It might be an integral part of the marketing strategy of large businesses, but many smaller companies still haven't fully taken advantage of the benefits of content marketing. Content marketing for small businesses is an almost untapped resource, with most business owners too distracted by the day to day running of things to write blogs for SEO and social media purposes.
It's understandable that customer service, product management, and staff development take precedence over content marketing for businesses without a lot of resources. But, with business moving ever more online - COVID or no COVID - and the SEO of your site often being the deciding factor in a potential sale, you might not be able to afford to neglect your content for much longer.
You sell bikes. And what do you know, a potential customer is looking for a bike. Hooray! However, there is another business offering similar products for the same price. The customer decides to do a bit of research, and searches 'best bikes for adventure cycling'.
You've recently started supplying a range of adventure bikes and put them up on your website. Unfortunately, your competitor did this too, and also recently published a blog touting the benefits of their bikes, targeting the phrase ‘best bikes for adventure cycling’. Because of this, Google suggests it to the searcher. Your potential customer reads this informative, persuasive blog and decides that your competitor’s products are the best around. Without content of your own, you didn’t even get a chance to convince them otherwise. At least the customer is happy, right?
That’s just one customer. But more and more people are searching this way, and until you start putting out content of your own, you’re missing out.
How does Google rank content?
Google decides which content to show based on keywords, amongst other things. If you sell bikes, but your site doesn’t mention bikes, you aren’t going to rank.
Content marketing is just one aspect of SEO, but it’s an important one. You need to make sure the text content on your site - whether it is blogs, case studies, white papers or product pages - is optimised for the terms your customers are using.
You need to do more than just stuff a blog full of keywords, and in fact, Google will even rank you down for it. Any content you add to your site needs to be informative, well written, and most importantly, useful. And that can be difficult: you might know all there is to know about bicycles for adventure cycling, but that doesn’t mean you’re a writer. That’s why you hire a content marketer to do it for you.
The other benefits of content marketing
There’s much more to content marketing than the SEO benefits. Regular, engaging blogs will not only improve your ranking but position you as the expert. You become a resource for potential customers, getting a leg up on your competitors. Research suggests that 77% of people regularly read online blogs. What's more, 70% said they prefer articles or blogs over traditional advertising.
It also gives you content to share. Social media is another vital part of digital marketing, but it’s only worth it when you’re saying something interesting. Regular content gives you something to say, and customers will appreciate it.
You can also produce guest posts for other sites, which will generate backlinks to your own site. But that’s a whole other subject.
Most importantly, with many small businesses still not investing in proper content marketing, it remains a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors. By putting out great content that makes you front and centre for the most common searches, you can start pulling in traffic that might not be able to find you otherwise.
So what do you do if you want to make the most of these benefits but don't have the time? Outsource it to someone that does, of course. It's definitely not cheating, in fact, 60% of businesses surveyed by QuoraCreative said they outsource their blog writing.
SEO content for small businesses is something I know all about. Get in touch and let's chat about how I can help you.