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  • Content Strategy for Small Businesses

    Content strategy has always been a valued part of SEO and, with Google’s recent updates, it’s become increasingly important. No matter what size your business is, having a regular flow of good quality content on your site is essential.

    However, content does take time to produce and, when you’re a small business, it can be hard to find the time or people to produce regular content for your site.

    There are several options for small businesses to make the most of their resources and create a site with a steady stream of relevant, useful content. We’ll go through some of them here in order to help those of you who are finding it difficult to know where to start.

    Have a blog

    If you’re going to start creating a stream of content for your website, then the easiest way to integrate it is by starting a blog. It’s fairly simple to add to the structure of your website and gives you the opportunity to write pieces on everything from current industry trends to your business’s achievements. It gives you a space to talk directly with your customers and perhaps be a little less formal than normal, thus allowing you to create a more personal relationship.

    It also gives you a set timetable for content delivery – for example, you may decide to publish one blog post a week. Knowing this and having a set deadline means you can easily factor it into your weekly schedule. It also gives you a chance to plan out topics in advance and note down good ideas as they come along, whilst keeping space for flexibility in case anything news-worthy suddenly happens in your industry.

    Blogs are also great because they allow for customer interaction. Make sure you have a comment section underneath every post and interact with your readers. Reply to their queries and encourage further discussion on the topic.

    Have a plan for content distribution

    So, you have a blog with a regular content schedule. Great. But what about getting people to read it? You need to make sure that your content is publicised. Use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. You could set your blog posts to feed automatically into these social media sites. Allow readers to see a snippet of the text and provide a link back to your site where they can read the rest of it.

    You could even start an email based newsletter. You might not want to send this out every week, but a monthly newsletter with links to your top blog posts, as well as a roundup of any important company activity can be another good way to get more traffic onto your site. Make sure you create an option on your blog and on your social media sites for people to sign up to receive this.

    Another option is to set up an RSS feed. This is can be a great tool for pulling in more readers. Allowing people to subscribe to your RSS feed means that whenever you add new content to your site they will get a notification about it and a link, which will hopefully entice them to visit your site. You can also submit your feed to sites such as Alltop and Technorati who will include links back to your blog on their site, thus widening the number of people who might find your site whilst searching online.

    Hire (or rent) someone who can write

    This may seem to be an obvious point, but it’s essential that you have someone within your company who can write good quality posts. Writing isn’t everyone’s forte and, if you don’t have someone in your company who can do it, you might want to consider getting someone in specifically for content.

    Naturally, hiring an extra person can be a big step for a small company, so you don’t necessarily have to go this far. What you can do instead is outsource your content needs to freelance writers. There are plenty of sites – from Copify to ProBlogger – which allow you to post a title and brief for a piece and pay someone to write it for you.

    One quick warning, not everything produced on these sites is of the highest quality; sometimes the content you get back doesn’t read the way you were hoping.

    There are a couple of things you can do about this. Firstly, when you write briefs, make sure they are detailed enough to explain what you really want. Secondly, you can normally ask for changes to be made to the piece by the author, and you do not have to accept it until it is satisfactory.

    However, what you might also find useful is having someone who can dedicate half an hour or an hour to proofreading and editing each piece of content you receive. This can be a good way to check that the quality is good, as well as ensuring it gets the right message across and does so in the appropriate tone for your site.

    You’re ready to go!

    If you put these simple guidelines into action you should be good to go. Get your plan together, check you have everything you need, and get started. As Google focuses more and more on content, having a good quality blog can only enhance your site. It should help your rankings and also encourage more people to visit, and hopefully link to, your site. So what are you waiting for?!

    Image credit: Saad Faruque

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    Samantha is a Content Specialist at White, and spends her time working on high-quality content strategies and correcting everyone's grammar. Yorkshire born and bred, she moved down south for her BA in English Language & Literature at Oxford University, and hasn’t managed to leave. In her spare time you can find her either lost in a good book or whirling round a dance class. She enjoys a good glass of wine, all forms of chocolate, and her favourite animal is the honey badger. Get in touch with Sam on Twitter @SamanthaKHall

    9 Responses to “Content Strategy for Small Businesses”

    1. Ken says:

      I never get tired of these kinds of posts.

      It’s amazing how many small business owners still aren’t running a regular blog with fresh content and then hitting Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest with them. And even when they do they expect instant miracles!

      As a professional blog writer, I’ve had to calm clients down when they hire me to write a blog post and it doesn’t automatically go viral and make them rich.

      It takes time, patience, strategy and consistency to build that loyal readership and business base.

      Great post!

      Ken

    2. This is a nice article Sam. I would like to share my thoughts on some of the article related content.. First of all Google now looks for authority of a web page and that is the primary reason the have gone for the Wikipedia results. One way of declaring such authority to your website is through Google profile authorship. When an official blog will have a post with the author’s name which is linked to the Google profile makes it more authority. Another thing is that one person can not be an authority of too many things. For example one person who is good at website design will not be good at programming and there is no one on on earth is a super star in every field. So the contributor of a content is proficient in only one field. and such a person will benefit from Google. Thanks.

    3. Kent says:

      So far, for me blog is the most powerful tool to public content. It good for readers and it good for seo.

      80% of my company sales come from blog. But in order to have great blog, we need strategy and copy writing skills.

    4. Maria says:

      Great points Sam that businesses need to listen to. The blog, content hub or knowledge deck – whatever it’s named is great for value, reputation and customer driven satisfaction. So powerful that business is often scared off enough to not try. Your points about customer interaction is key, drive the customer to be satisfied. What are businesses waiting for? It’s a question I often pose.

    5. We’ve all agreed here that quality content is key. However, I would venture to say that high-quality content does not just mean that it has a clear message and is free from spelling/grammar errors. Some of the best content is written with an understanding of pertinent issues often being discussed right then (often trends on social media platforms) and can speak with some measure of authority and personality. People come to a blog for the content, but they often stay because they like the personality behind it.

    6. Chris Devlin says:

      Nice Explanation !!

      By adding quality content regularly in the blog, the crawl rate of your website will be increased. You can drive huge traffic to your website by adding quality and informative blogs. And also modify the service page content regularly, it’s very helpful for improving the keyword ranking.

    7. I agree that having a blog, now more than ever, is a great way to build natural inbound links to your site and creates great internal linking opportunities. Another way to drive traffic to your site through a blog is through guest posting. Having a well known authority within your industry posting on your blog will help to get your brand out there and drive qualified traffic to your site.

    8. Dave says:

      Great practical advice for small businesses, particularly in relation to getting content written. I’d add that if you’re using services like ProBlogger to find an author who you like and to use regularly – this will help to keep a consistent tone throughout the content you publish.

    9. […] Content Strategy for Small Businesses | White.net http://www.seoptimise.com/Content strategy has always been a valued part of SEO and, with Google's recent updates, it's become increasingly important. No matter what size your business is, having a regular flow of good quality content on your site is … […]

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