Tips for Getting Your Small Business Site Noticed By Google

SEO imgThe term “search engine optimization” is enough to confound even the most established small business owner. We know that it is an important part of online marketing and that, if it’s not done right, our websites will be shunned by Google. What we are not sure about is how to use SEO to our advantage and see better rankings for our efforts.

Google uses an algorithm that helps it determine where websites should be ranked. That formula is always evolving, and no one person has the secret key to figuring it out. However, the core of that formula remains the same: quality content and plenty of it.

You don’t have to be one of the multi-billion dollar companies in order to get your website noticed by Google. Even small businesses can find success on the search giant with the right content strategy.

Keep the good content rolling

What are people looking for when they turn to Google? Answers. Not just answers to questions, but solutions for problems they are having. They are looking for products that help fill a need and services that can help them.

The link between your website, where you have those answers/ solutions/ products/ services, and Google is the content you have published on the Internet.

Your content includes your blog posts, articles you have written online, social media posts and even the information included on your web page.

The important thing is to make sure that your content offers value and that you keep it fresh. Don’t let too much time pass between posts or else the search engines will stop seeing your website as active.

If you don’t feel like your writing skills are strong enough to create a stream of content that will draw in readers, consider hiring a ghostwriter to do it for you. You can find writers that have a lot of experience with SEO and who can match your brand voice.

Don’t overdo the keywords

Not so long ago, content marketers were obsessed with the idea of keywords. It got to the point where a lot of content sounded garbled and didn’t read naturally. That’s because so many people wanted to cram a specific set of keywords into their writing, regardless of how bad the writing actually sounded.

Google has long-since wised up to those tactics and has started ignoring online content that has been “keyword stuffed.” Instead, the search engine looks for content that provides value to the reader, not the robots.

Including keywords is still important, but they don’t have to appear in your content at a proper saturation level. What Google looks for is long-tail keywords. That is, having a natural phrase that includes your keyword plus two or three others.

Social sharing gets a thumbs-up

With the prevalence of social media these days, it is important to note that Google sees sharing on social media as a valuable factor in page rank. The more your content is getting shared on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and especially Google+, the more notice Google is going to pay to your website.

Make sure that you are sharing your new blog posts through your social networks. Make them appealing to your followers so that they will also share your content. Before you know it, you could have a piece of content that has gone viral!

There is no magic formula for improving your ranking. If you want to see an improvement in your page rank, you have to satisfy Google. The only way to truly do that is to offer people content that they will find valuable.

How do you stay on top of creating valuable content?

How to Create a Business Blog (Even If You Hate to Write)

Image courtesy Againstar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy Againstar/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Not everyone is a natural writer. Perhaps the gift of prose is not in your basket of talents; or you simply don’t have the time or the patience to keep up with a blog for your business. But these days, if you want to build a successful brand, creating valuable content has to be an important part of your marketing strategy.

If you ask many business owners, they feel the same way that you do: blogging is a necessary evil. Content marketing has proven to be a valuable part of any business’ marketing plan for many years and it will continue to be because today’s consumers are taking in a high volume of content online. That includes blog posts.

So, knowing that you need to maintain a well-written blog for your business, but still hating the whole blogging process, what do you do?

Here is what you do:

Hire a ghostwriter

It sounds like something only celebrities do to get their life stories onto bookshelves, but hiring a ghostwriter is what many businesses have started doing to get quality content for their blogs and web pages.

You can find writers for hire through many freelance websites or search for someone who specializes in writing on your specified topic.

The most important factor in hiring a ghostwriter is to find someone who can capture your own tone and voice. This is someone who has to represent your brand in a writing style that is appropriate for you.

Check their writing samples and speak with previous clients about the quality of the writing they have done. Anyone can say that they are a writer on the Internet, but it takes the right kind of person to create content for your brand.

