If you manage a website for your small business, you are probably aware that to be competitive it is not enough to just launch your website and then forget about it. You need search engine optimisation or SEO. SEO is probably something you have heard about and know you should be doing.
You’ve probably also quite likely heard various things mentioned in connection with SEO; like ‘content marketing’ or 'digital marketing'. You are probably also aware of the benefits of having an active presence on one or more social media channels but how does it all sit together and what exactly is content marketing?
To compound things SEO best practises are ever changing and what may have worked effectively a couple of years ago is not going to work now so you need to keep up to date.
Content marketing is a form of marketing online or digital marketing, that involves the creation of material online with the purpose of raising awareness of your brand or business. The type of online material that you should be creating can include;
The content should not necessarily advertise your business and products directly, but should be generating interest and raising awareness while encouraging visitors to your website.
Used effectively, content marketing is currently considered to be one of the best SEO techniques.
SEO is the practice of generating interest in your website and getting it to rank highly within organic (free) search engine results. Website SEO can be split into two distinct categories: onsite and offsite.
Onsite SEO, not surprisingly, is all to do with what’s happening on the website itself:
Offsite SEO is all down to what activity you undertake away from your website to drive traffic and generate interest in it.
There are various aspects of both onsite and offsite SEO, but this post will focus on content marketing or content generation as an SEO strategy and how to attack it.
Website content alone is not enough, and social media management (SMM) has become inextricably intertwined with SEO as a vehicle for driving traffic to your small business website.
In other words, stellar content that you have written and published on your website needs to be shared to a captive audience who will re-share it on your behalf to their wider audience on your chosen social channels. This in turn will raise your profile and drive traffic to your website bringing awareness of you and your business to more potential website visitors. Simple?
Feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to start? Is it still sounding like a foreign language? Then read on.
As touched on briefly, earlier in this post, content, in this context, broadly encompasses anything that you publish online, either directly on your website or via a social media channel like Twitter, Facebook or Linked In etc. It’s important that you get the context or tone of voice right for both your website and your social channels whichever you have chosen. (Remember not all channels will be a good fit for your business and it’s better to have a strong presence on one rather than trying to spread yourself too thin.)
Your main website pages should be regularly monitored for performance and regularly updated and tweaked as necessary.
But there is a limit to how often you can re-write your ‘About’ page for example, so one of the best ways of routinely adding content to your website is by creating a blog. It goes without saying that this should be an integral part of your website and not on a separate site otherwise the content will not be working for your website.
A blog post can also be a major source of material for you to share on your social channels, so my advice would be write the blog post and then from that carefully crafted content you can probably generate multiple Tweets or Facebook Page status updates that will all lead back to the blog post and your website.
When you’re writing your blog post consider the following key points:
This content is anything that you share on a social channel be it generated by you and linking back to your website or generated by another. Content other than links back to your own blog or website could include:
In other words it's all content.
Once you’ve written your blog post you are ready to share it on social media … and I mean share, share and share again. Keep the following points in mind when drafting your Tweets and status updates:
Use social media as an important part of your SEO strategy and don’t forget:
It takes time to build up a readership of your blog and to get regular visitors and loyal readers. But social media is very fast moving and gives you the opportunity to reach thousands, or even tens of thousands, relatively quickly.
Use social media to boost your SEO efforts. There is no limit to the potential number of people you can reach via social media and drive them towards your blog and small business website.
Most important of all don’t overdo the self-promotion. Whilst it’s great to share your own content and drive traffic to your website, content marketing also involves sharing useful information and content created by others that is relevant to your target market and will be of interest to your audience and potential customers. Social media is just that … social.
So, while sharing your content, don’t forget to interact and engage with others and you’ll probably find they will share your content too.
If you’re just thinking about getting your blog up and running and could use a little bit of help, why not get in touch 01494 537612.
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