Content is the foundation of digital marketing success, no matter the channel on which that content appears. Content determines the businesses social media fans and followers choose to associate with, how visitors choose to engage with your website, and for which keywords search engines find your site relevant.
If you’re like most small business owners, you probably have no trouble talking to friends, relatives, business partners, and prospective customers about your business: the kinds of people you help, the pride you take in your work, what customers value about your business, and so on.
But it’s tough to find time to write about your business. It can be a struggle to find the exact right words to describe your business to the World Wide Web.
Fear not! Your website content doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, it will appear more authentic to your customers—and probably be more useful to them—if it isn’t filled with refined marketing language, and actually answers their questions about your company’s products or services.
With that in mind, here are some ideas to get you started with creating content:
What are the top things users look for?
Google and Bing both provide a very simple method for researching the key phrases that your prospective customers are interested in: Simply visit either search engine’s homepage and perform a search. Prior to hitting “return” on your keyboard, take a look at the list of terms related to the one you typed in. These are generally the most popular words or phrases related to what you typed. Make a list of these terms and be sure to target a page on your website about each one. Repeat this process several times to develop a comprehensive list of subjects to start your content process.
Research keywords using Google Trends
Google Trends can provide you with a few more specifics around the relative search volume of each keyphrase that Google or Bing suggests. You can even zoom in to your specific geographic area to see just how popular certain phrases are in your state, metro area, or in some cases even your city. Google will also suggest even more key phrases related to these phrases next to the geographic overlay, so don’t ignore these.
What are the top questions your customers ask you?
This is a great tip from Aaron Weiche of Spyder Trap Marketing. If customers are asking you the same questions over and over again offline, they probably have the same questions online as well—and may even type these questions directly into a search engine. Each of your top questions should have a full page devoted to it to maximize your ranking potential for each question.
What’s unique about the areas you serve?
From an SEO standpoint, it’s a best practice to create a page for each town, county, or region that you serve. For example, if you’re a suburban plumber looking for business in the major city in your metro area, you could talk about the history of the sewage and water system of that market on its own page, highlight subdivisions or condo buildings that have a higher incidence of plumbing issues, or list lawsuits that have occurred over faulty pipes in that market. The more local the “scent” of a given page, the more likely Google and Bing are to rank that page.
Case studies of previous projects
You can also start a little bit closer to home, so to speak, and feature projects you’ve worked on in a particular market. Be as explicit as you can about the services you performed, or how your products helped the customers achieve their goals. Case studies are one of the things that make your business unique, so stay away from using canned marketing-speak, and focus on telling stories that will help future customers relate to previous ones.
Customer interviews and transcriptions
The best way to help future customers relate to previous customers is through video interviews and testimonials. In the era of smartphones, it’s super-simple to film and upload video interviews to YouTube and embed them on your website. The personality of your clients and customers will really shine through the video. Make sure you include a text transcript of your conversation below the video so that you get keyword “credit” from the search engines also.
For more information on writing great content that is compelling to both humans and search engines, see Moz’s complete Beginner’s Guide to SEO.