Share content from others

This does not mean copy-and-pasting another blogger’s posts into your own blog. Instead, what you can do is find content that is available for reposting. You can find blogs and articles that cover topics that relate to your business all over.

Find a way to contact the author and ask if you could repost the content to your own blog, giving them appropriate credit, of course. Many will be happy to have the content they worked hard on shared with another audience.

If you don’t want to repost the entire article, you can also write a short synopsis of the article and link back to the original blog post. Just remember to always give credit when you are referring to or reposting another writer’s content.

Conduct interviews

Some of the simplest, yet highly-read, blog posts are Q&A posts where a person is interviewed. You can interview important people in your industry. Reach out to them and let them know that you are interested in interviewing them and why.

Have a questionnaire ready that you can fill out for each interviewee ready to make it quick and easy.

Podcasts and Vlogs

If you are more of a talker than a writer, you could record podcasts instead of writing blog posts. You could record interviews, talk about product tips, or give an industry news report.

Another option is to record videos to post on your blog. You can demonstrate products; give a behind-the-scenes look into your business. If you write a fitness blog, record yourself demonstrating some exercises. If you have a food blog, prepare a recipe on camera.

When you’re not a writer, it is hard to be an enthusiastic blogger. That doesn’t have to stop you from creating a fantastic blog that will help your brand grow. Try any of these tactics to generate great content for your business blog.

Have you considered outsourcing your blog writing?

How to Drive Your Business With an eBook

Image credit elec-sellEvery business has at least a dozen stories to tell. Today, sharing those stories through an eBook format with your audience goes a long way in driving business. Using eBooks as a marketing vehicle is a hugely underutilized tool that so many businesses are missing out on.

Building your brand in the age of social media is all about engaging with your customer. They want to interact with your business on Facebook, follow your tweets on Twitter and see the images you share on Instagram.

Offering your customers free content created just for them is another way to forge a deeper connection. An eBook is a simple way to put out valuable content to your audience and it costs you little more than the time it takes to create.

Since so few businesses have begun to utilize this form of content, you can give yourself an edge over competitors when you offer your first one. Writing an eBook will show you as an expert in the industry. By giving more value to your audience, you are building their trust in you as well.

Writing an eBook lets you:

  • Tell the story of your business
  • Share your victories, big and small
  • Reward your audience

The great thing about an eBook is that it has a lot of flexibility. It can be just 50 pages or as many as 1,000. Whatever you need to tell the story.

It can include audio clips, videos, charts and images.

You can have an eBook published yourself without having to go through a publisher. Amazon has made the process so much simpler.

You can create the eBook either in an eReader format or simply as a PDF. As a PDF, your book will be easy to add to your website or blog and they will be easy to print as well.

When writing an eBook for your business, there are three rules:

1. Write what you know

This is true in all forms of writing. This is a chance to share your knowledge. Your audience wants information that relates to your business and industry and an eBook is your chance to give it to them.

You can write a how-to guide, share your own recipe for success, put together a cook book, a buyers’ guide, or even a collection of frequently asked questions along with the answers.

The possibilities of the type of content you can share with your audience through this format are endless.

2. Don’t just publish one

Get into the habit of releasing new eBooks as a part of your marketing strategy. If your audience is happy with the first one, keep their interest by offering something new on a regular basis.

3. Make them free

An eBook is a great way to score low-cost advertising. It can be downloaded and shared thousands of times and help connect your business to a lot of potential customers as well as strengthen the relationship you have with current ones.

You can offer a free eBook as incentive to sign up for your email list, purchasing one of your products or services, or signing up for your upcoming webinar. People love the word “free” and they will be more likely to return to your website in the future when you offer them something for nothing.

Think of all the knowledge you have gained since starting your business. Sharing what you know with your audience is one of the best ways to market your business and strengthen your brand. An eBook is one of the simplest and most effective ways to build your notoriety and become an expert in your industry.

Have you considered writing an eBook as part of your marketing strategy?