This is the second post in my series: SEO for Rookies.” Links to all posts are below.

Most small business owners glaze over when asked to “write a blog post for their website.”  

Today I’ll make it easy to understand exactly “what to write.”

Quick review:

  • A blog post is like a magazine article that sits on your website.
  • If a person is searching for answers on Google, and your blog post does an excellent job of explaining the subject, Google delivers your blog post to the searcher.  This is much like when your grandmother snail-mails an article she knows you’ll like.
  • Getting people to your blog is good because you now have a potential customer right there on your website (and not your competitor’s).
  • Google does not charge you to deliver your blog to searchers.  Google is in the business of delivering the best search results to their searchers; if your blog post is the “best answer” to a searcher’s Google query, Google happily offers up your blog post to the searcher.

Wait, what’s in it for Google if Google doesn’t charge me?

  • Google’s “world-class search experience” keeps searchers returning to Google and away from other search engines.
  • The more people who start their searches on Google, the more Google can charge for its paid ads to small businesses. But remember, paid ads aren’t what we’re talking about here.

But I pay a lot of money to my SEO agency, so why can’t they just write the blogs for me?

You should write your own website posts and have your SEO agency edit your words to optimize them for SEO because:

1. You know your business.

2. You know the jargon, the vernacular, and the subtleties of your business and local area.

3. A writer without this knowledge is much less skilled in writing anything nuanced enough to rank high on a Google search.

4. The best a freelancer or SEO agency could do is re-write information that’s already on the web. And Google does not reward this type of writing.

Google rewards skilled and nuanced perspectives that offer a peek into the mind of someone out there grinding in the day-to-day of their industry.

So while a freelance writer at your SEO agency could easily rewrite information from other sources about upholstering a sofa, a person who actually upholsters sofas could write about the intricacies of the thread they use, the stitching they prefer, and how they like to finish off the underside of the furniture with a different type of cloth.

Upholsterer working on a chair
Google wants this upholsterer to write about upholstery rather than just “any old” SEO freelancer because he can offer a nuanced and authentic perspective that only an experienced upholsterer could offer.

Deciding what to write for your small business website:

I use two rules of thumb when deciding what to write on my website.

  • Choose a subject your customers ask you about over and over. Remember, if your customers ask you questions, they also ask Google those same questions.
  • Prioritize subjects that are associated with your high-value products. For example, writing articles about painting epoxy floors in large warehouses is more lucrative than painting front doors. Eventually, you can break this rule when you’ve published a lot, but start with high-dollar-value subjects first.

My next post will center on exactly “how” to write a blog post, especially if you “can’t/won’t or hate to write.”


Read my other “SEO for Rookies” posts:
SEO for Rookies #1: “I have my head in the sand about working on SEO.”
SEO for Rookies #2: “What should I write?” (this post)
SEO for Rookies #3: But I can’t / won’t / hate to write!
SEO for Rookies #4: But I have no photos!
SEO for Rookies #5: What does it mean to “target keywords?”

SEO for Rookies #6: Meta descriptions are a cinch.