If you want to make your company more visible online, you’ll need some content marketing strategies for small businesses. Search engines prefer content that is well written and informative because it provides great value to their users. Low quality content and blog posts are a serious pitfall when it comes to small business SEO.
Creating high quality content and blog posts can seem like a daunting task. However, the good news is that you don’t have to be a professional copywriter to create amazing content that promotes your site and get people talking. With a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to improving your search engine result ranking and boosting your online revenue.
What makes content high quality?
The word quality is highly subjective. Often, when we talk about online content, we mean content that scores highly when it comes to search engine rankings. Each search engine has a slightly different algorithm when it comes to deciding on preferred content. Factors such as article length, use of keywords, grammar and the relevance to your website will be taken into account. Features such as subheadings that make the article clear and easy to read also tend to score highly in terms of SEO.
However, it is important to write content that your current and potential customers will want to read. If your writing is dull or unengaging, people won’t linger to read the full article. They also won’t share it on social media. So, it is important that anything you publish on your website is well-written, readable, interesting and provides value. You need to try and achieve a balance between what search engines like and what’s enjoyable to read. Thankfully, there is a lot of crossover between what readers like and what search engines like because search engine algorithms are designed to prioritize readable text.
Why do I need high-quality content from my website?
Think about it this way- if the content you provide is valuable to readers, that gives the impression that your business is valuable too. Business owners that care about the quality of the information they provide tend to care about their customers too. If you come across as knowledgeable and informative, this tells potential customers that you are an expert brand that can be trusted. Online content is a great way to communicate your brand’s key values and image.
Social media is a powerful way to promote your business online because it’s easy for new customers to discover you this way. To use this to your advantage, you’ll need to create strong content. People are more likely to share great content on social media platforms, which can help make you more visible and draw more meaningful traffic to your site from people who are already interested in your business area. Meaningful traffic is more likely to translate into increased sales.
Content that is liked by search engine algorithms will appear higher in the list of search results when someone searches for keywords associated with your business. This means that people are more likely to find your business through an organic search. At the majority of website hits come from organic searches, this is an extremely important way of driving traffic to your site.
How do I write great content for my small business?
As we mentioned before, you don’t need to be a professional writer to produce copy that inspires and motivates potential customers to use your small business. As an expert in your area, you are in a great position to share your valuable knowledge with readers. With a bit of insider know-how, you can easily make content that boosts your online visibility. In this section, we’ll reveal some expert tips and tricks for producing awesome articles and blog posts without a degree in copywriting.
Carry out keyword research
Using the right keywords helps people to find you online using an organic search. When someone searches the keywords associated with your niche, having these keywords inserted carefully in your article will help your content rank more highly on their list of search engine results. Your in-depth knowledge of your business puts you in a good position to know what your customers are likely to be searching for. Using an online keyword finder tool and typing in some words associated with your business will show you what potential customers are typing into online search engines.
Once you have a list of keywords, this should give you some ideas about what you should be writing about. It is important to write content that customers are actually searching for. We’ll explain in more detail how to use keywords in your content, and how to avoid some keyword pitfalls, later in the article.
Plan your article
Once you know what you want to write about, you need to come up with a plan. Writing without one will usually sound disorganised and be difficult to read unless you’re already a very experienced copywriter. Structured writing is easier for your readers to understand, and they will be more likely to read until the end. In general, a great article or blog post will have the following structure:
- Introduction: this should briefly introduce your readers to the subject of the post and tell them what it contains
- Main body: this contains the key information that you want to communicate to your reader. Splitting the main body of the text using subheadings to organise it makes it easier to understand and helps your article to rank more highly with Google and other search engines
- Conclusion: finish your article with a conclusion that sums up the most important points you’ve made. Ending with a call to action is a good idea. Ask yourself: what do you want your reader to do as the result of reading the article? Do you want them to get in touch to discuss how you can help them solve a problem? Perhaps you want them to share your article on social media. Whatever your goal, make sure you don’t forget to include this key piece of information.
