As a small business owner, you already know how much work it takes to keep up with the big guys, from content strategy to branding. Your products must stay competitive, prices match, and you need a website. A lot of small business owners drop the ball when it comes to their website. After all, a website is a big investment—one most small business owners cannot afford to commit to. Even though it’s quite a chunk of change in the beginning, developing a content strategy for your website can take you from Page 6 of Google search results to Page 1—kicking the competition to the curb in the process.
Content Strategy For Small Business: Where Do I Start?
Developing a content strategy might not seem easy at first, but once you sit down and take the time to draft one up, you’ll notice everything falls into place. If you’re not a strategizing type of business owner, you might want to hire a content strategist, according to Content Marketing Institute. Yes, these types of professionals do exist and while they’re a new breed, they focus on developing killer content strategies. Before you call in the big guns, try doing a little strategizing yourself.
First, inventory what content you already have. Do you have a website? What pages are already published and active? What about a blog? Do you have articles or press releases floating out on the Internet? These are all things you’ll need to inventory.
Start with Web Content First
It doesn’t matter if you have a high-ranking blog, you need to start with your website. Your business website ultimately sells your products, services and brand to the public. Therefore, you need to put a good chunk of your content strategy investment toward it.
Make a list of the services you offer and plan on making a page for each service. While this might seem pointless, having a page for each service can significantly increase your SEO.
For example, you offer wedding planning services. Instead of just having a single page for “wedding planning services” you have a page per service, such as: “Dress Shopping,” “Vendor Coordination,” etc. You can add a keyword in the URL of each page, which increases the chances each page will rank with the search engines and increase the visibility of your site as a whole.
Don’t Be an Obnoxious Car Salesman (Or Woman)
There’s a fine line between selling your products and services and being too sales-like. No one likes to be pushed into a sale or have it shoved in their face. In fact, it’s a big turn off. If you showcase your products and services right, you won’t have to over sell your brand.
Instead of taking the car salesman route for your content strategy, go for the engaging, friendly route. This is especially true on your homepage, about page and any other personal pages. These pages are where visitors go to learn about you and your brand. You want them to feel welcomed, invited and as if they’re visiting a friend.
Tackle Other Content Too
There is plenty of content to include in your strategy. The number of content types you list depends on what you’re selling and how much you want to sell it. Some common areas you should include while strategizing are:
- Website Content
- Press Releases
- Guest Posts—These matter too!
- Social Media Posts
What About Keywords?
Yes, keywords are still important. Before you start writing your content, you need a grasp of which keywords will work for you. These keywords will ultimately direct your content too. Get a good mixture of single words, long-tail keywords and phrases that your customers are likely to search for and that represent your brand. For website content, use a keyword or use a service as your keyword for part of your URL too. When you write blogs, format the URL of each blog post so that it includes a keyword— this is always great for SEO.
But before you go crazy with your keywords, remember density rules have changed. Less is more today. So, write your content and keep it natural. Then inject keywords where you can. Refrain from stuffing your content with every keyword you want to optimize. It not only makes your content difficult to read, but can turn away readers.
Got Any Tips for Success?
Making a content strategy does take time and it’s not something you should whip up while sipping on your morning coffee. You need to do some research. Ask yourself who you’re writing for? According to SearchEngineWatch.com, that is the biggest mistake business owners make. A lot of small business websites write to their peers—not their target customers. If you’re not sure how to research your customer, the Content Marketing Institute offers some tips in their article.
Some other things to shoot for in your content strategy should include:
- Answering your customers concerns or offering a solution. Basically, be the answer they’ve been looking for.
- Answer the typical questions a customer would have about your product (i.e. cost, how it works, guarantee, photos, etc.).
- Use a call-to-action to tell the reader what to do after they’ve read your content (such as call for information, make an appointment, visit a social media profile, etc.).
- Write well. No one likes to read something riddled with grammar or spelling errors.