Many small business owners are aware of the importance of SEO marketing, but may wonder if it’s really worth the investment. While pleasing your readers is most important, optimizing that same content for search engines can significantly boost your brand’s visibility and bottom line. Here are a few suggestions to put those pesky algorithms to work for your business.
Find the Balance
It’s true that great content walks the line between pleasing users and search engines, but people should always come first. This isn’t to suggest you should forget about algorithms and keywords altogether. Rather, marketers should focus first on producing quality content that customers love and then craft it in a way that is optimized for SEO. In the old days, you could get away with stuffing keywords into awkward-sounding sentences. Today, Google recognizes and penalizes low-quality, keyword-saturated content. You’ll be rewarded instead for publishing content formed around the interests of your customers.
High-quality content is:
- Written from an expert point of view
- Not repetitive
- Grammatically sound
- Of value to readers.
Put Your Spin on It
In a digital world where every brand is competing for space and visibility, small businesses must find a way to stand out from the crowd. To find your niche, you’ll need to determine what makes your business unique from others. Whether it’s your superior customer service, offbeat sense of humor, or excellent value, find a way to weave your distinct offer into your brand’s story. Once you’ve honed in on your unique voice, the more you’re likely to appeal to both readers and search engines.
Please the Search Engines
Now that you’re armed with ideas for high-quality content that’s sure to make your readers happy, it’s time to focus on satisfying the search engines. At this stage, it’s important to ensure your content remains “human,” as Google’s algorithms have learned to reward quality over keyword stuffing. You can increase your odds of success by doing the following:
- Create a content calendar that outlines when certain topics and keywords should be covered.
- Publish unique content (blogs, articles, landing pages, etc.) to establish authority.
- Weave keywords into headers, titles, meta descriptions, and URLs.
- Optimize content for local search.
- Perform occasional content audits to identify and fix any faulty links.
Nail Your Broader Content Strategy
As complex as it may seem alone, SEO is only one piece of the content puzzle. Your broader strategy should include SEO-optimized social media marketing plans and focus on satisfying the four V’s for maximum return:
- Volume: The amount of content you publish on any topic shows Google your expertise in the subject.
- Variety: Cover all of the areas within your niche to gain authority.
- Velocity: Publishing quality content at a consistent frequency (at least once per week) helps prove your legitimacy to search engines.
- Veracity: Published information that is popular with and shared by readers is the number one indicator to Google that they should be delivering your content to interested audiences.
Analyze and Iterate
SEO and content marketing always comes back to research. Monitoring your progress gives you a tremendous amount of data. Use that information to identify which strategies are and are not working. Analyzing data generated from content distribution is one of the best ways to hone in on your specific goals and opportunities.
When you create content that readers love and search engines recognize, you’re on the fast track to SEO success.