The nature of search is expanding. (Your business + your town) will always be a good search phrase for customers to figure out who you are and what you’re up to. But it shouldn’t be the only way you’re visible.

Readers have questions about your industry.

Whether you sell real estate, insurance, food, gym memberships, or anything else, inquiring minds want to know.

I talked with the owners of an antique store in Chicago recently. One of the beauties of blogging, I told them, is that they’ll show up in a wider variety of searches. Sure, a number of people are searching “Antiques, Chicago.”

But there are also the people who search “Where can I buy a dining room table?” If it’s a recent blog post from their store that shows up, they win.

Answering pressing questions is a winning strategy for search engines and people.

I’ve talked a lot lately about writing for people. When your blog answers your audience’s questions (and is highly visible), everybody wins. It creates value. I’m finding my headlines showing up in the keywords section of Google Analytics on an increasingly frequent basis.  It just goes to underscore the conclusion most sensible marketers have been coming to: People want information. They don’t want to be sold to.

These search phrases are called “long tail” and are also valuable for businesses. They create an opportunity for you and your blog to shine. Done right, they should result in more traffic, (and hopefully more leads) for your business.

So how do you get there?

Pay attention to your in-person interactions.

Start by answering the industry-specific questions that your in-person customers ask.  This is a great area to mine for some of the most pertinent blog ideas.Chances are your online readers are searching for some of the same answers. Blogging about it also gives you something to point at next time someone directly asks you.

Right our wrong impressions.

What are some common misconceptions about your industry? If some industry representatives gather a bad rap, or there are some things being published that simply aren’t true, feel free to set us straight.

This is a great way to underscore the value of your industry to your readers.

Can you expand on one of your FAQs?

A lot of websites now have a FAQ page, which can provide some insightful information. Expanding on a short response there might be a way to provide some useful content.

How To or Why…

Your readers want to know how to DIY. By telling them, you’re not giving away trade secrets. You’re proving your value and beginning relationships. These posts tend to do particularly well in the search engines. People want to know how to do stuff.


Don’t be deterred if the process seems slow. Not everyone who stumbles across your blog is ready to buy.

Provide this type of valuable content and your readers are more likely to remember you when it comes time to buy.

Think about some of your favorite blogs to read. What are they? Are they posting valuable content?

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Written by Matt Brennan
Matt Brennan offers corporate writing services to businesses and organizations. He’s been telling stories for more than 10 years.