Use keywords carefully
Remember those keywords we mentioned earlier? You need to use each keyword one or two times in your article. Make sure that you use them naturally. Keywords have to make sense in the context of the sentence, otherwise they will sound clunky. When it comes to search engine optimisation, keywords are most effective if you use them in the following locations:
- main heading
- first hundred words
- meta descriptions
A word of warning: don’t be tempted to engage in a practice known as keyword stuffing. This means cramming so many keywords into your article that it makes it difficult and annoying to read. This is known as a black hat SEO technique and can get you penalized by Google and other search engines. Furthermore, no one wants to read content that is filled to the rafters the keywords and is difficult to read as a result, so keyword stuffing isn’t likely to make you popular with customers either.
Choose an appropriate length
It is important to choose the right length for your article or blog post. As a rule, every page on your site should contain at least 300 words of text. In general, you should be aiming to somewhere between 500-1000 words for a blog post or article, although you may wish to make your post longer. Search engines such as Google prefer longer texts. However, don’t make your text so long that it is intimidating to your readers or you have to resort to meaningless filler text in order to reach a high word count. If there are parts of your text that don’t add value, then your text isn’t really high quality.
If you’re creating content for social media, you will have to conform to their guidelines when it comes to work count. Have a look at the posts of other similar businesses to pick up pointers on how to convey your message in the given word count.
Use high-quality visuals
When it comes to online content, visuals really help to make it more appealing to readers. If you’re using a visual-driven social media platform such as Pinterest or Instagram, then visuals are even more important. Video content is extremely popular with users of social media, so you may want to include an accompanying video to your post or article.
Some small businesses lend themselves particularly well well to creating high-quality visuals, and as most smart phones now have fantastic cameras and apps to edit photos, you won’t need to hire a professional photographer unless you want to. If your business sells a product that is visually appealing, you should find it easy to capture amazing photos that promote your business well.
If you’re struggling to think of ways to photograph your business, you could try including behind the scenes photos of your team or photos of recent, satisfied customers. Alternatively, you could consider using stock photography. There are plenty of places where you can find free, high-quality images on the Internet to use on your website or social media posts. However, make sure that the images used are royalty-free, otherwise you could end up in serious trouble with the owner of the image.
Proofread your content
You should always proofread your content to make sure that it is free of spelling and grammar errors. This is important both from the point of view of the search engines and to create a good, professional impression of your company. If you lack confidence in this area, using an online grammar checkers can really help.
However, grammar and spelling aren’t the only things you should be checking for during a proofread. Make sure that your article makes sense, is engaging and that you’re not repeating information unnecessarily. It’s important that it’s easy to find the information you want in the article. If it isn’t, you may wish to consider adding subheadings to signpost readers to key information.
It is a good idea to get somebody else to proofread your articles for you as well, especially while you’re still building confidence in copywriting. It can sometimes be difficult to objectively judge the quality of your writing. Somebody else will be able to give you an outside opinion on whether your content is useful, clear and error-free.
Add content regularly
While this isn’t strictly a writing tip, it is important if you want your website and content to perform well. Updating your website only occasionally is a big mistake when it comes to boosting online visibility. This is because search engines assume that if a website is neglected, the information it contains may be outdated or of low value. So, your site won’t rank as highly if it’s not regularly updated. Additionally, regularly adding content gives major search engines a reason to crawl your site more often, which will also help boost your rankings.
However, don’t be tempted to do a rush job and add high amounts of content that are less relevant or of low quality. This applies to both your main website and social media channels. Spamming your readers with low quality copy is irritating and doesn’t create an image of a professional and caring company.
The bottom line
Hopefully, you now know how to create amazing content that will help take your business to the next level. By using these simple tips and tricks, you can create content that engages your current customers, catches the interest of new ones and keeps the search engines happy.
For help with any aspect of improving your site’s rankings, including creating great, SEO friendly content, get in touch with Small Business SEO today. Our friendly team can advise you on how to rise up the search engine result list and boost your online visibility.