It’s easy for SMBs to give up on digital marketing for fear nobody will find them online. But based on changes to how users search online, Google has created more opportunities for SMBs to be found. And, it’s not the addition of local search even though that helped, this has to do with a small business blog.

How to Begin Blogging

Imagine you’re a Xerox Dealer (it’s not a stretch for us) and you want to attract customers who need a new office printer. Great! You sit down and write a lovely blog about printers. The problem is that ranking for a keyword like printers will be virtually impossible for any SMB let alone one who just began blogging. Now what?

Search Engine Changes Help SMB Blogs

Google realizes we are dependent on the Internet and gadgets and the way we interact with our devices is increasingly conversational; think voice control. The more we integrate devices into our lives (Internet of Things), the more often conversational searches occur. In other words, in a traditional search we might type: printers in Waco, TX but if you’re driving around and talking into a device, your search will be a question; where’s the nearest print shop? Because that’s more like how we talk.

The Long Tail Advantage

As a SMB, we won’t get much traction from a keyword like printer. It’s too broad but we would likely gain traction for a longer search term like: Printers in Waco, TX – because it is more specific. That longer, more specific keyword string is known as the long tail.

Conversations Impact the Long Tail

With conversational search on the rise, there are new opportunities to rank for conversational long tail topics. But first you need to know what a user might ask for in a voice search. Traditionally we query: new printer or printer and fax combo. But in voice search, we ask questions like:

  • What’s the difference between an all in one and a stand-alone printer?
  • Who makes the best space-saving color printer?
  • Where’s the nearest copy and print shop?

Of course these are the topics and they’re conversational but they don’t work as titles. A small business blog headline need to be compelling in order to entice us into clicking but the underlying content still needs to be written for both traditional and conversational search. How do you spin those question topics in to headlines that convert?

  1. Be concise
  2. Use eye-catching concepts ex: These Office Printers do Everything but the Dishes!
  3. Solve a problem ex: How to Find the Best Printer Without Leaving Texas
  4. Offer tips: 10 Ways a new Printer Pays for Itself Quickly

If you’re still struggling with headlines, there are a few tools that can help (for free):

Topic and Headline Generator: Try SEOPressor – type keywords, choose category from a dropdown menu and wha-lah – a list of SEO friendly, small business blog titles.

Headline Analyzer: CoSchedule has a nifty headline tool that grades your work and tells you how to improve.

If you’re looking for new clients or customers, it’s worth the effort to start a small business blog. However, learning strategy remains key and in the case of blogging that means understanding how search engines respond to traditional as well as evolving user demands.