Free site promotion for small businesses is readily available. It’s a tactic called blogging.
Most heavy online users already know about blogging. It’s using a Web site to post content — often personal content — on a regular basis.
But it really can be used to publish just about any kind of content, whether it’s personal, news, advice, etc.
Small business blogging can be used to promote another Web site for free.
The free part comes in two forms:
- Posting content in the blog with links to your other Web site.
- Posting comments on another blog with a link in the comment back to your other site, usually in the form of a link in your name.
The first one has high value, and the second one has low value. The focus of this article is on the first.
From Blog to Site
Why would a small business create a blog — in effect another Web site — to promote its main existing site? The answer lies in the links and the ability to reach new audiences.
First, the search engines will rank the main site higher because of another site linking to it.
Second, if the blog is good enough, it will attract visitors who might then click on those links to visit the main site.
And maybe, if the blog has ads, it will generate a little extra revenue for the effort.
But is There Enough Time?
Ah, that’s a problem. Small business owners often have to little time to spare. The more time they spend on the blog, the less time you spend on the main site. (The one that pays the bills.)
Start by scheduling just 15 minutes a week to post on the blog. Use some of the same content that goes onto social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to save time and keep things simple.
That 15 minutes a week is one hour a month. With that level of effort, don’t expect a huge audience to visit the blog. But if one person becomes a lead (depending on the business), it might just be worthwhile.
Keep the topics as narrowly focused as possible to turn the blog into an authority on the subject.
For example, a CPA with a large amount of business in tax preparation might blog about something as narrow as IRS auditing instead of something as broad as tax preparation.
Try to make the content as evergreen as possible so that it maintains value over a period of years. As the amount of content grows, the authority of the blog grows. Search engines will place more value on the links going back to the main small business site.
Free Blogging Platforms
Three of the most popular blogging platforms have millions of visits each month. But they each differ in the ability to expose an individual blog to those audiences.
The three blogging sites in order of value are:
The trick is to put just enough effort into the blog without consuming too much time.
Post frequency is an important part of building blog traffic.
The more often a site gets posts, the more traffic it attracts. Search engines like frequent posting as well.
Estimates vary, but the experience of various bloggers indicates that posting at least once a week is necessary to grow blog traffic over time.
Not surprisingly, two times a week is better, three times even better.
Settle on one posting a week. But know that a highly active blog carries more weight with search engines and therefore the links from that blog will be more valuable to your main site.
Post Length, Keywords and Links
Post length also is a subject for debate among many bloggers, but at least 400 words is a good place to start. It also is a good idea to keep adding to existing content.
Short posts are less likely to be indexed or ranked highly by search engines.
Longer posts get better results, especially if they are based on a series of strong keywords, use graphics or photos and are optimized throughout.
When it comes to placing links to the small business site, once again prominence is important.
The higher the link is placed, the more likely it will be clicked. Search engines give a highly placed link more respect as well.
Most importantly, search engines will rank the main site higher.
Finally, use keywords in the anchor text that have the greatest value, relevance and impact on the main site.
Small business blogging is a free and easy option to promote products and services.