- August 9, 2012
- Small business online
Ever since Google launched it has had a strong desire to return the best search results to the people using their service. To achieve this they constantly make updates to their search algorithms (the code that decides what websites to return in the search results).
In April 2012, Google made 2 significant changes named Panda and Penguin. These changes placed much more emphasise on good quality content being regularly updated on a website.
This presents an issue to the average small business as their websites are typically a couple of pages and static (they don’t get updated that often). Therefore, in the eyes of Google they do not present a good experience to the person searching, meaning less likely to rank highly in the search results.
Most small business owners do not have the time or knowledge to regularly update their website. In many cases they are not able to and any updates means spending money with the website designer.
A small business owner could start a blog. There are many very good blogging platforms that are simple to use and do not require a huge amount of technical experience. A blog will allow a small business owner to post regular content that, depending on quality, would be picked up by Google.
An even smarter move is to write posts on topics that their customers and website visitors will find interesting and provide value. This will encourage even more visitors. This in turn is looked on positively by Google and can help the website even more. It is also possible to include links in your blog post back to the relevant pages on your main website. Another good way of getting visitors to your main website.
How to Start
While it is possible to start a free blog, I would suggest starting a blog on your current website. For example, the digital are blog can be found at www.digitalark.co.uk/blog1. While not proven, Google appears to give benefit to the overall website and not just the blog.
Simple to Set-Up
A good web host, like Digital Ark, should have a solution that allows blog platform software such as WordPress to be installed with a single click. This means that you could have a blog set-up and your first post published in less than an hour (probably even quicker).
The big commitment for a small business is to make regular posts. The best results are where a blog is updated at least once a week. While this sounds daunting, spending a few weeks getting into a routine will soon turn it into a habit. Then it should mean that you can create and post an entry in less than 30 minutes.
The articles should ideally be between 400 – 600 words. Less than 400 can be seen as ‘thin’ content by Google with limited value. It should not matter if some articles are less than 400, just aim for the majority to be over 400 words.
Remember to include headings and pictures to make the blog easier to read and more visually appealing.
If you make a post each week, over a year you will end up with a lot of content on your blog that should be viewed favourably by Google giving you a best chance of ranking higher in the search results.
Google wants high quality and frequently updated. Writing a blog offers and excellent way for a small business to provide value to potential customers, engage with their audience and as a by product give Google want it wants!
Don’t delay start your blog now. If you would like help or more information, please contact us.