcher’s questions

If you’re interested in getting to the top of search engine rankings (and who isn’t these days…), below are some tips that will really help you get up there through your company blog:

1. Answer Questions With Your Blog

Let’s say you offer tutoring services in Hamilton, Ontario. What would someone using google search for in order to find your business? Maybe they would search for “Tutor in Hamilton, Ontario.” That’s easy enough. They might also search for “Help My Child Succeed in School”. Or, perhaps, they are searching for “software to help student succeed”.

                                                                Oxford Learning does a great job on their blog answering questions parents may have

A great way to get noticed by both search engines and potential customers? Write blogs that directly answer the questions people want answers for that are relevant to your services. So, a blog topic based on above, could be “2 Ways Software Can Help Your Student Succeed (& 1 Big Reason to Consider a Tutor”).

2. Use Keywords in Your Blog

Keywords are words that represent what your website is all about. When it comes to SEO, they are clues that tell search engines if your content is relevant or not to a given question.

If you own an office cleaning business in London, Ontario, for example, some of your keywords might look like this:

‘London, Ontario’ — location-based keyword
‘Commercial Cleaning’ — service-based keyword
‘Office Cleaning’ — service-based keyword
‘Cleaners’ — general keyword

Find out what your keywords are (usually it will be a mix of local keywords, specific service keywords and more general ones) and then put them to work for you! Whenever you can, use them in your blogs (when it fits in well with the content).

                                                

Always make sure your targeted keywords are in the title page and the first paragraph of your blog

How to use them in a blog? If you have a blog titled “Commercial Office Cleaning Hacks”, for example, your first lines could be: ‘Commercial cleaning isn’t easy. Here in Ontario, we have to deal with all four seasons of the year (and the mud, moisture, and snow that goes along with them).’ See what we did here?

3. Make Search Engines Love Your Blog

Once you’ve started creating keyword, answer-rich content on your blog, you should then optimize this content with images and links. Optimizing your content is especially helpful when many different business are competing for the same or similar keywords. Search engines read every single part of your content looking for clues. They go show users the websites that have given the search engines the greatest amount of clues.

Search engines read how your images are labeled. If you are a Hamilton, Ontario real estate agent, don’t just give your blog and website generic images like “house for sale”….give those images highly relevant names, such as “Hamilton, Ontario 2 Family House for Sale”.

Another way search engines look for quality clues? Links! Your blog should be full of both links to your own website, and links to other relevant websites (such as a Wikipedia page all about a topic similar to yours). The more links to keywords around your website and around the web, the safer a search engine feels in deciding your website is a quality result to give its searchers.

To sum up: websites aren’t as simple as just building something and publishing it online. That being said, getting traffic to your website isn’t rocket science: it’s a combination of commitment and insight over time. If you haven’t started your blog yet…what are you waiting for? Your future customers are out there right now…searching for services just like yours.