• Jason Kamara

    Great advice, Chris. Despite the myriad of benefits of blogging for local SMBs, it continues to be a hard-sell in many cases. Like using Twitter, a lot of business owners are wary about the time and/or cost involved in creating unique content on a consistent basis.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisgreen87 Chris Green

    Great post (and name) Chris! The resource issue of creating and updating a blog for local businesses (especially small ones) means that the perceived ROI needs to be very compelling. One of the most common scenes on local business websites is a blog which was started 6 months – 1 year ago and now is a ghost town with little sign of updates.

    As much as singing the virtues of blogging for an seo campaign is vital, showing the client how they can sustain blogging long enough to see the benefit, that’s the tricky part!

  • http://www.shortcutblogging.com/ Dave Young

    Exactly what I’ve been telling my local clients for years, only you summarized it and outlined it better!

    We were having a hard time getting our local clients to write. They couldn’t find the time, and some of them didn’t have the writing chops to do it in a way that didn’t totally frustrate them. We decided to start interviewing them and transforming (extensively editing) the transcripts of the interviews into written posts. It worked great. And, we could also use those same interviews as podcasts. That’s 2 pieces of content in one! (3 if you count the original transcript and post it along with the podcast).

    It worked so well, we created a new business out of the service and now we’re blogging for quite a few local businesses. The thing they really like is that they are getting consistent weekly posts and their only effort is to sit down with one of our interviewers once a month to record 4 or 5 weekly posts. It takes less than an hour per month for a busy local business owner….and involves ZERO writing on their part.

  • Rocco Giove

    Great post, thank you Chris.

  • http://trucklicense.net/get-cdl Freedom Jackson

    Yeah good list I only have one disagreement.

    Blogging for local results shouldn’t be a secret weapon it should be your bread and butter. This is the best way to build momentum for your brand as you expand out new markets will meet you with an existing network.

    kinda like how tyler perry went from the small screen to the big screen

  • http://twitter.com/si1very Chris Silver Smith

    Altamash, whether to use a subdomain or a subdirectory for a blog has some pros and cons, either way. A few years ago in the past, I would’ve recommended using a subdomain as having an edge over a subdirectory, because it seemed to convey a better link weight advantage.

    Currently, my advice is to use a subdirectory, because I think that having the various associated social media mentions about content on the same domain may be more beneficial overall.

    Regardless of which you use, I don’t think you can go wrong — as long as you’re blogging consistently and well, either option conveys some ranking advantages to the business site.

  • Pano Kondoyiannis

    Blogging like mine http://problogger.gr, helps with fresh new and unique content so the search engines love it so that you make a blog and write meaningful things in it will not be wrong.

  • http://www.v2interactive.net/ Josh

    I’ve seen this happen first hand in the past few weeks. More specifically, WP seems to do a very well job.

  • http://www.tvsinternetmarketing.com/ Travis Van Slooten

    I have yet to meet a business owner that has the time or desire to maintain a blog. The easiest way around that is to hire a ghost writer. You can find high quality writers at very affordable rates. I use ghost writers for all the blogs I maintain for my clients and they love it.

    Travis Van Slooten

  • Lauren P.

    Do you think the benefits you speak of can be achieved with a blog that isn’t on the same domain as the site being listed in the local results? Let’s say I own 10 local businesses but I blog on a different domain than all of them, but regularly link out to each. Will that help improve my local listing rank?

    It sounds like you basically saying “regular fresh content” is what’s pushing people to the top of local search. That sounds a lot like regular search and that this isn’t so much of a secret weapon as just a best practice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CloudBoomers Julie Larson

    Absolutely!!! Blogging is definitely the best SEO “secret weapon”! Every time you write a blog post, you have an opportunity to target 1-2 keywords. Want to target more keywords, write more content rich blog posts. :)

  • Scott Hendison

    I would caution that just blogging for the sake of blogging, just to add content, to get the edge over your competitors is *not* what it once was. It needs to have value, too.

    We used to have “good content” written for clients either 8x or 4x monthly, but since the Farmer / Panda updates, content that’s just “on topic” that’s rehashing the same things that have been said elsewhere dozens of times, (even if it’s totally “unique”), can do you more harm than good.

    Some people have a gift for writing, but for most small businesses, I’d rather see them come up with something truly interesting and valuable even once a month rather than try to pump out weekly gibberish. Too many small business blogs these days LOOK like they’re “just trying to write” because someone (their marketer) is forcing them to….

    and yes, authorship. It’s all about authorship …

  • sergiuliano

    excellent article, Local Blogs are already the winners in Local SEO

  • David Hitt

    This is somewhat beyond the scope of this article (which was great, btw…) but I wanted to raise an issue related to Google Blog Search. I’ve found that self-hosted WordPress resident blog feeds that are part of an entire site built off of WordPress have difficulty making their way into Google’s blog search. In most of our standard site builds, the blog archive page is not the home page for the site. Whenever I’ve tried listing the feed for these sites in Blog Search, they invariably don’t get very good exposure. The site and blog index just fine in standard Google search results but it seems as though Google blog search is expecting, and may require that a WordPress “blog” be the more traditional ‘home page as blog’ type rather than a feed burned off something other than the canonical domain name of the site…

  • http://EnlacesyMarketing.com/ Fernando Rivas

    Thank you very much for this, I launched my local bussines site like 3 months ago and already realized is not that easy! thanks for sharing this post and let me see I was doing it right with blogging ;)

  • Randi Thornton

    Blogging for local SEO is a must. However, the content must be original; offer value to the audience and make readers want to share it. Thanks for the great helpful checklist.

  • http://profiles.google.com/eric.southward Eric Southward

    I agree continuously writing blogs can get tiring. It generally takes me about a hour to produce a quality post. However, one thing that makes it easier for me (and possibly better for SEO) is to write about something very topical. As a bankruptcy attorney, I wrote a post right after Hurricane Sandy about how Hurricane Ike (Houston) affected our bankruptcy practice and the courts.