The One Big Way Most Businesses are Screwing Up Online

The-One-Big-Way-Most-Businesses-are-Screwing-Up-Online

Content marketing is perhaps the single most effective aspect of any online business marketing strategy, but it is unfortunately a form of marketing that most small business owners are not familiar with. And why would they be? If you are a small business owner, you are probably focused on your area of expertise, which is running your business. However, if you want to effectively promote your business online (and of course you want to promote your business online), you need to familiarize yourself with content marketing and the ways in which it can benefit your business.

Content serves two main purposes in the promotion of your business: The first is to make your website more visible to search engines so you can attract more visitors, and the second is to engage and interest your visitors so they stick around and come back for more. Regularly producing content that serves both of these purposes can be a bit tricky, but if you can manage it, you should see a major boost to your website traffic.

Content brings you attention

The first step in using your website to generate business is to attract potential customers to your website, and the single most effective way to get them there is through providing engaging, search engine-friendly content. If you are consistently posting good content that is relevant to your business, it will begin to show up in search engines, helping to attract more visitors. Updating your website with new content also makes Google and other search engines view your site as an active and useful source of information, helping to boost your general search rank. Basically, adding new content on a regular basis makes Google like you more, and they are more likely to recommend you as a result when people are looking for the kind of information you can provide.

Content brings you loyalty

Once you have attracted visitors to your site, content is the best way to get them to stick around, and the best way to get them to stick around is to give them information that they think is useful. What kind of information you’re providing depends on your industry – if you run a landscaping company, you might write about gardening tips, while a psychiatrist might write about mental health issues. The point is that you are giving your site visitors something of value, rather than simply pitching your services. They will remember you the next time they look for information on that topic, and they may even share the content you have created with their friends and family, getting you more exposure. Marketing studies have shown over and over again that when we provide consistently valuable information to potential customers, they reward us with their business and loyalty.

But what should I write about?

This is the biggest stumbling block for most small businesses. If you aren’t a writer, it can be difficult to come up with topics – heck, even most professional writers have trouble with that! However, the goal here isn’t to write the Great American Novel or win a literary prize – the goal is to give your readers some information that makes their lives better. The trick is to simply provide your readers with a bit of the knowledge you have gained from your experience and expertise in your field. If you are a construction contractor, you might give site visitors DIY tips for taking care of small problems around the house, and when they have a bigger job than they can handle, they’ll remember the construction experts who have given them all the great info.

Be unique, be yourself

The thing to keep in mind is that you always need to remember who your audience is. If most of your customers are industry experts or corporate buyers, you are going to write with different goals in mind than if you are selling to the general public, and you’ll write differently depending on whether you are targeting wealthy, well-educated businesspeople or cash-strapped college students. Your content should be helping you meet your goals by providing value to the type of people you are trying to reach.

Web marketing experts talk a lot about the value of unique content. While it’s true that you don’t want to simply copy the text off someone else’s website, the old saying that there is nothing new under the sun definitely applies to the world of content marketing. If you see an article somewhere else that you think might be of interest to your customers, don’t be afraid to repurpose that information and write a similar post. Just make sure that you tailor it to your own market – it won’t help you if you just copy something designed for someone else’s customers.

Hire a pro?

Of course, writing is not everyone’s strong suit, and following a successful content marketing strategy requires a LOT of writing. For this reason, many business owners choose to hire professional writers to produce their content marketing – either hiring a full time in-house copywriter or employing the services of an online marketing company.  If you choose to go with a professional writer, you are guaranteeing that you will have a regular supply of high quality content. However, make sure that you work with your writer closely; if they don’t have the information about your company and your market that they need, the will not be able to represent your company well.

Content is the key to success online

Attracting website visitors and boosting your search rank by consistently producing useful content for your customers is one of the most important things you can do to help your business. If you can keep to a regular schedule, both Google and your customers will come to view you as a resource, and you should see your page visits go up. If you simply aren’t a writer or you’re struggling to find the time to devote to writing about your business, LinkNow Media’s content team is ready to help. But whether you are writing yourself or hiring professionals, don’t miss out on the single best way to promote your business online!

Lauchlin MacDonald

Author: Lauchlin MacDonald

About Lauchlin MacDonald

Lauchlin is part of the content and marketing team at LinkNow Media. He has nearly a decade of experience in copywriting and editing, and spends way too much time on the Internet. He can be reached at lmacdonald@linknowmedia.com and @Lauchlin on Twitter.