Business owners frequently approach us and ask what they can do to rank higher for organic searches in search engines. They want to know how to beat out the competition, and how to get more leads without paying for them. Usually people think that they have to do something secretive and mysterious, but there really is no mystery. The answer is generally that you have to create and share good content. A little bit of search engine optimization doesn’t hurt as far as cleaning up your website data and making sure it’s responsive, but content has been and will remain to be king.
The problem is that there are some really easy mistakes that you can make with your content, and you may be getting bad information about what’s actually important when it comes to your inbound marketing and content strategy. Here are some of the most content mistakes businesses make, and some tips on how to fix them.
First, not generating content is a big problem. Business owners are busy! They’re probably the busiest people on the planet. We understand that. But if you have a website and at least one social page (which you should, except in very rare cases!), then you should be writing for the web, posting to your blog, updating website content, and posting to your social pages on a regular basis. That is the single best thing to do for your inbound marketing, and we can’t emphasize enough how much that helps your digital presence. If you’ve got an old website that never gets updated and you’re not writing for it or posting pictures and video, and you’re not active on social media, you’re making a mistake.
Second, not optimizing great content for your audience. So what if you’re writing fun social media posts and posting them to your personal page even though they’re about your business? What if you create interesting articles, but send them only in email? Are you posting pictures of cool products to Instagram without following anyone else, using hashtags, or responding to comments? Arg! Then you’re missing out on big opportunities to get the right content in front of your target audience. It’s great that you’ve started using a platform, or caught the writing bug and are creating engaging articles, but make sure that you’re looking into how to use the platform you’re on. Always be sharpening your marketing skills.
Third, not taking advantage of low-hanging social media fruit. If you’re on social media and it’s a major holiday and you don’t send a holiday post, you are not getting your money’s worth (wait, social media is free) out of the platform. At the very least, get the low-hanging fruit. Post pictures of new employees, send a holiday greeting even if it is short and sweet, and always take the opportunity to share feel-good posts that are easy to write. If your city is recognized for greatness or you hire a new employee or you’re closed for a holiday party—grab that opportunity!
Fourth, focusing on SEO instead of content creation. A lot of people hear that search engine optimization is a thing, so they think that they have to go find someone who can pull the levers and write the SEO entries, and then they will magically start appearing very high in organic search even without making any other changes. It may be a tired old phrase, but the reason we say “content is king” is because generating content for your website is far more important than trying to get very detailed with SEO. If you’re focusing energy on SEO, but not generating content, you’re not going to get anywhere. It’s like sending out a really beautiful resume with no credentials listed. You’re just not going to get anywhere.
The truth is, a lot of business owners decide that they don’t have time to post to their own accounts and enter their own website information. That’s totally understandable, and it’s why we stay on top of social trends, have a copywriter and social media specialists on staff, and work closely with content strategy for clients. You still need to know what kinds of things your audience likes so that you can seize the chance to take pictures or write down some main points that we’ll turn into a shareable and optimized article. At the end of the day, no matter what route you choose, it’s very important to avoid making these content mistakes and to sleep easy knowing that your content strategy is working for you.